Bouts from the lower divisions – Aki 2020, Day 13

Day 13 is when all yusho matches in the lower divisions take place – and if any resolve into playoffs, those will take place on Senshuraku. And indeed we have all the yusho matches for you today, and a few additional ones to enjoy. Let’s start.


We start with Hattorizakura’s seventh match. The opponent is Daigonishiki, from Takasago beya. He is doing what I call “The Ryuden” – coming back from kyujo on the 7th round. Anybody who does not show up for any match when ranked in Jonokuchi will be taken off the banzuke the next basho. Doing that one match prevents it. Kyujo rikishi who are capable of mounting the dohyo to any degree often choose to do this. I call it “The Ryuden”, because when Ryuden had his long kyujo, he did this for four consecutive basho. But it is by no means something unique to him.

Most rikishi do this when they expect to be out for just a basho or two and want to avoid wasting a whole basho on re-doing maezumo (which is what you need to do to get back on the banzuke). In Ryuden’s case, however, he said he just felt that if he went off-banzuke, he would not really be a rikishi anymore.

“Ryudens” have a score of 0-0-6 when they make their “return”, and thus, they are generally matched with Jonokuchi rikishi whose score is 0-6, rather than against each other. It follows that Hattorizakura has been matched against many such “Ryudens”.

So here are Hattorizakura and Daigonishiki:

Wait, is that a kimedashi? Who does a kimedashi on Hattorizakura? Has it happened before? Well, I went and checked. And this is Hattorizakura’s second loss by kimedashi. The first one was also executed by Daigonishiki, in Hatsu 2019.

By the way, tomorrow Hattorizakura has yet another “Ryuden” to participate in. Yes, he has been called to do an 8th match. And it’s not his first time, either. Hattorizakura is not the only one in these “Ryuden” matches, though. Today there was another one featuring the weakest rikishi in Takasago beya, Asashorei.

Our next Jonokuchi match is a Darwin match between Tsukubayama (Tatsunami, left) and Takasu (Tagonoura, right), both of whom we have met before. Winner kachi-koshi, loser make-koshi.

Takasu tried to load an utchari, but it failed. Yoritaoshi, and Tsukubayama gets the cookie.

Finally, here is the Jonokuchi yusho match. On the left, Akiyoshi (Onomatsu). On the right, Hisanotora (Dewanoumi).

Not sure if this shouldn’t have been a matta. But Hisanotora is the Jonokuchi yusho winner for Aki 2020.


In Jonidan we only have the yusho matches. The first takes place between Shishi, who is 5-1 and out of the yusho race, and Ofukasawa (Naruto), who is 6-0 and wants to force a playoff against the winner of the other match. The key to beating Shishi, for a mortal who is not named Hokuseiho, is to take advantage of his relatively weak tachiai.

Ofukasawa nearly pulls it off! It was a sharp tachiai with a good grip. The gunbai goes his way. But it turns out a stray foot of his touched the janome, and the gunbai is overturned. Shishi wins his 6th victory, and they call it an utchari. There will be no playoff for Ofukasawa.

So now the winner of this next match is going to go home with the Jonidan yusho. On the left, Hokuseiho (Miyagino). On the right, Nabatame (Futagoyama). Both 6-0.

Nabatame tries a tsuppari attack against the towering Mongolian. But he is no Chiyonokuni, and Hokuseiho traps his arms and dumps him outside with yet another yorita-ouchie. Hokuseiho wins back-to-back yusho, and will surely attempt to do the same in Sandanme in November.


We start with a bunch of Darwin matches involving familiar faces. This first one features Teraoumi, from Shikoroyama beya, who used to be one of Kakuryu’s team of tsukebito before Shikoroyama beya detached from the Tokitsukaze ichimon. On the right, we have Mishima, from Naruto beya, who is the most promising rikishi Shimane prefecture currently has to offer.

Unfortunately, the best Shimane has to offer is not good enough. Mishima finishes the basho with a make-koshi, and Teraoumi walks back to his heya with a kachi-koshi.

The next Darwin match is between Kotoito (Sadogatake, left), and Toma (Miyagino, right).

Toma really tries his best… but finds himself being dropped at the edge, not able to execute a proper kime-dashi, and instead falling prey to a sukuinage. He walks home with a make-koshi, but it’s still a great improvement on last basho.

Last Darwin match – Wakanofuji (Nishonoseki), against the young Mongolian from Dewanoumi beya, Dewanoryu, on the right.

Dewanoumi does not allow Wakanofuji to get more than a single layer of his mawashi, and manages to launch a shitatenage for the kachi-koshi. No make-koshi in his four ranked tournaments!

We briefly stop in the 5-1 bracket, to say hello to Kasugaryu, as we have been following all three bow twirlers throughout this basho. On the left, we have Mienosato from Kasugano beya.

Kasugaryu finishes this basho 6-1. It’s his first 6-1 since Haru 2014! I am guessing that not having to wait upon Hakuho through long Jungyo travels, or stay at the Kokugikan to help him with his rope for the 15 days of the basho, is having a rejuvenating effect on the old tsukebito.

Finally, the Sandanme yusho match. On the left, Hokutenkai, Takanoiwa’s nephew, from Onoe beya. On the right, Nihonyanagi, from Onomatsu beya. Both 6-0.

Hokutenkai doesn’t let this match develop into a battle of attrition where Nihonyanagi would clearly have the upper hand. He keeps going round and round, and eventually Nihonyanagi succumbs to a tsukiotoshi. Hokutenkai wins the Sandanme yusho for Aki 2020.


In the already-make-koshi bracket, we have the eldest of the Onamis, Wakatakamoto, on the left. He is facing Hokutotsubasa from Hakkaku beya. Both are 2-4. This video is of the torinaoshi, I don’t have the first match.

So while Wakatakamoto still can’t make good on his desire to reach his younger brothers in sekitori heaven, at least he cushions his drop by going 4-3.

In the Darwin bracket, we have Kitadaichi on the left, and Kotoozutsu (Sadogatake) on the right. Both 3-3.

The apprentice chef goes home sad to drown his make-koshi in chanko. Kotoozutsu walks away with a kachi-koshi.

Next up, on the left, the Abi clone, Ichiyamamoto. On the right, Daiseido (Kise).

It’s hard to know what exactly is going on when you’re dealing with Abi clones. I would have thought this was an okuridashi, but it was registered as an uwatedashinage. Either way, Shohozan was probably happy to see that at least his tsukebito ended this basho with a kachi-koshi.

Final Darwin match, up in the purgatory, Ms1e Takagenji (left) vs. Ms3w Sakigake (Shibatayama, right). The loser will not be promoted to Juryo this basho, the winner might, depending on demotions.

Ah. I remember there used to be a TV show “World’s Dumbest Criminals” or something like that, showing camera footage of criminals who were dumb and got caught. It was kind of educational in its tone. “Don’t be a criminal, it means you’re dumb”, sort of thing. Well, Sakigake, don’t attempt to do henka. It’s not the first time we have seen that Henka don’t pay. Takagenji somehow manages to come out of this basho with a kachi-koshi and a highly probable promotion back to Juryo.

We pass briefly through the 4-2 bracket, to say hello to present-day bow twirler Shohoryu, who starts his match on the left. On the right, Asahisho from Tomozuna beya.

A bit of a slippiotoshi, perhaps, but Shohoryu twirls his way to a 5-2, a good basho for him.

At 5-1, we find Roga, the Russian wolf from Futagoyama beya, on the right, vs. Yamatoarashi (Shikoroyama, left).

Roga wants the mawashi. Yamatoarashi denies it and goes for an oshi attack. Roga forces a stalemate, and just when we think this is going to be yet another match that wouldn’t fit into a Twitter video, he releases pressure and Yamatoarashi lightly touches the dirt. Hatakikomi, Roga improves to 6-1, and maybe, just maybe, Futagoyama will give him a look of approval.

Finally, the Makushita yusho match featuring Terasawa, the man with the new mawashi and the leporine bereavement, on the left, against Tochiseiryu, the Ura-defeater from Kasugano beya, on the right. Judging just by rank, Tochiseiryu has the advantage.

Tochiseiryu has the advantage in the actual match as well, getting a strong hold on Terasawa’s mawashi.But somehow, perhaps inspired by his deceased pet, Terasawa does a bunny jump ackwards and a surprised Tochiseiryu finds himself splat on the dohyo. He takes a look at the gunbai – it points to Terasawa. He takes a look at the shimpan. They are not obliging. The game is over. Terasawa and the ghost of Raruki walk down the hana-michi with the Makushita yusho.

This yusho is not going to land Terasawa in Juryo, of course, as he is ranked Ms42e, far away from the line of promotion even with a 7-0. But he is likely to be firmly in the promotion zone in November. It remains to be seen if he is ready for the purgatory, though.


  • Chiyonoumi, though he is kachi-koshi, fails the exchange test.
  • Alas, Midorifuji drops out of the yusho race, and looks in even more pain than yesterday. I hope he makes it to senshuraku in one piece. Also, they went into the tachiai so fast, the two yobidashi who were sweeping the dohyo had to hurriedly leave the dohyo.
  • Nishikifuji also not succeeding in landing that all-important 8th win. Adjusting to 15 days of sumo is hard.
  • Chiyoshoma manages a hatakikomi without a henka. Amazing.
  • Akiseyama keeps himself in the yusho race. Wakamotoharu drops from the side of the dohyo like one of Dali’s clocks.
  • Chiyonokuni eliminates Kotonowaka from the yusho race. Now, the only mathematical possibility for him not winning the yusho is if he loses his last two matches, Akiseyama wins his, and then wins the playoff. Not a likely scenario.
  • Darwin match between Kotoyuki and Mitoryu, but Mitoryu loses the plot.
  • Tsurugisho joins the long list of Oitekaze make-koshi.
  • The last match should never have taken place. These two are supposed to be home, nursing their wounds and getting a rehab plan in place.

9 thoughts on “Bouts from the lower divisions – Aki 2020, Day 13

  1. Hisonotara does what was expected, given the great gulf in experience between him and Akiyoshi. Tough luck Ofukasawa, but he’s definitely improving and will be favourite to win jonidan in November. Nabatame gave it the beans today and will be worth following. There really isn’t any point labelling Hokuseiho as “one to watch” any more as everyone is watching him. He could easily blow through sandanme in similar fashion, but then we’ll start to find out how good he really is.

    I can’t deny that I’ve cherry-picked my viewing in these topics but I think I will be revisiting them over and over again. Thanks Herouth, the work involved must be insane, but I suppose most of us sumo obsessives are a little crazy!

    • Hokuseiho seems a bit of a “one trick pony” and his bout with Shishi showed just how much he relies on the “yorita-ouchie”. He’s completely relying on being bigger and stronger at this point. Unless he learns some finesse, and other moves, he’s going to get stomped on repeatedly.

  2. It would take a very serious injury indeed to prevent a rikishi from returning for a “Ryuden” match against Hattorizakura. As always, thanks, Herouth, for these fascinating compilations.


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