Kyushu Day 10 Highlights

A quick update today, a few crazy things happening in the real world. Some solid performances today, with Ishiura, Terutsuyoshi, Abi and Asanoyama fighting well.

Highlight Matches

Nishikigi defeats Yago – Nishikigi gets the better of the tachiai, and although Yago is able to stalemate him for a moment, Nishikigi has the superior position. Advancing, Nishikigi works to lift Yago over the tawara in the Southwest corner, and Yago puts up a brilliant fight. After many long seconds of each trying to out-power the other, Nishikigi prevails for the win. Yago picks up his 9th loss, and I worry that Ogoruma will have a lack of Sekitori in January.

Terutsuyoshi defeats Kagayaki – Kagayaki can’t keep up, and drops to 2 behind Hakuho. Impressive power from Terutsuyoshi today, as he drills in hard at the tachiai. Kagayaki seems to have focused on head / neck attacks, and Terutsuyoshi focused center-mass. We all know which one tends to carry the day. Odd loss on fundamentals for Kagayaki.

Shimanoumi defeats Daishoho – Shimanoumi focuses on relentless armpit attacks, keeping Daishoho high and moving away. With the loss, Daishoho is now make-koshi and earns a spot on that barge headed to Juryo.

Yutakayama defeats Daishomaru – Very soft tachiai again today from Yutakayama. He managed to get inside position anyhow, and went to work. Daishomaru managed to break contact once, but could not convert that into any change in the match’s momentum. Daishomaru picks up his 7th loss.

Chiyotairyu defeats Shohozan – Wow, nice sumo today from Chiyotairyu! An opening flurry of blows rocked Shohozan back, and Chiyotairyu dove in and got a left hand mawashi grip. From there it was like Chiyotairyu was carrying his luggage to the Shinkansen station. One bag for Tokyo, please!

Takanosho defeats Sadanoumi – This match was decided in the second clash following the tachiai. Takanosho got his hands inside and took a hold of Sadanoumi’s mawashi, and gave him no time to react.

Ishiura defeats Tsurugisho – Another day of really great sumo from Ishiura. I am glad he has taken this turn into skill and power, as he does it pretty well. From the tachiai, Tsurugisho was struggling to react, and Ishiura never let up the pressure. A nice little spin reminded me of dear Harumafuji. Good show!

Shodai defeats Kotoeko – Kotoeko put all of his hopes on a face slap at the tachiai, and gave Shodai a clear road to take him to his chest. Kotoeko realizes he is doomed, and attempts an escape move at the bales, hoping to push Shodai out in the same twisting motion. Shodai is too stable for that trash, and gives Kotoeko a hearty shove to the clay.

Onosho defeats Kotoshogiku – I am starting to see elements of Onosho’s pre injury form showing up more frequently, and I think its a very good sign. It breaks my heart to see Kotoshogiku make-koshi, and 2-8 on day 10. This may be farewell to the Kyushu Bulldozer unless he can somehow find the means to rally.

Chiyomaru defeats Enho – Enho with another odd, soft tachiai that might have been better called a matta, but it was fight on. Enho unwisely tries to get some kind of frontal hold on Chiyomaru, but the belly to waist to arm ratio was not ever going to work, and Enho finds himself getting an unpleasant neck adjustment from a fat man. Enho decides to try an escape, but trips on the tawara for the loss.

Tamawashi defeats Daieisho – Traditional Tamawashi sumo, hard, low and brutal. The tachiai goes straight to his face, and both men open up with heavy tsuppari. Daieisho breaks contact, and dives for Tamawashi’s chest, but is deflected out of the loss.

Okinoumi defeats Takarafuji – I think Okinoumi is still riding the sumo buzz from day 9, and uncorks more fantastic form for his day 10 win over Takarafuji. Okinoumi got a solid hold on his opponent, and just kept pressing forward. Straight ahead, but well-earned win.

Asanoyama defeats Meisei – Asanoyama once again displays classic Edo-period form to out-brute Meisei for win #7. Asanoyama stays one behind Hakuho.

Abi defeats Hokutofuji – Abi gets the better of the tachiai, and that is all it takes against his long arm thrust attack. Hokutofuji immediately had to switch to defend or escape mode, and Abi gave him no quarter.

Myogiryu defeats Endo – Endo seems to try a different opening gambit today, going right hand high. Sadly this is straight into Myogiryu’s attack, and leaves Endo with no leverage or grip. Myogiryu advances with power and Endo is out.

Ryuden defeats Mitakeumi – Ryuden reaches for and lands a left hand inside grip, but Mitakeumi has forward pressure. Ryuden manages to stop his advance with a foot on the tawara, and sets up the counter attack. Mitakeumi is usually less than stellar in a yotsu-zumo battle, and a concussed Mitakeumi doubly so. Its a straightforward advance and lift to hand Mitakeumi his 5th loss. At this point, even keeping the Ozeki bid alive seems a bit far-fetched, and we have to hope he can heal up for January.

Takakeisho defeats Kotoyuki – Battle of the thrust-master, Kotoyuki cannot match the Ozeki’s power, intensity or blistering frequency for even a moment.

Hakuho defeats Aoiyama – Aoiyama gets a couple of tsuppari in, but Hakuho lands a left hand outside grip, and there is little that Big Dan can do too slow down the Boss. The boss remains at 1 loss, on a clear path to the yusho.

16 thoughts on “Kyushu Day 10 Highlights

  1. Hakuho, if fit, wins. My kids keep asking me if he would have beaten Akebono. Not sure about that.

      • Wakanohana won almost 50% of the time. Dishoyama went 6-5 including a “Silver Star”.

        Dejima beat him six times straight, all while Akebono was a Yokozuna, two of them Gold Stars.

        All of it’s theoretical, but Hakuho (in his prime) should have handled Akebono.

  2. Thanks for the continuing, great reporting, Bruce!

    Yago is using his arms to support his weight when he stands up from a crouch these days. I suspect that either his back or his knees (or both) aren’t working at 100%. As someone who has chronic back issues, I immediately recognized that “crutch” that is used to help someone move around.

    I suspect that Kagayaki ran into a common problem with Terutsuyoshi that larger rikishi have to deal with when they have smaller opponents: they aren’t used to focusing their attacks lower to reach their opponent’s chest. The problem in this scenario, for the larger rikishi, is to do that they have to hunch over and I’m betting that makes it feel like they’re leaning too far forward.

    I really hope Ishiura continues this version of his sumo. It’s entertaining and fantastic to watch!

    I honestly believe that Kotoshogiku won’t get his haircut until he has one last match with Toyonoshima. It might happen in Juryo, but that’s my guess. Either way, Kotoshogiku will “go out on his shield” and will continue to compete until he literally can’t anymore.

    Based on previous footage of Enho’s matches, the reason we’re seeing the “soft” tachiais during his matches is because he waits for his opponent to commit to an attack and then he responds with his own sumo. Apparently, the other rikishi have figured this out and are now blunting that strategy by not immediately engaging with Enho. This “evens the playing field” and removes Enho’s reactive advantage that he has exploited for a long time.

    Good grief, is the San’yaku a mess. I hope Mitakeumi gets his kachi-koshi, but even that is in doubt at this point.

    At this point, give the basho to Hakuho. Barring an injury, I literally don’t see anyone else who will even remotely challenge him for it.

    • Great comment and much food for thought. Your statement about Kotoshogiku reminded me of a show we saw on Japanese TV several months ago. A TV crew interviews tourists, in this case a couple of sumo fans from the US, and devout Kotoshogiku fans. It was moving. One guy said he found inspiration in Kotoshogiku that ne never gives up. He said in his own life when faced with obstacles, he things of Kotoshogiku. So they showed this to Kotoshogiku, and he was moved. They secretly arranged to take the guys to Sadogatake heya where they spend the day with them. They were stunned. They spend the day with him, got into mawashi and practiced, and took a hot bath soak. Kotoshogiku was so moved by this experience and their enthusiasm, it gave him a fresh charge. He said he felt like he’d been in a funk for a long time, but this renewed his outlook. It was touching, and I’ve been thinking about this the entire basho.

    • I believe Wulftrax is spot-on in his analysis of these recent Enho matches. We’ve seen this scenario play out in several of Enho’s Jungyo bouts this year.

  3. It was good to see Ryuden looking something like his former self after several poor bouts. Or did this win say more about Mitakeumi’s current condition?

    • No news on medical diagnosis for Mitakeumi, but none would be expected during the basho. Please note that on Tachiai, the authors and for the most part the commenters are free to speculate.

  4. Takakeisho looked dazed after his match today. Someone (maybe Murray) speculated about poke in the eye. I wonder if it was more like a concussion, or compound concussion after yesterday.

    In other news, Hattorizakura did not compete, but at 0-5 is only two losses away from achieving his Zilcho-Yusho.

    • Kotoyuki put his mitts in the vicinity of that eye on a number of occasions, but if you watch the very end of the bout — after Takakeisho shoves Kotoyuki out — the ozeki loses his balance and ends up planting his face in Kotoyuki’s back for just an instant. I suspect that, when he did so, he got some Kotoyuki back sweat in his eye. After the bout, I saw lots of left-eye blinking, but no apparent signs of concussion.


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