Haru 2022: Jonokuchi Match Day 2

Well, of the four lads who I had tipped as yusho contenders, one remains unbeaten after two matches. This will be a very interesting yusho race, especially as we’ve got a fifth contender to add to the mix, Hanafusa from Nishonoseki-beya. I owe a tip of the hat to Charlie for pointing him out in the comments of my previous article.

So, let’s get to the action. First up, let’s take a look at the big highlight from yesterday. While Daiseizan and Toseiryu both lost in their debuts, they have shown that they’re not pushovers. They locked horns immediately at the tachiai and Toseiryu immediately pitched right and left to try for a quick throw. Daiseizan demonstrated great balance and strength as he countered Toseiryu’s attempts, worked his opponent to the edge, and pitched him over the bales. That was an impressive uwatenage. Sadly, Toseiryu is effectively out of the race, falling to 0-2. But Daiseizan can keep his hopes alive if he wins out.

Most of the winners’ bracket fights were today. The schedulers did not pit Wakanosho against Kototebakari. Instead, they put Hanafusa with Wakanosho and Takatsukasa versus Kototebakari. Wakanosho and the Abema cameraman were very confident in Wakanosho’s chances. I must admit, I thought this would be a quick one. Wakanosho pulled early after the tachiai, trying for a quick slapdown. Hanafusa was having none of it, though, and kept his balance. His body seemed a bit too upright during the ensuing slapfest. Kisenosato’s disciple had one attempted throw but mostly seemed to be parrying Wakanosho’s thrusts. However, his footwork allowed him to maintain position in the center of the ring, working Wakanosho outside, and eventually over the edge.

Next up, the cameraman and I focus in on Kototebakari. Takatsukasa is surely outmatched, giving up some 30kg to the more experienced “legacy” recruit from the powerhouse Sadogatake-beya. Right? Well, he put everything he had into this. The stronger Kototebakari forced him back to the bales with tsuppari but Takatsukasa latched on to Kototebakari’s mawashi and threw all of his strength into a shitatenage. It just wasn’t enough as Kototebakari recovered and wrangled the colt, winning with an uwatenage.

And in honor of Uwatenage Day here at Tachiai, Shishi got off to a great start with his own excellent implementation of the classic kimarite. He had quite the reach to get Yutakasho’s mawashi like that and pull him from practically the center of the ring all the way to the edge like that.

One thought on “Haru 2022: Jonokuchi Match Day 2

  1. Honestly, Hatsu’s maezumo batch was particularly well-rounded and competent. That competition means these guys’ climb up the banzuke is going to start rather stunted as their jonokuchi results will be worse than they’d ordinarily be – but watch all of them breeze past their respective broader jonidan brackets in May.

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