Tokyo July Basho Day 4 Highlights

Terunofuji v Chiyoshoma. A clear win by Terunofuji, but an interesting bout nevertheless, as Chiyoshoma resisted quite well during a yotsu battle. Despite having his hands on Terunofuji’s mawashi after a makikae, he was helpless as Terunofuji imprisoned his arms and drove him back. Win by kimedashi.

Kotoyuki v Chiyomaru. Kotoyuki seized the initiative early on, and never handed it back during an expected ochi battle. Kotoyuki gets his first win, while Chiyomaru remains rock bottom.

Takayasu v Kotoshoho. The former ozeki seemed to get the advantage after a shoulder blast at the tachi-ai. Kotoshoho dances nicely around the tawara, though, doesn’t panic, and ends up sending Takayasu to the clay. He remains undefeated with that hatakikomi win.

Wakatakakage v Kotonowaka. A nice migi-yotsu offensive is initiated by Wakatakakage, who keeps his body low. Kotonowaka looks powerless as his opponent keeps his right hand on his mawashi. He looks to somehow get some grip, tries a desperate kotenage, and is sent out of the dohyo with a straight yorikiri. The pixie still breathes !

Sadanoumi v Kotoeko. Kotoeko got the advantage straight after the tachi-ai as he managed to block Sadanoumi’s right hand with his left. Sadanoumi loses any kind of grip and can’t do anything against Kotoeko’s smart forward run. That’s another yorikiri win, Kotoeko’s third of the tournament.

Kotoshogiku v Shohozan. A not very inspired Shohozan shifts to his right at the tachi-ai, tries to pull down Kotoshogiku but to no avail. He ends up losing balance and being send down to the clay himself. He is still winless as the former ozeki advances to a third win.

Nishikigi v Tochinoshin. The Georgian goes for his favorite sumo style as he searches a grip on his opponent’s mawashi. Nishikigi was aware of it, but Tochinoshin efficiently switched to plan B: Nishikigi was leaning forward too much and was sent down. Hatakikomi win for Tochinoshin who evens up his record.

Tamawashi v Shimanoumi. The one time yusho winner was looking for a favorite thrusting battle, but Shimanoumi resists, drives forward, and Tamawashi quickly loses balance at the edge of the dohyo. Tsukiotoshi win for Shimanoumi.

Myogiryu v Ikioi. Myogiryu gets the upper hand after the tachi-ai, driving Ikioi backwards as both were chest to chest. Ikioi does not allow being sent out that way, but Myogiryu smartly uses his available right hand by pushing his opponent, then by trying a pulldown. After one last charge, Ikioi shows his back to his opponent and his sent out by okuridashi.

Kaisei v Chiyotairyu. Chiyotairyu sends the first blows, but has to get close to Kaisei to do so. The Brazilian born seizes the opportunity to grab his opponent’s belt and the contest basically ends up here. Win by yorikiri.

Ishiura v Tokushoryu. A wise battle by Tokoshoryu, who does not rush forward at the tachi-ai, as Ishiura side-stepped. Tokushoryu keeps his opponent in sight by holding his neck, and easily takes advantage of the weight difference with a frontal battle. That’s an ochidashi win.

Abi v Terutsuyoshi. Did Abi took Tokushoryu’s example ? He, too, does not move forward at all at the tachi-ai, waits his smaller opponent’s visit, and convincingly wins this bout using powerful thrusts, including a final neck thrust.

Ryuden v Hokutofuji. Hokutofuji takes advantages after the tachi-ai, raising Ryuden’s center of gravity with his right hand. Ryuden is powerless to abort his opponent’s forward run. He gets outpowered and loses by ochidashi.

Enho v Aoiyama. The Bulgarian probably expected some tricks from Enho, but the Miyagino mal goes frontal! Aoiyama does not see the issue, rushes forward to Enho, who efficiently opens the door. Aoiyama crashes forward. Tsukiotoshi win for Enho.

Takarafuji v Kagayaki. Takarafuji very conveniently imprisones his opponent’s right arm after the tachi-ai, which allows him to settle his sumo brand. He gets Kagayaki’s mawashi, and if the latter resist a yorikiri attempt, he can’t prevent a fatal uwatenage. Second win in a row for the Isegahama wrestler.

Onosho v Okinoumi. After a lively tachi-ai, Okinoumi gets the upper hand over Onosho, and progressively drives him backwards. Ochidashi win for Okinoumi, and another disappointing loss for Onosho who has not delivered at all so far.

Shodai v Kiribayama. Kiribayama gets the better of the tachi-ai, but, strangely enough, does not offer much against Shodai’s strength. Shodai moves to 3-1, Kiribayama gets a mirror record.

Yutakayama v Mitakeumi. Still very solid from Mitakeumi. A failed pulldown attempt forced him to move back, but he regains ground before impressively moving forward. Yutakayama offers some resistance before being pulled down sideways. Tsukiotoshi win for the sekiwake who remains undefeated.

Takakeisho v Endo. Takakeisho does not easily lets his opponents having a grip on his mawashi, which is a problem for Endo who always remains a bit helpless without that possibility. The ozeki looks certain to win by ochidashi, but he loses his balance as Endo opens him the door at the edge! A mono-ii takes place, and confirms the gyoji’s decision to award Takakeisho the win.

Daieisho v Asanoyama. Daieisho initiates some furious thrusts, preventing the ozeki from coming any close to the mawashi. Asanoyama defends by seizing his opponent’s neck, but Daieisho’s attack prevails. Asanoyama is driven to the edge, but he sidesteps and Daieisho is deadly caught! Asanoyama finishes the job with an okuridashi win. He stays on the leaderboard.

Hakuho v Takanosho. The yokozuna produces a strong tachi-ai, but ends up losing a left hand grip on Takanosho’s mawashi, fails to regain it and seems to be simply driven back by his younger opponent… But Hakuho safely moves to his left, and Takanosho goes to the clay. Tsukiotoshi win by Hakuho, not in a truly convincing style, but that’s enough to advance to 4-0.

Kimarite of the day: the original hikkake has been seen twice today: in makushita (Aozora v Okinohana) and in sandanme  Kanryu v Ryuseio.

For the record, that kimarite’s definition: ” A kimarite in which the attacker grabs his opponent’s arm with both hands and pulls him past him while moving backwards and to the side.”

6 thoughts on “Tokyo July Basho Day 4 Highlights

  1. Across the board, it is obvious that the rikishi are fighting with more spirit and determination this basho than the last. Once again the great elephant in the room, not allowing rikishi time to heal from injuries properly, waves its trunk around to say hello. There has to be a balance point between presenting the best sumo for fans/taking care of the health of the rikishi and following the spirit and intent of the banzuke.

    I see Terunofuji still does dameoshi when his opponents don’t just roll over and let him win. Typical.

    KOTOSHOHO! Well done reacting to a lot of chaotic, aggressive pressure from Takayasu. Not a good look for the former Ozeki, though. It is fascinating that Tochinoshin looks more like an Ozeki than Takayasu at the moment and his sumo also shows that. I’m betting it’s something mental because Takayasu has shown already this basho that he has the skills to deal with his opponents properly.

    Interesting tachiai from Waktakakage. It wasn’t even a HNH, just a partial sidestep to make Kotonowaka hesitate and slow down. Great strategy!

    If your henka doesn’t fool Kotoshogiku, Shohozan, then it was a terrible idea. Go take some lessons from Chiyoshoma!

    Abi was ready for Terutsuyoshi. The pixie has gone to the well with the HNH too many times in a row.

    Squeaky win by Takakeisho, but I agree with the gyoji and the judges. Takakeisho was the aggressor, Endo’s feet left the dohyo and Takakeisho’s didn’t.

    The top of the banzuke is definitely intriguing with 6 rikishi across the banzuke at 4-0. I expect the leaders lower down on the banzuke will start facing tougher opponents in the second half of the basho.

  2. Abi finally looks like he’s staying over his legs.

    Meisei is a well-controlled wrecking ball right now.

    This rested and ready version of Myogiryu is a handful!

    • It’s funny — in the preview show Raja said that the conditions could be right for a veteran pusher-thrusters such as Myogiryu of Tamawashi to perhaps make a strong showing and vie for the cup. (Hiro followed that with “I don’t know what Raja is talking about” which initially struck me as quite the dismissive thing to say but might actually just have been an accident of phrasing of a non-native speaker.) And here we are going into day 5 with alone of the rikishi Raja named having had a great start.

      • I legit yelped when Hiro said that. I mean, sure, Raja is everyone’s favorite Grand Sumo Preview crash test dummy, but that hardly seemed fair. Good point re Hiro perhaps just navigating the language poorly at that moment. (If Murray’d said it, OTOH, I would hve assuming he was being his usual salty self.)


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