Here we are, approaching the last “act” of the basho. First, we’ll look at the closing day of the second “act”, and then we’ll switch over to day 11, to see some of the yusho developments.
This day was mainly a day of settling kachi-koshi for some rikishi, and there were fewer matches of strong rikishi, but here is what I managed to collect.
We have been following Yutakanami from Tatsunami beya. Here on the left, he faces Numano from Musashigawa beya. Both are 3-1, so it’s a match for the kachi-koshi.
Like taking a candy from a baby. I’m guessing Numano doesn’t have much prior sumo experience. Let’s hope it will come.
Yes, jumping straight to Sandanme here, as I found no exceptionally interesting bouts in Jonidan. We start with Wakaichiro’s fifth bout. He is on the right, and Fujisato from Fujishima beya is on the left. Both of them are 1-3, so the loser is make-koshi.
Alas, the make-koshi goes to our man from Texas. He is faster on the tachiai, but higher, and once again, fights on tip-toes. Too bad.
We switch to the kachi-koshi bracket. On the left we have Yoshii, the talented fledgling from Nakagawa beya, and on the right, Amatsu from Onomatsu. They are both 3-1.
Yoshii sinks his head into Amatsu’s chest and drives forward, and allows no twists and turns to confuse him. Yoshii kachi-koshi.
Up next, our not-so-thin friend from Miyagino beya, Toma, who today fights Shimomura from Sakaigawa beya. You’ll recognize Toma by the effect he has on space-time.
Not all rikishi who have their own gravitational fields are capable of holding up a match for quite this long. Toma is still young, though. And he is now kachi-koshi.
Shikihide beya is a heya with fine principles. Everybody gets to finish high school. No bullying. Anybody who loves sumo is accepted. However, it doesn’t usually produce rikishi with much fighting spirit (I’m looking at you, Hattorizakura). But they do have one rikishi who possesses this fine quality. That’s Baraki, the man who stood on tip-toes when he was measured for the criterion to enter sumo. His opponent for the day is Tagonofuji from Tagonoura beya, and they are 3-1, so vying for the kachi-koshi.
Monoii. The shimpan convene, and decide it was a dotai, torinaoshi.
Unbelievably, it’s a monoii again, and a torinaoshi again!
It’s Tagonofuji who walks out with the kachi-koshi. Let’s hope Baraki wins it eventually, because he sure deserves it!
Our final Sandanme match features Marusho, the Naruto beya second-in-command. He is facing one of our favorites, Kaishu, the man with the 27 kimarite. Marusho on the left, Kaishu on the right. Who gets the kachi-koshi?
Well, Marusho seems to be pretty calm facing all the fireworks and kitchen sinks Kaishu throws at him. Kaishu is another one who deserves a kachi-koshi, but it’s Marusho who takes it this time.
First, we start with a make-koshi match. On the left, Genki from Onomatsu beya. On the right, the Hungarian veteran, Masutoo. The score is 1-3 each.
I love hearing the sportscaster saying “…and he wins by oshi-dashi”, only to be belied two seconds later by the arena announcer, calling it a yorikiri, which it definitely was. Masutoo evades the make-koshi, genki is less genki.
Next we have my man from Kochi, Chiyonoumi, on the left, and Oki from Shikoroyama, on the right. They are both 2-2, so no kachi-koshi or make-koshi here.
Aaah… Chiyonoumi was putting his all in this bout. Survived on the bales, circled and circled again, attempted the mawashi, and went for the kill, only to be sidestepped and eat the clay. Too bad.
Here is another bout in this bracket. On the left, Kitaharima (Yamahibiki), on the right, Hokutoyo (Hakkaku). As the previous pair, they are 2-2.
This one baffles the caster, as the gyoji is very resolute in pointing his gunbai to Kitaharima’s corner, although it looked like Hokutoyo won by kotenage. Hokutoyo gives the gyoji a murderous stare, but none of the shimpan stir, and he has to leave defeated. In fact, it was a watashikomi, as you can see Kitaharima grab Hokutoyo’s leg and topple him. The gyoji knew what he saw.
In the kachi-koshi bracket, we have, on the left, half of Kataonami beya. That is, Tamakongo, the only rikishi there other than Tamawashi. On the right, we have Onojo from the somewhat more populous Takadagawa beya. They are both 3-1.
And Tamakongo wins his kachi-koshi with a lovely utchari.
Here is the Juryo digest:
- Churanoumi on a visit from Makushita, pushes Kaisho to the brink of make-koshi, with a nice shitatenage assisted by some fine legwork.
- Wakamotoharu is already on the brink of make-koshi, but his exchange bout with another visitor from Makushita, Tsukahara, wearing his first oicho-mage, ends better for the Juryo man.
- Akua loses his ichimai hold on Tobizaru’s mawashi. Attempts to switch to oshi, pulls, decides not to, but Tobizaru has already set up a foot trap.
- Mitoryu wins by kotenage, assisted by a sharp and accurate kick. At this point, my earlier prediction, that Kotoshoho should look better than Hoshoryu, seems to come true. Kotoshoho found his sea legs, while Hoshoryu was, perhaps, more concentrated in the first half.
- Kotonowaka wins his kachi-koshi, but it was a close call. He was mostly patrolling the edges in this bout. He can do better.
- Daiamami gives Ikioi a lot more trouble than he expected. The match switches between yotsu and oshi, with some nice windmill tsuppari, and then Ikioi gets caught and discarded.
- Not one of Kiribayama’s best displays, this bout with Tochiozan. His lack of tsuppari skills show – a few slashes would perhaps have opened him the way to the veteran’s mawashi, but he is helpless here.
- Takagenji make-koshi. Hidden injury? Lack of proper keiko without his brother? He just isn’t himself.
Day 11 was a day of yusho deciders, but we do have some other bouts as well.
I have preferred so far not to show you Bariki’s bouts, as they are really hard to watch, but the man kept winning. How he does it, is beyond me. Maybe there’s some expert on black magic among our readers who can explain it. So here is Bariki on the left, and his opponent is Chiyotsurugi from Kokonoe beya. Both are 3-2, so we have a match for kachi-koshi here.
The part showing him getting off the dohyo and on to the hana-michi is what got me here. I don’t know how this man does sumo. He can barely walk. If I was in such a state I’d probably be using a walker or a wheelchair. WTF? How did Bariki not only get on the dohyo, but actually gotten a kachi-koshi? How?
OK, we now move to a yusho race decider. We have only two rikishi left with 5-0 – Tosamidori from Onomatsu beya, on the right, and Senho, the Hakuho-in-incubation from Miyagino beya, on the left.
Tosamidori’s superior tachiai lifts Senho right up and disrupts his game plan. But Tosamidori is not the yusho winner yet. Since he needs to do seven matches, and no lossless opponents are left in Jonokuchi, he is going to be doing a match against Ura in Jonidan on day 13. If Ura wins, which I consider highly likely, Tosamidori will be 6-1. In the mean time, there are five rikishi who are 5-1 in Jonokuchi. Four of them are paired together on day 13, and an additional one has a Jonidan bout.
So if Tosamidori beats Ura, he wins the Jonokuchi yusho. But if he loses, there will be 3 or 4 rikishi with 6-1, for a playoff on senshuraku.
All of the matches I have for you today are yusho eliminators between 5-0 rikishi. First, Murata (Takasago, left) vs. Nankairiki (Kise, right).
Murata is 6-0 and continues on the yusho race. Next up, Ura (Kise, right) vs. Chiyotora (Kokonoe, left):
What? What??? Here we have a little boy in a zanbara, and Ura can’t do his “one touch to kill them all” trick today. He goes for a dive – but his arm touches ground first, and it’s a gunbai-sashi-chigae for the gyoji, and no yusho for the man in the pink sagari.
I’m sure he’s not going to give Tosamidori an easy time on Day 13.
Finally, we have Hokutenkai, the nephew from Onoe beya, going against the very surprising Yuriki from Chiganoura beya. Yuriki has never posted any result better than 1-0 from day 1, and never won more than 4 bouts in a row, but here he is with 5-0. I guess the removal of a certain person from his heya must be doing him good.
Hokutenkai on the left, Yuriki on the right.
But it’s the end of Yuriki’s yusho hopes. Three rikishi are left with 6-0 in Jonidan: Hokutenkai, Chiyotora and Murata. Hokutenkai will be matched with Chiyotora on day 13. And Murata? He’ll be sent up to fight a 6-0 rikishi from Sandanme. Who? Continue reading!
But in the fashion of annoying clickbate sites, before we tell you the actual answer to that question, we start with the lesser brackets. And unfortunately, this includes our friend Wakaichiro. Here on the right, he faces Ginseizan on the left. Both 1-4. I don’t have the original bout, only the torinaoshi.
It was a good fight for the young Texan, but he now has a deeper make-koshi, and should do what he can to win his last bout, to avoid dropping too far by Hatsu.
In a kachi-koshi decider, we have the yumi-tori performer, Kasugaryu, facing Kotomyozan from Sadogatake beya. Both 3-2. Kasugaryu on the left.
The two fight for the sashi. Kasugaryu displays good right ottsuke, and eventually, although Kotomyozan slips through, he sends him out in a kimedashi. Surprisingly strong armpits has our bow twirler, who is now kachi-koshi.
Next up, with 4-1, so kachi-koshi already decided, we have the young Yoshii on the left, and Daijo from Takadagawa on the right.
I suppose Yoshii settles for the kachi-koshi for now. Hmmm.
In the same bracket, we have the short-haired Roman, left, vs. Tomiyutaka (Tokitsukaze) visiting from Jonidan, right.
Surprisingly, the Jonidan man takes this opportunity with both hands (and a belly) and bulldozes Roman out. Roman down to 4-2. Tomiyutaka 5-1.
The next bout is a yusho eliminator. On the far side we have the surprising Awajiumi, the guy who used to be Kisenosato’s thinnest tsukebito, with 5-0, and on the closer side, Sadanohana, from Sakaigawa beya, with the same score.
Awajiumi, who is a denizen of the Sandanme-Jonidan borderline, has never been in a Yusho race, posting four consecutive wins at most. But here he is with 6-0, and there’s your answer. Awajiumi is going to face Murata on day 13.
Continuing with the yusho eliminators, on the left we have the formidable Motobayashi, Naruto beya, with 5-0, glaring at Kawamoto from Kasugano beya, with the same.
No sweat broken. Motobayashi is one win away from the 21 club.
The other yusho eliminator features Kitanowaka (left), and Ito (right), with both of whom the readers should be familiar already.
This is one of the strongest yotsu battles I’ve seen in the lower divisions in recent times. Yoritaoshi, and Kitanowaka is 6-0. Ito is out of the yusho race.
So Motobayashi and Kitanowaka are going to be matched with each other on day 13, while Awajiumi will host Murata who will be coming up from Jonidan.
My prediction, of course, is that Murata will eat him alive, slightly salted with dohyo salt. Which means that there will be a playoff in Jonidan on Senshuraku, while the Sandanme yusho will be decided in that bout between Motobayashi and Kitanowaka. However, should Awajiumi’s luck persist, it could go the other way around.
We start with a bout for make-koshi. On the left, Chiyonoo. On the right, prince Naya. Both 2-3. Loser is make-koshi.
Naya is more of an oshi wrestler, but Chiyonoo tried to make this chest to chest, and paid for it with a make-koshi. Naya survives and his make-koshi or kachi-koshi will be decided in his final bout.
Now for a kachi-koshi bout. Tsukahara, who lost his bout yesterday in Juryo, is now back again to face Chiyootori. Both are 3-2. Chiyomaru’s little brother is on the right. Yes, I know. It’s a figurative “little”.
I hope you didn’t prepare popcorn for this one. Chiyootori is kachi-koshi, and should be promoted to Juryo for Hatsu.
Next we have Roga on the left, and Bushozan on the right. Both are 4-1, so already kachi-koshi.
Roga probably settles for that kachi-koshi, which is not an advisable attitude with his oyakata. I’m sure fire and brimstone rained at Futagoyama beya when he came back. I mean, losing is one thing, but looking all limp like you really don’t want to be on the dohyo is quite something else.
And now, the yusho deciders we have all been waiting for – the two Isegahama men vs. the two Sakaigawa men. The torikumi committee would prefer a result in which there is exactly one winner from each of the heya, so they can match them together. First, let’s take a look at Midorifuji. He is on the left, and Tsushimanada on the right.
That was quick and painful. Lift up, slap down, Isegahama is not having four sekitori next basho. Midorifuji will have to stick to Makushita a little more. Tsushimanada is 6-0.
Now, what about Terunofuji? He stands on the right, and Hiradoumi is on the left.
Hiradoumi is doing very strong work here. He pushes the former Ozeki against the bales. Terunofuji said after the bout: “My ability to survive at the edge is returning gradually”. Once Terunofuji gets back to the center of the dohyo, he starts working on that kotenage, and throws Hirodoumi, not a moment too soon.
So the torikumi committee gets its wish. It’s Terunofuji vs. Tsushimanada on day 13 for the Makushita yusho. Should Terunofuji win that, he will say goodbye to Shunba’s sagari, which he has been using since his return, and use his own silk set instead. But let’s not jinx him, shall we?
Day 11’s Juryo digest for you:
- What happened to Wakamotoharu? He just keeled over. Make-koshi, and he is in serious danger of demotion.
- Irodori gives Kizakiumi his second loss for this basho, and no more rikishi are left with a single loss. This is a strong oshi battle.
- The announcer notes that Gagamaru did not have a single day of kyujo since he first set foot on the dohyo. Maybe he should have rested those knees a bit. Or attempted to get some load off them with an appropriate diet.
- Hoshoryu beats Toyonoshima with a decisive uwatenage. The remarkable trivia about this meet is that Toyonoshima also wrestled with the kid’s uncle, and has even beaten said Yokozuncle twice. “They look alike” he remarked after this bout.
- Akua, Hoshoryu’s heya mate, also wins by uwatenage. Remarkable because he only had an ichimai hold (grasping at one layer of the mawashi), which usually makes it very hard to get any kind of leverage.
- Chiyoshoma wins by straight sumo for two days in a row. Refreshing.
- I think Kiribayama made this bout with Yago harder than it should have been. Letting Yago just lean is a boon to the man with the destroyed knees. Eventually Yago himself wastes that advantage as he releases himself from Kiribayama’s hold, at which point Kiribayama just drives him out dancing.
- Kyokutaisei does everything he can to avoid having his mawashi caught, but the constant shifting is his undoing.