Here we are again, and I owe you two days worth of black cotton mawashi and colorful sagari. Clear out some time because we have a large feast today, and that’s after I made an editorial decision to skip Hattorizakura, on the assumption you do not need a sleeping pill. Big news: he lost two matches in two days.
First, I have an even older debt – I forgot to include the presentation of the new recruits from Nakabi! On day 8, the new recruits who have successfully passed the maezumo stage are presented to the public in a borrowed kesho-mawashi. They are instructed what to do by a wakamonogashira – an former rikishi who works for the NSK, but is not an oyakata. He then accompanies them to the dohyo and cues them through the real deal.
Only, this time, if you recall, we only had three people doing maezumo, and only one of them – Yutakanami – was actually a new recruit. The others were returning from off-banzuke kyujo.
So a very nervous Yutakanami, wearing one of Meisei’s kesho-mawashi, was being presented to the world all on his own.
Last time there was only one shin-deshi in Aki was in 2013.
The day starts with Senho, our green half-Mongolian from Miyagino beya, who engages, so to speak, with Bariki, the prince of pain. Both, surprisingly, are 2-2. Senho is on the left.
Senho gets a bit closer to kachi-koshi. Personally, I’m curious to see if his sumo improves much by next basho.
Hokutenkai, the full Mongolian from Onoe beya, with 3-1, is matched today with Oishi from Sakaigawa beya, with 2-2. In Jonokuchi, which is a small division, it’s common to see matches in the second week between wrestlers with different scorelines. Hokutenkai is on the left.
Hokutenkai achieves his first kachi-koshi in his first basho with a yorikiri. He will now want to extend it as much as possible for a good ranking in Fukuoka.
We now move to the yusho elimination bouts. The first bout again mixes rikishi with different score lines. On the left, we have Chiyokozan with 3-1, and on the right, Omura, from Michinoku beya, with 4-0.
Funny how Omura tries to help Chiyokozan up by pulling on his mawashi knot. Omura remains in the yusho race with 5-0.
Next up, Murata (left) faces Itakozakura, from Shikihide beya. Murata, as we know, is a former Sandanme tsukedashi with experience in the Makushita joi. Itakozakura is 40 years old, and like most of his heya-mates, he is a Jonokuchi-Jonidan yo-yo. This is his first time to be 4-0 since… 2005.
Don’t tell me that was unexpected. No yusho for Shikihide beya this time.
Our next elimination bout is between Mimori of Irumagawa beya, on the left, and Nankairiki, Kise beya, on the right. Both 4-0.
This match looks more like a yusho contention. Mimori is the winner. Mimori, Murata and Omura are the only ones left in it, with 5-0.
We have two elimination bouts today, featuring the two leading Narutos, after Toma eliminated Marusho the day before. That same Toma, on the right, now faces Motobayashi, the Naruto man, and both are 4-0.
Motobayashi takes revenge for his mate, and eliminates Toma from the yusho race. Each time Toma falls like that I fear for his limbs.
Next match, next Naruto. Yukiumi from Yamahibiki beya, on the left, has the pleasure of doing sumo with Sakurai of Naruto beya. Both, of course, 4-0.
This is some good sumo! Sakurai earns his 5th win with much hard work and good basics. The kimarite is uwatedashinage.
Tiny Kishu from Musashigawa beya has a match today with Hamadayama from Shibatayama beya. They are both 3-1.
As flexible as Kaishu is, he can’t stand up to Hamadayama’s attack. Hamadayama is the one to get the kachi-koshi this time.
This next match features Ako, from Onomatsu beya, on the left, vs. Daitenma, the Mongolian from Azumazeki beya. Both are 3-1.
Hmm. What happened here? It looks like Daitenma is the winner, and that’s what the gyoji calls. But a monoii is called and the decision is reversed. Even if his hand touches outside first, that’s just kabai-te. So why was the decision reversed?
The monoii explanation: The gyoji gunbai pointed to the west. But a monoii has been called because it looked like the west rikishi’s hand touched the dohyo earlier. Decision: rikishi’s hand touched the dohyo, the gyoji pointed the wrong way, the east wins.
It’s really hard to see it in this video, but for a split second, before the last attack, Daitenma’s hand touches ground inside the dohyo. The fine detail is that they say he “touched the dohyo”, which means they refer to a touch inside the circle, not outside it.
The kimarite is therefore hatakikomi. Ako is kachi-koshi.
Amakaze is still working to get back into the paid ranks, and he has a long way to go yet. With 3-1, he faces Kitadaichi from Tatsunami beya, who is on the left. Kitadaichi is one of Meisei’s tsukebito (and a member of the jinku team during jungyo).
Unfortunately for the former Sekitori, though Kitadaichi is a Sandanme regular, he does have some tricks up his… er… no sleeves anywhere… mawashi knot? Some tricks up his mawashi knot, then. That was a fine little trip that gives Kitadaichi his own kachikoshi and sends the Oguruma man to look for his in one of the two remaining bouts.
Finally, we have our man Wakaichiro, here on the right, also facing a Tatsunami man – Hitenryu. Hitenryu is a veteran, who also has a couple of basho in Juryo in his past. This is a yusho elimination match, as both are 4-0.
Alas, just as we were congratulating Wakaichiro on how he improved the use of his feet, he goes tippy-toes again, and misses a great opportunity. Hitenryu is now 5-0.
Lots of Makushita action today! We open with the kneeless ex-Ozeki, Terunofuji, who faces the eldest Onami brother, Wakatakamoto, in a yusho elimination match with 4-0. No prizes for guessing which of them stands on which side:
Terunofuji said that he did not want to let Wakatakamoto get inside into his center, as he could do some serious damage there. So he grabs the Arashio man’s arm with both hands, keeping him from positioning himself anywhere, then firmly lays his claws on Wakatakamoto’s hands. Done deal. It’s nice to see some sparks of the real Terunofuji. Wakamotoharu can tick the “had a bout with an ex-ozeki” box on his resumé, and Terunofuji stays in the yusho race.
Next on our list is the angry badger, Chiyonokuni, on the left, facing Kagamio, the Mongolian from Kagamiyama, who also has sekitori experience. Both 4-0. Chiyonokuni on the left.
And just like the previous bout was unmistakably a Terunofuji match, this one has “Chiyonokuni” written all over it. Chiyonokuni is 5-0. Wouldn’t it be fine if he got to meet Terunofuji in the yusho decider?
But wait, there are other former sekitori vying for that privilege. Chiyootori, on the right, goes against Sakigake from Shibatayama beya. They, too, are 4-0 as they come into this bout.
And again, the former long-time sekitori takes the day. Chiyootori is also 5-0. Now, Chiyootori is going to face Terunofuji on day 11, while Chiyonokuni meets Oazuma from Sandanme. So there is a distinct possibility either of a Terunofuji-Chiyonokuni decider for the yusho, or Chiyonokuni facing Chiyootori in a same-heya yusho playoff. Either way, bring the popcorn!
We move on to non-yusho matches. Akua (Tatsunami) stands on the left, opposite Churanoumi. Both are 3-1 and want their kachi-koshi.
And it’s Akua who gets it. He is a funny, quirky guy off the dohyo, but he is very serious once on it.
Wakamotoharu is in a similar situation with Kototebakari. Both are 3-1, and want their kachi-koshi. Wakamotoharu gets promotion if he gets that kachi-koshi. He is on the left, Kototebakari on the right.
Start practicing “Wakamotoharu zeki”, because he just won his kesho-mawashi back, and decisively, too.
Shiraishi from Tamanoi beya and Gokushindo from Nishikido beya are also in a match of 3-1 scores. Gokushindo has a short sekitori experience. Shiraishi is strong, but not very experienced. Shiraishi on the left, double-breasted Gokushindo on the right.
Hmm. Apparently, both believe this is a matta, but the gyoji doesn’t. Gokushindo’s extra experience kicks in – if the ref doesn’t call it, it’s not a matta, and he attacks a rather surprised Shiraishi. Not the best match ever, but it’s not his fault, and he is kachi-koshi.
Up next, the much berated nephew, Hoshoryu, on the left, against Tsurubayashi, Kise beya, on the right. Both 2-2.
Sotogake. Hoshoryu looks thoroughly defeated. He is now in an “ato ga nai” (no more chances) situation. So what did Asashoryu have to say this time?
Fan on Twitter: “I came to the Kokugikan. I saw just Hoshoryu’s bout. I’m going home.”
Asashoryu: “Why, he lost?”
Asashoryu: “Can’t be helped. He’ll have to try again next time.”
At least the former Yokozuna is kind to fans.
Our next Mongolian on the menu is Roga, here on the right, opposite Yamatoarashi from Shikoroyama beya. Again, both 3-1, so they are looking for their kachi-koshi.
I’m guessing Futagoyama oyakata is going to grill Roga for this one.
Yet another Mongolian is here – Kyokusoten, and he is up against Hakuyozan, who had a nasty injury a few bashos back and is struggling to return to sekitori form ever since. Both 3-1, looking for their kachi-koshi. Kyokusoten is on the left.
Whoa. Kyokusoten is at his highest rank ever, but he is going to be at a higher one in Kyushu, as he just secured his kachi-koshi. Congratulations!
Finally, Midorifuji, the great Isegahama hope, faces Asabenkei. This one is a Darwin match, as both are 1-3. Midorifuji is on the left.
The kimarite is “kimetaoshi”. Whenever it starts with “kime” it means someone got trapped in someone’s armpits. In this case, Midorifuji, and I hope his arms survived this. He is make-koshi and will not get a silk mawashi any time soon.
Today I chose a bout between “Abi clone” Ichiyamamoto (left), and “Fledgling Harumafuji” Kiribayama. Ichiyamamoto is 3-5, Kiribayama 4-4.
Kiribayama manages a quick mawashi grip, but manages to lose it later on, which Ichiyamamoto immediately converts into a hikiotoshi. It’s the Abi Clone’s win today.
Keeping tabs on stick-insect Chiyotaiyo, today he had a match with Kotoyamato. Both are 3-1 and hoping for a kachi-koshi. Chiyotaiyo is easily recognizable on the right.
Ugh, a slippiotoshi to start the day. Too bad. Let’s hope he can make his kachi-koshi in one of his next two bouts.
Here is a bout between Yatabe (Shibatayama) and Tanji (Arashio). Yatabe on the left, Tanji right. Both 3-1, so it’s a kachi-koshi decider.
Maybe Kiribayama should take lessons from Tanji on how to get a grip on a mawashi and never, ever let go. Sokokurai is going to inherit a fine stable from his elderly shisho, that’s for sure.
Short haired Roman, on the left, faces Ito from Shikoroyama beya on the right. Ito had some strong bouts so far, but today all the Shikoroyama deshi were working extra hard, to console their stablemaster on the death of his brother.
And what better condolences gift can he bring than a kachi koshi?
The next bout also drew attention in the same sad context. It’s Mori from Tamanoi beya, facing Kakutaiki from Izutsu beya. While the other Izutsu man, Hagane, is doing well enough in Sandanme this basho, Kakutaiki is having a hard time, and this is a make-koshi decider, as both are 1-3.
Kakutaiki escapes make-koshi. This actually got mention in the press, which a Jonidan make-koshi match would usually not do.
Finally, we have Hakkaku beya’s prince charming, Kitanowaka, vs. Sakabayashi from Onoe beya. This is a kachi-koshi decider, both are 3-1.
Kitanowaka is kachi-koshi with a yorikiri.
Homarefuji is trying for a kachi-koshi and getting back on the road to the silk mawashi. Tochimitsuru from Kasugano beya wants to spoil his plans and reach that kachi-koshi first. They are both 3-1. Homarefuji is on the left.
An attempted henka, followed by a fast circling. Tochimitsuru is a good thwarter, it seems. He is kachi-koshi, and Homarefuji has two more chances.
Shiba (Kise), vs. the popular Shonannoumi (Takadagawa). Both 3-1. Kachi-koshi match.
Whoa, whoa. That’s more like a discus throw than sumo. Uwatenage. Shonannoumi is kachi-koshi.
Shohoryu – who is not Hoshoryu – faces big bully Rao from Tatsunami beya. Shohoryu is the backup yumi-tori man and one of Kakuryu’s tsukebito, though now he may be stripped of both titles (if Kakuryu switches ichimon).
Shohoryu takes the day, and the kachi-koshi, with a kotenage.
Now, here is a feast to the eyes, though I only have the replay video. On the left, Fukuyama from Fujishima beya. On the right, Onojo, Takadagawa beya. It’s a Darwin match – both are 1-3. And as such…
Izori, Fukuyama wins by a freaking Izori!
Let’s move back to the territory of princes and dukes, and we have Naya on the left, facing Ryusei (Kagamiyama) on the right. Both 2-2.
After his initial setback, Naya is gaining momentum, and is now 3-2, as he wins by tsukidashi.
Keitenkai (Onomatsu, left), vs. Kaiyudai (Asakayama, right) – a kachi-koshi match, both 3-1.
This is listed as sukuinage, and what a nice use of his leg! Keitenkai is kachi-koshi.
Tomisakae (Isegahama, left), the Energizer Bunny, has Sasakiyama (Kise, right) in this match for the kachi-koshi, both 3-1:
Tomisakae wins by oshitaoshi and is one of the few happy Isegahama deshi of the day.
In a match to escape make-koshi, with both rikishi 1-3, Kaito from Asakayama beya meets our Hungarian man, Masutoo.
A disappointed Masutoo leaves the dohyo… but the gyoji calls him back. The gyoji saw it, the shimpan saw it. Kaito’s foot was on the janome, just next to the tokudawara. The TV caster also missed it. I love how they apologize when they make a mistake. “I’m sorry. I said Kaito survived. That was very rude of me”.
I haven’t shown you much of Kotonowaka so far. This is unfair as he is co-leading the division together with Ikioi, and he is the bee’s knees. Here he is with 7-2, blue mawashi, against the flying monkey, Tobizaru, 5-4, banana mawashi.
The monkey flies, and kotonowaka is kachi-koshi and stays in the leader group.
The other end of that leader group is Ikioi, as I said. Here he is against the new Japanese guy, Sokokurai. Ikioi on the right, if you don’t recognize him.
It was a wonderful match! Lots of experience, and Ikioi wins by kotenage. But ugh, he manages to throw himself off the dohyo, and barely gets up afterwards. Please be careful, you can’t run a heya in a wheelchair!
We finish up with a featherweight bout, on the left, Kiribayama. On the right, Wakatakakage.
Once again, Kiribayama secures a grip, but then it turns out it’s not that secure. Wakatakakage releases himself and uwatedashinages Kiribayama, who is now 4-6 and has to start worrying. Of course, Wakatakakage himself is 4-6, but to him it’s a relief.