🌐 Location: Murayama, Yamagata
The Jungyo keeps moving up north, and we are deeply in Tohoku at this point.
Let’s start a couple of days before the event. A dohyo needs to be built in the venue. For this, the required amount of clay is about this much:
Remember, though, that the dohyo in a Jungyo event is prefabricated. Its volume, unlike the dohyo of honbasho, is made mostly of polystyrene foam, and the clay is needed just to surface it once the dohyo is assembled.
The local sponsors, with the aid of local workers, schoolkids, members of sumo dojos etc., build it up.
The day before the event, the rikishi arrive by bus, to sleep at the local lodgings. In Murayama, the lodgings and the shitakubeya are apparently at a local onsen center. This is a good opportunity for the business owners to get coveted “two-shot” photos.
But let’s get on with the event itself. August 12, morning, and we have the handshake event in the entrance hall of the local arena:
But hey, Yago is from Hokkaido, not Yamagata. We need a local boy. Unfortunately, there is no sekitori who is exactly from Yamagata. What do we do?
Well, bring Sadogatake oyakata, AKA Kotonowaka Sr., to mingle with the locals. And Kotonowaka Jr. also becomes a local-boy-by-proxy:
So what if Junior is from Chiba?
Ryuden drags Shobushi along for the handshake event.
Eventually poor Shobushi gets to join his real master, where he’s needed for this:
Hey, Kagayaki, just one rikishi? What happened?
Well, the big buxom one is not the only one exercising. We have Ichinojo stretching, Daieisho signing autographs, and multitasking Arawashi doing both:
Another trio in another corner: We have Takarafuji signing autographs, Asanoyama presumably stretching, and Tokushoryu just being pretty for the camera:
Yutakayama is doing his suri-ashi:
And Ichiyamamoto and Shodai are holding hands 💕
Though the romantic scene is a bit marred by Shodai and Nishikigi ganging up on a poor helpless low-ranker.
Hey, did someone lose a Myogiryu? We have him here at the pet shelter. If the rightful owner doesn’t show up, we’ll have to give him up for adoption! See how sad he is!
Meanwhile, Ichinojo and Arawashi, well-stretched, shift positions to the side of the dohyo for some more stretches, and some chit-chat.
So what’s up on the dohyo?
Juryo practice. And thank you NSK for finally adding the rikishi names to these videos.
Kotonowaka is the local-boy-by-proxy, so he gets kawaigari from an Ozeki (which is more than Wakatakakage got in Fukushima! Not fair!)
This goes on for quite some time:
Then there is some Makuuchi practice:
Shodai is pretty sticky there at the end. They take their keiko bouts a lot more seriously than their “wari” (official) bouts in Jungyo.
With practice over, it’s time for the tsukebito to work hard. We have here Tokitsukasa from Irumagawa beya, stretching what is presumably Tamawashi’s mawashi out to dry.
And we have Tomisakae from Isegahama, not doing any backflips today, just folding his own mawashi after it dried. He is in the Jungyo serving as Takarafuji’s tsukebito:
Before having their own mawashi laid on the grass to dry, Kotoshogiku and Enho get their picture taken with some local families.
Turns out, Enho is not really small when compared to the average Japanese adult.
Hit the showers, then come back out for the dohyo-iri. And this time the lesson has been learned – if the shitakubeya is not in the same building as the dohyo, wear shoes!
That brick building is the onsen facility where the shitakubeya is located.
Of the bouts themselves, I don’t have much. There is this lovely photo of Tamawashi making Abi wish he wasn’t in san-yaku:
Be thankful it’s not a kotenage, Abi.
And we have the highlight bout of the day, which is, of course… Enho vs. Shohozan. These two are really the best show in town:
At the end of the day, sekitori head back to the busses. Ichiyamamoto and Tomokaze go out for a cone of ice-cream. They seem to spot something quite outrageous:
Maybe what they are amazed at is Shohozan’s rather exaggerated electric hand fan:
But as a matter of fact, the outrageous part is how Tomokaze is wearing his yukata:
I’m pretty sure in some countries walking with your undies showing on purpose is considered indecent exposure…
And so, another event ends, but not without a pin-up boy. Today, hardly a boy, but always a joy to look at, it’s Arawashi: