With the preview of day 6, it’s the start of Kyushu basho’s second act. Act 2 is where we narrow the field to find out who has what it takes to compete for the yusho, and to start sorting the survivors from the damned. This is also the time when the crafty schedulers start working out if they are going to try to funnel as many rikishi as possible into ending day 14 with 7-7 scores. I have called this process “Darwin’s Funnel”. The goal is to stage as many make/kachi koshi deciding matches for day 15. It’s cruel, it’s brutal, but it’s a vital part of sumo. The strong advance.
Right now, from the bottom third of the banzuke, the only one who is really having a cold start is dear old “Big Guns” Shohozan. Frankly, it breaks my heart. But if some of the other sumo fans are right, we will see him as a oyakata soon enough.
What We Are Watching Day 6
Chiyomaru vs Kaisei – Our first battle of the mega-fauna in act 2! With this much mass on the dohyo, the yobidashi will be offering prayers that their careful construction work last week is not ruined. Chiyomaru is fighting marginally better this November, so I am going to guess he will have a slight edge. But it comes down to if Kaisei can get a hold of Chiyomaru’s belt. If he does, it’s his match today.
Sadanoumi vs Abi – The two strongest men from the bottom end of the banzuke face off to see who has the strong run into the middle weekend. I know that Abi has a solid 4-2 career advantage, but somebody is going to put dirt on Abi soon, and it may as well be Sadanoumi.
Kagayaki vs Shohozan – Much as I like Kagayaki’s fundamentals based sumo, I want to see Shohozan womp somebody up’side the head. Just once. Chiyonokuni would be a better target for that, as it would probably be returned in kind. Kagayaki comes in with a strong 10-5 career advantage, and Shohozan is anything but genki right now. Ugh.
Chiyonokuni vs Tochinoshin – Chiyonokuni’s hit and move tactics are essential to his sumo. What happens when Tochinoshin is able to grab him and hold him still? Well, a 9-1 career advantage for Tochinoshin for start. Add to it that Tochinoshin really needs wins to stay off the Juryo barge, and it’s a tough match for Chiyonokuni.
Ishiura vs Akua – Ishiura’s sumo has really gone hit or miss now. Akua has a huge mass advantage over him (well, almost everyone does). Their last match was July, which Ishiura won by a resounding yoritaoshi, so maybe he can repeat in Kyushu today.
Chiyotairyu vs Yutakayama – Chiyotairyu has now used both his cannon-ball and his “stand them up and knock them down” opening gambits in the last few days. It’s going to leave Yutakayama guessing, and that’s just how Chiyotairyu wants it. Yutakayama has been very reactive this basho, I have not really seen him set the tone or pace of a match, and that may be part of why he is struggling at this low of a rank. Hopefully he shakes off his role as Shodai’s sparing partner and takes on some fighting spirit.
Aoiyama vs Kotonowaka – Sadly, this one is an easy call this basho. Kotonowaka seems to be doomed right now, and Aoiyama is fighting very well. We have seen him break out the V-Twin a couple of times, and I would guess “Big Dan” is going to stay on the north end of the kachi-koshi line all the way.
Hokutofuji vs Hidenoumi – I don’t know what the hell happened to Hokutofuji on day 5, but that was terrible! Maybe his lower body was hung over from partying with Kotoshogiku’s long departed knees, which are rumored to hang out in one of the small back alley beer joints in Fukuoka. With any luck his body will be in fighting shape today, and he will nodowa his frustrations out on Hidenoumi.
Terutsuyoshi vs Tobizaru – Well, if you wanted a pair of over-active rikishi to go low, stay low, and try to put their opponent lower still, this is your match. I have a gut feeling that Tobizaru has a slight edge this time, but it’s only a gut feeling. In general Terutsuyoshi gets the better of these matches with a 6-4 career score.
Shimanoumi vs Kotoeko – Well, anyone surprised the schedulers did this? At least we can take comfort that one of these poor rikishi will get their shonichi today. Kotoeko holds an 11-2 career record. Hopefully Abema does not go into a god-cursed Tapple commercial marathon right before the tachiai.
Takayasu vs Ura – Well, if they give us the dud derby just before this match, why not make it the chaos twins next? No way Takayasu is going to be able to use his stamina today. He’s going to be lucky if he can keep all of his body within local space time given some of the hyper-dimensional tricks Ura likes to execute. Where is this one going? Who can tell, their last match was in 2017, about 10 surgeries ago between the two of them. My advice to you, dear readers, is wear your 3D glasses during this match.
Chiyoshoma vs Hoshoryu – Why does Chiyoshoma hold a 3-0 career lead over Hoshoryu? Their prior matches looks like a set of hatakikomi and a throw. They are the same height, the same weight more or less, and both from Mongolia. With only 1 win, Hoshoryu could really use a white star today. With that be motivation enough?
Tamawashi vs Endo – Twenty Six career matches between these two, going back to 2013. Its a 15-11 advantage Tamawashi, and I like his sumo this November better than what I have seen from Endo, so I think advantage Tamawashi.
Onosho vs Wakatakakage – Onosho is uncalibrated right now. He can’t keep his feet under him most days, and it has robbed him of the confidence he need to really fight in the top division. So I expect him to have many more losses, as he is very much a “I think I can” sort of tadpole.
Ichinojo vs Kiribayama – Another inter-mongolia battle here, with 0-5 Kiribayama needing to find some why to move the boulder, who while not quite blowing the doors off of the san’yaku, seems to be doing well enough. I don’t think this one is going to be a good time for Kiribayama.
Mitakeumi vs Myogiryu – Mitakeumi as a real chance to start an Ozeki run here. All he has to do is stay strong and keep racking up the wins. Myogiryu is not quite genki yet, and has been trading wins back and forth with Mitakeumi since 2019. If the pattern holds, its Myogiryu this time.
Daieisho vs Meisei – I want to see Meisei do that lightning fast throw down again today. It was so good on day 5, I think I watched it 5 or 6 times. Great stuff. Daieisho could use the win at 2-3, and has a 7-2 career record of Meisei, so it’s Daieisho’s match to lose.
Shodai vs Takanosho – Shodai, you puss bucket. Just when I think you have your sumo together, you get stuff like day 5. Okinoumi took you to the wood shed, and you watched it happen. Try again today with Onigiri-kun, and make it right, please. You are starting to look like Goeido to me.
Takarafuji vs Takakeisho – It comes down to Takarafuji getting a hold of Takakeisho’s mawashi. He was last able to do that in January, and since then has eaten dirt twice at the hands of the grand tadpole. Takakeisho wants to keep pace with Terunofuji, and we hope he does. Onward. chieftain of the tadpole tribe!
Terunofuji vs Okinoumi – Okinoumi has such a lexicon of sumo skill, he can upset any rikishi on the right day. Terunofuji holds a staggering 13-3 career advantage, and Okinoumi has not beaten him since 2016, meaning Terunofuji has won the last 7 in a row.