Kyushu Day 8 Highlights

The big story of the day is Takayasu’s kyujo. It’s quite rare for a rikishi to go kyujo once they enter the arena. In fact, Takayasu participated in the Makuuchi dohyo-iri, which makes his withdrawl rarer still. According to press reports, Takayasu hurt his back warming up prior to his match, and could barely walk as he left the venue. The fans, and his day 8 opponent Takarafuji were surprised and a bit disoriented at the kyujo announcement. Takayasu drops to 3-5, and if he can’t come back and rack up 5 wins, will be demoted to Sekiwake (Ozekiwake) for January, and possibly face the same fate as Tochinoshin. Tachiai hopes that Takayasu can bounce back soon.

For those that did compete, there was some great sumo on display, and it was nice to see some rikishi win matches against opponents they had not yet found a way to defeat. On to the highlights!

Highlight Matches

Daishoho defeats Chiyomaru – Daishoho’s strong tachiai stands Chiyomaru up, and seems to briefly distract him. Daishoho advances and moves Chiyomaru out. With the loss, Chiyomaru drops out of the group just behind Hakuho. Chiyomaru is seen flexing his left arm after the match, hopefully not another injury there.

Takanosho defeats Daishomaru – Takanosho scores his first ever win over Daishomaru. He was low and fast at the tachiai, and was able to get inside of Daishomaru, and simply move forward for the win.

Ishiura defeats Nishikigi – Pleased to say no henka today. Ishiura used strong, straightforward sumo, and took the fight to Nishikigi. The two battled for hand placement and grip, and it was really good to see Ishiura fighting it out against a larger and strong opponent in terms of sheer strength. But the best was saved for the finish, as Ishiura used the seldom seend mitokorozeme / triple attack to bring Nishikigi to the clay. Nicely done!

Chiyotairyu defeats Shimanoumi – Well, that’s one way to get it done. Famous for his blistering high energy tachiai, Chiyotairyu hops up at the tachiai and henkas an onrushing Shimanoumi with a surprising amount of grace and agility for a man of such size. His first ever win over Shimanoumi.

Terutsuyoshi defeats Shodai – Another trick tachiai, as Terutsuyoshi pops up, ducks down and pivots to his right, grabbing Shodai’s leg at the initial charge. What’s fun to watch is Shodai’s somewhat questionable tachiai happen in comparative slow motion to Terutsuyoshi’s rapid combination of moves. The opening gambit places Terutsuyoshi behind Shodai, and with two hands on Shodai’s left knee.

Kagayaki defeats Kotoshogiku – Another first ever win, as Kotoshogiku tries to set up the hug-n-chug, but can only get one thrust in, and then it all falls apart. Kind of sad to see Kotoshogiku in this state, but happy that Kagayaki racked up another win to stay 1 behind Hakuho.

Tsurugisho defeats Sadanoumi – As expected, Sadanoumi latches on to Tsurugisho’s mawashi at the tachiai and gets to work. Tsurugisho is ready and replies with his own grip, and the two brute it out. This is a battle that Tsurugisho is built to win, but I was impressed with Sadanoumi’s first escape. Great ring sense and fantastic agility.

Kotoeko defeats Onosho – Onosho looked to be trying his day 6/7 battle plan (which worked quite well), but Kotoeko was ready. Taking Onosho to his chest he gave ground and stepped to the side at the bales. As is customary for Onosho, his weight was too far forward to stop, and into the clay he falls.

Yutakayama defeats Enho – I loved watching the pre-bout on this one, as you can read Yutakayama just saying “Ok, what is this guy going to try today?”. He lines up at the shikiri-sen, then nudges himself back. Enho goes for the crouch, Yutakayama thinks for a moment, then hops back some more. By the time they launch, Yutakayama is half way to Nagasaki, and both men just stand up at the tachiai. AWESOME. Gyoji says, “guys! knock it off”. Second try – matta! Oh this is awesome. Now Yutakayama hops back more! Another stand up tachiai! Gyoji Konosuke is clearly frustrated and waves his hands and shouts hakki-yoi! Bizzaro match ahoy! The two do end up in a heck of a battle, with Enho surprisingly effective against Yutakayama’s superior mass, but Yutakayama’s balance is set and Enho can’t disrupt him enough to bring him down. As a bonus, we nearly have a second kintamadashi in two days to close the match. In slow motion replays, the look on Konosuke’s face is priceless. Brilliant.

Shohozan defeats Ryuden – Yet another first ever win as Shohozan gets a blindingly fast tsukiotoshi at the tachiai and rolls Ryuden to the clay.

Kotoyuki defeats Myogiryu – A straightforward thrusting match, which is Kotoyuki’s preferred brand of sumo. Myogiryu only manages to rally briefly, but its not enough to stop “The Penguin” from picking up win #5.

Daieisho defeats Okinoumi – Okinoumi generates little forward pressure in response to Daieisho’s strong charge. Daieisho can really move forward with strength, as Hakuho found out on day 2. Okinoumi sometimes struggles with a chronic injury in his lower pelvis area, and this may be the cause of his less than powerful sumo this basho.

Endo defeats Hokutofuji – Great sumo from Endo today, and I was quite impressed by Hokutofuji’s ability to absorb everything that Endo threw at him over the course of just a few second. The match was lost because Hokutofuji kept insisting on trying to pull Endo down, and his balance was good enough to survive each attempt. Hokutofuji threw away commanding position each time, and the 4th try resulted in Endo’s winning attack.

Asanoyama defeats Abi – Second battle in the Komusubi wars, Asanoyama was able to withstand the hailstorm of thrusts from Abi-zumo and get close enough to attack. Abi reacted to escape Asanoyama’s impending grip, but lost his footing and went out.

Mitakeumi defeats Aoiyama – Another example the Mitakeumi is quite a bit less than genki. Aoiyama bats him around with great effect for what seems like forever, until Big Dan seems to run out of energy. Mitakeumi decides, surprisingly, to give Aoiyama a hug and march him out. I hope Mitakeumi had someone examine that skull damage already.

Takakeisho defeats Meisei – Takakeisho is back to looking rough and disorganized, but he gets the job done for win #5.

Hakuho defeats Tamawashi – There are times when Hakuho does things that annoy the sumo fans. They can seem gratuitous and unnecessary, and they tend to fuel an undercurrent in some corners of dislike for the greatest rikishi to mount the dohyo in our time. Today, we got a little shove against Tamawashi following a false start, which seems to have really fired up some fans. The match itself was fairly straightforward, but there is clearly a bit of tension between these two rikishi that goes beyond the dohyo. The Boss remains in sole possession of the lead.

21 thoughts on “Kyushu Day 8 Highlights

  1. Me again – Hakuho always seems to be hard on his fellow Mongolians. Remember the chest slap to Ichinojo for lacking intensity?

  2. One of these days, Hakuho is going to do something like he did today, and he’s going to get someone who stands his ground and glares back at him… and puts him to the dirt. I have a great respect for the Dai-zuna, but his dominance can only last so long and his attitude will attribute to his downfall.

  3. Poor Konosuke, I would have been confused too. I am glad he finally just said ”F’ it go fight”

    • Takakeisho was great! I am delighted he pulled in a win. But if you watch too much sumo video, some times over and over so you can comment on it, maybe on some kind of fan-blog, you can come to get a feel for the “My brand of sumo” for the top division rikishi. While what we saw from Takakeisho was a variation of that today, it was not his normal attack, which goes off with incredible regularity and nearly unstoppable force.

      He did get the job done, but its clear that the problems with his left pectoral are continuing to cause him to improvise against his preferred approach. Doing that and still winning? You bet, that’s great!

  4. One arm wave action!
    I am heartbroken for Takayasu, I want him to be healthy! Can we just bubble wrap all the ozeki until January?
    The Enho bout I was rather disappointed. If people don’t like the henka, what the heck was this? Stand and deliver! It Almost looked ridiculous how far he backed up, as if he were afraid of Enho. Bah.
    As for Hakuho, I think he’s rough with his former countrymen. There’s a definite lack of Yokozuna awe with that crowd and it seems he feels he has to remind them who’s boss. I could be wrong.

    • Actually, I thought it was a pretty brilliant strategy by Yutakayama. Enho’s strength at the tachiai is his speed and ability to get underneath his opponent. By standing so far back, that advantage was completely neutralized, and Enho didn’t really have an answer to it. It meant that the fight was begun entirely on Yutakayama’s terms. In fact, it made me wonder if we won’t see similar strategies used against him in the future.

    • I couldn’t help but wonder if Takayasu’s back trouble was precipitated somehow the previous day by the way he landed on Tamawashi. His entire back and body may’ve tensed up in retrospect and had a delayed reaction.

  5. English Wikipedia needs an update on mitokorozeme — it says the three attacks are an inside leg trip (uchigake), a hand behind the thigh of the other leg, and the attacker’s head is pressing into the opponent’s chest, which is how Mainoumi did it. In this case Ishiura’s attacks were an outside leg trip (sotogake) and a pushing attack with one arm (and a hand behind the thigh, as in the wiki article). Is there an official NSK description of the kimarite somewhere?

    Kisenosato beat Hakuho a few times in a way similar to how Kotoeko beat Onosho — getting moved back to the bales and then countering perfectly against the big push.

    • Well, there is the Sekitori-kun Kimarite guide (Japanese, with furigana). It says the first waza can be either uchigake or sotogake, the second waza is ashitori, and the third is either yori or oshi, that is, you either stick your head in and push, or lean in with your chest and topple the guy.

  6. Yutakayama’s tachiai was weaker than Hattorizakura’s! I have never seen someone so scared of the opponent’s first move that they were practically standing on the tawara.

  7. I was pleased when Hakuho gave the shove to Tamawashi, who not once, but twice matta-ed in an attempt to throw Hakuho off his game. Bring your A game, not cheap tricks, when you face the dai-Yokuzuna.

  8. I’m not a fan of Yutakayama, but wow…wow! Someone finally stood up (literally) to Enho’s matta antics! All the respect in the world!


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