Thus the final basho of 2019 comes to a close. I will post my opinions on the basho and the state of sumo a bit later, perhaps tomorrow, to make way for the discussion of the matches themselves. There was plenty of exciting action for day 15, and with the broad slate of Darwin matches, much was on the line. Tachiai congratulates Yokozuna Hakuho for his record breaking 43rd yusho, marking another milestone for history’s winningest rikishi.
If you have been following lksumo’s excellent story line post series, you know that the Juryo to Makuuchi swap for January is likely to be broad. We are likely to see a resurgence of familiar names return to the top division. This basho, more than many in recent memory, has a broader set of inter-division swaps available for the next banzuke.
Thank you, dear readers, for joining us for the Kyushu Basho. It’s been mountains of fun sharing our love of sumo with the world, and we appreciate that you take the time to visit our web site, read our posts, and participating in the discussion.
Shout out to Kotoyuki for that awesome flex at the end of the Sanyaku Soroibumi. You absolute legend.
Day 15 Matches
Daiamami defeats Nishikigi – Whatever damage Nishikigi is carrying (maybe that taped left ankle) continues to rob him of his sumo. The hapless Daiamami punctuates his demotion to Juryo with a final loss. Readers know I have a soft spot for Nishikigi, and I hope he can get his body back to good health.
Ishiura defeats Daishoho – Ishiura 3.0 is back in full force. In fact I think he’s a better Enho than Enho is right now. Today’s match is a direct import of Enho’s sumo, as Ishiura finds the nearest body part and tugs for all he can muster. This completely derails whatever Daishoho wanted to do, as he moves to break contact. As Ishiura spins Daishoho around, his left hand finds a deep grip, and it’s time for phase 2. About this time, Daishoho realizes he’s caught, and Ishiura’s seeks position to load the throw. But throw he does, and it’s win number 9 for Ishiura.
Shimanoumi defeats Chiyomaru – Shimanoumi overcomes Chiyomaru’s giant belly and finds green silk. In reaction Chiyomaru launches into a mad-cap retreat and pull sequence, over and over, as Shimanoumi consolidates his position and delivers the yorikiri.
Chiyotairyu defeats Yutakayama – Yutakayama completely failed to counter the predictable Chiyotairyu opening thrust. Chiyotairyu stood him up, then pulled him down. Yutakayama tends to struggle in the final weekend, and this basho follows that trend.
Kagayaki defeats Shohozan – Kagayaki focused on fundamentals, left the head smashing to Shohozan and worked forcefully on Shohozan’s center-mass. Kagayaki, without flair or a lot of attention, has racked up double digit wins this Kyushu. Readers know I am a fan of his work ethic, and his relentless focus on sumo fundamentals.
Kotoeko defeats Daishomaru – Both men trade impotent pull attempts, with Kotoeko’s pull resulting him Daishomaru rushing forward to finish him. But Kotoeko keeps his head in the match and times a side step at the tawara that gives him the win. Both finish with a dismal 5-10 record.
Tsurugisho defeats Terutsuyoshi – Tsurugisho rallies on the final day, and stops his 6 match losing streak. It was not forward motion sumo, but at this point I am just happy he could close the basho with a win.
Kotoshogiku defats Aoiyama – This was a surprisingly fun and satisfying match. Aoiyama nearly finishes Kotoshogiku at the tachiai, but somehow the former Ozeki keeps his feet. Dan fires up the big V-Twin gets Kotoshogiku to give ground. In a bold double hand slap, Kotoshogiku disrupts Aoiyama’s thrusting attack, lowering Aoiyama’s arms. His chest now exposed, The Kyushu Bulldozer gets to work. Taking Aoiyama to his chest, he finds that Big Dan has too much forward pressure for him to engage the hug-n-chug attack, he gives ground to unbalance his foe, and rotates into a tsukiotoshi. The crowd and I are both delighted that Kotoshogiku got to finish with a win.
Tamawashi defeats Sadanoumi – Complete clash of opening gambits, as Sadanoumi takes the tachiai with his face. He’s still reaching for Tamawashi’s belt, but he has no balance to plant his feet, and Tamawashi powerful forward charge continues and it’s densa-meshi time.
Takarafuji defeats Meisei – This match is a fine example of how Takarafuji prefers to fight. He lets Meisei throw what he wants to in at the start of the match, and just focuses on blunting every attack, and keeping his feet, waiting for his opponent (Meisei today) to make a mistake. It comes about 12 seconds into the match, and Takarafuji switches to attack mode. Going chest to chest against Meisei, he knows Meisei was not ready to grapple, and his feet are in poor position. Takarafuji adjusts his stance, loads the throw and finishes him.
Myogiryu defeats Onosho – As predicted, Onosho did not have the balance today to counter Myogiryu, and is caught too far forward. Onosho has a lot of potential, but he’s still working through the impact of reconstruction surgery on that knee. Myogiryu finishes Kyushu with his 8th win.
Takanosho defeats Okinoumi – Okinoumi spent most of this match too far forward of his feet. While Takanosho played with him for a time, he soon figured out that releasing pressure might give him the win. It did and he finishes 10-5.
Enho defeats Daieisho – Not wanting to be out-done by stablemate Ishiura, has a great high-low feint at the tachiai that gets him a left hand inside grip. Though Daieisho charges ahead, using his superior mass, Enho is ready and rolls the sukuinage at the bales. Enho finishes Kyushu with a kachi-koshi.
Shodai defeats Asanoyama – This match had a number of odd things going on. Firstly, where did that tachiai come from Shodai? Where have you been keeping that? Second, Shodai’s feet are all over the place, which is common for him, but Asanoyama is completely overwhelmed and Shodai has little trouble forcing him out. For recent sumo fans, this is one source of Shodai frustration. In the past, he fought like this most of the time. He was a real up and coming rikishi. I reserve the right to change my mind about Shodai if he returns to good form.
Hokutofuji defeats Ryuden – For the second day in a row, we seek Hokutofuji tone down the mobility and work to maintain contact with his opponent. And for the second day in a row, it pays off as he completely dominates Ryuden to finish Kyushu 7-8.
Kotoyuki defeats Endo – For fans recently enjoying sumo, this seems to be the original Kotoyuki, who was a decent rikishi. Today he blasts the tachiai, preventing that left hand frontal grip attempt that everyone expects from Endo now. Kotoyuki is relentless against Endo’s center mass, and just keeps pressing the attack. He ends Kyushu with his 8th win, handing Endo his 8th loss.
Abi defeats Mitakeumi – Mitakeumi, in spite of whatever injury has throttled back his sumo, gives Abi a solid fight. Twice Abi is forced to break contract and fall back. But Mitakeumi is a half step slower than his normal intensity, and Abi has exquisite mobility. Mitakeumi’s push to send Abi out of the ring was met with balance, as Abi remained in bounds just long enough for Mitakeumi to land. Sad to see Mitakeumi blow up his 3rd Ozeki campaign so badly, but my compliments to Abi for a great basho.
Hakuho defeats Takakeisho – This match was all down to the opening gambit, with Takakeisho needing to get a hand on Hakuho’s chest. I am sure he practiced against the Yokozuna’s predicted launch sequence, but Hakuho pulled out his quick-start that he used to use all the time against Harumafuji. As a result, he was able to take the lone surviving Ozeki to his chest. His primary weapon disabled, Takakeisho waited out the inevitable, and took the loss.