We are still in Ishikawa prefecture, but this time we are going a little south, to the city of Kanazawa. Do we have a rikishi from Kanazawa? Oh, yes, we do. Prepare for Enho Day!
🌐 Location: Kanazawa, Ishikawa prefecture
Of course, Endo, as an Ishikawa prefecture man, also gets some love, but our main dish for the day is certainly the pixie from Miyagino beya, who gets to visit his home town for the first time as a Makuuchi rikishi.
It’s the start of the day, and all the Ishikawa rikishi are put together in the handshaking corner. This is done because they are also today’s “Fighters against Yakuza”. Not sure how good they’d be against a gangster, but this is just an established practice. This creates a serious pressure in the handshake area.
See that checkered area in the background? They are then moved there to continue the handshakes – at least Endo and Enho are – and it’s still unbelievably crowded with people wanting to shake hands.
Enho is also requested to do “dakko” – that is, hug children willy-nilly:
Inside the arena, sekitori are starting their preparations. This involves a lot of taping, as well as a lot of smiling, apparently.
The people of Kanazawa are not settling for just the local heroes. You can see them flocking around Abi, Hokutofuji and Daieisho here.
On the hana-michi, Asanoyama is stretching:
While next to another wall, Sokokurai is inspecting Ikioi as he practices with his tsukebito:
Next to the dohyo, the Yokozuna are making their appearances. The star of the day gives the usual respectful ladle of chikara-mizu to his lord and master, Hakuho:
And you can see that he’s been marked with some permanent marker – the crowd is really wild.
The following photo is placed here as a service to the public. If any of you feels gloomy, stressed out, or unable to cope, try having a dose of Abi with his hair tied in a big bow, and Kakuryu having one of his involuntary attacks of Cute, a tendency I suspect he got from Sakahoko.
Hakuho, on the other hand, doesn’t have time to be cute. He does his suri-ashi below the dohyo:
The ever-popular Endo is also doing his suri-ashi. In the background, the fan taking this video is (very quietly) calling him by name. Then “He is coming close! He is coming close!”
Up on the dohyo, we have Juryo practice. Kotonowaka takes on Chiyomaru, then Kiribayama:
Kiribayama really needs to put on some mass. I’m really hoping his new proximity to Kakuryu will fill in the gaps in his rather nice sumo (did you see that makikae?)
Tochinoshin also takes on Kotonowaka, only in his case it’s a mix of butsukari and moshi-ai:
Makuuchi action includes Yutakayama vs. Shohozan, and Ishiura vs. Kagayaki.
And then something rather unusual for day 2 of any Jungyo tour takes place: Hakuho practices on-dohyo. Not just doing his shiko – taking Shodai for a spin of sanban.
This was an essay in “How to win bouts with a yotsu wrestler without ever getting a right-hand grip”. If you recall, Hakuho’s little finger is still recovering. And you can’t make a grip without your little finger (in fact, a mawashi grip always starts from the little fingers).
Sanban is when a high-ranking rikishi (it’s almost always Yokozuna or Ozeki) selects an opponent and has repeating bouts with that same opponent. The high-ranking may also take breaks, during which his team of tsukebito rub his back and give him water etc., while the opponent is left to his own devices. In this case, however, Nishikigi-mama was tending to Shodai, handing him his towel every time and then neatly folding it:
He also used his own towel to wipe the accumulating dirt off Shodai’s back. I guess it’s due to their long service together as Kakuryu’s dohyo-iri team.
Hakuho, BTW, won all ten bouts of that sanban.
Practice over, and the Yokozuna leaves the building. And the Kanazawa crowd is still not sated, apparently:
Everybody then gets ready for the afternoon of bouts. But Enho still has duties as a local boy – he demonstrates hair tying:
It’s finally time for the Makuuchi dohyo-iri, and we all know that those can be very boring to wait for. So Tamawashi and Chiyotairyu fall asleep laying their heads on the softest thing they have at hand:
After dohyo-iri there are bouts. And here is Hakuho’s salt consumption on a Jungyo day:
I don’t have videos from the “real” matches. However, before the regular matches started, the organizers requested that the local boys have special matches, so Kagayaki had an extra match with Ishiura, Endo had one with Asanoyama, and Enho with Mitakeumi. Wait, what? The yusho winner? You can see this one here:
This feels more like shokkiri than a bout. But hey, we are here to entertain the locals, right?
You can see all three bouts in the following summary video from NHK:
But of course, I’m not leaving you without a pin-up boy! Here is one of our regulars, Wakatakakage: