Tokyo November Day 3 Highlights

The big news is that Asanoyama withdrew from the tournament on Tuesday morning in Tokyo. It seems he injured his shoulder on day 1, which was only compounded on day 2 when Terunofuji decided to see how far he could heave an Ozeki this November. Injury is listed as “deltoid muscle contusion requires treatment for about 4 weeks”. Wakatakakage picked up a default win to get his first white star of November.

His day 2 opponent, Terunofuji, appears to be more genki than I have seen him in at least 3 years. This means we are going to get a lot of kaiju sumo, and that will be interesting to watch him clash with the Ozeki. In kaiju form, he is a credible opponent for any of them.

Lastly, what kind of day must you be having if you get thrown by Takakeisho?

Highlight Matches

Akua defeats Midorifuji – Akua gets his shonichi (first win) against compact Juryo visitor Midorifuji. Midorifuji was a bit too low, and was easy to slap to the clay right at the tachiai.

Shimanoumi defeats Chiyoshoma – Chiyoshoma’s shows some excellent combo slaps to Shimanoumi’s face, but he’s unable to really put Shimanoumi down or out. After taking a fair amount of punishment, Shimanoumi get his hands to Chiyoshoma’s chest and pushes hard for the win. Shimanoumi remains lossless at 3-0.

Chiyonokuni defeats Kotonowaka – Kotonowaka appears to favor some manner of tug-and-slap attack, which only slows Chiyonokuni down a bit. Chiyonokuni finds Kotonowaka’s chest and rapidly finishes the match to join the 3-0 club.

Chiyotairyu defeats Ichinojo – That’s the third day in a row where chiyotairyu did not launch into the tachiai with his normal break-neck speed. Change of tactics? Or maybe just working around an injury. Whatever it is, it finally worked for him today with his first win of November. Ichinojo seemed committed to getting a left hand frontal grip, and it left him too far forward, and easy to slap down.

Kaisei defeats Yutakayama – The match ended with both men leaving the ring together, and frankly I thought that Kaisei may have touched down with his elbow first. But it was a close call and the gumbai went to Kaisei. I did like the knee / leg pick at the end by Kaisei, gutsy move.

Hoshoryu defeats Enho – Enho continues to struggle, and Hoshoryu over torques a kotenage. The result is a hearty game of “Roll out the barrel” with Enho playing the part of the beer. Given his run of commercials on Abema, this is fitting. Hoshoryu picks up his 3rd win in 3 days.

Ryuden defeats Meisei – Ryuden had a generous butt wiggle going on pre-bout. Given his propensity to disrupt his opponents tachiai, I think it’s an interesting attempt. It worked well as it provoked a matta. The second time out, Meisei did get a launch, but it seems that Ryuden’s butt wiggle threw the timing off, and Ryuden had better body position almost at once. This came into play as the match evolved into an endurance leaning contest, with each rikishi bent nearly horizontal at the waist for a long time. Meisei, fighting with everything he could, ran out of endurance and succumbed to a throw. Ryuden needs to get his mawashi checked for one of Kisenosato’s much feared fire ants.

Kotoeko defeats Sadanoumi – A big, vigorous match today with the rikishi going chest to chest at the tachiai. Sadanoumi is fighting with power and speed, but still is coming up short as he drops to 0-3. It’s still early in the basho, but I hope that Kotoeko, now at 3-0, can muster a strong showing this November.

Terutsuyoshi defeats Aoiyama – My hoped for henka did not materialize today. Instead Terutsuyoshi achieved a left hand grip at the tachiai, and Aoiyama count not really counter the hold. Aoiyama still without his first win, as Terutsuyoshi advances to 1-2.

Endo defeats Tokushoryu – Endo showed outstanding sumo mechanics today. When he can get his left hand grip, he is tough to beat. Tokushoryu tried some of his usual moves, but Endo kept his hips square to his opponent, and marched Tokushoryu out for his 3rd consecutive win.

Tamawashi defeats Takarafuji – Tamawashi’s tachiai was as close to perfect as he might want. It resulted with him having a tight grip under Takarafuji’s armpits, and his opponent with no real way to counter. Both end the day 2-1.

Tochinoshin defeats Kotoshoho – I wondered in the preview if we might see Tochinoshin resort to some of his amazing strength this basho, and today was that day. It’s clear that knee cannot support the power needed for a full sky-crane lift, but he did give it a shot today. But that throw at the bales, with Tochinoshin pivoting on that damaged right leg made me cringe. He picks up his first win of the tournament.

Tobizaru defeats Myogiryu – Tobizaru tried an opening combo at the tachiai, and found that Myogiryu was well prepared to bash him around the face and shoulders. Tobizaru retreated, but kept working to create an opening. A well timed pivot against Myogiryu’s advance dropped Myogiryu to the clay, and Tobizaru has his first win of the tournament.

Hokutofuji defeats Daieisho – Daieisho got the better of the tachiai, and placed both hands behind Hokutofuji’s, apparently looking to pull him down with maximum force. Instead it launched Daieisho upward, and left him an easy mark for Hokutofuji to run out of the ring. Hokutofuji advances to 3-0.

Terunofuji defeats Onosho – Onosho’s open attack was almost enough to run Terunofuji out at the tachiai. Onosho had excellent and placement, and explosive forward power. But Terunofuji was able to set his feet, lock up both of Onosho’s arm and turn him into a struggling chunk of ballast. Unable to plant his feet for any meaningful defense, he was bodily carried to the bales and then tossed out for quick visit to a waiting Mitakeumi. Terunofuji maintains membership in the “perfect” 3-0 club.

Okinoumi defeats Takanosho – Takanosho had a late start at the tachiai, but set up a nodowa that took Okinoumi back 2 steps. With the space in the ring running out, Okinoumi counter attacked by pulling the same arm that had pinned his neck, and swinging Takanosho to the clay. Okinoumi advances to 3-0.

Mitakeumi defeats Kagayaki – Kagayaki’s opening gambit, a double armpit attack, falls apart shortly after the tachiai. It leaves Mitakeumi with both hands inside, and his hips lower than Kagayaki. Really no way to defend against that, especially with a compact tadpole like Mitakeumi. Kagayaki remains winless.

Takakeisho defeats Kiribayama – Kiribayama landed a mawashi grip at the tachiai, and typically that is a death knell for Takakeisho. Kiribayama backed the Ozeki up to the bales, and it looked like the win was all but secured. But Takakeisho loads.. a throw? And executes? Wow, unexpected! He improves to 3-0 while Kiribayama remains winless.

Shodai defeats Takayasu – Brilliant see-saw match, both of them were aggressive, throwing everything they could think of into this fight. They broke contact multiple times, and each time they re-engaged, the battle plan changed. With victory a heartbeat away, Takayasu saw Shodai reach into his bag of sumo, and once again pull out the pirouette we have seen him employ before. With nothing but air in front of him, Takayasu tumbled forward as Shodai watched him fall to the clay. Amazing bout. Shodai advances to 3-0.

13 thoughts on “Tokyo November Day 3 Highlights

  1. I found the Shodai-Takayasu bout to be remarkably ragged, but what worries me is that Shodai appeared to have suffered a groin injury at the bout’s conclusion. Say it ain’t so! With nokozuna and no Asanoyama, we cannot afford to see Shodai exit the basho or struggle with injury.

  2. Does Ryuden read Tachiai? Yesterday in the comments we I mentioned the subject of…

    cat butt wiggles

    … and Ryuden delivered. It’s a clever tactic, alright. It’s hard for the opponent to defend if he is laughing his own butt off.

    Kaisei vs. Yutakayama: it wasn’t about who touched first. It’s important to listen to the explanation of the conference: “The monoii was about whether Yutakayama’s body dropped first or not. The result – it dropped first, the gunbai is upheld”. So Kaisei’s elbow was not a consideration.

    Hoshoryu let Enho get his favorite grip – but reacted within a split of a second. Enho hanging on to Hoshoryu’s mawashi reminded me of that small kid from the Hakuho Cup, who managed to survive (and win), by hanging on to his opponent’s belt for dear life. Enho must have that same instinct, only he wasn’t fighting a school kid.

    Terunofuji came with a plan. His comment: “I kept calm and watched my opponent”. While Onosho was launching his first thrusts, Terunofuji found his left arm and neutralized it.

    Kitanofuji tells us that Okinoumi was stung by Shodai’s Ozeki promotion. “If he can do it, so can I”, he declared, and threw himself into practicing like he never did before. Kitanofuji says he wishes Okinoumi made that decision 10 years ago or even 5 and not at the venerable age of 35. Apparently, that resolve resulted in both Okinoumi and Hokutofuji coming into this basho as sharp as a razor blade on a Gillette commercial.

    Takakeisho didn’t really throw Kiribayama. The kimarite is tsuki-otoshi. He pivoted in one direction and the other, than shoved.

    And as for Shodai, I still think he is doing cartoon sumo. This was a ridiculous match, and it looks like he is aiming for a tutu rather than a rope.

    • Yes! The cat attack tachiai. That’s what makes Ryuden interesting. He’s the king of weirdo sumo (yotsu battles where he’s at 45 degrees to his opponent etc.)!

    • Watching a number of rikishi harden their resolve to do better and gambarize is directly related to Hakuho not being as dominant as he used to be. So many people think that having one dominant rikishi is good for the sport, but completely forget about the competitiveness that arises when opportunities are granted. Whenever Hakuho retires, sumo will be fine. There will always be rikishi who rise to the occasion.

    • Wonder what the Great Sumo Cat of the Kokugikan thinks of Ryuden’s hijinks. Is it honored? Invoked? Offended? Amused?

  3. So dissapointed by Takayasu. It was a wild match, but in the end he totally had it. At the age of 13 it’s forgiveable to mess up that final shove, but how can you do that at the age of 30. there was no defense from shodai at all anymore, but instead of attacking the center …

    On the bright side, Naya is 2-0. Didn’t see the match vs Yago yet though.

  4. Been a sumo fan for a year now, after seeing a day of the Kyushu Basho last year. Been reading this site and since then and just can get my head around the difference. They seem to be watching completely different tournaments, or living in parallel universes.
    My common sense tells me, the truth is somewhere in between: Yes, there’s bout-fixing here and there (which Tachiai wouldn’t acknowledge), but it’s far from as widespread as Sumotalk makes us believe.

    I asked a similar question in Sumotalk, too, so I would like to know your opinion:
    Is bout-fixing ignored here on Tachiai too much? Or is Mike Wesemann just seeing foul-play around every corner?

    • I took a look at sumotalk, cause you mentioned it and seriously couldn’t even be bothered to finish his day 3 article. This guy has such a negative and disrespectful way of writing, it’s just disgusting. It’s not that I have a problem with criticism, but it’s the way you voice it. Why would you call Takanosho Suckiwake in his first basho as Sekiwake for instance? It feels like a guy who totally hates watching sumo is reporting on it.

      Having scanned his day 2 report as well, the guy obviously believes that negativity sells. Every second sentence he is trying to throw mud at someone or something.

      • Well, thx Savaros for an answer and having a look. Actually thought sumotalk would be a household name, also because I found it first when looking for non-NHK sumo information.

        Fact is, until 2 basho ago it was a team of 3 that were commenting in turns, and his was always the most negative, but it was balanced by the other 2. They now left, and I can only surmise it might at least partly been due to Mike getting more and more negative.

        As I said, at first I was intrigued by being pointed to the “darker side” of sumo, and I still think he has a point there that can’t and shouldn’t be totally dismissed. (Like when I read here on Tachiai about a bout where one rikishi was “unexplicably” hapless or mukiryoku, the possibility of money having changed hands or at least some tit-for-tat should at least be discussed.)
        His point for calling them Faux-zeki and Suckiwake is that they all bought their way there – but that mindset keeps him from giving anyone the benefit of the doubt and he even claims Hakuho and Kakuryo are faking their injuries – as if a Hakuho really needs to push through the pain at 35 like when he was 20.

        So you’re right, he seems to see foul play everywhere around him and him being the only one there daring to speak up. Paired with that unnecessary negativity, it really went downhill since the other 2 guys stopped writing.

        • Obviously I wouldn’t know if there is match fixing or not, however I think it helps to understand that sumo culture in general as well as the current banzuke system give incentive to fighting on injured/hapless etc. as opposed to pulling out. There is always a chance to pick up a lucky win or two or being matched with someone similarly battered. Those few wins can make a huge difference in the rankings.
          Also there has been a huge match fixing scandal in 2011 which led to the dismissal of over 20 rikishi and the implementation of various measures to prevent match fixing. That scandal rsulted in a huge popularity dip for sumo. It was heavenly times for visitors though. At least on a week day you could just walk to the basho and buy your ticket for the day (including box A seats).
          There probably was a culture of yaocho beyond was what was discovered during that scandal in 2011, but I would assume that it greatly went down since then as the risk increased a lot. Once you get kicked out, there is no way back. It’s not just the end of the active career, but also any career as coach, sumo elder etc.

  5. ” it really went downhill since the other 2 guys stopped writing” Well thank you Slarti. As half of that duo I can 50 percent attest that you are a wise old man indeed, Mr Bartfast. It was fun while it lasted though.


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