Kyushu Day 5 Highlights

Daishomaru defeated Terutsuyoshi. This was a quick one. After a decent tachiai, Terutsuyoshi circled the larger Daishomaru and seemed to lose his ring presence as his left foot landed on the tawara. From there a modest shove from Daishomaru was all that was needed for the win. Oshidashi.

Kagayaki fusen win over Wakatakakage.

Takanosho defeated Daishoho. After the tachiai, Takanosho got in low under Daishoho’s attack, brushed his arm away while securing a morozashi, and drove forward…almost through the gyoji. Yorikiri.

Chiyotairyu defeated Nishikigi. This bout was all Chiyotairyu tsuppari. Nishikigi tried an early shoulder blast to no effect. Chiyotairyu responded with some wave action tsuppari and thrust Nishikigi off the dohyo. Tsukidashi.

Chiyomaru defeated Ishiura. Ishiura’s hit and shift on the tachiai was well snuffed out by the Chiyomaru. Chiyomaru did not over-commit to moving forward so when Ishiura moved to Chiyomaru’s right, Maru drove the Miyagino beya man over the bales, giving no room for Ishiura to get a belt grip or mount an offense. Oshidashi.

Kotoshogiku defeated Shodai. Shodai allowed Kotoshogiku to play his game from the outset. Giku was able to get inside and wrap up the tournament leader and drive forward through Shodai. Yorikiri. Giku didn’t even launch much of his jack-rabbit gabburi attack. With the loss utter capitulation, Shodai ended West’s streak of victories and fell off the top of the leaderboard and into the mix at 4-1 while Kotoshogiku picked up his first win.

Sadanoumi defeated Shimanoumi. Shimanoumi had a stronger tachiai, driving Sadanoumi back. However, Sadanoumi secures a solid left hand belt grip. While Shimanoumi launched his attack, Sadanoumi powered through with that belt grip and picked up his third win. Yorikiri.

Yutakayama defeated Shohozan. Shohozan tried to move around Yutakayama to get a right-hand grip of green mawashi. The mountain successfully defended, however, and firmly locked onto Shohozan’s right arm, spun him around and then thrust him out of the ring. Tsukidashi. Yutakayama joined Shodai with a share of the lead at 4-1.

Kotoeko defeated Tsurugisho. Kotoeko rose up straight to greet Tsurugisho’s tachiai, and received a hail of tsuppari as punishment for such a weak start. Kotoeko circled under the barrage and Tsurugisho surprisingly couldn’t keep up. He took a knee in the middle of the dohyo under what I thought was a rather light, instinctive deflection from the lavender mawashi. Hatakikomi.

Enho defeated Aoiyama. Enho shifted to his right at the tachiai, hiding on the dark side of Aoiyama. All I could see for a while was a load of Aoiyama haymakers raining down on something on the other side. Thankfully, Enho rotated slightly in time to see that one of Aoiyama’s thrusts nearly shoved Enho down but he recovered and with a subtle shift and pull of his own was able to pull Aoiyama off balance and onto all fours. Hikiotoshi. Enho now holds a share of the lead at 4-1 while Aoiyama picked up his second loss.

Onosho defeated Kotoyuki. Kotoyuki unleashed a torrent of blows to Onosho’s face, forcing his head up and back. He then pulled for a hatakikomi attempt but Onosho was all over it. He knew what was coming, locked on target with a tractor beam and helped Kotoyuki’s own momentum carry him off the playing surface. Oshidashi.

Tamawashi defeated Ryuden. I want to know what aroma therapy Ryuden has in that bright red towel. Hopefully he can change it to something more effective against oshi-zumo, though. Ryuden tried, rather meekly, to get a left-hand grip but Tamawashi’s battering kept him away. Ryuden attempted to launch his own oshi-attack but Tamawashi piled on the pressure, and shoved Ryuden over the bales and into the crowd. Overwhelmed. Oshidashi.

Asanoyama defeated Hokutofuji. Asanoyama quickly wrapped up Hokutofuji at the tachiai. Hokutofuji seemed to want to have a leaning contest but his positioning after the tachiai was nowhere near the middle of the ring. His right foot was nearly on the tawara. If he wanted to have some long, drawn out belt battle, he’d need to work himself back to the center of the ring. From this position, however, Asanoyama was not going to ease off his attack. So while Hokutofuji leaned, Asanoyama applied more pressure, and forced him out. Yorikiri.

Abi defeated Endo. This was Abi’s match from the outset but his over exuberance nearly cost him. He wasn’t down for any of Endo’s head games and stare down, forcing the pair to reset. At the tachiai, he started battering Endo, whose half-hearted attempt to grab the mawashi was met with a hail of slaps. As Endo backed out, Abi stepped forward and nearly over the bales himself.

Daieisho fusen win over Tochinoshin. With Tochinoshin’s ozeki rank lost, there’s already talk of retirement but that’s premature. If he can take this break to recover, there’s no reason for retirement. Yes, he’s lost his ozeki rank but he likely has quite a while he could be effective as sekitori.

Okinoumi defeated Mitakeumi. Okinoumi pressured Mitakeumi after the tachiai with a vicious thrust to the face. Mitakeumi was forced back but worked his right arm around Okinoumi’s neck and into a headlock. He used the headlock to twist and try to throw Okinoumi but Okinoumi’s balance was superior. With the headlock attack, this kept Mitakeumi’s body positioned high. From Okinoumi’s lower center of gravity he was able to then effectively carry Mitakeumi across the ring and out, over the threshold. Yorikiri. Both men are 2-3.

Meisei defeated Takayasu. Meisei weathered everything Takayasu threw at him. Time and time again, Takayasu’s tsuppari would force Meisei to the edge but the Ozeki could never finish him off. Meisei would slip inside and back to the center of the ring, forcing the Ozeki to launch a new attack. Takayasu even tried a shoulder blast but that ended awkwardly with Takayasu’s back to Meisei. Takayasu then started a new attack and this time Meisei grabbed his left arm, putting his shoulder into a weird position and changing his direction, suddenly. This forced Takayasu to lose his balance, landing in a heap on the tawara. Kainahineri. Meisei joins the leadership pack at 4-1 while Takayasu falls to a disappointing 2-3.

Takarafuji defeated Takakeisho. Takakeisho was about to start some wave action but Slippin’ Jimmy slipped to the side and the T-Rex toppled over. Tsukiotoshi.

Hakuho defeated Myogiryu. Hakuho greeted Myogiryu with a quick shoulder blast and as he tried to tuck his left hand under for a belt grip, Myogiryu slapped his hand and backed away, retreating to the bales. As Hakuho pursued, Myogiryu lost his balance. Tsukiotoshi. Hakuho is back where he belongs, atop the group of leaders at 4-1.

Our thoughts go out to all those in Hong Kong and Chile. Stay safe.

24 thoughts on “Kyushu Day 5 Highlights

  1. I assume Tochinoshin will drop down to Komosubi, which would open up a Sekiwake slot, probably for Asanoyama on current form.
    Mitakeumi’s Ozeki run now depends on him winning every remaining bout, which seems highly unlikely. Those of us who doubted him, then believed in him, are back to doubting him again. Will he stay in lower Sanyaku for ever?

    • Even if Mitakeumi gets all his remaining bouts I highly doubt he will be promoted based on the quality of his sumo.

      • Agreed. Ozeki promotions happen because of dominant sumo. People aren’t granted them by backing their way into a good record.

        • I’m willing to bet that if he goes 12-3 (which would mean beating Hakuho, two Ozeki, and three Komusubi, and quite possibly taking the yusho) he gets promoted. I don’t think he’ll do it, but that’s another story.

          • I have to disagree, with how harsh the YDC have been on Mitakeumi in the past I think that because of the poor performance and sloppiness of his Sumo that they will deny him. Do we need another Ozeki? YES. But do they want to give us another Tochinoshin repeat where we’ve got this on and off again Ozeki among ALL the others like that? I really don’t think so.

    • I’m afraid that a 2-3-10 record will see Tochinoshin plummet down into the middle maegashira ranks. The plus is that if he comes back even 80% fit at M7 in January he should be capable of wreaking seven flavours of havoc against his likely opponents. To be honest though, I would not be surprised or disappointed if my favourite wrestler decided that enough was enough. By the way his native town Mtskheta makes Florence look like the grubby end of a Wigan council estate so you couldn’t blame him for feeling homesick.

  2. Asanoyama producing Ozeki level sumo this Basho. I’m incredibly impressed with the kid.

    Good for Enho working around the man mountain that is Dan.

    Mitakeumi continues to disappoint when it comes to an Ozeki promotion on the line.

    Takayasu continuing to show us how he wishes to relive the mistakes of Kisenosato…

    Ikio and Kotonowaka are looking very good down in Juryo.

    I’m glad to see Chiyonokuni bounce back from his loss.

    • Aoiyama’s loss was disappointing to me. I thought he was effective keeping Enho away and then he tipped over. Any replays or better views of what Enho did?

      • All I could tell from the replays was that it seemed Big Dan went to put a more forceful thrust down on Enho and he slipped to Dan’s left and gave a quick gentle tug and he just kinda fell over lol. But, what I noticed was how Enho did a good job at not letting his thrusts fully connect, you could see him dodging each blow and either not getting hit or at least walking by it barely grazed instead of taking it fully to the face or chest and make it harder on himself to get inside.

      • Enho slapped down on one of Aoiyama’s extended arms, causing Dan to eat clay. One of the replays of the bout was from ground level. It started with Enho crouching for the tachiai in the foreground, Aoiyama’s immense figure beyond him. That brief image highlighted the astounding size difference between the two rikishi. What flashed into my mind in that moment was the courage it takes for a man of Enho’s proportions to square off against behemoths like Dan.

        By the way, great job on the play-by-play, Andy.

  3. Relatively low level of sumo so far in Fukuoka. 5th day and no one is unbeaten? Plus so many kyujos and slips. Hakuho is bound to win it, I see only Asanoyama presenting a challenge!

  4. Takayasu, Takakeisho, Mitakeumi, Abi and Endo are respectively the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th highest rankers left in this basho but none of them look remotely like yusho contenders. Takayasu is never going to be a fountain of charisma but right now he just looks miserable, lost and hurt. Takakeisho was shockingly bad today: Takarafuji looked mildly embarrassed at the ease with which he overcame the ozeki. Mitakeumi looks hurt and fed up with the whole thing and has little to offer.

    It looks like Hakuho at 80% is good enough to win this one: of the four wrestlers who have shown really good form in the upper ranks he has already faced Asanoyama, Hokutofuji and Daiesho and has Meisei tomorrow. It’s likely to get easier for the boss after that.

    • I think you hit on Mitakeumi’s issue. I think he’s hurt, too, but realizes that with the weakness in sanyaku he should stick it out.

    • The crazy thing is the likelihood is he won’t return and will be rewarded with a trip back to juryo for his 4-0 start

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