Haru 2020, Day 1 – Bouts from the lower divisions

Hello Tachiai readers! Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the lower divisions, which are always played in relative silence, and this time, in dead silence.

Jonokuchi

I haven’t really found much Jonokuchi footage today. So I’ll only inform you that the day started with a very green Kirameki – the man from Bolivia – who didn’t know which side of the dohyo is the correct one to do his shiko. Still, he won by a straightforward hatakikomi (if you can ever call a hatakikomi straightforward) against Tsuyasato, the newling from Minato beya.

Jonidan

I have two half-bouts here. That is, the footage shows only the second part of the bout. Sorry about that, but it looks like many of my usual sources are a bit difficult on Sundays.

So I have old Hanakaze from Tatsunami beya. The man will be celebrating his 50th birthday this May, and seems to plan to stick around until the mandatory retirement age. He faces Azumahikari from Tamanoi beya. You can recognize Hanakaze in this video by his wrapped knees.

The man still has some sumo in him.

Next we have Mudoho, Naya’s little brother. Their big brother is also joining the action this basho (in maezumo), and it will be interesting to see if they can form a nice trio like the Onami brothers at Arashio beya. Mudoho – here in the zanbara hairstyle – faces Azumaiwa from Tamanoi beya.

So far, he is up to the Naya expectations.

Sandanme

In Sandanme, we have munchkin Baraki – the man who stood on tiptoes to pass the entrance exam – from Shikihide beya, on the right, and his opponent Daishomune from Oitekaze beya on the left.

Baraki doesn’t seem to mind the silence.

At the very top of Sandanme, we have Asatenmai from Takasago beya, on the left, opposite Toma, the big, big man from Miyagino beya.

Ah… Toma starting to show signs of Orora syndrome? I’ll tell you that Asatenmei was definitely happy about this win, accepting the win and going down the hana-michi in happy half-skips.

There is better footage of that bouts here, but this video may be blocked to some of our readers, as it is on the Russian VK network:

Makushita

In Makushita, I have quite a number of videos for you. The order is not necessarily the real order of play, mind you.

Let’s start with our friend Murata, the man who started at a Sandanme Tsukedashi, and got injured just as he hit Ms1, dropping all the way to Jonokuchi and even having to pull the “Ryuden” to avoid getting off-banzuke. He is finally back to Makushita. Here on the right, he faces Tochinobori from Kasugano beya.

Murata’s return from injury has seen him through Jonokuchi yusho, Jonidan yusho playoff, and a 5-2 at Sandanme. He seems to want to continue on the same path.

Another guy trying to recover from injuri is Nishikifuji from Isegahama beya. He beat his heya-mate Midorifuji twice in yusho playoffs and it was thought he’ll hit the silky heaven first – but that injury prevented this from coming true. He is on the left, and Sadanohana from Sakaigawa beya is his opponent.

Nishikifuji’s arm is clearly not healed. But he does get the win here.

Yet another victim to injury is Ichiyamamoto, the Abi clone who made it quite high up in Juryo before he met his misfortune. He is on the right, and on the left, we have Itadaki, the half-Canadian who serves as Nishikigi’s tsukebito and Isenoumi beya’s chanko master.

Well, one of these guys clearly has sekitori experience, and it’s not the Isenoumi chanko master.

A rikishi I have been neglecting in the past but promised not to neglect again is Tokisakae from Tokitsukaze beya. It’s only his sixth ranked basho and he’s been having a straight line of hefty kachi-koshi. He is on the left, and Nionoumi from Yamahibiki beya is on the right.

Despite Nionoumi’s weight advantage, Tokisakae clearly has the better technique and I will expect another kachi-koshi from him, early days though these still are.

Right after him on the torikumi list is Tomisakae. Yep, they are two different people, it’s not a typo. Tomisakae is the Isegahama man known more for his off-dohyo activities like back-flipping and rapping. He is on the left, and Kyokusoten, Tamawashi’s brother in law who seems unable to put on weight, is on the right.

Despite his weight problem, it seems like Kyokusoten has started to take himself more seriously lately – perhaps yet another of the growing group of Kakuryu’s unofficial disciples. Tomisakae’s sumo is haphazard, and Kyokusoten looks more deliberate.

Big Onami Brother Wakatakamoto is desperate to catch up to his brothers. WTM is the left, he meets Ryuko from Onoe beya:

Desperate or not, Ryuko is the one to get the cake. Or the white star.

We have seen the younger Naya, Mudoho. Now let’s look at the original Naya. Again, I have only partial footage for this. Naya is the one on the right in this bout, and Kaisho – the guy who was sekitori for two seconds, from Asakayama beya – is on the left.

The expectations always seem to be a bit too high for the great Yokozuna’s grandson. Here is some better footage of this bout, hosted on VK:

Another man dealing with high expectations, or at least high popularity, is Kitanowaka from Hakkaku beya. He is the guy in the zanbara (untied) hair in the following video – which is, alas, also partial – and his opponent is Chiyonokatsu. From Kokonoe beya, of course.

Alas, no alternative video here. And no luck for Prince Charming. And oh, the sound of that drop off the dohyo, reverberating through the empty arena. Shudder.

Now we take a look at some veterans. First, we have Chiyonokuni, on the left. He is faced with Jokoryu – yet another veteran who made it as far as komusubi and then dived all the way down to Sandanme.

When Chiyonokuni came back from his injury and won the Makushita yusho, I was sure he was going to have a quick return to sekitori status. It may be his age his showing, because he had two straight make-koshi since, and doesn’t seem to be able to muster his usual angry badger energy.

Finally, on the left, Toyonoshima, ranked Ms2 and trying to regain his sekitori status. On the right, Kotodaigo, yet another of the endless Sadogatake rikishi who seem to be swimming like tenacious sperm toward sekitorihood.

And the sperm wins it. Toyonoshima has all the experience, but his reactions are slow. I have a bad feeling about his chances this basho, though he likely needs only four wins to be able to provide for his family again.

Juryo

I have not been able to find a Juryo digest. Here is the full-length, hour-long video:

  • Midorifuji wins his first bout as a sekitori, defeating the middle Onami brother, Wakamotoharu.
  • Hoshoryu starts with a strong win against Kizakiumi.
  • Ichinojo looks rather good. Let’s see if he can keep it up.
  • Terunofuji leaves no doubts of his aspirations.

3 thoughts on “Haru 2020, Day 1 – Bouts from the lower divisions

  1. Thanks Herouth! So many interesting little nuggets of information here.
    And the cherishable image of all the rikishi ‘swimming like tenacious sperm toward sekitorihood’ made me LOL!

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