In the lower divisions, we start the elimination stage, in which wrestlers with equal number of wins face each other. In the third day, maezumo also begins. Let’s go then!
Kyushu is known as a basho with very few new recruits, thus shorter maezumo. In fact, we have three new recruits and two returnees. The new recruits include
- Naya’s brother, who joined the same heya, Otake. So he is also a “prince”, grandson to Taiho, son of Takatoriki. A graduate of the famous Saitamasakae high school, he is considered a less promising rikishi as his achievements in high school have been more modest, but time will tell. Because his brother is already competing under the surname, this one cannot use “Naya”, and therefore got the shikona “Mudoho”. Another Naya – their elder brother, 2nd son to Takatoriki, is also considering joining the world of sumo.
- Nihonyanagi, also from Saitamasakae high, one year Mudoho’s senior, who joined Onomatsu beya.
- T. Temuulen, who came second in the open weight category in the Junior World Championship last year. He joined Dewanoumi beya in Nagoya, but had to wait through Aki for his visa. He will be competing under the shikona Dewanoryu.
The returnees are:
- Taiga, whom some of you may know by his former shikona, Terunohana. He used to be Terutsuyoshi’s tsukebito. He apparently had a complex injury in his right wrist just before Aki 2018, went kyujo and dropped off the banzuke. He attempted maezumo in Natsu 2019, but was unable to do sumo in Nagoya and dropped off banzuke again. Now he is trying to do the same thing. And that hand is still not working. Take a look at his two bouts below. He is trusting the fact that anybody who participates in maezumo passes it, but he is in no condition to do sumo, and… I’m feeling sorry for Nishikifuji, because apparently, Isegahama beya loves injuries to stay good and unhealed.
- Iwata – recruited to Naruto beya in Natsu 2019, did his first basho, not too successfully, then went kyujo for a whole basho and dropped off banzuke. Yes, you saw one just like that yesterday, from Tomozuna beya. I wonder if either of them was actually injured, or if they just decided they want “a normal life”, and had to be convinced to return.
So here are the actual bouts.
- Taiga – Dewanoryu
- Mudoho – Nihonyanagi
- Taiga – Iwata
You can see that Mudoho and Nihonyanagi have been on a dohyo or two before.
I have no Jonokuchi bouts today (I didn’t want to show Bariki), so we go straight to…
My favorite stick insect, Chiyotaiyo (right) faces Asahio from Asahiyama beya. They are both 0-1.
I think that wraped arm may prevent Chiyotaiyo from covering for his lack of weight with technique. At this rate, my stick insect will go back to Jonokuchi.
Oh, dear, did I skip Ura? I skipped Ura! OK, so we have Ura on the right. His opponent is Kitajima, another Asahiyama wrestler. Both 1-0 at this stage. Um… don’t blink.
At this point you may be contemplating the Jonidan yusho being taken by Ura, but there are stronger rikishi than Kitajima in Jonidan, and Ura will eventually run into one of them.
Mishima, our next contender, may be one of them. The Naruto beya “understudy” is on the left, while Tochihayate from Kasugano beya is on the right. Both 1-0.
We finish the Jonidan section with Satonofuji. The 42 years old is really worth the watch today. On the right, he engages with Bushi from Musashigawa beya. Well, not exactly engages. Watch.
That kimarite is called zubuneri, a head pivot throw. Satonofuji has a real collection of exotic kimarite, including no less than 24 zubuneri, which explains his nonchalant look as he completes it.
Yesterday I worried about Toma’s shoulder pain. Today he wrestles again, with Rendaiyama from Kise beya. I don’t think I need to tell you whether the 200kg rikishi is the one on the left or on the right.
It’s not the best sumo, but the Miyagino rikishi wins and is now 1-1.
For much better sumo, we’ll turn to Kaishu, the tiny man from Musashigawa beya, who reminds me somewhat of Toma’s flaming heya mate. Kaishu is on the left, and Tagonofuji is on the right, both 1-0.
Short and sweet. That’s an uwatedashinage.
We now get to the big Sandanme guns. Marusho from Naruto beya is the first, standing on the right, opposite Sadanogo from Sakaigawa beya.
He doesn’t have it easy, which only goes to show that he’s the real deal.
Next up is Kitanowaka, the ladies’ favorite from Hakkaku beya, standing on the left. Tanahashi from Musashigawa is fighting him this day.
If sumo doesn’t work out for Kitanowaka, he can always work as a bouncer in some high class club. The kimarite is, of course, okuridashi, which literally means escorting someone out.
Next is our top Naruto man, Motobayashi. His opponent is Maikeru/Michael, whose mother is a Michael Jackson fan, if you are wondering about the name. He is from Futagoyama beya. Both men are 1-0 at this point, Maikeru is on the right.
Although Motobayashi is inspired by Takakeisho, he shows us here that unlike the Ozeki, he knows what to do with a mawashi when it presents itself. That man is going places.
We start with Shiraishi, our villain-in-training, from Tamanoi beya, who starts on the right and faces one of the many Kotos living in Sadogatake beya, Kotohayato.
Ooh, Shiraishi is in forward gear today! And now you know why I expect better from him than his typical pulling sumo.
I told you Roga would get flak from his stablemaster for his sumo yesterday and he did – though thankfully Futagoyama oyakata did not vent it all on Twitter this time. Let’s see how he does today against Sadanohikari from Sakaigawa beya. Roga is on the left.
That’s more like it, wolf-man! Futagoyama oyakata agrees. So he is 1-1 and off the hook for the time.
Big brother Wakatakamoto – the eldest of the three Onami brothers from Arashio beya, has lost his first bout, as did his opponent of the day, Kyokusoten, who is finding the air at the top of Makushita a bit thin, despite his membership in the Ecole D’Kakuryu. Wakatakamoto is on the left, Kyokusoten on the right.
Although Kakuryu’s entourage of tsukebito is a fine educational establishment, we know that Sokokurai has taken the eldest Onami as a personal project during Aki Jungyo, up to and including having Ikioi coach him. I believe Sokokurai’s aim is to drag Wakatakamoto kicking and screaming up to Juryo to join his brothers, as a farewell gift to his retiring oyakata.
Having seen his brothen in maezumo, we now turn to Naya, who didn’t fare very well on his first appearance this basho. Today, the prince faces none other than back-flipping Tomisakae from Isegahama beya.
Tomisakae’s style is rather wild, though, while Prince Naya is doing good, self-assured sumo today. Tomisakae is now 0-2, and Naya is up to 1-1.
Next up – Chiyonokuni. Today the Kokonoe man is facing Asagyokusei, both 1-0, and both eager to get back to sekitori status.
Whoa. Yesterday I wondered if we are going to see Chiyonokuni vs. Terunofuji in a yusho match again this basho, and thought the answer will be known only at the end of the basho. The answer became clear too early – no, he won’t. Very very unlikely.
But this was a good bout! It had all the vigor you’d expect from a Chiyonokuni match. And I would have expected him to fare better in a mawashi situation as well, but there you go.
We have the full digest again today. Apparently, the channel changed.
- I said yesterday that Kotoshoho is going to prove a greater challenge to Hoshoryu than Akiseyama and Gagamaru, and it proved right. He makes short work of the famous nephew.
- On the first two days, all Tatsunami sekitori won together. Today they all lose together. Akua, apparently, was dizzy enough to forget the protocol for a monoii. But Akiseyama’s foot stayed in and it was a gyoji sashichigae.
- Kotonowaka continues to look formidable. Takagenji is throwing everything and the kitchen sink into his matches, but just can’t buy a win.
- In the mean time, Kyokutaisei is also collecting wins, and does it in the style his former stablemaster taught him: don’t let them get at your mawashi! Kiribayama needs to spend a couple of months with Kakuryu to start developing plans B and C for cases like this, when he can’t do his own sumo.
- Toyonoshima bounces back.
- Ikioi vs. Tochiozan. Are we sure we are in Juryo?
- All Onami brothers win today.
That’s all for today. Tomorrow we have Hoktenkai and, of course, Terunofuji!