The sumo word pays tribute to former Ozeki Kotoshogiku today, who after struggling in Juryo for the first 6 days of the November basho, declared his retirement from competition, effective immediately. This does not come as a big surprise, his body has been increasingly unable to execute much in the way of sumo, and it was clear he was not going to be able to score more than a few wins in Juryo, and would soon drop out of the salaried ranks. The good news, is that he has long held a kabu – a sumo elder position, which means he is joining the likes of Goeido, Yoshikaze, Takekaze and Kisenosato in a blue jacket and a spot at the table for YouTube videos. Here at Tachiai, we called him the “Kyushu Bulldozer”. When he got his favored grip and could engage his gaburi-yori / hug-n-chug attack, you were going out. Thanks for all of the excellent matches, sir! You are a legend in your own time.
Ishiura defeats Kotonowaka – Nice to see Ishiura not only using straight ahead sumo, but also win a match in the top division. Kotonowaka gave him a hearty double arm “back up” thrust at the tachiai, but Ishiura was undeterred and worked his size and mobility route really well. With Ishiura on a nominal kachi-koshi track, we might see him back in the top division for Hatsu.
Hoshoryu defeats Chiyonokuni – This match ended when Chiyonokuni decided to pull against Hoshoryu. Hoshoryu was ready, waiting and exploited Chiyonokuni’s release of forward pressure perfectly. First loss for Chiyonokuni, but he’s just 2 wins from kachi-koshi.
Shimanoumi defeats Kaisei – Another great win for Shimanoumi, he got Kaisei turned around, which normally spells a win. To his credit Kaisei is so big, and so strong that he was able to keep his feet while being pushed from the side and behind. But not for long, and Shimanoumi took him out. 6-1 for Shimanoumi? Nice!
Chiyotairyu defeats Yutakayama – After several days of low-velocity tachiai from Chiyotairyu, here comes the cannon-ball once more. It was a great time to bring it back, as Yutakayama took it fully in the chest, and ended up standing tall. Yutakayama was able to recover and go on offense, but lost the match with an expertly timed side step from Chiyotairyu.
Sadanoumi defeats Chiyoshoma – I was really enjoying some solid Chiyoshoma sumo today. He was on his sumo, and his body position was very good. He had a multiple of pull attempts against Sadanoumi, but was smart about it. They all failed, but none of them cost him half the ring in distance. Sadanoumi waited for his opportunity, and it came when Chiyoshoma went for a left hand outside grip. A fast pivot, and they both when down, with Chiyoshoma hitting the clay first.
Meisei defeats Ichinojo – You take a look at Ichinojo, and he would seem to be perfect dominating sumo. I like to say that in sumo that being enormous is not enough (except when it is). Ichinojo proves this almost daily. Is it injuries? Lack of focus? Today he let Meisei get both of his hands inside, and had no response. Meisei improves to 4-3.
Akua defeats Ryuden – Ryuden’s butt-dance is still with us, as is a little hip wiggle before he goes into the start crouch. It did not help him one iota today, as Akua could care less about Ryuden’s pelvis. The match was a fine yotsu battle, and the end came when Ryuden attempted a throw that was not quite ripe yet. The release of forward pressure opened the door for Akua’s winning combo. He improves to 3-4.
Kotoeko defeats Enho – Two small, powerful rikishi, and they really went at each other today. Enho did not have much of a speed or size advantage against compact mini-hulk Kotoeko. Enho’s duck and shift tachiai is a surprise to no one at this time, and it left him on defense when Kotoeko kept him centered and launched his opening attacks. Enho kept finding openings, but could only land a single attack, and none of them really gave him any advantage. Its a sad tale that Enho is now 0-7, and likely still injured from earlier in the year.
Tochinoshin defeats Endo – A bit of a surprise today, as Tochinoshin finds enough knee power to blast Endo far back into zabuton land for his 4th win. His run-out concluded with him hitting some poor fellow 5 rows back. All this at no extra cost, sumo fans!
Tamawashi defeats Terutsuyoshi – Terutsuyoshi decided he was going to power straight into Tamawashi’s tsuki-attack, and that went about as well as you might imagine. He receives a rolling hatakikomi, handing Tamawashi his 5th win.
Takarafuji defeats Tokushoryu – For some sumo fans, they might think “what an odd match”. They clash, they grab each other hidari-yotsu style, and then just sort of hang out. Even the gyoji (the amazing Konosuke) is not quite sure what they are up to. A few “Hakkeyoi!” into the scrum, they are still fumbling for hand position. But instead, the two continue their battle-cuddle, and no one is going to rush them. A flash of movement… is it starting? Nah, just getting comfy. Well, Takarafuji comes to the conclusion that Tokushoryu can and maybe does this all day, and decides to motor forward for a win. Takarafuji has an impressive 6-1.
Aoiyama defeats Kotoshoho – Kotoshoho leaves the shikiri-sen early, and finds that he’s in a terrible spot to receive Big Dan’s meaty right hand. Kotoshoho gets his face in the clay, and I don’t think Aoiyama actually ever stood up. A much needed second win for the Bulgarian.
Daieisho defeats Myogiryu – These two threw the kitchen sink at each other. Slapping, pushing, tugging, hitting, they were just having a great day on the dohyo. but Myogiryu ran out of stamina first, and Daieisho took the win to improve to 4-3.
Tobizaru defeats Onosho – Tobizaru, was that a hint of Ryuden’s butt dance there? Oh lord, please don’t let this become a thing. Tobizaru’s match plan today – evade! Hit and shift, hit and shift. This was likely down to Onosho having balance and momentum control issues, and it payed off. Both leave the day at 2-5, and in search of more wins.
Takayasu defeats Kiribayama – I get frustrated with Takayasu, he seems to be influences by Hakuho’s “a bit of everything” match style. But if you watch Takayasu’s matches over the years, once he gets into yotsu mode, his chance of winning goes up dramatically. Today is a great example. As long as Takayasu and Kiribayama were trading blows, it was wide open as to who had advantage. As soon as Takayasu went chest to chest, he owned that match. 3-4 for the former Ozeki, 5 more to go.
Terunofuji defeats Wakatakakage – Terunofuji attempted a pull down early in the match, and that nearly cost him his first loss of November. I did like his recovery, he went tall, and pulled Wakatakakage up with him, robbing him of traction. Without any way to transmit power to ground, Wakatakakage’s charge ended short of a win. Terunofuji rallied, and push-carried Wakatakakage away for a win. Terunofuji remains undefeated at 7-0.
Kagayaki defeats Takanosho – Kagayaki struggled with this win, and it was Takanosho who had the better form, and frankly the better sumo today. But he lost his footing, and Kagayaki expertly put him down. A 3rd win for Kagayaki, he improves to 3-4.
Mitakeumi defeats Hokutofuji – As was far too frequently seen today, Hokutofuji discarded a fairly even battle when he attempted to pull down Mitakeumi. Mitakeumi is a large, round, stable fighting system, and he does not pull down easily. But the release of attack pressure was enough to give Mitakeumi a route to push Hokutofuji out a moment later. Mitakeumi improves to 5-2.
Takakeisho defeats Okinoumi – Nice technique from Takakeisho today. He had to keep Okinoumi away from his belt, and Takakeisho held Okinoumi back with his left hand, and kept thrusting with his right. We can call this variation a “Half wave” attack, and it was quite effective. Takakeisho remains unbeaten at 7-0.