Kyushu Day 9 Highlights

There was some first-rate sumo today, and as expected the match between Takakeisho and Hokutofuji was the barn-burner highlight of the day. But Mitakeumi also seems to be shaking off the fog of his earlier concussion, and getting closer to normal fighting form. Plus great moves from Shohozan as he shifts gears and decides that while hitting his opponent is fun and good cardio, sometimes you just need to give the other guy a brutal battle hug.

Highlight Matches

Tochiozan defeats Daishomaru – Welcome back Tochiozan, you can see the experience he brings to the dohyo giving him the edge in controlling this match. Take a look at who holds the center of the dohyo for most of the match. Tochiozan has solid offense, but his defense was nearly unassailable today.

Terutsuyoshi defeats Ishiura – Terutsuyoshi drove harder into the tachiai, and Ishiura was unhappy with his resulting hand placement. As he moved to get better position, Terutsuyoshi advanced with strength and was the winner. Ishiura had solid defensive footing, but Terutsuyoshi showed a lot of strength today, and kept low.

Shodai defeats Daishoho – Hey, Shodai had a half decent tachiai today! He had both hands inside within a blink of an eye, and advanced. Daishoho had no answer and took the loss after it was clear he was beaten. Not sure what injury is plaguing Daishoho, but he may be an early favorite for the barge of the damned headed to Juryo.

Kagayaki defeats Shimanoumi – I love that Kagayaki is getting comfortable fighting, and now winning chest to chest with his opponent. His oshi-zumo form has been pretty good, but if he can get even a few solid yotsu moves in his toolkit, I predict he will frequent higher spots on the banzuke. I always preach that his fundaments are very good, and you can see them on display. His upper body is a bit awkward, but his defensive foot placement is excellent. I love how low he keeps his feet as he steps forward. That man can transmit power to ground.

Takanosho defeats Yutakayama – Takanosho exceeded my expectations today, his tachiai took him inside, and he did not waste a moment of his superior position. Yutakayama had a good defense ready, but Takanosho was able to pin Yutakayama’s right arm against his body, and lift Yutakayama as he advanced. Unable to generate much forward pressure to counter Takanosho’s attack, Yutakayama stepped out and took the loss.

Sadanoumi defeats Chiyotairyu – Wow! Look at that tachiai from Chiyotairyu. But even more impressive is Sadanoumi skids to a halt and drops immediately into attack position as Chiyotairyu rushes in. With an opponent like Chiyotairyu lumbering into him, Sadanoumi absorbs the second hit and rolls to his right, and no force on earth can slow Chiyotairyu’s advance. Down he goes. Great defensive gambit and execution by Sadanoumi today.

Kotoeko defeats Nishikigi – Kotoeko seems to finally be on a rally, and I am happy to see him fighting well at last. Nishikigi owned the first part of this match, and Kotoeko put all of his strength into slowing down Nishikigi’s attack, and keeping his feet in the ring, waiting for his chance. That chance came soon enough, as Nishikigi surged to finish Kotoeko, but Kotoeko evaded and send Nishikigi out. Defensive sumo done well, and a well earned win for Kotoeko.

Chiyomaru defeats Tsurugisho – I suspect the matta disrupted Tsurugisho’s battle plan, as the second attempt at the tachiai was all Chiyomaru.

Enho defeats Kotoshogiku – Watching Enho busily harry Kotoshogiku was kind of a wonder. I would guess that Enho was executing 2 moves to every 1 of Kotoshogiku, and it completely overwhelmed the former Ozeki. In typical Enho style, he grabs any stray body part that is closest to him and starts tugging with enthusiasm. Much like some over amorous terrier addressing your leg, the immediate reaction is “get that thing off of me!”. During this visceral, human reaction, Enho merrily defeats you. You can’t be too upset about it either, because let’s face it – he’s adorable.

Shohozan defeats Onosho – Wow! Big Guns starts his day with rapid fire double hand face massage to Onosho, and scales it up to volleys of haymakers to Onosho’s enormous head. In self-defense, Onosho closes the distance and goes chest to chest. Ever the full-service opponent, Shohozan obliges and gives Onosho a jolly heave-ho via an expertly delivered uwatenage, with a spicy leg lift to give it an extra flair. Great match.

Aoiyama defeats Takarafuji – As happens most times these two match, Takarafuji suffers terribly and gets a trip to the clay at the hands of Big Dan and the V-Twin attack.

Meisei defeats Myogiryu – Meisei expertly deployed a hard tachiai, a quick thrust combo into a side step at Myogiryu charged to take advantage. Exquisitely timed by Meisei.

Asanoyama defeats Daieisho – Daieisho tends to dominate his matches with Asanoyama, I think in part because Daieisho can really move hard into the tachiai. Today Asanoyama was able to get a workable outside grip and focused on getting Daieisho off balance, and succeeded. Asanoyama stays 1 behind Hakuho.

Okinoumi defeats Endo – Another great match, both of these rikishi are master technicians, and they brought out their extensive sumo toolboxes today, and put it all into the match. Feel free to watch it a few times, because it’s a guidebook on attack, counter-attack and improvisation.

Abi defeats Ryuden – As predicted, Ryuden was struggling, and by the time Abi landed the second volley, he was completely disrupted and headed for the clay. You can see him using his best counter-attack strategy, lifting Abi’s elbows from underneath. This has managed to shut down Abi-zumo a couple of times, but Ryuden can’t make it stick today.

Mitakeumi defeats Tamawashi – Mitakeumi expertly closed the distance to Tamawashi, and used his massive body as both a shield and a plow to contain and eject Tamawashi. Given that Mitakeumi still seems to be suffering from the effects of that blow to the head, this was a simple, and quite effective plan.

Takakeisho defeats Hokutofuji – We thought this might be a barn-burner, and indeed it set the dohyo on fire. Both men through everything they could muster into this fight, and I was quite impressed by Hokutofuji’s speed and combination attacks. Takakeisho knew he could not out-reach the Komusubi, or out maneuver him, but focused on what he does best, overwhelming force applied center mass. Hokutofuji landed solidly, but left his chest wide open. Good match, and I dare say that we sumo fans can look forward to these matches for years to come.

Hakuho defeats Kotoyuki – Points to Kotoyuki for taking the fight to Hakuho, but The Boss is not even susceptible to this kind of sumo. Right now The Boss looks a bit bored. Sadly none of his usual challenges are around this November.

13 thoughts on “Kyushu Day 9 Highlights

  1. Thanks for the summary – was a fun day of sumo! I wonder if anything is out there in the news about a possible broken nose for Takakeisho. That nose bloodied awfully rapidly, and the force of the crown of Hokutofuji’s head seemed quite prodigious at the point of collision that caused the release of blood.

  2. I know a lot of people talk about injuries in Sumo. Knees, back ect… but what worries me the most right now? Concussions. I never hear about a Rikishi pulling out due to concussions. Considering how hard some of them fall and slam their head, or go head to head in a bull rush, it seems 100% certain concussions happen and I feel that is what Mitakeumi is dealing with. The blow to his head that opened that cut? For the next several days he showed classic signs of having one. Takakeisho had a badly bloodied nose from what I don’t know but I did see him slam hard head to head with Fuji at least once. Seeing the massive issue concussions became in the NFL and how EVERY sport and even sports Entertainment take concussions now, Sumo needs to step up to that game… as someone who suffered a serious Concussion, they are no joke and I fear for our Sumo warriors.

    • The ones I see pull out over concussions are those who are knocked out…usually by kachi-age. Since they don’t wear football helmets, I’ve wondered whether they go into those with the same force as a strong safety. Those guys can be like guided missiles.

  3. I love how enthusiastic Shohozan is this Basho.

    As much as I love me the Big Kyushu Bulldozer, that match was fun to watch. I’m hoping Enho grabs his Kachi.

    Like I’ve been saying, I think Asanoyama will be runner up this Basho, even if someone puts dirt on the Boss I don’t think Asanoyama can overcome his nerves and defeat him. I think Asanoyama will make a great Sekiwake, just depends on if they give us 2 more slots next basho for them.

    • I love the Kyushu bulldozer too! I am sad his time is at an end. He takes his lumps without complaints even when sometimes the Gyojis point the fan in the wrong direction or the opponent executes a henka. His expression is exactly the same win or lose. I keep thinking/hoping he is going to turn it on and make a run for ozeki, but it is clear he no longer has any power.

  4. Compliments on the write-up that had me laughing out loud: “the barge of the damned”, “and starts tugging with enthusiasm. Much like some over amorous terrier addressing your leg…” and more!

    Go, go Asanoyama!

  5. I actually wasn’t very impressed by Enho. Had Kotoshogiku in all his slowness and lack of power he is atm not discovered something on the horizon and completely lost focus on his opponent … Enho was more or less defenseless at the bales in not a well balance position at all … any shove how ever small would have sent him flying.

    I hope they just have Endo vs Okinoumi fight it out very day for the remaining days. With the amount of rikishi absent, injured or otherwise hampered, this seems to be about the best we can get this basho. With all those holes in the banzuke a lot of the matches are actually mismatches.

    Glad that Mitakeumi seems on the way to recovery. Whether it was a concussion or bad chanko, but for a few days he totally wasn’t there. Could be that Asanoyama overtakes him as an Ozeki candidate(if he gets yusho/jun-yusho). Maybe we have two runs active next basho? ;)

    Further down I’m actually impressed by Sadanoumi. Where did that guy hide all the time? It’s not just the wins, but also him looking pretty solid in those.

  6. Hokutofuji is a prime example of all show and no go. He made a fool of himself in my opinion, diving that far. Reminded me of a bout he had with Kakuryu when he ran out of the dohyo all the way back to where the Rikishi enter the arena.

  7. Did anybody else notice Kotoyuki camouflaging his hoot with a cough? I remember him doing that in Juryo, and I think he aired it especially for Hakuho. I’m not sure it was a clever move, though, because he woke the sleeping tiger. Maybe he figured he was not going to win anyway, so why not enjoy the reaction.


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