We have a long list of interesting bouts today – famous former sekitori! Up-and-comers! Wakaichiro! It really was a fantastic day.
But first, let’s take a look at the opposite of “fantastic”. We have Hattorizakura (left) vs. Bariki from Shikoroyama beya (right). And, surprisingly, Hattorizakura is not the worst thing in this bout.
What-is-this-I-don’t-even… Some of you may remember Bariki from the maezumo of the previous basho, in which he returned from three years of kyujo. It looked then like his back hurts. Now it looks like his whole body is in a knot. I can do better shiko, and I’m a 51 years old computer geek with a strong aversion to exercise. Note how neither the gyoji nor the shimpan attempt to enforce the “touch the ground with both hands” – or a single finger – in this bout. The man is 32 years old. I don’t know why he is doing this.
Nevertheless, Hattorizakura loses.
Next up, normality returns. We have Senho, Hakuho’s latest recruit, on the left, facing Kochikara (“small power”) from Tagonoura beya, on the right.
Senho looks better and fights like a lion – but he has zero dohyo sense and steps outside like the rookie he is. He is lucky his opponent was, in fact, attacking at that time, so he merely loses by yorikiri rather than isamiashi.
Moving up, and we have a proper match between interesting rikishi. On the left, Hokutenkai, Takanoiwa’s nephew. On the right, Chiyotaiyo, the stick insect with the attitude. Both are 1-0.
Yeah… Chiyotaiyo is a good wrestler, for his weight. But he is no match for a rikishi on a mission to catch up with his school days opponents, who are already at the top of Makushita.
Finally, we have Murata, who was a Sandanme tsuki-dashi and a great potential who suffered an injury, and dropped all the way to Jonokuchi, where last basho he “pulled a Ryuden” and showed up only for the last bout, to avoid going off the banzuke. This time, he participates fully. On the left, he faces Kotoegashira from Sadogatake beya. Both are 1-0.
Murata’s legs look like Terunofuji’s. And I guess he will be in the race for the Jonokuchi yusho.
We start with Kitanowaka, Prince Charming from Hakkaku beya, facing Teraosho from Shikoroyama beya. Back in the day when Shikoroyama belonged to the Tokitsukaze ichimon, many rikishi from Shikoroyama used to be part of Kakuryu’s team of tsukebito, AKA the Kakuryu Sumo Academy. Teraosho belonged to that group. So Kitanowaka is on the left, and Teraosho on the right:
It almost look like Kitanowaka forgot to wake up in the morning. Teraosho wins by hatakikomi.
Moving on, we have Hakuho’s other new recruit, the largish Toma, on your left. Here he faces Wakahiroto from Chiganoura beya (possibly one of the three guys who scooted from the heya following the Takanofist incident).
Toma definitely has some sumo.
Let’s pause a moment, and not show any famous former or future rikishi or a rikishi recruited by a famous man. Instead…
Did you miss Enho’s bout yesterday? Did you actually watch it but want to watch something from the same genre again? Look no further! We have 167cm tall, 18 years old Kiyama from Nakagawa beya on the left, engaging Asahijo from Asahiyama beya, on the right?.
Little Kiyama is now 2-0, and the kimarite is sotogake. So maybe he is not an Enho clone but a Mainoumi clone?
Up next, remember the large group of Narutos who overwhelmed Jonokuchi in the last basho, and ended in a three-way yusho playoff? Well, they are going strong in Jonidan this basho. Here is the yusho winner, Motobayashi, on the left, facing Wakayamanaka from Nishonoseki beya (I see Arashio oyakata is not the only one with impossible shikona).
He’s definitely going to try for another yusho, maybe even get into the 21 club. But he may be disrupted by his heya mate, Marusho, who is up next. Marusho is on the right, and Roman, the shorn rikishi from Tatsunami beya, is on the left:
You have seen Roman in the previous posts, and you know he is not a pushover. So yes, Marusho is definitely another Jonidan yusho candidate.
Let’s take a look at one of the stream of young Mongolians who joined sumo recently. It’s Daitenma, from Azumazeki beya, on the right, vs. Matsuyama, from Dewanoumi beya. Both are 0-1 coming into this match.
Daitenma seems to grow in length rather than the expected width. I can see where those long legs are going to get him tangled, but he wins this one, by oshidashi.
Next, we have the nice former sekitori, Amakaze, from Oguruma beya. On the left, he faces Katsunofuji from Sakaigawa beya:
Our last – but not least – Sandanme rikishi in focus is Wakaichiro. He opposes Kamitani, from Michinoku beya. Wakaichiro on the right, Kamitani on the left:
This is some of Wakaichiro’s best sumo yet.
Let’s start with Terao – yet another former “Kakuryu Team” member from Shikoroyama beya, here on the left, facing Shiraishi, the former Sandanme tsukedashi from Tamanoi beya:
Shiraishi’s sumo is much better this basho than the previous one. He wins by uwatedashinage.
Want to see Chiyonokuni? Here he comes. On the right, he is matched with Kamito, the Tatsunami man.
This feels like a grownup who to the little league to show everybody who’s boss.
From one knee-case, we move to the next, and of course, it’s our former Ozeki, Terunofuji, on the right, facing Kitaharima from Yamahibiki beya. He actually faced him once in the past (and won). That was a long time ago – in fact, he doesn’t remember it.
Ajigawa oyakata knew what he was talking about that. As soon as Terunofuji grabs his opponent’s mawashi, he just executes his plan, and resistance is completely futile.
Going up to the top matches, we have Shiba, from Kise beya, facing Oki from Shikoroyama beya (right):
This was uchimuso, in which you grab your opponent’s hip and send them to the ground.
Next up: Kotodaigo (on the left), vs. Toyohibiki (on the right):
Kotodaigo wastes no time.
Next comes Hoshoryu, wearing his game face, on the left, with yet another significant opponent, Asabenkei, on the right.
He immediately gets a left hand inside, but while Asabenkei is doing a standard butsukari hoping to bulldoze him out, Hoshoryu firmly lands an overarm grip and throws the Takasago man away. Keep this up, Byanba-kun, and you’ll get that coveted “zeki” attached to your name sooner rather than later.
Another promotion hopeful is the Isegahama deputy pixie, Midorifuji. But like the head pixie, Terutsuyoshi, he seems to have hit some sort of a wall at this rank. On the left, he faces Churanoumi:
And Churanoumi easily disposes of the little annoyance. Neither Midorifuji nor Nishikifuji, Isegahama’s top hopefuls, are doing well so far.
Today’s Ikioi bout is not so awful that I have to hide it from you. Here he is, on the left, and his opponent is Chiyonoumi, Kokonoe’s lowest-ranked sekitori.
I’m a fan of Chiyonoumi, but he doesn’t seem to have the quick thinking required to take advantage of Ikioi’s many injuries. Ikioi evens to 2-2.
Finally, let’s take a look at Onigiri-kun, that is, Takanosho, from Chiganoura beya, who is on the left, and Kiribayama from Michinoku on the right. Takanosho is 2-1, Kiribayama 1-2:
I really like Kiribayama, but at some point he should have stopped looking for the mawashi and started solving for the fierce tsuki-oshi attack, that ended with him sent away in a tsukitaoshi. Takanosho is 3-1, and Kiribayama now 1-3.