Bouts from the lower divisions – Aki 2020, Days 9 and 10

Once again, we have a combined report from both days of round 5. Things are heating up, with rikishi trying to avoid make-koshi, to achieve kachi-koshi, or to stay in their division’s yusho race. The matches you will see will be mixed from both days.


Skipping the obligatory Hattorizakura, as we have three more worthy matches. The first is one of the new Isegahama men, Kazunofuji, whom we have already met. He is on the left, and Takasu, from Tagonoura beya, is on the right. Both 2-2 coming into this match.

Poor Kazunofuji, surviving by going round and round, and all he has to show for it is a head full of dirt. But he still has a chance to go kachi-koshi, unlike his unfortunately-named heya mate, Yaotsufuji, who is now 1-4.

Our next one shows Aishoryu, from Onomatsu beya (left), vs. Tsukubayama from Tatsunami beya, on the right. Both 3-1, and both are only in their second ranked basho.

It was a good makikae. Nice technique for two newbies. Aishoryu is kachi-koshi.

Another Tatsunami person is the one we have met several times already – young Yutakanami, with 4-0. His opponent, as sometimes happens in Jonokuchi, is only 3-1 – Haruku from Takadagawa beya. Haruku is on the left, and Yutakanami on the right.

Yes, Yutakanami doesn’t have much to do here. He stays in the yusho race with 5-0.

Yusho prospects

At 5-0 we have

  • Hisanotora (Dewanoumi)
  • Akiyoshi (Onomatsu)
  • Yutakanami (Tatsunami)

Tomorrow Akiyoshi will meet Yutakanami for an elimination match.


In the following match, the loser is make-koshi, as both sides are 1-3 at this point. On the left, Okuniyama, on of the Nakagawa refugees who is currently at Asahiyama beya. On the right, Kyonosato, who is Narutaki’s big brother from Isenoumi beya.

Kyonosato’s only sumo skill is the lean. He has been involved in more than one match that turned into two matches, having reached the 4 minutes at an impasse, including this basho. It’s amazing that he can withstand that, and yet has absolutely no power in his legs to resist this simple yori-kiri. He is now make-koshi.

Up next, Methuselah Hanakaze, vs. Wakaikki, from Nishonoseki beya. Both 2-2 at this point.

Hanakaze’s matta depletes his energy reserves. He tries one of Aminishiki’s oldest tricks, but no go.

In the same bracket – 2-2 – we have my favorite stick insect, Chiyotaiyo, on the left. He faces Chikureisen from Michinoku beya.

Here we see the disadvantage of his weight. It’s not that Chikureisen is much bigger than him. It’s that he is light enough for Chikureisen’s muscles to be enough to send him flying. He is now 2-3. Still has a chance for a kachi-koshi, but…

Next up, in the same bracket, Hatachijo from Yamahibiki beya meets the future President of Bolivia, Kirameki. You can probably recognize Kirameki by the curls.

Despite a slow start, this presidential debate is won by Kirameki. He is still seeking that kachi-koshi, though.

We move up a notch, to the 3-1 bracket, where the winner is kachi-koshi. On the left, we have Ai, from Takadagawa beya. On the right, we have Onoyama, from Tatsunami beya.

This is Onoyama’s third ranked basho, so I doubt he gained much since the 169cm and 69kg he measured in his new recruit checkup. But did you see him lift Ai over the bales? I’ll add this one to my collection of stick insects. Kachi-koshi for the Tatsunami man.

And in the same bracket we have Hozan, who is still smarting after that encounter with Shishi. Hozan is on the left, and Tochinoshima (Kasugano) is on the right.

Aching back or no aching back, Hozan is on his sumo (when he doesn’t encounter Ukrainian ogres, that is). Kachi-koshi to Taiho’s grandson.

Now we move into the 4-0 bracket, where people are vying for the yusho. On the left, we have Ofukasawa (Naruto). On the right, Shori (Tatsunami)

That was a nice match, and good use of the tawara. The kimarite is Kotenage. Ofukasawa stays in the yusho race.

Next, we have Inaba, Onomatsu beya, facing the aforementioned Ukrainian Ogre, Shishi (right side)

Whew, Shishi managed to finish a match without breaking any of his opponent’s vertebrae. He stays in the yusho race.

And speaking of beasts, Amane, from Shikoroyama beya, here on the left, has been designated as Hokuseiho’s next prey.

Good boy, no dame-oshi or other shticks. And I’m amazed at how he manages, with such a terrible tachiai, to land his hands so quickly on his opponent’s mawashi. Anyway, Hokuseiho is now 5-0.

Yusho prospects

Currently at 5-0:

  • Nabatame (Futagoyama)
  • Hokuseiho (Miyagino)
  • Shishi (Irumagawa)
  • Mimurodake (Isegahama)
  • Ofukasawa (Naruto)
  • Hagiwara (Naruto)

Tomorrow’s eliminations:

  • Hagiwara – Hisanotora (the top-ranked Jonokuchi with 5-0)
  • Mimurodake – Ofukasawa
  • Hokuseiho – Shishi (do not miss this one!)


We start at the 2-2 bracket. Chiyotora (Kokonoe) is on the left. On the right, Mishima from Naruto beya, who is almost, but not quite, one of the leading trio.

Chiyotora’s arm refuses to be torn off. And its owner is showing some of the Kokonoe tenacity we have already seen from several others of that heya. It pays off. Mishima has two more matches he must not lose.

Next, we have Shoji from Musashigawa beya, whom we have not seen for a while. On the right, Masunoyama, who is doing his best to recover, inspired by Terunofuji.

Masunoyama is gambarizing, but I don’t think he’ll be able to do miracles with a paralyzed quad. He is now 2-3, and Shoji 3-2.

Next we move to the 3-1 bracket, and we have a visitor from Jonidan, Nakaishi, from Nishonoseki beya. He is looking to get his kachi-koshi at the expense of Kasugaryu, former bow twirler and auto-dislocated-knee-setter.

Kasugaryu has other plans. Congratulations on the kachi-koshi and are you sure you’re already 36 years old?

Up next, Sagatsukasa. As tigerboy1966 pointed out in a comment, this is a 38 years old former Makuuchi wrestler. I have no idea why he persists in his sumo career, but with 3-1 in this basho, he is looking fine. On the right, we have Tanakayama from Sakaigawa beya.

Ah. Well. Sagatsukasa can still achieve his kachi-koshi if he wins one of his next two bouts. And Tanakayama is kachi-koshi.

In the same bracket, on the left, one of the Naruto trio, Marusho. His opponent is Daishosei from Oitekaze beya.

Marusho survives a barrage of nodowa, and wins by oshitaoshi. That’s his kachi-koshi.

Moving up into the 4-0 bracket, we start a series of elimination bouts. First up is Nihonyanagi (Onomatsu, left), vs. Hayatefuji (Isegahama, right). Brace yourselves, this is a long one.

This is the second stamina match Hayatefuji finds himself in. However, this time he doesn’t get the cookie. Nihonyanagi is the one continuing in the yusho race.

Next, we have another one of the Naruto trio, Sakurai (left). His opponent – Nishinoryu, Sakaigawa beya. (VK video – disable adblocker if it doesn’t start).

Nishinoryu is using the whole dohyo, and finally Sakurai’s iffy leg can’t keep up. He is off the yusho race and level with Marusho. Nishinoryu 5-0.

OK, for the next one, I have to check my spelling carefully. On the left we have Asonoyama. Yes, a cheap off-brand copy with an ‘o’. He is from Sakaigawa beya. On the right, we have already met Otsuji from Takadagawa beya.

In the background you can hear the drums summoning the spectators in. This is the end of Sandanme, which is about when spectators are allowed in during these sad COVID days.

And Otsuji is the winner, saving me from having to check my “a”s and “o”s again as the yusho race progresses.

Finally, we have Kiho, from Tomozuna beya, on the left, and Hokutenkai, the nephew of a non-Yokozuna, on the right.

Hokutenkai successfully solves the “Heavy object” problem with a bit of oshi-zumo mixed with a well timed pull. He remains in the yusho race.

Yusho prospects

Currently with 5-0:

  • Tamakongo (Kataonami)
  • Hokutenkai (Onoe)
  • Otsuji (Takadagawa)
  • Nishinoryu (Sakaigawa)
  • Nihonyanagi (Onomatsu)
  • Miryuzan (Otake)

Elimination bouts tomorrow:

  • Miryuzan – Nabatame (the top 5-0 from Jonidan)
  • Nihonyanagi – Nishinoryu
  • Hokutenkai – Otsuji


Let’s start with Kitadaichi, since we have been following him throughout the tournament. He is now 1-3, and faced Nakashima from Musashigawa beya, with the same score. Kitadaichi is on the left.

Kitadaichi attempts a henka, but it’s far from successful. Lucky for him, he is not facing Asanoyama, so he is simply engaged in a ballroom dance, untill he manages to roll Nakashima away with a shitatenage. Kitadaichi staves off make-koshi for the time being, but Nakashima is 1-4.

Moving to the even 2-2 bracket. On the left, Kirinofuji, from Michinoku beya, and on the right, Yoshii from Tokitsukaze beya, whom we have expected to be in a better state at this point in the basho.

And this is the kind of sumo which caused us to have that expectation. Yoshii 3-2.

Up next, old friend Amakaze, on the right, facing Mugendai, from Fujishima beya. Sorry, missing the tachiai here.

Although Amakaze ends up rolling down the dohyo’s edge, it’s his win, and he is edging close to a kachi-koshi.

Omoto (Irumagawa, left) is up next against Tsukahara (Kasugano, right).

This is very similar to Yoshii’s match above. Tsukahara is 3-2.

Now we have the former sekitori Toyohibiki, who still entertains hopes of return, against the young hope from Hakkaku beya, Kitanowaka, who crouches  on the right side.

A reversal of fortunes, and a painful (for Toyohibiki) fall, but Kitanowaka is 3-2. Toyohibiki needs to win out to keep that hope going.

At the top of this bracket we have two people who both had expectations of not being 2-2 at this point – Takagenji and Prince Naya. The twin is on the left, and the grandson is on the right.

I really have a hard time believing a former Maegashira looks like that without any known injury. Prince Naya, however, doesn’t need to worry about this, as he picked a third win and may yet get a kachi-koshi or even a 5-2. And who knows, maybe Takagenji will still salvage it as well.

Moving up to the happier 3-1 bracket, where the winner goes home with a kachi-koshi. On the left, Suzuki (Fujishima), and on the right, Chiyosakae (Kokonoe).

Chiyosakae isn’t paying attention to the realestate. Suzuki kachi-koshi.

Next, Okinofuji (Hakkaku), vs. Roga, the leader of Futagoyama beya, who is on the right side.

Roga successfully executes a makikae (change of grip from over to under), and the uwatehineri follows. Roga kachi-koshi, which is bound to keep Futagoyama oyakata satisfied.

Up next, Chiyonoumi, my man from Kochi ken, on the left, facing Yago, the man who had his knees redone.

Chiyonoumi throws everything he has against yago – pull! push! mawashi hold! – but none of it really works. He still has two opportunities to secure his kachi-koshi (though he will want to win both to assure promotion), but Yago walks away, kachi-koshi secured.

The final 3-1 pair is Bushozan (Fujishima beya, left) and Takakento (Takakeisho’s tsukebito).

As much as Takakento is trying to channel his revered Ozeki, it’s not working, and Bushozan is the one who ends the day with the kachi-koshi.

And we move into the Makushita yusho race. On the left, Mudoho, the only remaining Naya with no losses. On the right, Tamakongo, from Tamawashi’s heya. Tamakongo is visiting from Sandanme.

If you carefully read my Sandanme yusho prospects above, then the result was already spoiled for you. Tamakongo wins this one. No Nayas remain in any yusho race.

Next, we have Terasawa, sans rabbit, on the left, and Narutaki, the man named after a tram station, on the right.

That was a good match, and if it wasn’t for that little slippiotoshi, Narutaki may have had the day. But alas, both Hanai brothers walk out with black stars this round, and the man with the spiffy new mawashi stays in the yusho race.

Highlight Match

Murata on the left – Ura on the right. Both kachi-koshi, but who stays in the yusho race?

He was going for another ashitori! Murata kept him off the leg, but his next lunge was answered with a hatakikomi. Ura keeps his matches very short.

Yusho prospects

Currently with 5-0:

  • Ura (Kise)
  • Tochiseiryu (Kasugano)
  • Terasawa (Takasago)

Elimination matches tomorrow:

  • Terasawa vs. Tamakongo. Yes, Tamakongo has another visit from Sandanme. That’s the price of success.
  • Tochiseiryu vs. Ura

So in fact, if Terasawa beats Tamakongo, by tomorrow we will have only one in Makushita with 6-0. I am guessing if it’s Ura, they’ll be sending him on a Juryo visit on Day 13.


Again, I’m running out of time, it’s past midnight, so I will just leave the embeds here.

Day 9:

Day 10:

Watch out for that hairpull.

4 thoughts on “Bouts from the lower divisions – Aki 2020, Days 9 and 10

  1. Wow. A wicked kachiage from Chiyotaiyo. Speaking of goimg for the head, based on the tachiai and Takagenji’s wobbly attempt to get back up, I wonder if he got his bell rung.

  2. Thanks for the Tsukahara match. I’ve been following his progress for a while now but he has been stuck in upper makushita for ages. A pretty astonishing fact is that he has had over 100 bouts without ever winning or losing by yorikiri.

    • They were counting Tsukahara together with Hoshoryu, Naya and Kotoshoho on TV. They were all supposed to be this talented group of the same age that moved from high school to Grand Sumo. It could be that his heya is not a good place for rikishi to develop.


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