Kyushu Day 12 Highlights

Some great sumo from the smaller rikishi today. Ishiura and Terutsuyoshi seem to have hit their stride, and are causing their opponents real challenges figuring what, if anything, they can do to overcome their sumo. It’s fun to watch, and will make for some fantastic sumo during the deepening transition era going into 2020. With Asanoyama’s loss and Hakuho’s win today, the yusho is almost certainly going to Hakuho. This would mark his 43rd yusho, further running up the score into territory that will make future generations question the accuracy of the statistics.

Highlight Matches

Daishoho defeats Yago – Yago has no ability to generate any forward pressure, so I would say the big fellow is nursing an injury. Maybe those taped up knees are some indication. But it seems clear that Oguruma will be without a Sekitori in competition in January. Quite a shame as they are had 2 promising young rikishi in Yago and Tomokaze, both of which are injured.

Ishiura defeats Kagayaki – New-mode Ishiura completely overwhelmed Mr Fundamentals today with flurries of combo attacks that kept the bigger rikishi off plan. From the time Ishiura got his mawashi hold, Kagayaki was little more than ballast for whatever Ishiura wanted to use to win. Ishiura improves to 7-5 with another unusual kimarite: kirikaeshi.

Terutsuyoshi defeats Chiyotairyu – Win #2 for team tiny, this time Terutsuyoshi pops at the tachiai and dives for a deep left hand grip. He takes the much larger Chiyotairyu to his chest, and attacks with surprising strength and vigor. Chiyotairyu attempts to roll into a throw as Terutsuyoshi is powering him out, but Terutsuyoshi collapses the pivot for the win. Wow!

Shodai defeats Daishomaru – In spite of Shodai’s weak tachiai, Daishomaru can’t generate much if any forward pressure against Shodai, and goes down to his 8th defeat. Now make-koshi, he joins stablemate Daishoho waiting to see if he is relegated back to Juryo to start 2020.

Kotoshogiku defeats Nishikigi – Seemingly eager to muscle the Diasho pair out of line for the Juryo barge, Nishikigi takes his 9th loss as Kotoshogiku somehow musters enough strength to employ a fairly low energy version of his trademark attack.

Shohozan defeats Shimanoumi – Shohozan landed a deep right hand grip shortly after his face-slap tachiai. From there he activated the spin cycle and gave Shimanoumi a toss to the dohyo. The home town crowd loves it, and so do I. Shimanoumi picks up his 8th loss, and is make-koshi.

Chiyomaru defeats Sadanoumi – Chiyomaru takes Sadanoumi and marches forward like he’s late for the chanko line at Kokonoe heya. Chiyomaru gets his 8th win and is kachi-koshi for November.

Onosho defeats Yutakayama – These two oshi-rikishi go chest to chest, and it’s Yutakayama who seems to dominate. But with his heels on the tawara, Onosho does a weight shift via his feet that I am still trying to figure out, and pivots to fall forward, crushing Yutakayama beneath him. 2 more to go for Onosho, 1 more to go for Yutakayama.

Takanosho defeats Enho – Enho executes his submarine tachiai, and latches onto the front of Takanosho’s mawashi, but Takanosho thinks it through and pauses. Re-engaging he pivots and pushes down, sending Enho to the clay. Great recovery from Takanosho today.

Aoiyama defeats Tsurugisho – Traditional Aoiyama match, stand them up, then thrust them down. Tsurugisho struggling to maintain energy in his sumo as we near the end of the tournament. He’s now one loss from make-koshi.

Takarafuji defeats Kotoeko – Complex dance for grip as the two are chest to chest from the tachiai. This is a poor game to play with Takarafuji, who seems to be effective no matter where his hands end up. Takarafuji keeps his focus, and keeps moving Kotoeko toward the bales. Kotoeko picks up his 8th loss and is now make-koshi for November.

Kotoyuki defeats Daieisho – These two are very evenly matched, and both of them brought a lot of energy to an their thrusting attacks. When Daieisho lunged to finish Kotoyuki, Kotoyuki deftly moved to his right, and Daieisho met nothing but clay at the end of his charge.

Myogiryu defeats Okinoumi – Myogiryu had the better of the tachiai, and the match transitioned into a fierce chest to chest battle for control. Okinoumi rallied several times, but could not overcome Myogiryu’s inside grip.

Hokutofuji defeats Meisei – A wild, frantic match, as many of Hokutofuji’s bouts are. The combatants broke contact multiple times, to slam into each other again and again. Nobody had superior balance or position, it was a straight up brawl that was nearly a Meisei victory. But somehow Hokutofuji kept his feet, and was able to spin away, return and catch Meisei over extended, and thrust him down.

Abi defeats Tamawashi – I am not sure what kind of battle plan Tamawashi had for this match, but it seems to have not fired off correctly. Abi took control early, and drove the match in the manner he wanted. Tamawashi could really only muster one solid counter attack, but Abi broke contact, and re-engaged in full Abi-zumo mode.

Mitakeumi defeats Asanoyama – Asanoyama could not land his favored left hand grip, and was maybe surprised by the vigor Mitakeumi brought to the match today. Clearly the Sekiwake has some power left, and he’s going to push to hold onto his rank a bit longer. With his loss, Asanoyama drops away from any credible yusho contention.

Ryuden defeats Takakeisho – Rather crummy henka today, as I was hoping to see Ryuden use actual sumo to possibly beat the sole Ozeki in good standing in the sumo world today. It would have been a function of Ryuden getting that left hand on Takakeisho’s mawashi and going to work. But instead we got this dud. Oh well.

Hakuho defeats Endo – Kind of crappy sumo from Hakuho today. The face slap is annoying, but that’s Hakuho. That forearm to the jaw is another matter all together. Is it legit in sumo? Yes, it is. But honestly, it’s probably a bit huge given that he can beat Endo without using a combo that has a high change of injury. With his win, Hakuho is now 2 wins in front of the closest pursuit for the yusho, and has likely Locked up #43.

21 thoughts on “Kyushu Day 12 Highlights

  1. All this basho I was waiting for a proper hug-n-chug display from Kotoshogiku and I got my fill today. it was glorious :)

  2. Nice job on the write-up, Bruce, thanks.

    In the Ishiura-Kagayaki bout, it was unfortunate that — as Kagayaki sought to brace himself against Ishiura’s mawashi grip — he stepped on the Gyoji’s foot. It robbed Kagayaki of his brace foot and made Ishiura’s take-down that much easier, although it likely didn’t change the outcome.

    Hakuho applied the Mike Tyson “Everybody has a plan…” approach to the man who always has a plan. I don’t really have a problem with that.

  3. I don’t understand why a forearm blow is considered inappropriate, yet full on headbutts (at the tachiai and after) which are more dangerous to both wrestlers, are not only Ok, but considered grand displays of fighting spirit. Face slaps require great skill imo; to be able to deliver one mid tachiai is no easy feat.

    • I don’t consider it inappropriate, in fact I point out its legitimate sumo. But I also cite that this combo has a risk of injury to the recipient, and I think we have busted and damaged enough kanban rikishi for now. I am all down with Hakuho winning over Endo, but I know he can do it with rolling the dice on a serious injury to Endo.

      • And I know that’s not a big consideration in a zero-sum game, but a mawashi battle would have been a lot more fun to watch.

        • Odds certainly favored Hakuho here, having a 12-1 winning record against “Mr. Popular.” Endo only one once as Maguushira 3 on day six here in Fukuoka three years ago with a yorikiri. So I agree why he wouldn’t have gone for a mawashi move vs the head attacks? Probably that arm injury, or he didn’t want to take any chances with Endo 2.0?

  4. Even though we saw Asanoyama take a loss, we got to see how well he fights at the bales against a much larger opponent producing a much greater forward pressure. I’m still impressed with the kid and truly believe he will be a solid Ozeki one day.

    I started watching sumo back in 2015, so I haven’t been around very long but after my first year I’d figured out that I really didn’t like the sumo Ishura and Chiyoshoma did. If this Ishura had been what showed up way back then I would have thought completely different about him, this is the kind of sumo that makes us all excited. Keep it up.

    BULLDOZER!!!!!!! Good knees. Keep it up.

  5. The reason Kotoshogiku won is because instead of his standard “wrap my arms around your chest and chug forward” attack, he varied the height of his grip on one side. That means his opponent’s weight was off-balance and it was easier to move them.

    Enho was defeated because when he went for his deep, underhanded grip his arms were locked in place by Takanosho. That meant that Enho had his weight all on his arms and when he attempted to change his grip, he was too far forward. That’s why Takanosho could push him down so easily. Enho’s expression of frustration after the bout tells me he’s going to do his best to never allow that to happen again.

    I always get frustrated with henkas in bouts against upper San’yaku opponents. Ryuden’s today was no exception. I understand the reasons why, but still am heartily disappointed.

    At this point, this basho is Hakuho’s already. I don’t know if it was because of the forearm blast, but Endo’s back foot slipped and that’s why he crashed to the clay. At this point, I’m wondering if sumo historians will give a bit of side-eye to this basho and any that Hakuho win in the future due to the depleted ranks in the upper levels of sumo.

  6. Hakuho is fighting with one arm this Basho. He is unable to do half the things he usually does. And he is still head and shoulders above the competition. The man is a species unto himself. I think he’ll ask for help to life the trophy. But he will.

  7. More and more rikishi are realizing that a henka is the most effective strategy they have against Takakeisho. He will have to adapt to those, at the expense of losing easy bouts to the likes of Chiyotairyu and Ryuden.

    • ryuden nicely schooled overhyped and overcharging takakeisho
      henkas can be a good solution for chronic blind overcharging, as we saw in the bout

  8. I feel like Hakuho’s just been in a bad mood this basho. I can’t remember any wry grins, or post-victory swagger. There’s been plenty of harite, though. And smashing Endo’s face in over a matta.

    • @yohcun – I never could stand these grins and arm movements after he won, so I am happy he doesn’t do these things any more for a few bashos. By the way, isn’t a rikishi supposed to not show any emotion after the bouts?

      I never liked Hakuho but today I totally lost my respect for him and I am totally upset. This was no sumo, this was just brawl or battle – in my opinion he is brutal against these rikishi he doesn’t respect or who are able to beat him.

      I’m happy that I became a Sumo-Fan just last year and not sooner – hope the era will be over soon with all these mean tricks before the tachiai, kachiage, neko-damashi, dame-oshi, and all the injuries he caused by the extra shoves, not to forget the bout vs. Myogiryu in 2012… and so on – long-time sumo fans know more and better than me.
      Could someone please explain why people adore such a ******? Why does his “successful career” outweigh all these mean things? Would he even have won so many bouts without all those tricks?
      But I am convinced one day he will have to pay the price for all the things he did.

      For me it’s no pleasure at all to watch his bouts, and I’ve always been happy when he was out.
      Look at Asanoyama, Endo, Mitakeumi, Meisei, Shodai, Yutakayama and most others – do they need this kind of violence?? These are a pleasure to watch and intelligent bouts, or in NSK words – “quality sumo”.

      So, when we talk about the new generation rikishi, I’m sure there will be more fairness on the way to a new Yokozuna.

  9. I felt myself angry a Hakuho for that elbow shot. It was uncalled for from him. He was warned once before for things like that. As a Yokozuna he should be better then this

    • Completely agree – Hakuho’s attitude is both regrettable and uncalled for. He may be a GOAT, but he may also be remembered as a moody idiot. Fingers crossed for Abi to fan him out of the ring (unlikely) and I hope there will be a new kid on the block who will beat Hakuho in two or more straight basho

      • If you watch closely in all the matches. There are Rikishi starting to give Hakuho a fight who are not Very high ranked. Some of the matches this Basho he struggled to get his win. He feels the end coming and I think it upsets him. Keeping in mind all his biggest rivals are out due to injuries. I wonder how well he would do against healthy Ozeki? Or Big K.

  10. Is there going to be a match this basho where Hakuho actually touches both hands to the clay before the tachia? He gets away with so much. Legal or not, the forearm was a cheap shot, and I believe a message he wanted to send to all rikishi to quit false starting his matches.

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