Bouts from the lower divisions – Day 12

Here we are, in the second day of round 6. The yusho eliminations for this round have all been played yesterday. Round 7 spans the last three days of the basho, with all yusho deciders taking place on day 13, and playoffs, if any, taking place on senshuraku.

But despite not having any yusho matches today, we still have plenty of familiar faces and some nice sumo. Let’s go.

Jonokuchi

I have one match for you today, between Tsukubayama (Tatsunami, left), whom we have already met, and Shiryu from Minato beya. Both are 3-2. Winner is kachi-koshi.

When we hear “utchari”, we think about a daring reversal with rikishi tumbling off the dohyo. But this one was also an utchari. Shiryu gets his kachi-koshi, and Tsukubayama will look to get his in his 7th match.

Jonidan

We start with my favorite stick insect, Chiyotaiyo, on the left. On the right, we have Kyokutenryo from Tomozuna beya. He is one of the Nakagawa refugees. In the 8 basho he played in his previous heya, he used his own name, Kiyama, and this is the first time he gets a proper shikona. Both 2-3 – loser is make-koshi.

The gunbai goes to Chiyotaiyo. No monoii. If you go frame-by-frame you’ll see that Chiyotaiyo still had a leg on the tawara when both of Kyokutenryo’s feet were already up in the air. Sukuinage, and the stick insect survives to try and get his kachi-koshi in round 7, while Kyokutenryo is make-koshi.

Next, on the left, the last Naya for this round, Hozan. On the right, Kurokage from Miyagino beya. I think he is one of Enho’s tsukebito, but I’m not sure. Both already kachi-koshi with 4-1.

Kurokage is simply not in Hozan’s league. Hozan improves to 5-1.

Finally, on the left, the smallest man in Grand Sumo, Baraki (Shikihide). On the right, Tagomaru (Tagonoura). Both kachi-koshi with 4-1. What, Baraki kachi-koshi? Yep. Let’s see his sumo.

Baraki wins by kotenage! This is his best basho since 2018. In fact, the only one he lost to is Hokuseiho, if you recall our Day 2 coverage. I’ll keep my fingers crossef for him to win his 7th as well.

Sandanme

I’m bringing this one because of the interesting kimarite. On the left, Matsuda (Minezaki beya). On the right, Sadanohikari, Sakaigawa. Both make-koshi with 1-4. You can see the full match in this VK video (might require disabling adblocker).

If you can’t view it, here is a Twitter video of the replay.

The kimarite is nichonage. And in fact, Matsuda is the resident expert on that kimarite, this being his 11th, which ties him for first place with Mori from Tamanoi beya.

Next we move to the Darwin bracket. On the left, Hamadayama (Shibatayama). On the right – Mishima (Naruto). Both 2-3, the loser is make-koshi.

Hamadayama misses out on a critical advantage when Mishima suddenly faces the bales. Mishima recovers, and eventually it ends with a kotenage. The man from Shimane-ken escapes the make-koshi and has another chance for redemption.

Next, we have Genbumaru (Onoe, left) and veteran hoping for a triumphant return, Masunoyama (Chiganoura, right). Loser make-koshi.

Masunoyama might just be able to scrape his kachi-koshi on his 7th match.

In the next match, the winner gets kachi-koshi. On the left, the familiar Tosamidori (Onomatsu). On the right, Asakishin, one of Asanoyama’s tsukebito from Takasago beya.

Love to see somebody learn a lesson. Do-not-henka, tsukebito.

Up in the already-kachi-koshi bracket, we have the spelling stumbling block, Asonoyama (Sakaigawa), and Sakurai (Naruto trio). Both 4-1. This bout was very long, so we have only the last 2:20 – Sakurai is the guy with the bandages on his knees.

So it’s the not-to-be-mistaken-for-the-Ozeki Asonoyama who grabs his fifth win.

In the same bracket, we have Sakurai’s heya mate, Marusho, on the right. On the left, Haruminato from Minato beya.

Short, sharp, oshitaoshi. Marusho picks his 5th win.

Makushita

We have the third of the Naruto trio, Oshoryu, in an uncomfortable position. He stands on the left, and Kairyu (Dewanoumi) on the right, and he who loses is make-koshi. Will Oshoryu allow himself to be the only one in the trio with a make-koshi?

Nope, he won’t. Kairyu gets the make-koshi, and Oshoryu hangs on his 7th match.

In a slightly better position, we find Yoshii, the 17 years old talent from Tokitsukaze beya, with 3-2. His opponent, however, is Fukai, the winner of the previous basho’s Sandanme yusho. The winner is kachi-koshi.

Fukai is kachi-koshi. Yoshii now hangs by a thread.

In the same bracket, we have the currently active bow twirler, Shohoryu, also from Tokitsukaze beya, on the left. On the right, Yuma, from Onomatsu beya, the surprising winner of the Sandanme yusho in Hatsu 2020.

Not to be outdone by the other two bow twirlers, who are already kachi-koshi and beyond, Shohoryu enters energatically into this match, wins it, and achieves his own kachi-koshi.

Moving up the ranks, we have Shonannoumi (Takadagawa, left), vs. Kitanowaka, Prince Charming of Hakkaku beya.

Oooh, nice one. The kimarite is susoharai, and Kitanowaka walks home with a kachi-koshi.

Up again, we have Ichiyamamoto, the Abi clone from Nishonoseki beya, on the left. Ichiyamamoto serves as Shohozan’s tsukebito. On day 9, after Shohozan suffered 8 consecutive losses, Ichiyamamoto told him sweetly: “You know, there are far fewer rikishi with zen-pai (0-15) than those with zen-sho (15-0). Let’s get you into the history books!”. Not all sekitori would take such “lip” from their tsukebito, but Shohozan said it made him relax, and indeed, he won his first bout that day.

On the right, we have Kotokuzan. From the informal spelling you may think he’s from Sadogatake beya, but he is in fact from Arashio beya, as it’s not the same Koto. It’s a long “o”. He was very near crossing the heaven-hell line at some point, but the pressure to make it before the former Arashio oyakata retired got into him and he dropped several levels down since then.

As they climb up the dohyo, both of them are 3-2 and the winner is kachi-koshi.

Ichiyamamoto shows all the things that are wrong in his Abi-zumo. Kotokuzan gets his kachi-koshi, and perhaps another win in his seventh match will get him back into the promotion zone.

The final match in this bracket pits Takakento (Chiganoura, left) against Tsukahara (Kasugano, right).

Tsukahara sidesteps nimbly at the tawara, but somehow, perhaps borrowing some of Shodai’s ACME equipment, Takakento manages to do his own about-face, and the surprised Tsukahara has to keep on fighting, but not for long. Takakento picks his kachi-koshi, and Tsukahara hangs by his 7th match.

We now move to the 4-1 bracket, where both sides are comfortable but look to improve their positions. On the left, Sadanoryu (Sakaigawa). On the right, Narutaki, the man named after a tram station, Kyonosato’s younger brother, from Isenoumi beya.

Unlike the two sekitori from his heya, Narutaki is full of genki, and improves to 5-1.

Up higher, we have Suzuki (Fujishima), who never had a make-koshi. On the right, Murata (Takasago). Both 4-1.

Suzuki attacks like a pesky mosquito, and Murata finds himself off the dohyo after Suzuki rams into him. Perhaps he should have been more careful – this loss may cost him a place in the promotion zone. Suzuki improves to 5-1.

Finally, the top match is between our friend Yago (Oguruma, left), and Bushozan (Fujishima, right).

Yago improves to 5-1, and may land back in the promotion zone in November. I hope this score means his knees are ready for prime time.

Tomorrow’s yusho deciders

The final yusho deciders take place on day 13, as I mentioned. And as I thought, in all the divisions where two rikishi are left with 6-0 there will be one match between them, and the winner  will win the yusho.

The only division where we had three 6-0 rikishi is Jonidan, and as I expected, they matched the lowest ranking of them against a rikishi with 5-1. However, not just any rikishi with 5-1. They matched him with Shishi.

  • Jonokuchi: Jk28w Akiyoshi (6-0) – Jk5w Hisanotora (6-0)
  • Jonidan:
    • Jd47e Shishi (5-1) – Jd79e Ofukasawa (6-0)
    • Jd14w Hokuseiho (6-0) – Jd4w Nabatame (6-0)
  • Sandanme: Sd20e Hokutenkai (6-0) – Sd69e Nihonyanagi (6-0)
  • Makushita: Ms42e Terasawa (6-0) – Ms28w Tochiseiryu (6-0)

So if Ofukasawa beats Shishi, there is going to be a playoff on Senshuraku. But don’t hold your breath…

Juryo

  • Jokoryu visits from Makushita, and wins his kachi-koshi here, which may land him back in Juryo. Kitaharima may yet save himself.
  • Nishikido oyakata doesn’t like Chiyonokuni’s start, and rightly so. However, he was actually giving Chiyonokuni a prize for that, because Akua decided to go for a henka instead. And Chiyonokuni was having none of that. Akua – bad decision. Limit your henka to opponents who did not get a lesson from Takanoyama in how to look up at the tachiai.
  • Oki shouldn’t be on the dohyo. Stop the stupidity.
  • Chiyoshoma tries to keep Midorifuji away from his belt by employing tsuppari. Midorifuji gets there anyway, and lands the taller man on the dirt in a Shitatenage. Unbelievably, Midorifuji is still in the chase.
  • Nishikigi can’t convert the advantage he has on Daiamami at first into a win, and he needs one for his kachi-koshi. Both end up with ichimai holds (only holding to one mawashi layer). Nishikifuji desparately tries a makikae, but runs out of gas and out of dohyo. Will he be able to complete the kachi-koshi?
  • This was not a good day to be an Onami.
  • I can’t understand why Chiyomaru would choose to engage in yotsu-zumo, not his expertise. Once led backwards he can’t keep up.
  • His brother, however, rolls Kotoyuki as one does. But Kotoyuki limps away. In the live broadcast, you could see him get to the hanamichi and then doing the rest of the way in a strange lean forward on his tsukebito. The announcer said he hurt his knee, but it looked more like a back ache.
  • Akiseyama is having a great basho and there is talk about him returning to Makuuchi.
  • Ikioi should do the same as Oki. Get outta here. You are not making your fans happy.
  • Nishikigi is not going back to Makuuchi this time around.

12 thoughts on “Bouts from the lower divisions – Day 12

  1. You have to love Chiyotaiyo: lots of spirit and technique, but the third element just isn’t there. Come on, Chiyomaru, give that lad an extra bowl of chanko, you’ve had enough.

    Jonidan again gives us the most exciting finish. Pitching Ofukasawa in with Shishi is a bit cruel on the former and suggests that they don’t want any playoffs messing up the schedule, but it’s fair enough, as it’s a “winner gets promotion to sandanme” match. Hokuseiho will want to get his tachiai sorted out as Nabatame is a little bull who is going to come in fast, hard and low.

  2. Tomorrow, we get the matchup of two, count ’em, two rikishi who shouldn’t be on the dohyo, when it’s Ikioi vs. Oki. The only thing I want to see less than that bout is Akiseyama in Makuuchi 🙈

    • I think we may end up with a lot more promotions from Makushita than your predictions currently take in to account. Because let’s face it, Kotoshogiku, Shohozan and Ikioi are past their sell-by date. This, however, may propel Akiseyama right where you don’t want to see him.

      • Yeah, I didn’t want to consider the intai possibilities, especially given that they’d have to be official by Tuesday to influence the banzuke.

      • With the November basho not taking place in Fukuoka it might indeed happen the Giku wraps it up. Probably depends a bit on whatever the nature of the injury is that keeps him down now. Then again, there will be two more month of rest, so why not pick up a 2nd Juryo Yusho? ;)

        • It’s a partial muscle tear in the calf. Watching his expression after the match today (which I gather sealed his demotion) – I don’t think he’ll stay. They said his main motivation for sticking it out was to get to meet Toyonoshima again, which will never happen, except in the Oyakata Channel. Also, his kabu is vacant. I predict an announcement of the new Hidenoyama oyakata shortly after senshuraku.

          • I’m no doc, but I had a partial muscle tear once and it took me 4-5 month to be completely pain free, so you are probably right. I think he would have soldiered on, if the basho was in Kyushu, but it isn’t.
            Not sure what’s plaguing Shohozan. I don’t see obvious injuries, just a general lack of power.

    • I’m rooting for Akiseyama half the basho already for all the love he gets here. Was even hoping he could snag the Yusho from Chiyonokuni, but that doesnt seem possible anymore ;)

  3. That uchari was wicked. I blinked and missed it. “Wait, I thought the other guy was…”

    Nichonage? What an awesome kimarite.

    Glad for Baraki!

    The Abi clone got out Abi’d.

  4. I think the most unexpected result of this basho is “Akiseyama is having a great basho and there is talk about him returning to Makuuchi.” I’m assuming the rest has helped him heal or something else because he was falling down the banzuke pre-COVID and looked like he was in a free fall.

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