Bouts from the lower divisions, Aki 2020, Day 11

We are in the first day of round 6. All yusho elimination matches were held today, along with many others, of course.

Jonokuchi

This was a very special day for our friend Hattorizakura, here on the right. And Daishoko, his opponent from Oitekaze beya, nearly deprived him of it!

It was Hattorizakura’s 200th loss. His career record is 3 wins, 200 losses, and 1 kyujo.

At the complete opposite end of Jonokuchi power, there was a match between Yutakanami on the left, and Akiyoshi (Onomatsu beya) on the right. This one is to stay in the yusho race, as both are 5-0.

Yutakanami is pretty frustrated with the result, as Akiyoshi is the one who finishes this match with 6-0.

Jonidan

First, a Darwin match between Asahio, the Asahiyama beya heyagashira, though probably not for long, and Hirose, from Arashio beya. Both 2-3, so the loser is make-koshi.

Asahio very energetic and dynamic, and manages to evade that make-koshi, and his fate will hang on the last round.

Moving up to the happier bracket, where the winner is kachi-koshi and the loser still gets a chance, we have, on the left, Satozakura from Shikihide beya, and on the right, Satonofuji, first of his name, Lord of the Twirling Bow, Master of the Plaited Rope, and Owner of the Sharp Eyebrows. Both 3-2.

And the old bow twirler sends Satozakura on his way with an okuridashi, and will return to Isegahama beya with a kachi-koshi in his yukata sleeve.

In the same bracket we have, on the left, Senho, the young half-Mongolian from Miyagino beya, and on the right, Kirameki, they young president-to-be from Asahiyama beya. Apologies for the lack of tachiai in the video.

 

Kirameki will go back to his heya with a kachi-koshi, Senho will have to try in round 7.

The next couple are both already comfortably kachi-koshi. On the left, Makio from Musashigawa beya, and on the right, Shori, whom we have already met several times, from Tatsunami beya.

Choo-Choo! Locomotive passing!

And now, the yusho elimination matches. we are starting with Hagiwara, the half-Turkish pianist from Naruto beya, on the left side, confronting Hisanotora from Dewanoumi.

Well, not so much “confronting”. Hagiwara’s henka totally and miserably fails. Hisanotora shakes his head. I hope Hagiwara has learned a lesson. Hisanotora remains in the yusho race.

Our next pair is Mimurodake from Isegahama beya, a 33 years old veteran who has not had such an amazing start to his basho since 2016. On the right, the already familiar face of Ofukusawa, from Naruto beya.

Well, it’s not as if Mimurodake stood any chance in this match. He will be very happy to finish this basho 6-1 or 5-2, nonetheless. Ofukusawa stays in the yusho race, and thus Hagiwara’s henka saved the torikumi team a bit of a headache.

Highlight match

Go get your popcorn. This one is going to take some time. On the left, Shishi, the Ukrainian Hulk from Irumagawa beya, flexing his talons waiting to lay them on his opponent. On the right, Hokuseiho, the Mongolian Terror of Miyagino beya (well, the deputy Mongolian Terror of Miyagino beya), with steam curling up from his nostrils. Alright, alright, I’ll stop the hyperbole.

Several seismographs around Tokyo must have registered this fall as a level-4 earthquake. OK, I did say I’d stop the hyperbole. But these two are used to having a size and height advantage, and neither had it here. Changing grips, trying to adjust and attack, and attack again. Eventually Hokuseiho beats Shishi using his opponent’s favorite kimarite, the yorita-ouchie. I smell a long time rivalry developing here.

Sandanme

Starting with the bracket of pain, we have Oba from Otake beya on the left, and on the right, the July basho’s Jonidan yusho winner, Takeoka from Oguruma beya.

Takeoka is not willing to follow his yusho with a make-koshi. The kimarite is makiotoshi.

Up in the “no worries” bracket, we have Shinohara (Fujishima, left), vs. Hayatefuji (Isegahama, right). Both already have their kachi-koshi, at 4-1.

“Hey, where did you go?”

Hayatefuji quickly recovers from his setback yesterday, and is now 5-1.

And now, the yusho elimination matches. Miryuzan, from Otake beya, on the left, is matched with Nabatame, (Futagoyama) who is visiting from Jonidan.

Miryuzan is trying a tottari there, but it has zero effect on the Jonidan man, who sends him on his way with an oshitaoshi, and pockets his 6-0.

A little further up the banzuke, on the left, Nihonyanagi (Onomatsu). On the right, Nishinoryu (Sakaigawa).

Another oshitaoshi! Nihonyanagi has not entered sumo to lose critical matches. He is firmly in the yusho race.

Finally, on the left, Hokutenkai, the nephew (with the totally different style than his uncle). On the right, Otsuji (Takadagawa).

It’s raining tsuppari, hallelujah! Hokutenkai makes Otsuji fly outside the frame, and continues on his yusho run. Amazing that this guy could have ended up not entering the sumo world, as he only succeeded in finding a heya when his uncle settled things down with the former Harumafuji.

Makushita

We have several matches in the Darwin bracket. First, on the left, Kitadaichi, the apprentice chef and tailor from Tatsunami beya. On the right, Oyamatoumi (that’s more syllables than Wakatakakage!), from Yamahibiki. Both 2-3, so loser is make-koshi.

Nice shitatenage. Oyamatoumi is make-koshi, and Kitadaichi has one more chance to get a kachi-koshi.

Up next, Asakoki (Takasago, left), vs. Ryuko (Onoe, right). Ryuko was in Juryo for a New-York second in July 2019. Asakoki is a Makushita regular with a few lower division yusho under his belt.

It’s the former sekitori who evades the make-koshi.

The next match is between two rikishi in the promotion zone, so a make-koshi is really going to hurt. We have Kaisho, the first and only sekitori produced by Asakayama beya, who spent two basho in Juryo last year, on the left. And on the right, former Komusubi Jokoryu.

This means Ryuko is make-koshi, and loses the chance to be rep-promoted to Juryo, while Jokoryu, at Ms1w, might just do it if he wins his next match and the stars are aligned right.

Next we have the happy bracket – vinner is kachi-koshi. On the left, Tim’s man, Kamito (Tatsunami). On the right, the former sekitori, Amakaze, on the long and winding road of recovery after an injury. Both 3-2.

Kamito was trying for that kotenage from the get-go. Eventually he did it and got his kachi-koshi. Amakaze will have to win his 7th bout to get his.

This next bout is, again, in the promotion range, and even a kachi-koshi may not be enough here. On the left, Kotodaigo (Sadogatake). On the right, Prince Naya.

Naya executes his oshi-zumo very well, and grabs that kachi-koshi. He will now have to win his next match and probably throw in a prayer to his great ancestor in heaven. Kotodaigo can probably only keep himself in the promotion zone with a win in the next round (it all depends on the number of Juryo demotees and the final state of rikishi in the promotion zone, though).

Another happy rikishi in that bracket and in the promotion zone, who secured his kachi-koshi today, is Chiyonoumi, but I guess I’m his only fan in the world, as I couldn’t find any footage of his win.

Next, in the 4-1 bracket, on the left, Tsurubayashi (Kise). On the right, Naya’s younger brother, Mudoho.

Ah, two losses in a row for the younger Taiho scion. Kachi-koshi blues? Tsurubayashi now 5-1.

Next, we have Tochikodai (Kasugano, left), vs. Roga (Futagoyama, right). Futagoyama oyakata is watching this match from the shimpan seat.

Roga works really hard on this. But his oyakata is not even giving him a glance as he leaves. Roga 5-1.

Moving on to the elimination matches, we have Terasawa, the wrestler who is one dead bunny short, on the left, going against Tamakongo, in his second visit from Sandanme.

Terasawa seems very pleased with this win, and it’s amusing to see how he desperately tries to tame his desire to go “yippie!” and convert it into a reaction that will not earn him an admonition from his oyakata. About Raruki, by the way: he was interviewed today after his win and said that the rabbit is still fighting together with him, in his heart. If you ask me, those rabbit remains were more of a hex than a charm. Terasawa now 6-0.

And finally, yes, the match everybody has been waiting for: on the left, Tochiseiryu (Kasugano). On the right, Ura.

Ah. Well, the initial attempt to snatch a limb was completely blocked by Tochiseiryu. Ura was trying to end this match quickly, and attempted a pull. That worked out even worse, and Tochiseiryu took advantage of Ura’s own loss of balance, and picked him for a sukuinage. No yusho for Ura.

Ura should not let go, and should make sure he wins his promotion by winning his last bout and going 6-1.

Yusho prospects

Here are the lists of 6-0 rikishi in the various divisions:

Jonokuchi: Hisanotora (Dewanoumi), Akiyoshi (Onomatsu)

Jonidan: Nabatame (Futagoyama), Hokuseiho (Miyagino), Ofukusawa (Naruto)

Sandanme: Hokutenkai (Onoe), Nihonyanagi (Onomatsu)

Makushita: Tochiseiryu (Kasugano), Terasawa (Takasago)

The final matches for the yusho will take place on day 13. Now, we have a bit of an unusual situation here, as usually both Jonidan and Sandanme end with 3 wrestlers having 6-0, and so one match is done between the top Jonidan and the bottom Sandanme in this bracket. The winner of that match is then placed in a playoff in his own division against the winner of the remaining pair.

However, this time we only have one division with three lossless rikishi. So what I think will happen is that one of them will be matched with a 5-1 wrestler. If the 6-0 rikishi wins, there will be a playoff in Jonidan, and if not, the winner between the other two is going to get the division yusho without a playoff.

All the other three divisions should have their yusho settled on day 13 with no playoff.

Juryo

  • I really can’t solve the Takagenji riddle. Yesterday he looked like a limp banana peel. Today he beats one of the more stable rikishi in Juryo. He manages to avoid make-koshi, and still needs to win his last bout.
  • That’s Daishoho who beats Mitoryu, not Daiamami. Daishoho is looking better this basho than he was before.
  • Oki really should go kyujo. He is already out of Juryo. He should keep his arm if he wants to keep doing sumo.
  • Midorifuji’s utchari seems painful. But kachi-koshi for the pixe!
  • There is nothing loose about Daiamami’s mawashi. If you pull at the fold, it comes loose.
  • Chiyoshoma in one of the better shows of sumo he has had recently.
  • What was that tachiai, Tsurugisho?
  • There was a report that the new Arashio oyakata (a.k.a Sokokurai) has created a training regime to counter the effects of the long COVID hiatus and rikishi losing their focus and their muscle tone. At least judging by the performance of the two younger Onami brothers (that’s Wakatakakage and Wakamotoharu), the plan is working. Those two have steel muscles.
  • Churanoumi is signalling “he pulled my hair”, by theatrically rearranging his mage as he slowly goes back to his place. But none of the shimpan is calling a monoii, and we’ll never know if Kotonowaka pulled it or not. There was no replay of that from a good angle.
  • Each and every one of Chiyonokuni’s matches is something to make a sumo fan’s heart glad.
  • Ikioi, go kyujo, please! You are not making your fans happy!

15 thoughts on “Bouts from the lower divisions, Aki 2020, Day 11

  1. The biggest impediment to a long rivalry between Shishi and Hokuseiho is the age gap between them. While Shishi is already 23, Hokuseiho is still at the tender age of 18. One suspects Hokuseiho has more room for physical development, and as long as he fixes his nonexistent tachiai, he may leave the likes of Shishi in the dust as he quickly climbs up the banzuke.

    As for Chiyonokuni, what an absolute delight he is. In a rare moment of an oyakata praising his own deshi, Kokonoe oyakata called Chiyonokuni “the treasure of Kokonoe beya.” And a treasure he is. His ceiling may not be the highest, but he goes at maximum speed and effort all the time. Makes for fantastic bouts. I’m rooting for him to earn his promotion back to makuuchi.

    • Well, Enho joined sumo at the age of 23, as did Oshoryu, and it seems, many other university graduates who don’t make the tsukedashi criteria.

    • If I owned a bar and had the opportunity to hire one rikishi as a bouncer it would be Chiyonokuni. It’s not only what he does, but how he seems to enjoy it so much.

  2. Hisanotora says: “Son, you think I ain’t seen that sh*t before? Who you trynna fool? Now you got me angry”. He hasn’t quite won it yet as yound Akiyoshi looks pretty impressive.

    Loved the facial expressions in the big jonidan showdown as both men realised they couldn’t just brute-force their way to a win. Hopefully it will do both of them a world of good. So we’re left with 3 in the best jonidan for ages. Ofukasawa lost to Hokuseiho last basho but has obviously got a lot of potential and Nabatame looked like an absolute beast today. Not sure how the pairings will work out but I will be following it all the way.

  3. I know it’s a long way from Jonidan to Makuuchi and a lot can happen along the way, but that Hokuseiho vs. Shishi bout looked like the sort of match we could be seeing in the musubi-no-ichiban one day.

    I’m starting to wonder, given how much care Ura still takes of his knee, if he wouldn’t be better off spending one more basho fighting 7 times instead of 15. Apparently he’s still not fighting practice bouts, just doing rehab, strength work, and basic exercises.

    • Well, except the tachiai. Hokuseiho has a horrible tachiai, and Shishi’s is only marginally better.

      I saw a tweet saying that those two reminded him of matches between Ichinojo and Terunofuji.

      Re Ura, if that’s so, then he is playing with fire. Third strike and he is out – for good.

  4. Also in the 3-2 bracket in Jonidan, Fubu had to beat Fukui 3 times to get his kachi-koshi. The first two bouts resulted in torinaoshi.

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