Tokyo July Basho Day 9 Highlights

Not much commentary from me to start off. The first half will be a quick read but I’ll make up for it in the description of the sanyaku highlights. Just like today’s broadcast, I go a bit long after the break. A fun, controversial, and complicated day today toward the end. I will just leave this tweet from the Kyokai here. No reason. Now, on to the highlights.

Highlight Matches

Kotoyuki (3-6) defeated Daiamami: Straight-forward oshi/tsuki sumo from Kotoyuki today against the Juryo visitor. He tried a quick pull which Daiamami avoided. but Daiamami could not avoid the continuing onslaught and backed out. Tsukidashi.

Takayasu (5-4) defeated Chiyomaru (2-7): Takayasu absorbed Chiyomaru’s tachiai and early thrusts. A quick sidestep and forceful shove sent Chiyomaru to the clay. Hikiotoshi.

This won’t be enough to quiet the injury talk, or stop his opponents from attempting to exploit those injuries. However, it was a quick strong win from the former Ozeki.

Nishikigi (3-6) defeated Shohozan (2-7): Shohozan abandoned oshi-tsuki after the tachiai, reaching in for Nishikigi’s belt. Nishikigi was all to happy for a grapple, securing his own hold of Shohozan’s belt. Shohozan seemed lost, though, and didn’t muster much of an offense. Nishikigi took the initiative and worked Shohozan out, aggressively. Yoritaoshi.

Terunofuji (8-1) defeated Sadanoumi (4-5): Terunofuji quickly achieved his preferred belt grip and moved steadily forward. A wiggle and some resistance from Sadanoumi deflected action slightly to the side but Terunofuji’s overpowering effort forced Sadanoumi over the edge. Terunofuji kachi-koshi. WONDERFUL to see the Kaiju back. Yorikiri.

Wakatakakage (5-4) defeated Shimanoumi (2-7): At the tachiai both wrestlers settled into a grapple with opposing belt grips. Shimanoumi the early aggressor, shoving Wakatakakage around the dohyo but the straw bales offered enough resistance for Wakatakakage to stay in the ring. Wakatakakage began passively but he came up with the plan Bruce was looking for, to wait. When Shimanoumi tired out, Wakatakakage launched his own attack, patiently working Shimanoumi out. Yorikiri.

Myogiryu (7-2) defeated Kotoeko (6-3): Myogiryu kept Kotoeko off the belt but both engaged tightly. Tried an early pull which didn’t work. But his second pull forced Kotoeko out. Hatakikomi.

Kotoshoho (7-2) defeated Ikioi (2-7): Ikioi thrusted forward, looking genki. But Kotoshoho’s pull forced Ikioi off-balance. Ikioi didn’t go down at the hatakikomi attempt but his forward momentum and a last thrust from Kotoshoho launched him out of the ring. Tsukiotoshi.

Kotoshogiku (7-2) defeated Tamawashi (6-3): Oshi-tsuki vs Yotsu battle here. Early on it was an oshi battle but Kotoshogiku weathered Tamawashi’s multiple engagements. Kotoshogiku attempted a quick pull but his opponent snuffed it out. Kotoshogiku engaged again, wrapping up Tamawashi and quickly forcing him out. Yorikiri.

Tochinoshin (6-3) defeated Ishiura (3-6): Bruce did not get his wish for a repeat aggressive performance from Ishiura. A sidestep and death spin from Ishiura but Tochinoshin rolled with it, locking in with his own belt grip. With that right arm grip, Tochinoshin wore Ishiura down and walked him back and out. Yorikiri.

Terutsuyoshi (5-4) defeated Kaisei (3-6): Terutsuyoshi went after Kaisei aggressively. Kaisei maintained his balance at the early slap down attempt but he had no counter-attack. Terutsuyoshi levered into Kaisei’s armpits forcing him high and onto one leg. Terutsuyoshi kept up the pressure and pushed Kaisei out. Oshidashi.

Halftime

Chiyotairyu (4-5) defeated Ryuden (3-6): Chiyotairyu got the better of the tachiai, forcing Ryuden back a step…and then a little more as Chiyotairyu maintained his attack. Ryuden was in deep trouble and had no defense at the tawara as Chiyotairyu thrust him out. Tsukidashi.

Tokushoryu (5-4) defeated Takarafuji (3-6): Tokushoryu met Takarafuji’s charge head on but shifted to the left and tried a pull. Takarafuji followed and forced Tokushoryu back to the tawara. Takarafuji looked to have Tokushoryu in a bad spot, stood up at the tawara but he couldn’t muster enough strength to force him out. Instead, Tokushoryu danced along the bales and when Takarafuji over-extended, Tokushoryu pushed him down to the clay. Hikiotoshi.

Yutakayama (1-8) defeated Onosho (0-9): The futility bout. Yutakayama showed the most aggressive attacks today. Kachiage at the tachiai and sustained nodowa and face thrusts to keep Onosho high. Yutakayama wrapped up Onosho’s head with a kubinage attempt but Onosho resisted. However, the sustained attack from Yutakayama was too much for Onosho, forced out. Oshidashi.

Endo (3-6) defeated Takanosho (5-4): Takanosho’s early pull attempt was ferreted out by Endo who was able to maintain his balance and position in the center of the ring. Endo kept Takanosho in front of him and forced Takanosho out. Though still missing that energy, Endo’s superior footwork won the day. Oshidashi.

Sanyaku

Hokutofuji (6-3) defeated Daieisho (5-4): Daieisho on the attack, blasted Hokutofuji back. But that was to Hokutofuji’s plan as he wrapped up Daieisho’s head during the ride. The straw bales offered just enough leverage to pivot and force Daieisho down. Both men tumbled out at the same time so we got our first mono-ii conference of the day. However, replay confirmed the gyoji’s decision that Hokutofuji had forced Daieisho down. Tsukiotoshi.

Kiribayama (4-5) defeated Mitakeumi (7-2): A strong tachiai from Mitakeumi forced Kiribayama back a step. However, impressive yotsu-zumo from Kiribayama. Mitakeumi was too high and forced back to the center of the ring by the smaller Kiribayama. If Mitakeumi hoped to wear down Kiribayama, he never got the chance as Kiribayama kept up the attack and forced Mitakeumi out. Yorikiri.

Mitakeumi’s sumo was so impotent today it will surely initiate speculation of injury. Perhaps it was just a bit of listlessness, though, after his tough loss yesterday. There were no outward signs of injury and nothing that was obviously plaguing him but we’ll keep an eye out. If it’s just a case of loss of spirit, however, he’ll need to find it in a hurry. Ozeki don’t lose hope after one difficult setback. He’ll need three more wins, at least, to call this a credible run.

Shodai (8-1) vs Kagayaki (3-6): Kagayaki was the early aggressor. With a strong tachiai he met Shodai head on and worked Shodai back to the bales. However, Shodai maintained his composure and mustered his own attack from the tawara. Shodai demonstrated impressive strength to force Kagayaki completely across the ring in the opposite direction and out. Oshidashi.

Asanoyama (9-0) defeated Okinoumi (4-5): Okinoumi showed some jitters with a false start, forcing a reset. The two settled into a grapple at the tachiai but Okinoumi strongly forced Asanoyama back. Asanoyama twisted at the bales and forced Okinoumi down. The shimpan decided they wanted to take another look. On review, it looked like Asanoyama had won as Okinoumi’s arm touched first. However, the shimpan called a torinaoshi, do-over.

The second bout was more decisive for Asanoyama. Strong tachiai wrapped up Okinoumi and pushed him to the edge but Okinoumi resisted. Then, Asanoyama lost the right-hand grip but pursued Okinoumi and blasted with the right shoulder. Again, Okinoumi did not go out but Asanoyama swung back with that left-hand grip still firm and threw Okinoumi back to the center of the ring. Uwatenage.

Takakeisho (6-3) defeated Enho (4-5): Enho’s typical stand-up tachiai works well with Takakeisho’s thrusting style. Enho was unable to get a belt grip at the beginning of the bout and Takakeisho got the thrusting machine moving in pursuit of a retreating Enho. Takakeisho forced out Enho but as he was going out, Enho reached back and touched Takakeisho’s mawashi.

Since Takakeisho’s momentum carried him out and his foot touched outside before Enho fell, the shimpan wanted to review the decision. However, upon review they decided they agreed with the gyoji’s call. Gumbai dori. Enho’s body was already headed out of the dohyo when Takakeisho’s foot stepped out. I think they got this right because it would have been a very weak “win” for Enho. The win was deservedly Takakeisho’s, though it was not his best sumo. Tsukitaoshi.

As we see from time-to-time, sumo is not about “who touched first”. Usually we find this out when the dead body rule is invoked after a tawara-walker gets blasted out and takes a long fall into the crowd, not landing until after the aggressor falls on his belly. This time, though, we see that Takakeisho clearly won and forced Enho out. Enho was just nimble enough to reach back and touch the knot of Takakeisho’s mawashi but not to alter Takakeisho’s direction or attack in any way. The right call.

Hakuho (9-0) defeated Aoiyama (3-6): Hakuho’s perfect record was never in any real danger in this bout. One of the reasons I admire Hakuho’s sumo is that when he is on, he will use his opponent’s preferred styles and techniques to beat them. He “beats them at their own game.” There’s his epic sky crane battle against Tochinoshin as an example.

In contrast, Tamawashi fights hard to NOT have a belt battle. Whatever he does, he wants an oshi brawl. Kotoshogiku wants the belt. Today, Kotoshogiku’s sumo prevailed but both men wanted his bout. So, what’s Aoiyama’s usual gameplan? Oshi-tsuki sumo with hatakikomi slapdowns.

Denied a belt grip at the tachiai, Hakuho did not just weather Aoiyama’s thrusts. He went on the attack despite them, driving Aoiyama back to the edge like a battleship steaming into the heart of a hurricane. Annoyed by a nodowa, Hakuho nearly rips Aoiyama’s arm off when he pulled it down. The force pitched Aoiyama forward but he maintained his balance and set his eyes back on Hakuho. When he charged forward, that’s when Hakuho struck, using Aoiyama’s trademark parry and slapdown to force the Bulgarian to the ground. Hatakikomi.

Unfortunately, Hakuho himself landed awkwardly off the dohyo and on the gyoji from the previous bouts. This made him lose his balance and land hard in the middle of the purple mats, around the third or fourth row of phantom kyakusama. He quickly popped back up to claim his kensho stack but it did look like a hard fall.

Anyway, I look forward to reading y’all’s points-of-view down in the comments. Yes, that is the proper possessive form of “y’all”. I even looked it up.

57 thoughts on “Tokyo July Basho Day 9 Highlights

  1. I totally disagree with Enho’s loss.
    ‘Dead body’ should only ever come into the picture when the defending rikishi is not capable of influencing the outcome of the fight anymore, hence he is ‘dead’.

    Like the lifted up victim of Tochinoshin’s crane attack for example or someone already in the motion of flying outside with no chance of recovery and no meaningful contact to the other guy.

    But this was not at all the case with Enho.
    He had his hand of Taka’s mawashi applying actual force onto him! This is what good ‘fighting on the edge until the last moment’ looks like.

    Shameful decision in my eyes.

    • How did Enho, “influence the outcome” of this fight from the air? Yes, he touched the mawashi but in no way affected Takakeisho’s direction or momentum.

        • Yes. He touched the mawashi. He sure didn’t apply force to it and definitely didn’t alter Takakeisho’s path in any way, whatsoever.

          • I think this is a bad take. Even if he didn’t apply enough force to “alter Takekeisho’s path in any way, whatsoever” (I don’t think that you can prove it had no effect, but I also don’t think it is the point), he’s still clearly trying (and to some extent succeeding) to keep his balance to stay in the match longer, and at the same time trying to apply what offense he can to encourage Takekeisho’s momentum to take him off the dohyo. This is not the same situation as Takekeisho falling on top or next to him and Enho refusing to break his fall. To draw an MMA parallel, Enho is still intelligently defending himself at this point. He is still fighting. It must be Takekeisho’s responsibility to attack in such a way that he actually finishes Enho off before he falls or steps out of the ring. If you look at the replay it seems like Takekeisho probably could’ve put more effort into stopping himself than he did. He did not. Instead he assumed the job was done. Enho proved him wrong beat him. Only the aesthetic preferences of the shinpan (and apparently yourself) save him here.

    • The rules of sumo don’t work the way you think they work.

      As a matter of fact, the dead body rule is not a rare or complex rule at all. It is basically what decides all matches in which the participants end up falling.

      If one rikishi remains with at least one foot on the ground inside the dohyo (and not otherwise touching outside it, of course), and the other has both feet off and is off balance (as in, not just jumping forward Kotoshogiku-style), that person is dead and the one with the foot on the ground wins – even if he loses that foot half a second after the dead guy.

      It may become more complex if both start flying together. But the dead body rule is a very basic rule.

      (The one that’s rarer is the “kabai-te” situation which refers to the case when you touch the ground with your hand when your opponent dies. Some people confuse those two)

      In any case, the shimpan said it loud and clear: “Enho started flying first, so Takakeisho is the winner” was what the head shimpan explained to the audience.

      As for whether he was really dead or not is another matter. I went through the videos and to me it seems that Enho had a foot on the tawara the whole time. However, there was a fleeting moment that foot was not *firmly* on the tawara. They may have decided to call that the time of death.

      But the bottom line is, who attacked, how he attacked, has no bearing on this situation. Either Enho was dead or he wasn’t.

      • Two things:

        First, while I can not give you an example of the top of my head, I am pretty sure I have seen people lose a fight, when they stepped over the tawara by accident even though they were in the middle of a throw.
        Or what about the common situation were both rikishi have one leg raised up and are simultaneously trying to throw each other? And then the one is ‘successful’ in his throw but he touches down his arm first. 95 percent of the time he is ruled the loser of the fight.
        But by your explanation these are all wrong decisions because some fraction of a second earlier the other guy was ‘dead’?

        Second, this official explanation “Enho started flying first, so Takakeisho is the winner” is just not true. It is clear as day that was not the case. I am not even seeing your ‘fleeting moment’ in the video. ‘Keisho started flying way earlier…

        • Sigh. You’ll have to get some video links for these, because I’m not sure what you consider a successful throw and why you think that is relevant.

          The part about Takakeisho flying first is true enough. This is why Sumo Twitter (in Japanese) was all raged about this decision, and Kitanofuji in his column also said he thought it was wrong, and so did the Abema TV commentator – but none of them thought it was because Enho was the aggressor.

          The video “twitch” thing is very subtle, and I’ve only been able to detect it in high-quality HD footage.

          To reiterate: I’m not claiming that Takakeisho deserved to win. I tend to think they called it wrong, but not for the reasons you gave.

          • “[] I’m not sure what you consider a successful throw and why you think that is relevant.”
            Successful by your very own definition? Both opponent feet in the air and his body in motion to the ground.
            How is that not relevant when according to you ‘ it basically decides all matches in which the participants end up falling’?

            • Because the criterion is the feet. A throw can be successful if your opponent touched the ground while he still had a foot on it. He could be rolled sideways. He could be pulled flat like Ishiura did a couple of days back. So I’m not sure why you are introducing this term anyway. Really, a few videos will be a lot better than a long argument.

  2. I wish I had the sumo knowledge to back up an argument here, but I don’t, so I’ll just say this, monoï outcomes like this are very frustrating because it feels like there is no consistency.. At least to the untrained eye. I get that if you are basically ballast travelling through the air, then you lost and you shouldn’t be redeemed by the fact that your airtime made you touch the ground later than your opponent. It didn’t feel like that with the Enho fight to me. Or the hokutofuji vs terutsuyoshi fight yesterday.. Hokutofuji touches down first.. Terutsuyoshi flew, yeah, but he was still fighting, no ballast in my eyes..
    Then Asanoyama, they call torinaoshi, fine, and glad that he won on the do over, but what came to my mind was that they didn’t give the same courtesy to Tochi a year ago, when he ended up with his ten wins as ozekiwake, against Asanoyama.. No torinaoshi there. Straight call for Asanoyama who was en route for his basho..
    again, I don’t know enough.. But from a semi- untrained eye like mine (meaning I watch a lot but don’t know crap), it all feels very inconsistent.

    • In the Terutsuyoshi vs. Hokutofuji it was very clear. Terutsuyoshi had a foot firmly on the tawara. Hokutofuji, OTOH, was exactly “ballast travelling through the air” at that moment. Hence that decision was correct on all counts.

      • OK I have now read the explanation you provided on the comment above on the dead body rule, then watched the hokutofuji fight again and there’s definite ballastery. It’s possible what I label “inconsistent” Monoï annoy me more when one of my favorite rikishi is on the wrong end. I wouldn’t flat out concede it, but it’s possible.
        😉

      • Yes, but… Terutsuyoshi had just a foot on the tawara, and he was already sent flying.
        Enho had his entire body on the dohyo. True, he has no balance at all, but he still tries to regain balance by grabbing Takakeisho’s mawashi. So, Enho was not “dead” yet, there was still a chance he could recover doing that. Some moments later, it failed and okay he ended up falling. But by that time, Takakeisho was long dead already.
        Or is that just nonsense?

        • The part when he was still messing with Takakeisho’s mawashi is not the part when either died. No, I don’t think that’s nonsense. That’s exactly the same thing that puzzles me.

          • Ha, I was worried not to understand something here…
            Yeah, exactly. My thought is: you’re not dead if you’re still trying something!

            • That wasn’t what I said. You can stand around and wait for someone to topple you. That doesn’t make you dead. The soles of your feet is what matters.

    • My thoughts exactly. It looked like Hakuho was aiming to get as much of his body contacting the gyoji rather than the ground. He must have wished that Inosuke was not kyujo and then that gyoji would have been the largish Tamajiro. But that’s what he had to work with.

    • Felt a little like Babe Ruth calling his home-run shot, TBH. And am I ashamed to admit I giggled? I am not.

  3. How about that Kiribayama? I thought this basho would be a really rough ride for him but all things considered 4-5 at this stage is honestly okay for a guy with no experience this far up the ladder. He’s done with the Yokozuna and Ozekis of the world. This would be quite the statement if he could get to 8-7, but even if he comes up slightly short I think he’s made his point.

    • He’s done well especially considering the records of the other rikishi in the ranks around him. Here’s hoping he can get his 8 wins!

  4. Something is definitely wrong with Onosho. Physical injury? Mental issues? We can only guess and hope they get sorted out soon.

    I want to give Takarafuji and Tokoshoryu the credit they deserve for a quality bout. Both of them were spirited and fought to win. More sumo bouts like this, please!

    Shodai is DEFINITELY working hard for wins in this basho. He hasn’t given up when he’s been under pressure and he did that again today.

    I think the reason that the Enho/Takakeiso decision leaves such a bad taste in my mouth is because it came after the Asanoyama/Okinoumi decision. One of the potential underlying reasons for a torinaoshi decision for Asanoyama/Okinoumi is that Asanoyama is at the top of the leaderboard and the judges wanted a more decisive win in that match. The replays there showed that Okinoumi touched first, but the shimpan decision came very quickly after the end of the match. So, the decision to redo the match was quickly decided. Conversely, the Enho/Takakeisho decision was much less obvious on the replay. I would expect THIS match would be a torinaoshi because the decision is less clear to me, yet the gyoji’s decision stood with the shimpan decision also quickly being decided. Obviously, I’m not a judge and they will decide what they decide. But, the Enho/Takakeisho match also has important implications because of Takakeisho’s kadoban status and I wonder if that was part of the decision on the outcome of the match.

  5. Quick Makushita update with some recognizable names for anyone interested:

    Ms1 Yago 1-4 (Big oof. Injury?)
    Ms3 Nishikifuji 4-1 (likely in Juryo next basho!)
    MS5 Naya 2-3 (Banging nose-first into The Wall Between Heaven and Hell. Ow.)
    Ms6 Kaisho 4-1 (possibly in Juryo depending on a number of 3-win rikishi ranked higher than he is at the moment.)
    Ms10 Shiraishi 4-1 (Mark this guy down as a One To Watch. This is his highest career rank and he’s not slowing down.)
    Ms12 Chiyonokuni 5-0 (Watch your back, Juryo. The Angry Badger will be there soon!)
    Ms16 Roga 2-2 (Injury? Something mental? Something else?)
    Ms19 Ura 4-1 (Katchikoshi, but probably not in Juryo this year.)

    • It’s awfully rare to make it to Juryo from below Ms5 (the “invisible line”) with anything less than a 7-0 record, so today’s loss means that Kaisho will almost certainly have to wait.

    • Yago: returning too early after a double knee surgery. He had it as soon as they declared Natsu cancelled, but insisted he wanted to do July. That would make it 76 days of rest. I prefer the Tomokaze approach.

      • I see Tomokaze following the Ryuden/Tochinoshin/Terunofuji path of struggling back to the big time and ultimately succeeding. He has too much talent not to. His last few tournaments, getting into bad habits, was probably indicative of a hidden injury he was carrying before it all exploded for him. Onosho looks like he could’ve benefited from a similar approach this basho, a I feel his 0-fer this time out is all his injuries coming due despite the rest, because they weren’t handled right the first time.

  6. It’s looking like the start of another 2nd week Mitkaumi fade. I don’t know what’s wrong with this boy. Not every time but ALMOST every time he just loses it in week 2, and that’s when he needs things the most.

    Hakuho looked really stunned after his fall, he didn’t quite ” Pop ” up.. for him he was a little slow and he lacked his typical after bout expression… I’m starting to wonder if he hit his head and ended up concussed? I hope not.

    I have to admit I was not behind Asanoyama when he first started his rise, and I was a little salty when they gave him Ozelki when he didn’t quite have the numbers for it. I knew he got that because they needed another Ozeki with Takayasu falling, and Goedio retiring. I had it in my head.. yea, how would things of been if they were both still there.. would they have been so generous. Now? My protests are mostly muted… he’s 100% doing ozeki and maybe even Yokozuna level Sumo. I say mostly because I’ll need to see this level of sumo out of him for a few Basho, provided he remains healthy. Okay Asanoyama, color me impressed.

    Takakeishō’s win I feel was correct. What Enho did I feel was for show and in no way Affected the match. Takakeishō clearly knocked Enho out and down, he was falling nearly flat back and Takakeishō was on his way out on his own. Enho had ZERO chance of recovery and that reach out and touch was good Sumo sense, but to me it was like an NBA player trying to take a charge and yelling as they go down to attrack the Ref’s attention. It was just for show in trying to get a call and had no actual effect or Basis on what happened.

    Can I just say how impressed I was with Tokushōryū today and how quickly he moved that Massive body around to stay alive? I mean we have all seen impressively nimble Rikishi of size but Tokushōryū does NOT come to mind in those thoughts. Ever since he won his Yusho he’s take a soft spot in my heart. I can still see his tears as he tries to keep himself composed. Still hear the crowd laugh as he was interviewed. A very refreshing honest interview. Yea, he will most likely never reach very high again, but to this day he has me as a fan. I would sponsor him if I could, or at least take him our for a meal.

  7. I don’t know if anyone (Herouth?) has been keeping track of the lower divisions but we are heading for one heck of a showdown in jonokuchi. The last two standing on 5-0 are Hozan (grandson of Taiho, son of Takatoriki and big brother to Naya and Mudoho) and Miyagino’s giant Not-Mongolian Hokuseiho. It should be fun.

    • I have been keeping track on that. Problem is, I have developed a great dislike for Hokuseiho. After he decided to do both a harite and a dame-oshi in his first bout (and the harite repeated in other bouts), I felt he was learning the exact wrong things from his Yokozuna Idol. One thing he hasn’t learned from him is his tachiai.

      So I’ll be rooting for Hozan. Though I heard he was supposed to be the worst of the Nayas. Oh well. At least his sumo looks like proper sumo.

      • I have only seen one of Hakuseiho’s maezumo bouts from March but I’ll take your word for it that he comes across as a bully. By this time next year when he’s in upper makushita he should have had his teeth rattled by a few tough veterans and will hopefully learn a bit of respect: we don’t need another Takanofuji.

        • Well, not exactly a bully. I don’t know that he’ll torment anybody on purpose. Just disrespect, Chiyoshoma-like. Hakuho-like, but without the technique.

        • By the way, what happened to Takagenji, who was looking like a credible top-division man but is now struggling in lower juryo?

          • My assumption about Takagenji is that he’s been mentally rattled. His brother was kicked out of sumo and he was severely reprimanded. It’s hard to practice proper sumo and be confident about it when you’re constantly looking over your shoulder to make sure you aren’t setting a foot wrong to make anyone angry.

            • I agree that certainly explains his initial decline; I was just thinking that since it’s been almost a year, maybe he’d start bouncing back up to what I think is his talent level.

              • My theory is that a great part of his advancement was practicing with his brother. And some of it was due to Takanohana, who, regardless of his personality issues, was apparently a better coach than Chiganoura.

  8. It’s notable how much the former ozeki have benefited from the extra two months off. They all have winning records after 9 days, even Takayasu despite everyone’s attempts to re-cripple his elbow. Terunofuji obviously impressing, but also Kotoshogiku who seems to have put the clock back a couple of years. (Being able to train with his fellow Sadogatake sekitori must have been a big advantage too.)
    It’s a shame it took a pandemic for these guys to get a chance to heal.

    • Actually, at least in the Sadogatake practice the NSK uploaded to YouTube, Kotoshogiku stayed away from the dohyo. He did basics – shiko, teppo, etc., but never entered into the moshi-ai, not even with lower-ranking rikishi. Kotoshoho, Kotonowaka and Kotoeko were playing together, but not the old chrysanthemum.

  9. Surprises of Day 9:

    Meisei lifting up Ichinojo – yes, you read that correctly.

    Tokushoryu showing Shodai-like agility and flexibility for the win.

    Shodai showing Tokushoryu-like agility and flexibility for the win. Actually, this is not a surprise anymore.

    Enho being able to withstand Takakeisho. No matter the disputed result, this must be a very satisfying bout for Enho. I do not think we could have expected this type of a bout last year.

  10. I’m sorry, Enho clearly had a toe in the ring when Takakeisho stepped out. By the rules as I understand them, he won, fairly unambiguously. It doesn’t matter who initiated the attack in this case. I don’t know how to post a screenshot in the comment, but I don’t see how anyone looking at it in slow motion could have concluded anything else. At the very least, it should have been a torinaoshi.

    • I agree. The Shimpan needed a torinaoshi for Asanoyama/Okinoumi but not for Takakeisho/Enho. Why, I have no idea.

  11. sorry guys – around which corner did this dead-body-rule come along this morning?
    never saw it applied before (pls correct me, if).
    the rule is clear – who touches first outside, he loses. period.
    it was a wrong verdict, nothing else.
    enho was the clear winner.
    no reason to find excuses for this.
    (except maybe that they don’t want to run out of ozeki again too soon …)

    and tochinoshin gave a wonderful example, what regained confidence does mentally to you.
    with a glimpse of his eye he brilliantly killed the semi-henka with his right hand and a half-spin.
    i suppose that, at 3:5 down, he would have sailed heads-on into the (non-existing) crowd.
    well done!

    i wonder why anybody is surprized about mitakeumi.
    he regularly deteriorates in week two.
    and with this will never become ozeki, i’m afraid …

    • I too am surprised this hasen’t come up. After the Asa-Oki torinaoshi, a second would have taken up considerable time, and we all know the NSK wouldn’t risk going over time or having the final match get cut off. I have to wonder how much this factored into the shimpan’s decision.

      • great.

        if two stablemates slap each other during a disputed card play, they are most likely banned from sumo for lifetime.

        but if the tv live coverage is at risk, a loser gets declared the winner.

        ridiculous „sports“ logic …

    • Note that the broadcast was already out of schedule at that time. At this point it shouldn’t have mattered.

      I don’t like conspiracy theories. At the very least, there is a burden of proof that needs to be carried. Have any of the commentators implied this? Speculating about unsporting reasons for a sporting decision should be backed with evidence.

      Or maybe the chemtrails caused the shimpan to lose their eyesight?

  12. Can anyone explain why Okinoumi has managed only one career win over Asanoyama? Asanoyama hasn’t always been this dominant, and Okinoumi typically is quite resourceful.

    Kudos to Kiribayama for using Mitakeumi’s initial charge as an opportunity to get both hands firmly gripped on the round man’s belt. Game, set, and match. I like the cut of his jib (to mangle a few metaphors).

    Neither Ikioi nor Shohozan seems able to sustain much effort in this basho. I had hoped to see a refreshed and energetic Ikioi, but instead it looks as if he and the brawler both are on the one-way train to retirement. While I know it won’t happen, I envision Shohozan working as a bouncer in a biker bar after he gets his haircut.

    Who had Mitoryu as co-leader after Day Nine in their Juryo pool? Anyone?

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