Today, I’ve got a quickie write-up looking at the Yusho Race in Jonokuchi and some Jonokuchi alumni.
The Jonokuchi Yusho Race
The field of undefeated wrestlers in sumo’s lowest division is rapidly coalescing around a few serious contenders. Setonoumi benefited from rather easy schedule as he faced Takatairiku. The Tokiwayama teen paid the price for his double matta as Setonoumi blasted him backward. Ariake advanced past Watanabe and Chiyofuku beat Agazumazakura. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find video of those bouts online and I’d not gotten home yet to tape it myself.
However, I did get to watch tonight’s bouts. Unfortunately, the Kototaiko bout was nothing to write home about. I wish I’d started the recording a little early and got Nangu’s bout. Other than his excellent shiko, he had a great come-from-behind win over Wakafujioka. I do have footage of Mifuneyama taking on Kokuryunami but I’ve prefaced it here with Ito against Asahabataki. I don’t think Ito’s out of this race and he disposed of Asahabataki quickly. Likewise, Mifuneyama outclassed Kokuryunami.
They’re going to need to schedule Setonoumi against an undefeated wrestler at some point. I was a bit surprised that he didn’t get more of a challenge today and that they had Kototaiko move up to Jonidan for his bout. That ended in disappointment. We should see Setonoumi against Mifuneyama, Ariake, or Chiyofuku. In either case, that should be an entertaining bout but a Setonoumi/Mifuneyama bout would be very interesting. I’d pip Setonoumi because he’s seemed pretty aggressive and mobile in these early bouts.
Another undefeated rikishi in Jonokuchi is Byakuen! Well, he did miss his first bout so he’s got one absentee loss but he’s definitely in the hunt. His win against Daitenshin is pure sumo entertinment. He sure is a Houdini and I am very impressed by the way he turned the tables there at the edge of the dohyo. I wonder if they’ll pick him to fight Setonoumi next. You know, I think I may actually prefer to see that bout over Setonoumi vs Mifuneyama. Both look pretty quick and Byakuen seems quite elusive so Setnoumi would be quite the test. But Setonoumi is undefeated so the schedulers should really preoccupy themselves with testing him. Nonetheless, I think we’ll get a few more entertaining bouts out of Jonokuchi for Day 4!
I do have a couple of bouts of Jonokuchi alumni in the early hunt for the Jonidan yusho. In this first bout here, I’ve got two guys who finished 5-2 last tournament, Hitoshi and Nobehara. Both are strong guys who could develop into solid wrestlers pretty quickly. Hitoshi had the technical edge today as he took advantage of Nobehara’s lack of balance for a quick slapdown victory.
At the start of the video you can see our next featured wrestler, Mogamizakura, practicing his tachiai in the tunnel in the background. He could use some more practice but does well to keep his balance against the veteran, Daishohama. He offers quite the contrast from his former stablemate, Shonanzakura. In fact, he’s probably got a good chance at being heyagashira
before the end of the year or early 2022 in 2022 or 2023. This win for Mogamizakura and Hitoshi move them to 3-0, one win from early kachi-koshi.