Kyushu Day 14 Highlights

Some fantastic sumo today, especially the Terutsuyoshi vs Enho match, and the mad-cap chaos war between Tamawashi and Endo. But the headline is the much expected 43rd yusho for the winningest rikishi in recorded history, the dai-Yokozuna for the ages, Hakuho. I don’t think he’s even close to 100%, but even banged up with a gamey right arm, he’s quite capable of another yusho.

Much as expected, we have a host of rikishi headed for Darwin matches on day 15. This is where two 7-7 men face off, the winner gets the kachi-koshi. In fact we have 7 rikishi in that situation, which is much higher than I have seen in quite some time.

On to the matches!

Day 14 Highlight Matches

Chiyoshoma defeats Daishoho – Chiyoshoma comes to visit the top division…. annd… HENKA! Anyone who was surprised by this should go re-watch a few dozen Chiyoshoma matches.

Takanosho defeats Shimanoumi – Poor tachiai timing, should have been a matta, perhaps. But hey, the gyoji called “hakkeyoi”, so they fight. Takanosho (who was early in the tachiai) claimed the inside lane and never gave up the advantage.

Daishomaru defeats Kotoshogiku – Poor tachiai timing, should have been a matta, perhaps. But hey, the gyoji called “hakkeyoi”, so they fight. Daishomaru was early in the tachiai and was able to get the inside grip with Kotoshogiku at his chest. With that sort of advantage, there is little Kotoshogiku could do. Perhaps Team Gyoji was out kind of late at the pub last night?

Kagayaki defeats Yutakayama – A clean tachiai, thankfully, and Yutakayama goes to work on Kagayaki’s face. But Mr. Fundamentals is intent on attacking Yutakayama center-mass. Yutakayama goes for a nodowa, Kagayaki stays center mass. Yutakayama finds he can’t maintain forward pressure, and Kagayaki shoves him out. Once again, solid sumo fundamentals carries the match for Kagayaki.

Ishiura defeats Sadanoumi – Sadanoumi gets the better of the tachiai, grabbing Ishiura by the arm-pits and lifting. Ishiura gives ground and grapples with great effect, and now has at least partial control over Sadanoumi. Sadanoumi advances, but Ishiura masterfully re-directs his forward motion to the side, and swings him to the clay. Ishiura is kachi-koshi, and Sadanoumi heads to a Darwin match on day 15.

Nishikigi defeats Tsurugisho – I have to wonder what happened to Tsurugisho. This is his 6th consecutive loss, and to hapless Nishikigi no less! Tsurugisho’s balance seems to be shot, so I have to wonder if it’s some injury.

Chiyotairyu defeats Kotoeko – Kotoeko gets the better of the tachiai, but he makes the mistake of giving Chiyotairyu strong pressure to push against. Chiyotairyu advances with gusto and throws in a few thrusts to break Kotoeko’s balance. That’s kachi-koshi for Chiyotairyu.

Enho defeats Terutsuyoshi – Enho picks up win number 7 to advance to the Darwin round after submarining the diminutive Terutsuyoshi. Getting a deep left and shallow right hand grip, Enho gives Terutsuyoshi a ride on the tilt-o-whirl, showing how effective he is, even nearly doubled over.

Chiyomaru defeats Takarafuji – Takarafuji does his best to stalemate Chiyomaru, but there is just too much of Chiyomaru to really contain. When Takarafuji lunges to go chest to chest with Chiyomaru, Chiyomaru turns to the side and guides him to the clay for his 9th win. Nice return to the top division you have going there, Chiyomaru!

Myogiryu defeats Shodai – Shodai drops out of the group 2 behind Hakuho with the loss, but at least we can enjoy that Myogiryu gets sent to a Darwin match for day 15! Shodai was effective at keeping Myogiryu from setting up any kind of planned offense, but Myogiryu was happy to improvise for the win.

Meisei defeats Shohozan – Meisei bravely invites Shohozan to a slap fest, and gives as well as he receives. But he soon realizes that a right hand grip would be better, and tries to swing Shohozan into a throw, which he disrupts. At this point the match gets wild and disorganized, as both rikishi throw whatever they can into the mix. Meisei emerges victorious as Shohozan can’t maintain balance against Meisei’s pull. Meisei advances to a Darwin match on day 15.

Daieisho defeats Onosho – Even clash until Onosho decided to try to pull, and gave up forward pressure on Daieisho. Daieisho reaches his kachi-koshi, and Onosho heads for a day 15 Darwin match.

Kotoyuki defeats Okinoumi – Kotoyuki gets the better of the tachiai, he gets inside Okinoumi’s reach and goes to work with his “Flipper Attack”. Okinoumi has the strength to push back, and advances into Kotoyuki’s attack. The two exchange volleys until Kotoyuki closes in and delivers a might shove to Okinoumi’s neck. Okinoumi is make-koshi, and “The Penguin” heads for his Darwin match on day 15.

Asanoyama defeats Ryuden – Asanoyama secures the jun-yusho, and is clearly working toward an Ozeki bid in January. Ryuden absorbed Asanoyama’s opening gambit, converting it into a solid attempt at a throw, but Asanoyama kept his footing in spite of his poor stance. Asanoyama rallied, and used Ryuden’s left hand grip to swing him around and out for win number 11. With 11 wins, he may force a Sekiwake slot to open for January, if necessary…

Hokutofuji defeats Aoiyama – Hokutofuji is less helter-skelter today, and focuses his energy on Aoiyama’s expansive whishbone region. Although he could not pick up kachi-koshi in his second trip to Komusubi, his sumo was greatly improved over his March visit to san’yaku.

Endo defeats Tamawashi – What a great match. These two threw it all at each other, and when that did not carry the day, they found new energy and kept going. I lost count how many times the match style changed: Yotsu, Throws, Oshi, and around again. At the end it looks like Tamawashi lost balance at a poor moment and Endo applied the yoritaoshi (one of my favorites) for the win. BOTH men advance to Darwin matches on day 15.

Abi defeats Takakeisho – Abi’s superior reach allowed him to land his hands first, and Takakeisho pushed forward to close the gap. Abi adroitly moved to the side and Takakeisho found nothing but clay to meet him. I would call this a damn clever delayed henka, and it worked brilliantly. Did you know this is Abi’s 3rd straight kachi-koshi as Komusubi 1 East?

Hakuho defeats Mitakeumi – And just like that, we have Hakuho yusho 43. Congrats to the boss. Mitakeumi looks completely disrupted at this point, and hits his 8th loss for a make-koshi. The question now is: will he vacate san’yaku entirely?

20 thoughts on “Kyushu Day 14 Highlights

  1. People can crap all over Abi being one dimensional all they want, but facts are facts. He’s becoming a main stay San’yaku member with decent records each basho.

    There we go Future Ozeki. Good job hanging in there and not letting Ryuden take you for a ride.

    Wow, I was very wrong yesterday saying Enho would lose that match. Good sumo from the Fire Pixie.

    • Re: Abi – yes indeed!
      I am a totally biased fan-boy, but I think it is worth pointing out how rare it is to stick around at Komusubi at the first time of being promoted into sanyaku. Mitakeumi didn’t manage it. Goiedo didn’t manage it. Endo didn’t manage it. Nor Tochinoshin. Nor Hokutofuji. Nor Takayasu. Nor Takakeisho. Nor Tamawashi. Etc.
      Admittedly, it could be argued that Abi has benefitted from being promoted to Komusubi at a time when the higher ranks have been depleted through injury and age. But still, it is a noteworthy achievement – especially considering the oft-repeated accusation that he is ‘one-dimensional’.
      Also, having said all that, Asanoyama has just managed to at the least stick around at Komusubi at the first time of asking. (I would like to see both Abi and Asanoyama promoted to SK.)

      • I personally think 1 more basho for him at Komosubi would be beneficial. I want to see him handle a healthier upper ranked class.

      • Not to take anything away from Abi, but this is his first basho, were he actually looked convincing/solid at komusubi. Both prior basho he was … well … very lucky to say the least. He had a lot of wins against quality opponents this basho (Endo, Tamawashi, Hokutofuji, Takakeisho, Daieisho, …). He is still one dimensional (but the same goes for Takakeisho), but this basho he executed very convincingly.

    • I love the stat but given the Yokozeki weakness, his run should have a big ole asterisk next to it. Each of the past two tournaments included fusen-sho in his favor. He should have faced 10 sanyaku opponents in these tournaments. He faced 7 this time, including Takayasu who ended up kyujo. The overarching fact is that we are in a period of historic sanyaku weakness where a one-armed Hakuho takes the yusho in a runaway.

  2. Abi not only got 3 consecutive winning records as Komusubi, he also got winning records through 2019, 2 of which were 10-5; not one make-koshi.

  3. Here’s how I thik San’yaku will shake out:
    Kakuryu & Hakuho – Yokozuna
    Takakeisho & Goeido – Ozeki
    Takaysu & Asanoyama – Sekiwake
    Abi & Endo – Komusubi

    Out: Hokotofuji, Tochinoshin

    Daieisho has a kachi-koshi at Megashira 1, but he can have at most 9 wins. If Endo loses tomorrow, he’ll most likely take Endo’s place at Komusubi due to Endo’s make-koshi.No one else in the Megashira ranks has a good enough record to be promoted into the San’yaku. The proof in the pudding there is that several members of the bottom of the Joi are in Darwin matches tomorrow. Asanoyama leaps over Abi for the Sekiwake slot because his record is better this basho and he has the jun-yusho. If Abi was as good as his previous records show, then he’d be the one challenging Hakuho for the yusho in a depleted banzuke. Yet he only has an 8-6 record and he got his kachi-koshi against an injured Takakeisho (I really think something is up with his eye based on the bruising. OUCH.)

    I’m going to leave the rest of the banzuke up to lksumo and other prognosticators. I don’t envy their job, or the banzuke committee, in trying to figure out who is supposed to go where after this mess of a basho.

    Thanks again for the great sumo coverage, Team Tachiai! Y’all are amazing!

  4. Loved the Terutsuyoshi – Enho pre-tachiai energy… Felt like a street brawler was gonna eat up a porcelain kitty! But then Boooom. It’s not often sumo makes me jump up and scream in joy.. But I’ve noticed that when it happens, More often than not, Enho is in the middle.
    and well done Shodai, was fun while it lasted ;-)

  5. If sumo wrestlers were characters in Berserk:

    Enho as Puck, the charming but annoying little elf who always survives
    Takarafuji as Azan, loyal, noble, competent and strong, but a bit predictable
    Endo as Serpico, the wily fox who can out think anyone but is a bit short on power
    Hakuho as Zodd, the monstrous demon who can beat you in 50 different ways
    Asanoyama as Griffith, the chosen one, who did nothing wrong
    Terunofuji as Guts horribly mutilated warrior on an unstoppable quest for vengeance

    Also starring Takanohana as Void and Asashoryu as the Skull Knight,

  6. Dear Sumo Fans. First time post, but I’ve been avidly reading the site since early 2017. What a win for Hakuho! I know the competition was not as strong as it could have been and he sometimes used moves considered undignified for a Yokuzuna but I can’t help but be impressed. His fighting spirit is simply unmatched. I actually think watching the “damaged” version of Hakuho has been more entertaining than watching the healthy version since it shows just how much variety he has in his sumo and how he can win by outstrategizing his opponents.

  7. Dear Sumo Fans. First time post, but I’ve been avidly reading the site since early 2017. What a win for Hakuho! I know the competition was not as strong as it could have been and he sometimes used moves considered undignified for a Yokuzuna but I can’t help but be impressed. His fighting spirit is simply unmatched. I actually think watching the “damaged” version of Hakuho has been more entertaining than watching the healthy version since it shows just how much variety he has in his sumo and how he can win by outstrategizing his opponents.

  8. We had seven 7-7 rikishi going into senshuraku as recently as July, and eight in March 😉
    The modern record, by the way, was Hatsu 2007, with a whopping 12!

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