Haru Day 10 Highlights

Well, Takayasu is on a roll. Eight straight wins after he dropped his Day 1 match to Meisei, and he finds himself in the lead, and first with a kachi-koshi. Terunofuji and Chiyoshoma are nipping at his heels . More importantly, he shows no signs of the arm or knee injuries from the past. He cleaned up when he was fighting lower maegashira and has now found his sumo and is beating up the varsity squad. Can he keep this streak alive and claim his first Emperor’s Cup? Even if he comes up shy, he’s got to be looking at starting another Ozeki run. It would be wild to have two former Ozeki win yusho and then be re-promoted to the rank.

As for our incumbent Ozeki, Asanoyama seems to be turning things back on and may find himself in the hunt. Takakeisho is on a path to clear the kadoban status, while Shodai is playing with fire. They’re not the dominant forces we’d come to expect from ozeki like Kisenosato…steadily picking up 10 wins and often featuring late in the yusho race. However, they may soon have company at the rank with Terunofuji 2 or 3 wins away…and now Takayasu’s looking like the strongest guy in the sport.

Day 10 Bouts

Ishiura defeated Yutakayama: Yutakayama had one strategy today, go for Ishiura’s head. After a solid tachiai, Yutakayama’s started in on Ishiura’s face and pursued him around the ring. However, as Ishiura cycled toward the tawara, Yutakayama’s upper body pitched further and further forward until Ishiura’s shift at the dohyo made Yutakayama flop onto the dohyo. Hikiotoshi.

Daiamami defeated Terutsuyoshi: Similar to Yutakayama, Daiamami was focused on a single strategy, driving his forearm into Terutsuyoshi’s upper body. With his superior footwork, he was able to drive Terutsuyoshi out…to Terutsuyoshi’s complete and utter disbelief. I thought it was pretty obvious Daiamami won but Terutsuyoshi clearly had his doubts and hung around, hoping the gyoji would spin his way? Kimedashi.

Aoiyama defeated Kotoeko: It only took two big shoves from Aoiyama to push Kotoeko out. Wow, that one was quick. Oshidashi.

Hidenoumi defeated Midorifuji: Hidenoumi took his time with this. He quickly wrapped up Midorifuji’s arm but patiently waited for the perfect time to twist and drive Midorifuji backwards. Midorufuji landed square on his butt and was slow to get up and slow to walk back to his starting position. Oshitaoshi.

Tsurugisho defeated Ryuden: Straightforward tachiai and Tsurugisho drove forward into Ryuden. As Ryuden fought back, Tsurugisho put his big paw on the back of his head and drove down, backing up a bit. THAT is how you execute a pull. Kotenage?

Hoshoryu defeated Kaisei: Wow, Hoshoryu took on Kaisei’s power sumo head on. With a twist at the center of the ring, he threw the much bigger Kaisei. Just wow. Shitatenage.

Tobizaru defeated Chiyoshoma: About a dozen body blasts weren’t getting us anywhere. So Tobizaru went for the belt and pulled Chiyoshoma backwards over the tawara and down while he also kicked his leg out from under him. That was pretty. Komatasukui.

Akiseyama defeated Tochinoshin: A frantic Tochinoshin tried to power Akiseyama out. He could get him back to the tawara but Akiseyama fought back. Tochinoshin drove Akiseyama back again to the edge but Akiseyama pivoted and threw Tochinoshin off the dohyo. Shitatenage.

Chiyotairyu defeated Kagayaki: Rather than expend energy with some protracted, entertaining oshi battle, Chiyotairyu executes the hated early pull. Unfortunately for Kagayaki, he wasn’t ready for it at all and fell flat on his face. Hatakikomi.

Ichinojo defeated Kotonowaka: Ichinojo says, “Get out of the ring!” He drove Kotonowaka back with a fierce nodowa but Kotonowaka somehow resisted and stayed in. As he slipped to his right, Ichinojo continued to bull forward…until he’d decided he had enough and slapped Kotonowaka’s head down and rolled back across the dohyo. Hatakikomi.

Okinoumi defeated Chiyonokuni: Okinoumi drove forward and played spoiler today. He resisted Chiyonokuni’s pull and accompanying hatakikomi attempt. Come on, we were over quota anyway. It wasn’t going to work again. With Chiyonokuni’s back to the tawara, it only took one well-timed shove to knock him over onto his butt. “Ow, my pride hurts.” – Chiyonokuni Oshitaoshi.

Kiribayama defeated Tamawashi: Tamawashi fought a Tamawashi bout and battered Kiribayama like there was no tomorrow. Somehow Kiribayama withstood the assault but rapidly grew tired of playing punching bag. He basically threw himself onto Tamawashi in a Domino-like attack. “If I go down into him, he’ll go down.” It worked. Sotogake.

Meisei over Endo: Endo’s kyujo. A late scratch. He’s not been performing well since that calf injury before the tournament. Good call, but probably a week late, if it is the calf. It is a bit odd, since, as Bruce mentioned, Endo’s been having a little rally. Fusen.

Wakatakakage defeated Takarafuji: Wakataka-.38 calibre. Wakatakakage shot out of his tachiai like a bullet, completely overwhelming Takarafuji. “You got me, kid. You got me.” Takarafuji fell back out of the ring like a bad guy in an old Western. Yoritaoshi.

Daieisho defeated Hokutofuji: Hokutofuji came into the bout, slapping himself, stomping, getting all hype…for a pull? You pull after the (weak) tachiai? Daieisho was entirely justified in pushing that lame business out. Oshidashi.

Mitakeumi defeated Onosho: Maybe Mitakeumi’s right leg isn’t as bad as I’d thought. Or Onosho is over his head. Onosho gave it a valiant attempt with the nodowa, but Mitakeumi bulldozed straight through. Yorikiri.

Shimanoumi defeated Terunofuji: Kaiju drove Shimanoumi back to the edge immediately. Shimanoumi tried over and over to drive forward but could not get any relief from the edge. Terunofuji kept up the pressure. Time and time again, it looked like Shimanoumi’s foot would be headed out, only to find secure purchase at the top of the tawara. (I don’t think his feet are as big as Tochinoshin’s.) Then, as Shimanoumi shifted to his right, and Terunofuji shifted with him, he tugged a weary Terunofuji a bit further forward and the great Kaiju fell to the clay. It was as if the longer Shimanoumi stayed in it, the closer his odds of winning approached 1 from starting at just about 0.000001. Tsukiotoshi.

Takayasu defeated Takakeisho: T-Rex tired. Takayasu fought Takakeisho’s fight, the two throwing wild haymakers at each other. Until both men tired and settled into an odd-oshi grapple. Head-to-head, literally, each man had their right hand on the opponent’s left shoulder. Then Takakeisho lashed out, pushed Takayasu’s head down and tried to kick his right leg from under him. Takayasu maintained his balance throughout and as Takakeisho settled into his arms for another cuddle, Takayasu rolled him gently to the floor. Uwatenage.

Asanoyama defeated Takanosho: Solid tachiai with Takanosho launching a nodowa at the Ozeki. However, Takanosho’s gabburi hip-thrusts were going nowhere. Asanoyama shifted right and twisted, bringing Takanosho down. Sukuinage.

Shodai defeated Myogiryu: “Defeated” is such a strong word and I don’t think it really applies in this case. Shodai absorbed Myogiryu’s tachiai, then pulled. Myogiryu recovered and began battering the Ozeki as punishment but Shodai pulled again, driving Myogiryu into the dohyo. Katasukashi.

Wrap-up

What a wild day! There was some excellent sumo today. While the drama lessons as Takayasu pulls out in front, that doesn’t lessen the excitement. Takayasu might win his first yusho! That is incredible after he’s come so far, not only in overcoming injuries but in his personal life as he and his wife recently had their first baby.

Tobizaru and Hoshoryu demonstrated amazing sumo and we’re eager to see rejuvenated Ishiura and Enho climb back from the club team. Late news that Ura will be back tomorrow.

20 thoughts on “Haru Day 10 Highlights

  1. Fuji’s foot drug on the clay and turned Tripping him up as much at the throw moved him. I think that’s why he looked as upset as he was, he caused himself to lose in combination with the toss.

    • Yup. No disrespect to Shimanoumi who put up fantastic resistance but Terunofuji’s footwork was a big contributor to that outcome — his feet actually came right together just before his left foot caught on the surface of the dohyo. That’s no way to maintain your balance.

  2. Like you said yesterday and many times before Bruce, Takayasu doesn’t tire. I really hope he gets his basho. Always liked him, he has The best No F Given face in the business :-)
    It is now day 10, and I have been amazed every single day by the physics defying performance of.. the lady with the white/beige/light brown dress. She’s there from the start, always maintaining that incredibly perfect posture, doing the finger tip clap, back straight, straighter even, and shoulders so perfectly level I wonder if she’s the reference they use when they build the dohyo.. Does Anyone know who she is?
    Sorry, I know this forum is about Sumo, but when it gets a bit stale in the middle, she is like a snake charmer to my eyes 😁

      • Nope. A journo managed to catch up to her, and she’s essentially a heiress: she’s the daughter of one of the sumo supporters/sponsors entitled to one of the ringside seats.

        Someone dug up Takakeisho’s old yusho photos pre-COVID and thought they found her, but either way, she’s definitely not Chiba Yukina, Takakeisho’s wife (and ex-Hokutenyu’s daughter).

        • Thanks for the heads up. It was either that rumor or that she was a ghost from sumo past making sure no new Yokozuna will be crowned anytime soon.

          • Thanks guys! My gut feeling was that she was a heiress…. that died 150 years ago. So I like what you say either way 😁

    • I think she is tilting her head a degree or two this time. I’ve noticed something else that is inconsistent, day-to-day. I’d be rebuked, if not banned, if I pointed (!) it out. She can be distracting.

  3. Takayasu used his arm-length advantage to control the first half of his bout with Takakeisho, then used his endurance advantage to win in the second half. Very smart bout by the big bear.

      • This was definitely a Kisenosato-esque performance from Takayasu. He knew that he had to outlast Takakeisho and he did. As soon as they literally went head-to-head the advantage shifted completely to Takayasu. Well done all around by him.

  4. Takakeisho was spent. If only Tochinshin could compete every second tournament. His knee is shot. Shodai… he won but you can never be sure he is going to. A very curious ozeki to be sure.

    Win or lose, Terunofuji and Takayasu have the best post match expressions. Would love to see Takayasu take the tournament. I’m also loving the zest that Tobizaru and Wakatakakage bring to the dohyo.

  5. For the first time since probably 2017 and leaving aside day 1 Takayasu is being consistent again. I really hope he can keep his nerves in check and finally take the Yusho I have been waiting for so long. He is still less controlled than in his peak, but it’s a great return to his Ozeki style. Probably the biggest thing to me was, that he could hold his own in a belt battle was Asanoyama on day 2. Can only assume that this gave hime a lot of much needed confidence.

  6. As soon as Takayasu held his ground fighting Takakeisho’s fight I new it was over. Sure enough Takakeisho couldn’t get him out and the match played right into Takakyasu’s paws. Leaned into Takakeisho and kept pressure on him to not let him rest and then just played the waiting game.. did Takayasu take a nap in there while waiting? I thought I heard snoring xD

    Takakeisho, Pushed to frustration lashes out in a desperate move and Takayasu gently bowls him to the clay… I’m pulling for the bear! It would be a great boon for him and his new family :D

    Can I also say how much I was impressed with Horshoryu? He got Kaisei leaning one way then quick shifted the other and threw his hip inside and took a now off balance Kaisei and throws him down with a wonder text book Throw.

    ( I just hope I’m spelling the names right without lookign them up )

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