Tokyo November Day 10 Highlights

Today could be “What the hell was that?” day. The odd happenings and strange sumo occurrences were on display. Zero velocity tachiai, matta-tachiai, thrusting battles that turned into endurance matches, this day was full of the unexpected.

The 2020 magic continues: at the end of day 10 you have both the first and last man on the banzuke tied for the yusho race at the end of act 2. Act 2 is where we narrow the field to find out who has what it takes to compete for the yusho, and to start sorting the survivors from the damned. If we see yet another yusho from the last slot on the banzuke, well I am going to suggest the Kokugikan be checked for mischievous gnomes or perhaps a toll living in the cavity under the dohyo. You want further evidience of some kind of yokai at work? How about the six way tie for the lead in Juryo.

Highlight Matches

Chiyoshoma defeats Midorifuji – Chiyoshoma drives ahead at the tachiai, standing Midorifuji up. Chiyoshoma then pulls him down with great effect. At 6-4, I think Chiyoshoma has a pretty good chance of making his 8, and staying in the top division for January.

Shimanoumi defeats Chiyonokuni – This match was a great idea on paper. With the chance being that Chiyonokuni might slow down the “last man” magic. Chiyonokuni had a strong open, but nothing is stopping Shimanoumi right now. He gets an armpit lift / hold on Chiyonokuni and drives him out of the ring. Shimanoumi 9-1.

Kotonowaka defeats Akua – Akua had a solid tachiai, but Kotonowaka was largely unmoved. He reached inside with both hands and took command of the match, marching Akua over the bales, improving to 6-4.

Hoshoryu defeats Sadanoumi – Excellent sumo mechanics today from Hoshoryu, and with Sadanoumi lack of usable knee joints, Hoshoryu made it a short match. That’s loss number 8 for Sadanoumi, and he is make-koshi for November. He’s not going to have much in terms of sumo without repair to those legs.

Enho defeats Chiyotairyu – We go from low velocity Chiyotairyu tachiai to ZERO velocity tachiai! Both men just stood up, expecting some kind of trickery at the start of the match. Even the gyoji was surprised. A couple of tentative probing attacks back and forth, and Enho grabs and pulls, swinging Chiyotairyu to the clay. Odd but wonderful too. Enho improves to 2-8.

Meisei defeats Tokushoryu – Meisei completely dominated this match. I am not sure if Meisei somehow tripped the “power off” button on Tokushoryu with that deep left hand, but Tokushoryu rapidly went from competitor to ballast in the space of about one step. Both end the day at 5-5.

Kaisei defeats Aoiyama – Around a quarter ton of sumo action today. A weird matta tachiai, and we once again wonder what the hell was that? Neither of them were really dialed into any kind of high energy attack plan, so they went through the motions and finished quickly. Kaisei improves to 5-5.

Yutakayama defeats Terutsuyoshi – Terutsuyoshi gets a left frontal grip at the tachiai, but can’t do anything with it, and the two stalemate in the center of the dohyo, with Yutakayama leaning over Terutsuyoshi to get a hold of his mawashi knot. After a fair amount of leaning, Terutsuyoshi tries to rally, but finds himself overpowered by Yutakayama, and quickly on the clay. Terutsuyoshi gets his 8th loss and is make-koshi for November.

Ichinojo defeats Tochinoshin – Today the “good” Ichinojo showed up and won. He left Tochinoshin no route to use any kind of offensive sumo, and completely dominated this match. You have to wonder if this version of the Boulder only shows up when he’s about to get a make-koshi. He improves to 3-7.

Kotoeko defeats Endo – Endo had the better sumo mechanics, and should have won this match if it were just down to style. But Kotoeko did not fret too much when Endo got his preferred left hand grip at the tachiai. He worked that left arm into a arm-bar hold and used that to beat Endo. Solid sumo tactics from Kotoeko today, and he improves to 6-4.

Ryuden defeats Tamawashi – Tamawashi falls to the power of Ryuden’s butt, which has added some kind of shimmy before he goes into the starting crouch. I would ridicule it more, but it seems to be working. Tamawashi opened strong, but the power of the shiri-zumo was strong again today, and it rallied to move Tamawashi back and out to deliver Ryuden’s 8th win, and a kachi-koshi for Butt-vember.

Hokutofuji defeats Takarafuji – A magical display of “defend and extend” sumo today from the master craftsman, Takarafuji. Hokutofuji was throwing in combos left and right against Takarafuji, and each of them landed. But only with partial effect. After expending his energy with his attacks, Hokutofuji is left a bit winded. At that moment Takarafuji attacks, with great effect. Hokutofuji can’t defend and moves back again and again. Spent, he goes to Takarafuji’s chest and leans in. Eventually Takarafuji has had enough, and works to end the match, but can’t quite manage to defeat Hokutofuji’s lower body. Takarafuji sets up a throw, but in spending his last watt of energy, Hokutofuji manages to resist just enough to land last. What a match! Monoii? Rematch? What the hell was that? Somehow these two found the stamina to do it all over again. The second match is a brilliant continuation of the first in style and execution. But Hokutofuji manages to overcome Takarafuji’s defensive sumo, and pushes Josh’s favored contestant over the tawara for the win. Hokutofuji improves to 6-4.

Daieisho defeats Okinoumi – Daieisho seems to be dialed into his sumo now, and today is a great example. He was strong and straight forward at the tachiai, with maxiumum force directly into Okinoumi’s chest. It was over in a moment, improving Daieisho’s score to 7-3.

Kagayaki defeats Kiribayama – Also finally showing good form is Kagayaki. He was low, strong and moving forward today, with a dash of gaburi-yori for garnish. Sadly it looks like Kiribayama may be headed for a double digit make-koshi. Kagayaki now 4-6.

Onosho defeats Wakatakakage – Wakatakakage did not have much in this match, but he was able to force it into a yotsu battle when he connected to Onosho’s mawashi in the tachiai, and refused to give up his left hand grip. Onosho struggled some with the format, but no longer in danger of being off balance and on the move at the same time, he settled into just working to get Wakatakakage under control. Wakatakakage made his move about 30 seconds into the match, but could not finish the bulkier Onosho, who rallied and drove forward for the win. Onosho improves to 4-6 after a cold 0-4 start.

Terunofuji defeats Tobizaru – Tobizaru could not quite make it 2 in a row. He went for a deep grip, and held on to Terunofuji’s mawashi with everything he could muster. The kaiju thanked him for his offer, lifted him high and took him to the curb like a basket of green glass on Tuesday morning in Sumida. Terunofuji kachi-koshi for November, and still very much in the yusho hunt. Could we have Terunofuji – Shimanoumi soon, please?

Kotoshoho defeats Mitakeumi – What the hell was that, Mitakeumi? Kotoshoho improves to 6-4.

Takanosho defeats Takayasu – Takayasu goes for “wild man strength” at the tachiai, and it completely fails. His body is too high, he is off balance and now he has Takanosho’s counter attack to absorb. Takanosho was low, compact and focused his energy center-mass. Takanosho’s efficiency was high today, few wasted movements, and all power devoted to moving forward and pushing Takayasu out of the way. A textbook example of why Takayasu’s current sumo style is prone to him losing matches that, on paper, he should dominate.

Takakeisho defeats Myogiryu – There was a moment of hesitation from Myogiryu at the start of the match, and I am confident that is what cost him a competitive chance at a win today. His moment left Takakeisho in control, and with the forward momentum. The lone surviving Ozeki improves to 9-1.

14 thoughts on “Tokyo November Day 10 Highlights

  1. I am wondering if Terunofuji went for the “all in” move with Tobizaru to win today so that he can go kujyo tomorrow. If not, I’m going to be incredibly surprised.

    • His comment on the Isegahama website: “Thankfully, I have been able to achieve kachi-koshi. My next goal is double digits”. I think if he intended to go kyujo, he would have settled for the first sentence and left out the second. So unless he woke up this morning (Japan time) and realized that forklifting simians has caused his knees to become banana peels, he’ll probably go on until there is no chance of those extra two wins.

      • hahahah I loved your “forklifting simians”!!!
        by the way Herouth, I miss your reports of lower divisions!
        The president of Bolivia lost for a 2-3 and your favorite Hokuseiho is unbeaten. Shishi is doing well too…

      • Based on how he looked today versus the past two days, I’m assuming he got injections in his knees. You don’t recover that quickly from knee pain otherwise. So, it’s highly possible he’ll wake up tomorrow and struggle. We’ll see.

  2. Feel v. privileged to have watched Hokutofuki v. Takarafuji. I guess that is really why we all get addicted to this sport (to any sport?) is that it sometimes throws up unpredictable epics like this between 2 total, utter warriors.

  3. Hokutofuji v Takarafuji was a double cracker. In the initial match I thought that Takarafuji deserved to win but that Hokutofuji had actually won. I was absolutely certain that Takarafuji would win the rematch as Hokutofuji looked to have expended every ounce of stamina, sweat and breath to get there: he looked as they say “gassed beyond recovery”, Shows what I know…

    I did chuckle a bit at Terunofuji’s win today before I applauded. This was a play from Tochinoshin’s book which appears in the chapter entitled “What to do when a short chap gets a double inside grip”.

    P.G.Wodehouse version: “Young Monkey Iwasaki-Phipps is a jolly cove who was at school with my nephew, but when a fellow grabs the old M., well, I mean to say, there’s only so much that a man of spirit can be expected to endure. I therefore scooped the rummy little blighter up like a forkful of sausage and deposited him over the old wotchemacallums with not inconsiderable vim.”

    • Funny turn of phrase you have there. :-)

      The monoii was about whether they went out simultaneously. Takarafuji isn’t actually touching anything – though I heard opinions that the dohyo plane is extended beyond its physical limits for these calls, I haven’t seen a proof of it. So it’s about whose foot left the dohyo first.

      • It looked to me as though Takarafuji’s hand touched the sloping side of the dohyo before Hokutofuji’s forearm landed on the flat bit. Does the side of the dohyo count?

        • That’s too late. If the hand has touched before either of their feet has been reversed, then yes. But it didn’t, and the first one whose foot leaves the ground is a dead body. If they died together, they get a torinaoshi.

  4. What an awesome day. From weird tachiais to awesome battles.. The never-ending battle of the fujis was definitely my favourite of the tournament so far! Huge hearts in these huge boys.

  5. I have Zero clue what got into Tobizaru… you do not give away that much size and strength and go in and try to battle on the belt like. I think he felt because he out smarted Takakeisho on the thrusting game he could so the same thing to Kaiju. Did he not do his homework and see that each of Kaiju’s losses came from people who kept him back and kept his moving around and sideways. Either way, it was fun to see a Baruto style lift.

    Mitakeumi is what he is.. inconsistent, and he always will be. Even though he fell Tochinoshin passed him, Takakeisho passed him, Asanoyama and now Shodai. 4 people had gone past him to make Ozeki and I think that’s going to be his story, he’s going to forever fall shot of Ozeki because when the chips are down he just cannot deliver and I feel the reality is.. it’s all in his head.

    The Hokutofuji v Takarafuji match was a sight to behold. 2 Rikishi giving everything they had and then some.. then having to do it again. The same kind of match happened I think it was to Ikioi back in Juryo. IT was 2 really fun matches to watch.

    I really am both happy and saddened to see Enho seeming to wake up now. Hakuho cannot be happy with him over this. This is Enho Sumo. He doesn’t appear to be injured at all. I feel it was the same thing as Mitakeumi seems to suffer. IT’s all in his head but just differently. He’s afraid, thinking everyone has him figured out so he’s throwing all kinds of new stuff at the wall to see what sticks. He needs instead to focus on putting on a little more mass if he can and do HIS sumo… Be quick, pick his spot and dive in.

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