Natsu Day 9 Highlights

To my delight, this tournament it turning into a bit of a coming out party for a couple of promising rikishi, as they are squarely in the joi-jin for Natsu, and seem to have found a formula that lets the credibly compete. in the case of Wakatakakage, he beat two Ozeki and two Sekiwake. That’s potent sumo from a Maegashira 1, who typically end up with deep make-koshi their first time ranked at the top of rank and file. Likewise, Hoshoryu now has 2 wins against Ozeki, but has yet to face the rest of the San’yaku. My advice to them is to be on your toes, as Hoshoryu is a credible competitor. Hoshoryu suffers a bit from being in the shadow of his Yokozuna uncle, Asashoryu. Usually the first thing that comes up with discussing Hoshoryu is his connection to his uncle. For myself, I am well past that one, and I am now far more interested into how his sumo develops. He has even found himself the topic of interest by sumo association chief, Hakkaku Oyakata:

Plus, look at that banner picture – a strong “Clark Kent” vibe all over this guy.

Highlight Matches

Chiyotairyu defeats Hakuyozan – I really like that Chiyotairyu has been showing us yotsu-zumo this tournament. As a guy primarily known for explosive tachiai followed by thrusting, this variation makes him tougher to fight, as opponents don’t know what quite to defend against. Today he improves to 7-2 by grabbing a hold of Juryo visitor Hakuyozan and walking him out.

Akua defeats Kotoeko – Massive effort by Akua gets him his 3rd win of the tournament. Kotoeko was fighting with all he could muster, but I saw him lose his balance at least twice in that match. Akua used almost the entire length of the dohyo to execute that hatakikomi, teetering on the bales as it finished. He improves to 3-6.

Ishiura defeats Chiyoshoma – Chiyoshoma got the better of the tachiai, and was initially in control of the match. But Ishiura closed in and got a left hand grip, which served as the basis for a shitatedashinage which won the match. Both end the day at 5-4.

Chiyomaru defeats Tamawashi – Chiyomaru gave up a lot of ground at the tachiai and immediately following. Tamawashi advanced with gusto, chasing him down to secure teh win. But Chiyomaru is a wily fellow, reversing Tamawashi at the bales and delivering one massive shove to center mass to recover the win. He improves to 6-3.

Daiamami defeats Shimanoumi – Daiamami left Shimanoumi no room to work, bundling him up and moving him back and out for his 5th win, he ends the day 5-4. This match turned when Shimanoumi gave up his inside hand position, and let Daiamami take offensive control.

Endo defeats Kaisei – There are days when Endo is healthy and fighting well, it’s fun to just pause video of him in random spots and examine his body position. Normally he wants to go left hand shallow at the tachiai, but today you can see him bring that right hand in first. Kaisei is higher and has both hands low to guard against such opening gambits. But it left him completely invested in a lot of forward pressure, which Endo does not supply. He tumbles forward and Endo picks up his 7th win.

Terutsuyoshi defeats Tsurugisho – Great big man / little man sumo. Tsurugisho is a bit resereved in the tachiai, not knowing what kind of sumo Terutsuyoshi was going to start with. It turns out it is a left hand frontal grip. Terutsuyoshi tries to overcome Tsurugisho’s mass advantage with a surge of strength, but Tsurugisho is just too heavy. When force won’t work, leverage will have to do. Terutsuyoshi lifts a foot, set up the kakenage, and advances to 3-6. Great match from Terutsuyoshi today.

Kotonowaka defeats Takarafuji – One of the worst matches I have seen from Takarafuji, pretty much ever.
He chooses a turn to the side, allowing Kotonowaka to circle behind and drive him out from the rear. Kotonowaka improves to 5-4.

Ichinojo defeats Okinoumi – In the preview, I had guessed that Okinoumi would benefit if the two went chest to chest at the tachiai. But Ichinojo seems to be dialed in an strong right now, and he made fast work of Okinoumi to advance to 7-2. When that much Mongolian is on the move, there is little that anyone can do to stop him.

Kagayaki defeats Hidenoumi – Kagayaki seems to have found his sumo at last. He was focused and strong today, fighting Hidenoumi, whose toes are still causing him visible pain. Kagayaki advances to 4-5, and may be able to end an acceptable score from this basho.

Myogiryu defeats Tochinoshin – Its a little heartbreaking to see Tochinoshin serve as ballast for the likes of 3-6 Myogiryu, but that’s what we have now. Today we saw him struggle to keep his feet following the match after Myogiryu stampeded him over the bales in a shockingly easy win. Myogiryu improves to 3-6.

Aoiyama defeats Kiribayama – Welcome back to Big Dan, nice to see you ready with your go-to sumo: stand him up, slap him down. It took just a second or two, and Kiribayama got a face full of clay.

Meisei defeats Tobizaru – Interesting to watch these two start a frantic slapping match, and gradually watch the intensity fade ad both of them start to fade. As both continue to tire, Tobizaru ends up too far forward, and Meisei slaps him down, giving him his 8th loss and make-koshi. Meisei improves to 4-5.

Mitakeumi defeats Wakatakakage – Wakatakakage seems to have been expecting a huge body slam at the tachiai, and was ready to absorb Mitakeumi’s big hit. Instead Mitakeumi shifted to his left, grabbing Wakatakakage’s mawashi with his left hand and spinning him down to the clay. Henka? more or less, yes. But it’s still a win and Mitakeumi improves to 7-2.

Hokutofuji defeats Takanosho – Hokutofuji really has me worried now. Unless he picks up 2 more losses, he’s not going to get his make-koshi at all. The big difference is that Hokutofuji’s nodowa seems to have worked today, and he used it to shut down any offense that Takanosho might have had in mind. Both end the day with 3-6, but Takanosho has now lost 5 in a row.

Terunofuji defeats Takayasu – Takayasu was focused on keeping Terunofuji away from his belt, which led Takayasu to batter the Ozeki’s head and face repeatedly. It worked for a time, as Terunofuji could only endure the attacks and work to open a gap to switch to offense. But Takayasu’s focus on Terunofuji’s head lead to his hand getting tangled in Terunofuji’s mage. It would have been called as a hair pull, but moment’s later Takayasu hits the clay from a Terunofuji hatakikomi. The Kaiju remains perfect at 9-0.

Hoshoryu defeats Shodai – Wow, two days in a row for Hoshoryu and a second Ozeki scalp. He may end this tournament with a make-koshi, but we have now seen what he is capable of, and it’s a matter of him refining his sumo now, and gaining constituency. Shodai was high and soft at the tachiai yet again, and put up strong resistence to Hoshoryu’s attacks. But as with yesterday, Hoshoryu’s agility was on display as today he used an outside leg trip (sotogake) to topple the Ozeki, as Hoshoryu improves to 4-5.

Daieisho defeats Takakeisho – Sadly, Takakeisho went down today at the hands of his friend, and picked up his second loss. This leaves Terunofuji 2 wins ahead of everyone and everything for May. Hopefully Isegahama put his order in at the fish market on the way home. Takakeisho put himself out of position and off balance today, in stark contrast to his high efficiency sumo from the past week, and Daieisho made him pay. Daieisho improves to 4-5.

Asanoyama defeats Onosho – Asanoyama struggled to recover this one, after he was too high at the tachiai, and not ready to defend against Onosho’s mega-thrust. But you can count on Onosho to be off balance during these attacks, and Asanoyama was able to grab his arms and keep him from centering his feet. The rest was sumo mechanics, and a win for Asanoyama. He improves to 5-4.

9 thoughts on “Natsu Day 9 Highlights

  1. Me, every single tournament: “Hoshoryu is over-ranked, this is the one he goes down”

    Hoshoryu: slowly raises one eyebrow

  2. Does anyone have any explanation for why Takanosho has been in such poor form this basho? He doesn’t seem to be injured. Hasn’t had a MK since Jan 2020.

  3. I know there’s multiple people working on the coverage here but I’ve really been confused with the severity of the coverage Hoshoryu’s gotten at times. Just a few days ago in evaluating the rikishi’s records the summary of Hoshoryu was scathing. He’s twenty one years old and competing in the top half of Makuuchi for the first time. He’s still a baby and showing he can compete at the highest level. Is the fact that he’s Asashoryu’s nephew that much of a hold up for people?

    • Tachiai is a fan run site, with no real “theme” or “narrative” to our coverage. When Josh wants to write, he does. When Andy wants to write, he does. Sometimes we get Herouth, and sometimes lksumo. Coverage during the basho is usually myself (Bruce), hence there may be shifts of perspective.

    • How many other guys lately can you name who showed up in the top half of Makuuchi at 20 or 21? he went up there together with Kotosho, who is already back to Juryo and for some reason struggling since a few days. Before that it was probably Takakeisho.
      Having a young guy being this fast up there is actually exciting nowadays. Add to that the fact that he is rather light, but still strong at the mawashi and with a pretty wide variety of techniques already. He would be an interesting rikishi to follow no matter who his uncle was.
      Asanoyama is 27, Terunofuji is 29, Takayasu 31, Shodai 29, Takanosho 27, Mitakeumi 30 .., in fact there are only 4 guys in all of Makuuchi below the age of 25 … Takakeisho, Hoshoryu, Kotonowaka and Midorifuji and Hoshoryu is by far the youngest. For me thats pretty good reason to closely follow.
      Tobizaru is in his 5th tournament in Makkuchi, same as Hoshoryu, but Tobizaru is 29 already.

      It’s no about being the Nephew of Ashashoryu … that’s jsut nice flavor … its about being of of the a few promising young guys.

  4. Chiyotairyu finished off Hakuyozan today by deploying the Kotoshogiku-style bumpity-bump. I hope that Chiyo is able to make this a regular part of his repertoire, as it likely will extend his career. Depending upon his more typical ‘cannonball’ offense has to take a heavy toll on him.

    One of Kagayaki’s great strengths is that he usually is able to pile up wins in a basho’s second half. One of Kagayaki’s great weaknesses is that he usually desperately needs to pile up wins in a basho’s second half.

  5. At his best, Kotoshogiku was a bulldozer. These days Ichinojo is reminding me of a snowplow.

    • Kotoshogiku was a very flexible bulldozer, but Ichinojo is so simultaneously monolithic and kawaii he can’t remind me of anyone or anything else. This couldn’t be due entirely to my lack of imagination because ever since Hidenoumi’s return, I see the Flying Monkey as at least half Beaver.

  6. This was a big step for Terunofuji, to overcome his 1-9 record against Takayasu. But he didn’t look in control at all, unlike his previous 8 bouts. Takayasu certainly isn’t easy for him.
    Takakeisho has a good shot against him, if he can get him going backwards. I don’t see who else has a chance, though.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.