We have a short, goofless report for you today. By this time, Typhoon #19 wraps its rolling arms around the Japanese main island of Honshu, and heavy rain falls on the Tokai and Kanto regions, where the Jungyo takes place.
A Jungyo event has not been canceled because of weather conditions since the Jungyo has gone indoor in the ’90s. And the NSK bravely tries to keep it that way, bringing its caravan of buses to Yamanashi prefecture, where some of the heaviest rains are predicted.
🌐 Location: Kofu, Yamanashi
Despite the rains, nearly 4000 people gather in Kofu to greet the local boy – who hails from the actual town, not just the prefecture. If the Nobori in the title photo did not clue you as to who this may be, here he is, deluged by fans wanting his attention:
It’s Ryuden, of course. Beside him, naturally, other rikishi are doing their duty to the fans, like the freshest sekitori, Kaisho:
Many of you may not even know who Kaisho is. He is the first sekitori from Asakayama beya (Kaio is the master). And unlike many first-time sekitori, he managed to go kachi-koshi in his first tournament, so there is no wonder he is doing his first Jungyo as a sekitori with a great big smile on his face.
He is standing in the handshaking line. There is also a line for photographs, manned by more seasoned veterans – ones with whom people would know they want to have pictures. Normally, this is done by Kotoshogiku and Toyonoshima. But Toyonoshima is kyujo, and today, Takarafuji is joining the ex-Ozeki in his stead.
Roga, whom I introduced yesterday, seems to draw much attention, which seems to surprise him. Why would the fans want to take a photograph of a Makushita rikishi who has not even been a whole year in Sumo?
The reason, Roga, is that, unlike Sandanme-17-in-11-basho Yoshoyama who is sitting next to you, you are in mid-Makushita in less than a year, with a Jonokuchi and Jonidan yusho and a win over an ex-ozeki. People know.
And so fans also capture him on the dohyo, as he gives someone some butsukari:
You may recognize other favorites like Kyokusoten and Kasugaryu in that photo. And of course, the unmistakable Aoiyama procticing below the dohyo.
Video action today includes home boy Ryuden, who gets many supporting calls during his moshi-ai sessions:
He is not the only home boy today, though he is the only sekitori. As practice ends and the entertainment part starts, today’s Shokkiri is back in the hands of Shobushi and Ebisumaru. Shobushi is also a local!
And…. that’s it. I told you this is going to be a short, goofless report. I don’t have any Tamawashi shenanigans or any official bouts. But by evening, the city of Kofu starts to look like this:
A call comes in from the sponsors of the next event in Izu, Shizuoka, which is also soaked by now: “Don’t come!”. At this point, the NSK has to give in and cancel an event for weather reasons for the first time since 1995.
Moreoven, under these conditions, the bus caravan cannot really move safely, and accommodations are hastily arranged in Yamanashi prefecture. A curfew is ordered. Rikishi are not to go out for meals. Not even to the closest convenience store or (applicable to tsukebito) coin laundry shops. The accomodations don’t include food, and the rikishi have to settle for cold bento. At this point, though they plan to leave the area as the rains weaken on the 13th, they don’t know how and by what route they will reach their next destination.
But we cannot do without a pin-up boy. How about Yutakayama?
Er… maybe not this time… let’s look for someone else… more pin-up-like.
Ah, yes, perfect. Kiribayama:
Yes, that’s more pin-up.