Haru Day 6 Highlights

We opened act 2 with the race tightening, as sole leader Myogiryu went down under Hokutofuji’s withering attack. With six rikishi at 5-1, we enter the middle weekend with a wide open competition to see who will take the top of the leader board. At the far end of the yusho race, Takarafuji earned his first win today, and joined a group of 5 with just a single win for March.

Highlight Matches

Hidenoumi defeats Yutakayama – Hidenoumi continues to dominate Yutakayama, and now has a 6-0 career record after getting to the side at the tachiai. Yutakayama drops to 1-5 and is likely suffering from a performance limiting injury. I would guess he should book his seat on the barge to Juryo now.

Kotoeko defeats Tokushoryu – Tokushoryu’s second visit to the top division is no better than his first this March. He engages Kotoeko in a thrusting match, and gets surprised when the far more agile Kotoeko steps to the side as he pushing forward. Kotoeko improves to 4-2.
Kimarite: oshidashi
Kotoeko: 4-2
Tokushoryu: 1-5

Tsurugisho defeats Terutsuyoshi – Tsurugisho delivers a flying henka and a mighty shove before he belly flops to the clay. The gyoji gives the match to Terutsuyoshi, but a monoii declares a rematch. Round 2: Tsurugisho sky-cranes Terutsuyoshi to leave no doubt whose sumo wins today.

Chiyoshoma defeats Daiamami – Chiyoshoma stiff-arm blocks Daiamami’s tachiai, standing him upright. Taking a gamble, he immediately pulls Daiamami, who tumbles to the clay. Chiyoshoma improves to 4-2, and I have to say I am enjoying his sumo.

Akiseyama defeats Kaisei – The battle of the mega-fauna, part 1 goes to Akiseyama. Kaisei’s hold on Akiseyama slips as he attempts a kotenage, and Akiseyama finds Kaisei’s back to him. A quick push out later, and both end the day 4-2.

Ryuden defeats Aoiyama – My compliments to Ryuden. Aoiyama has looked really powerful through act 1, and today he fired up the V-Twin attack at the tachiai. Pounding away on Ryuden’s upper body, he looked ready to rack up his 5th win. Ryuden stayed on his feet, and stayed in the match, and endured a punishing rain of blows. A well time side-step put Aoiyama in poor position, and Ryuden shoved him out to improve to 2-4.

Hoshoryu defeats Chiyotairyu – Chiyotairyu’s tachiai was a off today, it lacked power, focus and timing. As Chiyotairyu came off the shikiri-sen, he chose to grab Hoshoryu’s face, and pull. It was an easy to anticipate, and Hoshoryu held strong against the initial hit, and pushed with power against the pull, sending Chiyotairyu out in a hurry. Hoshoryu improves to 3-3.

Kotonowaka defeats Midorifuji – Kotonowaka tosses Midorifuji at the gyoji’s ankles, and nearly succeeds in taking them both down. Midorifuji seems to be struggling starting out act 2, and both end the day at 2-4.

Tobizaru defeats Tochinoshin – Excellent defensive sumo from Tobizaru, who put all of his energy in preventing Tochinoshin from getting any kind of grip. As the former Ozeki batted away at Tobizaru, Tobizaru took advantage of Tochinoshin’s limited mobility, and got behind the Georgian strong-man for win number 4.

Chiyonokuni defeats Kagayaki – We have not seen this grade of sumo from Chiyonokuni in years, and it’s really welcome to see him fighting so well. Kagayaki has the better tachiai, but Chiyonokuni shifted left, and used his left hand grip to amplify Kagayaki’s 3rd step forward. He goes cruising past and lands face down on the tawara as Chiyonokuni improves to 5-1.

Ichinojo defeats Tamawashi – Tamawashi attacks high and inside at the tachiai, but Ichinojo seems to have been working on his balance and foot placement. Ichinojo holds his ground as Tamawashi puts maximum pressure into his attack, just to meet with a properly timed pull down from Ichinojo. The Boulder improves to 4-2.

Okinoumi defeats Endo – Endo’s mini-rally of 2 consecutive wins ends when Okinoumi anticipates and nullifies each and every of Endo’s attack moves. Both end the day at 2-4, and are having a rough Haru basho.

Hokutofuji defeats Myogiryu – Sole-leader Myogiryu opens strong at the tachiai, and gets his hands in Hokutofuji’s armpits. No matter what Hokutofuji applied, Myogiryu absorbed, and the two were stalemated. Myogiryu tentatively attempted a pull-down, which gave Hokutofuji an inside attack route. From there, Myogiryu lost control of his body position, and moments later lost his first match of Haru, falling to 5-1.

Takayasu defeats Mitakeumi – For all of his grunting and roaring today, Takayasu lost the tachiai to Mitakeumi, and Takayasu found himself in for a rough ride. While Mitakeumi took control of Takayasu’s upper body, Takayasu’s hands found Mitakeumi’s belt. Mitakeumi realizes the risk on heart beat before Takayasu swings him around and bowls him into the west-side judge. Takayasu now a co-leader as he improves to 5-1.

Takarafuji defeats Daieisho – Takarafuji finally racks up his first win. Daieisho makes the mistake of attacking where Takarafuji’s neck should be, but finds no purchase. Takarafuji, in response, falls into his comfortable defend and extend sumo, as Daieisho throws everything he can at Takarafuji’s nonexistent neck. With his stamina waning, Daieisho can’t keep the pressure up, and Takarafuji switches to attack and drives Daieisho out. Both end the day with 1-5.

Terunofuji defeats Kiribayama – My big question was if we would see Terunofuji revert to bad old habits of letting an unexpected loss rattle his fighting spirit. The answer was a hearty tsuridashi as Terunofuji bodily lifts Kiribayama and places him outside the ring. I lost it when NHK commentator Ross Mihara exclaimed “We have lift-off!”

Takanosho defeats Onosho – We see notable, calm, powerful consistency from Takanosho again today. Onosho put a lot of power into his tachiai, but Takanosho focused on keeping his balance and found a right hand inside. That was all it took for him to shift to offense, and Onosho was out three steps later. Takanosho stays in the co-leader group at 5-1.

Asanoyama defeats Wakatakakage – Wakatakakage today, an excellent tachiai, inside position, plenty of power. Asanoyama today, left hand outside grip, and enough forward pressure to be mistaken for fork lift as he makes quick work of Wakatakakage. After looking a bit sloppy the first few days, this is the kind of sumo we expect from an Ozeki, he improves to 5-1.

Meisei defeats Shodai – Tachiai readers know I have been critical of Shodai’s poor form in the tachiai for some time. On his way to Ozeki, he had made adjustments that made it less terrible, but he seems to have fallen back in to his prior mode. That one element seems to be the difference between Ozeki Shodai and Maegashira 8 Shodai, and we all hope he can get back to better sumo soon. Maybe injury? Shodai seems to lack power this basho. Meisei improves to 3-3.

Takakeisho defeats Shimanoumi – Takakeisho opened the throttle at the tachiai, giving Shimanoumi no chance to do anything more than go along for the ride. Takakeisho improves to 4-2, and needs 4 more wins to clear kadoban.

14 thoughts on “Haru Day 6 Highlights

  1. Yutakayama seemed hobbled by a left ankle injury or something. That was way too easy. I hope he takes at least a few days off.

    • He is definitely injured. I believe he’s from the Ikioi School of I’ll Participate Unless I’m in a Wheelchair or on a Stretcher, unfortunately.

      • It’s hard to tell how serious injuries are until they go so long without being able to compete at a high level. I’m sure we’ve all sprained an ankle and walked it off, played on…and also sprained an ankle so bad we thought it was broken and couldn’t walk for a week. Meanwhile, I hope he makes the right decision…whatever that is.

  2. Great moves from Akiseyama, Tobizaru, and Ichinojo today! I suspect more rest is helping everyone perform at a higher level these days. Zero complaints from me.

    Chiyoshoma’s previous shenanigans helped him win again today. Daiamami didn’t want to commit to the tachiai because he didn’t want to get suckered by a henka. That mental advantage gives Chiyshoma a big edge and he’s incredibly effective when his opponents hesitate.

    Kudos to Hokotofuji to maintain his base and win today. Migoryu can be a tough nut to crack and he did that today perfectly.

    Takayasu made a statement with his win today against Mitakeumi. I hope he follows through on that promise.

    Yukatayama and Endo are definitely injured. Turugisho is fighting on one knee. Sad to see all around. I am also glad to see Chiyonokuni fighting well, but I am worried about his taped hands especially after his grimace of pain and holding his thumb yesterday.

    I think Daiesho is suffering from, “You won last time, so everyone creates new strategies so you don’t win” syndrome. Tokushoryu is a previous example of this scenario happening. I think he’ll be fine in the long run, but he definitely needs to vary his sumo because, as today showed, everyone is ready for his “go to” attacks.

  3. I feel like Takayasu is looking better than he has in a while this tournament. I don’t see any signs of that arm injury limiting his tactics, and he seems fired up in general. It sure would be something if he could get his first yusho under his belt this time around.

    • I get into some Takayasu discussion in tonights day 7 preview. Short version – yes, I agree he is looking pretty good right now.

      • If Terunofuji gets promoted, Takayasu’s gotta be looking at that Sekiwake slot. If he wants to get back to Ozeki, he needs to rack up the wins now!

  4. Let’s remember that Chiyonokuni got off to a 6-0 start last November, only to struggle to a 4-5 record in his final nine bouts. I’m hoping that a similar fade is not in store for him this basho.

    I’m loving this version of Takayasu. He finally seems to have recovered fully from his Tamawashi-induced elbow injury.

  5. In the previous tournaments Shodai always tried to have both hands inside, but I don’t remember him to actually go for a belt grip (like today versus Meisei). That’s something new, maybe he’s trying to invent new strategies.

  6. I, selfishly, hoped Ichinojo would stay in lazy mode for at least one more day. So, I took Tamawashi in the ISP and now I’m back to .500 🤣
    Terunofuji looks like he’s a little week against people who can get on his belt. The last three days appear to show that. Today, he decided to quit messing with Kiribayama and just lift him out… “You’ve annoyed me enough, time to finish this.”

    • Both Terunofuji and Tochinoshin have at least once “the hell with it” bout in each basho. Both of them have already used it, so it’ll be interesting to see how next week plays out.

  7. In an interview yesterday, Shodai said he wasn’t injured, just off his game. Take it with as many grains of salt as you’d like.

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