Kyushu 2021: Jonokuchi Match Day 4

The Jonokuchi yusho race has narrowed this week to three contenders as of tonight’s action. Three bouts between five undefeated wrestlers had the potential to bring it down to two but Goseiryu’s adventures in Jonidan have not presented a challenge as of yet. Today, he made quick work of Asashorei with a bit of a hit-and-shift at the tachiai, leading to a thrust-down to finish.

Chiyoshishi took no chances with Gaia and broke him down immediately after the tachiai. Gaia’s henka was not fast enough to evade Chiyoshishi’s right paw. The nodowa, paired with a firm left hand grip at the back of proved devastating as Gaia had no counter, and was thrust down on his back in mere seconds.

Inoue followed Chiyoshishi’s lead with a right-handed nodowa at the tachiai, but he had no need for the ferocity in order to send Daishojo out of the ring. This likely sets up an exciting Chiyoshishi/Inoue bout on Monday with Goseiryu likely paired, again, with the lowest undefeated Jonidan combatant.

Goseiryu, Chiyoshishi and Inoue were the first three to kachi-koshi and have secured promotion to Jonidan. Gaia may have already seen enough success to put himself through to Jonidan, as well. It’s very possible that the eventual yusho winner may have one loss on his record since a Goseiryu vs Chiyoshishi/Inoue bout will feature later this week – if Goseiryu wins again.

Though the yusho race has narrowed, action obviously continues in the division and I want to bring you a great pairing of wrestlers who are one-win off the pace, Azumayama vs Wakaonehara. Azumayama’s only loss was to Daitenshin but Wakaonehara had the rough first bout against an amped Raiho. These guys bring quality sumo and a lot of effort on a normal day…but today we get a treat. This was the bout of the day in Jonokuchi, so I wanted to share this epic marathon bout.

If you’ve got four minutes to spare, this is worth it. It’s also funny for the interplay with the gyoji, 21-year-old Shikirmori Tomokimi. After such a marathon, he points the right way but loses his hat…then appears to want to give the win to Azumayama for recovering his hat. The look of disappointment and confusion as Azumayama turns to walk away from his loss is just one of those wonderful moments I love down in Jonokuchi, where the yobidashi and gyoji (as well as the wrestlers) are still learning their craft. I have to give Tomokimi-kun credit for getting the right call. I was lost and I’m sure would have caused a mono-ii (judge’s conference) and sashi-chigae (reversal).

5 thoughts on “Kyushu 2021: Jonokuchi Match Day 4

  1. I suppose that 30 years from now, when Tomokimi is referee-ing matches between yokozuna the other senior gjoji will be ribbing him with “don’t forget to tie your hat on” comments. He already has a good, loud voice and by then in will have sunk into the appropriate bass-baritone register. In this four-minuter you didn’t just see the effort, you could hear it as the grunts and gasps echoed around the empty arena.

    Quick and easy wins for the big three which told us nothing new. Just looking at the standings we are going to end up with an even number of unbeaten men in divisions 3-5 (in total) so it’s quite possible that we may get Goseiryu vs Inoue, with Chiyoshishi vs AN Other. I would prefer a three-way showdown like the climactic scene of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”.

  2. We have now got the matchups for Monday and Chiyoshishi has picked up a plum draw with a match against Sawanofuji and I would be astonished if he didn’t get to 5-0. Sawanofuji is one of the three members of the “Lost to Hattorizakura” Hall of Shame. And he wasn’t the one who just fell over: no, he was yorikiried fair and square by the most incompetent performer in sumo history. Since then he has averaged two wins a basho and has peaked at Jd 72. He is getting slight better and I’m sure that he could kick my fat ass, but the truth is that he isn’t very good at sumo.

    The other decisive match is Goseiryu vs Inoue, which should be a cracker, with both men facing a real challenge after a run of one-sided blow-outs. Working on the principle that one should dance with the the one who brung you I will go with my #1 pick Inoue, although I would like to see Goseiryu break the Jk1e jinx.

    Whatever happens, by Wednesday we will have only one man on 6-0, and he will have a 50% chance of getting an eminently losable match against an unbeaten Jonidan contender. This leaves the door open for a play-off at 6-1, so the one-loss guys are still in it. This means that the winner of tomorrow’s mouth-watering opener between Raiho and Gaia will still be in contention.

    • I hope Raiho doesn’t break Gaia. Raiho’s first win reminded me of Gaia’s loss so I anticipate that being the plan of action. Goseiryu vs Inoue will be a great match up. Inoue will want the slapdown victory so I hope Goseiryu keeps his balance. But it will be difficult against that experience. I was surprised to see Sawanofuji pitted against Chiyoshishi, too. That will be a dud.

      • Don’t fear too much for Gaia. I would refer you to JBS Haldane’s essay “On Being the Right Size”:

        “You can drop a mouse down a thousand-yard mine shaft; and, on arriving at the bottom it gets a slight shock and walks away, provided that the ground is fairly soft. A rat is killed, a man is broken, a horse splashes.”

        Gaia is a mouse in sumo terms. Haldane does not, however, explain what happens if the horse lands on top of the mouse, so there is always an element of danger.


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