We had a pair of seldom seen kimarite today: okuritsuridashi when Ura bodily tossed 160 kg Daieisho over the bales, and ushiromotare; when Hidenoumi more or less butt bumped Kotoeko out after a failed throw attempt. I credit Japan for being the country on this planet that would name such a thing and catalog it.
There were a pair of kyujo for today, the first was Hokutofuji pulling out of the tournament, at least for now, with a knee injury that may have shown up thanks to his fight on day 4 with Terunofuji, giving Takanosho his second win. The next was the following match, where Hoshoryu is out with what is being reported as tonsillitis. if true, that’s going to be some minor surgery for him, and we will probably not see him back this month. But hey’ its sumo. Tatsunami okyakata will let it “heal naturally” for about 12 hours, and he will be back to fight tomorrow. This gave Takayasu his only win thus far for Aki, which is just a terrible thing to write, as a Takayasu fan.
Wakamotoharu defeats Ichiyamamoto – It looks like Ichiyamamoto did hurt himself in this day 4 match against Yutakayama. He was visible limping today, especially after Wakamotoharu responded to Ichiyamamoto’s pulling attempt by driving him out and over the dohyo. Wakamotoharu returns to Juryo tomorrow with a 2-3.
Yutakayama defeats Tokushoryu – Big forearm strike by Yutakayama to start the match, with Tokushoryu absorbing that and then driving forward. He had Yutakayama set to lose, but Yutakayama had a better idea, getting to the side, getting a left hand on Tokushoryu’s mawashi and sending him out with an okuridashi. Yutakayama improves to 3-2.
Chiyonokuni defeats Kaisei – Chiyonokuni finishes act 1 with a perfect 5-0 record, and as he is ranked at the bottom of the banzuke, he may not face too many big challenges. A combination of low rank and healthy Chiyonokuni could open a lot of promotion space from Juryo for November.
Tsurugisho defeats Chiyomaru – Tsurugisho pops a respectable fever, and was kyujo day 4 as he was tested for COVID. When the test came back negative, he went right back to competition. Because sumo. Whatever was ailing him, it seems to have improved his fortunes on the dohyo. He side-stepped a big post-tachiai charge from Chiyomaru and made quick work of the round one. Tsurugisho improves to 2-3.
Kagayaki defeats Chiyonoo – I am sure our readers sometime wonder why Bruce expounds on a good ottsuke (defensive elbow), so here is an example for everyone. Look at Kagayaki coming out of that tachiai. Chiyonoo puts everything into getting a left hand inside, but Kagayaki’s elbow is locked to his body, and that position is strong enough that there is no space for Chiyonoo to get that hand in. AT this point, Chiyonoo’s entire match plan falls apart, and Kagayaki is just left to clean up the debris. Kagayakai ends his ottsuke tutorial 3-2.
Chiyotairyu defeats Tochinoshin – Traditional Chiyotairyu sumo, but it all came about at about ⅓ its normal speed. High inside thrusting attack to stand Tochinoshin up, then a pull to bring him off balance and eventually down. I have to image that Tochinoshin’s knee is leaving him with no way to compete most of the last 5 days, as indicated by his 1-4 score. Chiyotairyu seems to be struggling as well, but improves to 2-3 today.
Hidenoumi defeats Kotoeko – Hidenoumi had complete control of this match, but struggled to finish Kotoeko. When a throw attempt fell to bits and transitioned into a one-legged hopping dance, Kotoeko stepped over the bales, resulting in an ushiromotare, a backward lean out. I think its been at least 5 years since the last time that kimarite was used in the top division. Hidenoumi improves to 2-3.
Aoiyama defeats Endo – Aoiyama has looked to be struggling this month, but that was traditional Aoiyama sumo, big tachiai, stand them up, knock them down. Endo was on all 4s before he could take a third step. Aoiyama improves to 2-3.
Tobizaru defeats Myogiryu – Tobizaru continues to out-perform my expectations for him this basho, and I am delighted. He was able to get in a rapid hikiotoshi against Myogiryu, handing him his first loss of the basho. Both men are now at 4-1.
Shimanoumi defeats Terutsuyoshi – Terutsuyoshi tried yet another hit and shift, which seems to be his preferred opening gambit now. Everyone is looking for it, and it does not disturb Shimanoumi at all. Shimanoumi keeps Terutsuyoshi in his front quarter, and attacks. Terutsuyoshi put everything into that mini-henka, and has no defense ready, and is quickly out. Shimanoumi improves to 3-2.
Onosho defeats Okinoumi – Okinoumi looked to get two surprises in this match. The first came when Onosho got his hands inside at at Okinoumi’s chest so quickly, taking control and pushing the veteran back. He did what any reasonable sumotori would do in this position, assume Onosho was horribly front loaded on his balance, and all it would take was a little pull to send him tumbling. Surprise number two was when Onosho kept his feet and powered Okinoumi out. The junior tadpole improves to 4-1.
Takarafuji defeats Chiyoshoma – Its breaking my heart that Chiyoshoma can’t seem to buy a win, and ends act one with a dismal 0-5 score. Takarafuji on his sumo today, keeping his stance wide, his weight centered and knowing just when to get out of Chiyoshoma’s way. Takarafuji improves to 3-2.
Ura defeats Daieisho – Ok, good. We finally got some actual Ura sumo today, and I am feeling a bit more satisfied. Daieisho was careful at the tachiai, and Ura was incredibly low. Daieisho tried his thrusting sumo, but there was just so little surface area presented for attack, Daieisho was hard pressed to find a place to shove. A lucky hit got Ura upright, and Daieisho had just a brief moment to attack, as that fleeting opportunity evaporated, Ura took Daieisho in a grip across his body, and tossed him aside like a unwelcome house guest. Ura improves to 2-3 using the seldom seen okuritsuridashi, and it was glorious.
Ichinojo defeats Meisei – Meisei set up a win with a sharp step to the side against an Ichinojo forward lunge, but Ichinojo recovered, and attacked with renewed energy. Three steps later he applied a powerful thrust to the back of Meisei’s neck, sending him crashing to the clay. Ichinojo improves to 2-3.
Mitakeumi defeats Tamawashi – Tamawashi got the better of the tachiai, and had all of the offensive power for most of the match. Twice Mitakeumi tried to get to the side and pull, with the second attempt connecting and sending Tamawashi down. Mitakeumi has won 16 of their last 17 matches, and improves to 4-1.
Takakeisho defeats Kotonowaka – I am starting to have a sliver of hope that Takakeisho might be able to piece together 8 wins. Its clear to me that he is struggling, and each day is more of a challenge than it should be for an Ozeki. We did get some wave action tsuppari today, and Kotonowaka had no way to answer that much power. Takakeisho improves 2-3.
Shodai defeats Wakatakakage – I have days where I look at Shodai and think this guy is a train wreck, and wonder what happened to the sumo that took him to Ozeki. Then things like today, where is looks like some kind of overwhelming sumo battle-bot that cannot be stopped by mortal man. Wakatakakage had nothing, not even token resistance to that thunderous charge from Shodai, he improves to 4-1.
Terunofuji defeats Kiribayama – I give high marks to Kiribayama for the huge, bold effort he brought to today’s match against Terunofuji. If he was intimidated because he was facing the kaiju, he did not let it show. I compare Terunofuji’s sumo to eveyone that Kiribayama has fought so far, Kiribayama put huge effort to getting Terunofuji off balance, but the Yokozuna has incredible poise right now, and opened his stance. There was little that Kiribayama could do but keep trying to chip away. If you look at that stalemate, note that Terunofuji had his feet on the shikiri-sen, he owned the center of the ring. I think Kiribayama realized he was not going to get anywhere in that configuration, and bet the match on a grip shift, which was what Terunofuji was waiting for, he wrapped Kiribayama up, and tossed him into the timekeeper for good measure. Perfect 5-0 for the Yokozuna.