Mark the day, I am going to say that some of the best sumo today came from Shodai. That ottsuke was simply excellent, and he used it against Kisenosato’s long term training partner Takayasu. The same could not be said for kadoban Ozeki Takakeisho who once again tried to pull down his opponent in the first moments of a match. To me this indicates that he quite possible is still in less than Ozeki condition, and may set up a demotion to Sekiwake for November. Fans are already starting to worry about an aggressive thinning of the Ozeki ranks. Yes, this is all part of the transition era, and we may see things get a bit weedy at the top end for a time.
But wait, what’s this? Long time master bow twirler Satonofuji makes at least a brief return to the closing ceremony of day 2. Considered by many sumo fans, including myself, to be the best yumitori-shiki in recent history, he stepped in when the current bow twirler, Shohoryu, is kyujo. What a treat!
Chiyomaru defeats Akua – A surprisingly vigorous match from them both. Chiyomaru tries for his tradition “Grab your face and toss you to the clay” battle plan, but Akua instead decided to try and win. After a couple of stanzas of the dohyo dance, Chiyomaru tries it again, and takes Akua down to improve to 2-0.
Chiyonokuni defeats Ichiyamamoto – Chiyonokuni goes inside first, stands Ichiyamamoto and immediately slaps Ichiyamamoto down. It’s yjr hatakikomi two for one deal! Two hatakikomi, two rikishi with 2-0 records.
Chiyonoo defeats Tokushoryu – Chiyonoo watched too many Tokushoryu match videos. He goes left hand inside, gets Tokushoryu on the move, and side steps with a thrust down at the tawara. This move, over the course of 15 days a couple of years ago, won Tokushoryu a yusho. Chiyonoo is 1-1.
Kagayaki defeats Yutakayama – Kagayaki kept his focus center-mass while Yutakayama was hell bent to land that nodowa again. Kagayaki endured it much better than Kaisei did on day one, and drove forward under Yutakayama’s attack. Kagayaki joins the 2-0 crowd.
Kaisei defeats Tsurugisho – Straight ahead sumo today. No surprise that given each man is huge, there is little chance for controlled lateral movement. Kaisei started strong, and finished strong with a loud grunt to lift Tsurugisho across the tawara. Kaisei gets his first win.
Endo defeats Tochinoshin – As predicted, Endo went for an early shallow right hand grip. He locked it in with no problems or fuss, and immediately marched Tochinoshin out of the ring. Endo looking much more like himself today and improves to 1-1.
Myogiryu defeats Kotoeko – Kotoeko had nothing today. I have to wonder if whatever injury took him to 2-13 in July continues to rob him of his sumo. I do feel sorry for the guy, as he has the capacity to be a solid performer in the top division. Myogiryu starts 2-0.
Hidenoumi defeats Aoiyama – Hidenoumi was able to close the gap and stay inside Aoiyama’s effective minimum thrusting range. Big Dan did get a few pushes in, but to his credit Hidenoumi stayed locked in and wait it out. When the chance came, Hidenoumi applied a throw and brought Aoiyama down for the first time in 4 attempts. Hidenoumi improves to 1-1.
Tobizaru defeats Chiyotairyu – Chiyotairyu went with a tentative tachiai to avoid any flying monkey business at the start of the match. Tobizaru’s initial attempt at capture went astray, and Chiyotairyu went to work slapping and thrusting. Tobizaru kept his feet, kept focus and worked for his opening, eventually getting under the thrust plane, getting a right hand mawashi grip, and rolling Chiyotairyu left and down with a shitatenage for the win. Tobizaru also joins the 2-0 group.
Shimanoumi defeats Okinoumi – Quick match, Okinoumi the aggressor at the tachiai, but gets his balance too far forward, and is easy to bring down with a simple hikiotoshi, Both exit the dohyo 1-1.
Terutsuyoshi defeats Ura – Terutsuyoshi street fighter mode, repeatedly bashing Ura’s head with long-arm right hand blows. Ura endures it and maintains stalemate until he gets his chance, and lunges forward to move Terutsuyoshi. Nice move by Terutsuyoshi to step to the side and hurl the onrushing Ura to the clay. Terutsuyoshi leaves the dohyo with his first white star, and Ura leaves with a bloody nose.
Onosho defeats Takarafuji – I loved watching Takarafuji work hard to stay stabled, keep his feet steady and absorb Onosho’s mega-thrust attack. But when the junior tadpole gets rolling, he’s going to push right through you, and eventually even the immobile Takarafuji gives ground, and catches a big push to step out for a loss. Onosho with a solid 2-0 start.
Tamawashi defeats Chiyoshoma – Both men went straight for the neck at the tachiai, but Tamawashi was inside and had his elbows lower. Two big double arm thrusts, and a pull down from the right ended the match after the third step. Tamawashi at 2-0, and Chiyoshoma sill looking for his first win.
Kotonowaka defeats Daieisho – Kotonowaka does a masterful job of sapping most of Daieisho’s thrusting power by directly attacking Daieisho’s arm pits. The thrusting mechanics are still working, but the energy is gone. With his hands lower and inside, Kotonowaka was able to get a few big pushes to connect center-mass, sending Daieisho out. Both end the day 1-1.
Wakatakakage defeats Ichinojo – Sad to say that thus far, the mighty version of Ichinojo has not mounted the Aki dohyo. My friends who have endured COVID tell me it leaves you diminished, some time for months, following the initial recovery. I do hope that Ichinojo is not suffering lingering effects of his early bout with the virus. But in his diminished state, he has little to offer against a sharp and effective Wakatakakage, who picks up his second win by throwing the massive Ichinojo to the dohyo.
Hokutofuji defeats Mitakeumi – Hokutofuji launched a bit early at the tachiai, catching Mitakeumi still flat on his feet. To try to clear Hokutofuji, Mitakeumi dialed up the forward power and pressed forward, but did not meet resistance as Hokutofuji moved away. Mitakeumi was unable to slow in time, and stepped over the bales for a loss. Hokutofuji joins the 2-0 group.
Takanosho defeats Meisei – A textbook example of the advantage of focusing thrusting power center mass. Takanosho gets Meisei uprooted, and then keeps pouring on the force to bring the shin-Sekiwake down. Takanosho picks up his first win to improve 1-1, and Meisei seems to be suffering a cold start with 0-2.
Shodai defeats Takayasu – Kind of surprising that Shodai was able to control Takayasu’s offense with what looked to be a really outstanding ottsuke, given that is / was Kisenosato’s trademark. Takayasu could not find a route to get his hands into any kind of attack position, and had to settle for stalemate, and a test of stamina. With control of the inside, it was up to Shodai to make his move, and almost at once, Takayasu gets onto one foot, and hands Shodai his first win.
Kiribayama defeats Takakeisho – For a second day, kadoban Ozeki Takakeisho cant hold his feet to the clay and gets put in motion and loses. Takakeisho did much of the work, with an early pulling attempt (same as day 1) which released whatever defense Takakeisho may have had. It’s either a thick layer of ring-rust, or Takakeisho is still healthy enough to compete as an Ozeki. Failure to pick up 8 this September will see him demoted to Sekiwake for November. Kiribayama starts 2-0 for Aki.
Terunofuji defeats Hoshoryu – Did anyone else notice that for a moment there toward the end, Hoshoryu had a morozashi double inside grip? It did exactly nothing for his chances, as Terunofuji had him boxed and shipped before Hoshoryu mount a credible attack. The lone Yokozuna improves to 2-0.