🌐 Location: Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture
After going as far south as Osaka yesterday, the tour heads back slightly north to Kusatsu, near Kyoto, on a trail that will eventually lead it to the true Japanese north. But in the meantime, it’s hot.
Hot enough for Gokushindo to find a novel way to cool himself:
I guess those double moobs I always recognize him by can come in handy. Especially if you’re interested earning the “WTF pic of the week” contest.
Gokushindo was in a superb mood today, as we’ll see in his bout below. But first, let’s take a look at the rikishi practicing around the venue.
Enho… isn’t getting much practice time, with the spike in his popularity since the previous Jungyo, in which he was still in Juryo. Once he hit the prime time broadcast, he’s gathered huge popularity.
That hair looks suspiciously non-Japanese to me. Indeed, there is a growing number of gaijin visiting these events.
Terutsuyoshi is also enjoying some popularity, but less from the fans, and more from his fellow sekitori:
This may have to do with that perfect beach tan he acquired somehow.
Or more likely, he is messing with people he shouldn’t mess with…
Speaking of which, Ichinojo is getting on friendly terms with Kizakiumi:
He then starts to giggle:
And Kizakiumi returns the favor:
Mmm. This is not exercise. Not even workout. Let’s see if anybody is actually working. How about here?
Yes! Ah, no. Tochiozan is merely using Shodai as a nose wipe. Let’s try the Mongolian corner next to the dohyo:
Guys, more working, less talking!
Thank you, Yokozuna. I knew I could count on you.
In truth, there is someone who is working, and rather hard. In fact, rather too hard:
Sandwiched between the two not-too-small low-rankers is one Kagayaki, though it’s hard to recognize him through all that weight. He must be pretty frustrated with yet another make-koshi. Nevertheless, don’t overdo it, man. That load easily exceeds 220kg. Those joints are not easily replaceable.
Up on the dohyo, in the Juryo moshi-ai, Kizakiumi goes against Kotonowaka:
In the Makuuchi moshi-ai, Asanoyama takes up Okinoumi:
This day, Hakuho parks the kawaigari truck for a while, so Mitakeumi can have some reverse butsukari. “Reverse butsukari” is not an official term – it’s just my personal term for butsukari when it’s given by a low ranking wrestler. You can see the difference in attitude easily. The “chest” is Tochiozan, Mitakeumi attacks:
The focus here is on the pushing. No hair pulling, no goading, and only a little rolling in the dirt.
Practice time over, we’re off to the matches. First, the lower-rank matches. And… someone please wake up Hakuomaru…
Shodai’s tsukebito, formerly Asakura, now named Hakuomaru. The change of name did not change his tendency to nod off at the slightest provocation, even if he is in the middle of something, like arranging his sagari.
Here is a nice match between Kotomanabe and Chiyohokkai:
This next one… it’s certainly a match. It’s not Shokkiri. If it was Shokkiri, they would have been wearing their hair in oicho-mage. But… anyway, I give you Gokushindo vs. Hokutoyo:
I seriously LOLed.
There was a tweet that claimed that this bout actually took 12 minutes. This would definitely not happen in honbasho (the procedure in the lower divisions is to separate the sides after four minutes, and do a “niban-go torinaoshi”, which means a re-match after the next two matches end).
So, time for the Juryo matches. I don’t have any of them on video, but I do have Kiribayama trying to look like a “megane-otoko” (“Man in glasses”, with attractive overtones). Not his glasses, though – possibly “borrowed” from Akiseyama:
Mmmm. I prefer his natural look. Maybe it’s the skewed oicho. I also have Wakatakakage having a conversation with Tsurugisho before their bouts are up.
I don’t know about you, but to me that face looks like he is trying to sell Tsurugisho a bridge somewhere.
Anyway, at the end of the Juryo bouts, all the Juryo wrestlers hit the showers while the Makuuchi wrestlers come out for their dohyo-iri. This is the time the fans have been waiting for, and they catch them up at the least opportune moments:
Is it me or does Sokokurai look disappointed for not being called up?
Next up, Enho has to go do his dohyo-iri, and then the Yokozuna’s. But not if the fans can help it:
But nobody can refuse this next fan, even wearing a towel. Especially not Ikioi:
Next are the Makuuchi bouts. There are a couple in the highlights video below. Enho seems to have enjoyed his:
Jungyo is not honbasho.
Can’t do without Hakuho’s date with a yobidashi for the sanyaku bouts:
But I’m thinking Abi is not enjoying the sanyaku-soroi-bumi too much. The need to synchronize with the others means he can’t do his shiko properly:
After the bouts are over, the fans are after the rikishi on the way to the showers again. Did you know that if you forgot to bring a shikishi (cardboard tablet for autographs), you can have your complimentary zabuton signed?
Several breathless tweets announced that Ryuden was caught with only his underpants on! One even managed to capture the moment:
I thought this was very funny. I mean, if you caught any other athlete, like a baseball or basketball player with only his boxer shorts on, maybe that would have been a sensation. But come on, girls. When he wears a mawashi, it’s much more revealing than those boxers…
So here is the highlight video, including a bit of Jinku, a bit of Shokkiri, and a couple of bouts. And yes, there is a gaijin-cam moment.
So, we finish up with our pin-up of the day, Tobizaru: