Nagoya Day 8 Highlights

You want me to grab his what now? – Image shamelessly stolen from Twitter

What the hell was that? Chief gyoji Shikimori Inosuke has long been on my list of people who are not quite up to the task. Today he made an outrageous choice to stop the match between Terunofuji and Wakamotoharu at a pivotal moment of action because he was concerned that Wakamotoharu’s mawashi was loose. Folks may say that Inosuke should retire, but that would move Kimura Tamajiro up, and he’s even more of a shambles in my book. On the match mechanics, I do think that Terunofuji was honestly enjoying that match with Wakamotoharu, and was giving him a good and balanced battle with the intent of throwing him down once he had finished showing him how it’s done. Herouth goes into more detail in the post below this one, and it’s worth the read.

There is still no leaderboard, as Ichinojo lost today. There are seven rikishi at 6-2, one win outside the top end of funnel, who may in fact compete for the cup in the upcoming week. I think that by the end of act 2 on Tuesday, it should be clear who is going to be in contention heading into the final five days.

On more troubling news, an additional stable is now COVID-kyujo, Naruto. This Omicron variant is quite virulent, and given that we now have 2 stables turning up cases mid-basho may indicate that everyone is going to need to test for the next few days.

Highlight Matches

Onosho defeats Daishoho – A bit of an early start by Onosho, but he gets a couple of big pushes against Daishoho’s chest and moves him directly out. He may have been waiting for a matta on that tachiai, or a monoii on stepping out, but it was official. Onosho improves to 5-3 by oshidashi.

Oho defeats Chiyomaru – Chiyomaru’s over reliance on pulling his opponents costs him matches like these. He had multiple tries, none of them were well placed or timed. Each time he pulled again Oho, he gave up advantage, so he lost this a piece at a time. Oho eventually got workable hand placement with a double inside grip, and marched Chiyomaru out to improve to 5-3 by yorikiri.

Myogiryu defeats Daiamami – Daiamami opens strong into Myogiryu’s hit and shift to the left. For the first few moments, Daiamami is in charge working his way toward a win. But Myogiryu manages to get a right hand inside just before Daiamami can press for the finish, Myogiryu rallies and drives Daiamami out to advance to 5-3 by oshidashi.

Ichiyamamoto defeats Tsurugisho – Ichiyamamoto continues his absolute dominance over Tsurugisho, expanding his career record to 5-0. Tsurugisho had a strong open, but as soon as Ichiyamamoto started to really, Tsurugisho unwisely tried to pull, and Ichiyamamoto surged forward to attack. Ichiyamamoto now 6-2 by oshidashi.

Nishikifuji defeats Chiyoshoma – We have not seen a Chiyoshoma henka in a while, and today’s attempt probably did more harm to his cause than good. With is body not in any sort of sumo position, it was easy for Nishikifuji to get a firm mawashi hold and drive Chiyoshoma out by yorikiri to improve to 6-2.

Takarafuji defeats Yutakayama – Its nice to see Takarafuji fighting well, which he managed to do today. He was able to stop Yutakayama’s attack at the tachiai, then Takarafuji worked to get an armpit hold which he used to move Yutakayama back, and toss him across the bales to improve to 3-5 by oshidashi.

Terutsuyoshi defeats Shimanoumi – Both of these guys started this match at 1-6, and both of them are likely to be make-koshi by the end of the second act in Tuesday. But today we got to see Terutsuyoshi fight in reverse for a block of time, until he could get his hands placed, his feet set and attack. Once Terutsuyoshi started moving forward, it was a quick run to the bales to send Shimanoumi out by yorikiri, improving to 2-6.

Tochinoshin defeats Midorifuji – Midorifuji came in strong, grabbing for Tochinoshin’s mawashi at the front. A strong right hand swat to move Midorifuji away sent him tumbling into the front row. That’s some strength! Tochinoshin now 5-3 by hatakikomi.

Nishikigi defeats Kotoshoho – Kotoshoho has all of the offense in this match, save for the final moment. As Kotoshoho is driving forward to move Nishikigi out, Nishikigi manages to pivot and deliver a throw at the moment he falls off the dohyo into the front row. The shimpan want to review it, so a monoii is called. The replay only further refined Nishikigi’s outstanding move at the bales, he improves to 6-2 by kotenage.

Chiyotairyu defeats Okinoumi – Chiyotairyu managed to gather up enough power to show us one of his cannonball tachiai after a long absence. Nice to see him do it, and he stampedes Okinoumi out in 3 steps, advancing to 5-3.

Meisei defeats Hokutofuji – A fine example of why Hokutofuji has “the strongest make-koshi in all of sumo”. He opens strong, fights like a ranging madman and is relentless. But he gets off balance, he is too far forward, and Meisei drops him with a katasukashi to advance to 5-3.

Tobizaru defeats Kotoeko – A great start to this match, Tobizaru attacks with power from the tachiai, and Kotoeko looks to be ready to change his hand placement and counter attack. But it all comes to an end as Tobizaru a delivers a foot sweep, knocking Kotoeko to the clay by kekaeshi. Tobizaru now 6-2.

Ura defeats Aoiyama – Aoiyama is so tentative at the tachiai, he’s wide open for Ura to just pick an impact spot and propel “Big Dan” straight out. Aoiyama lost this one before it even started, which is a shame. Both end the day 4-4.

Kotonowaka defeats Ichinojo – The concern following Ichinojo’s first loss on day 7 to Kotonowaka is that it would disrupt his mental state, it might rob him of the “I think I can” that is so important to winning in any human endeavor. Ichinojo, throughout his career, has been especially prone to this, and it seems it may have happened on day 7. Kotonowaka easily gets him standing up, then moves him around with comparative ease given his enormity. This is Ichinojo’s second loss, knocking him out of sole lead of the basho. They both end the day 6-2.

Hoshoryu defeats Kiribayama – I am really grateful for this match. So much of the torikumi is a roster of rikishi doing the best they can through a attenuating shroud of injury. It’s refreshing to see two young, healthy, strong, high-skill rikishi fight with everything they can muster. As is usually the case when these two fight, they end up being “kitchen sink” matches, where both are unleashing multiple attack forms moment by moment in an attempt to overwhelm the other’s defenses. Today it was Hoshoryu who came out on top with a yoritaoshi to hurl Kiribayama into the front row, improving Hoshoryu to 4-4.

Abi defeats Sadanoumi – Traditional Abi-zumo today. Sadanoumi tries to break up the double-arm thrusts, but can’t quite connect at the right tempo, and endures too many broad sides to maintain defensive foot placement. Abi drives him out on the 4th exchange by tsukidashi to end the day 5-3.

Wakatakakage defeats Daieisho – Daieisho opens strong, putting all of his attacks against Wakatakakage’s face. He’s making progress, but Wakatakakage finds an open route to Daieisho’s chest, and returns fire. With a right hand on Daieisho’s mawashi, Wakatakakage dials up the pressure and moves Daieisho first back, and then tumbling out. Wakatakakage takes the win to improve to 5-3 with a hearty oshitaoshi as Daieisho gets a face full of clay.

Takakeisho defeats Endo – Takakeisho played Endo’s desire for a mawashi hold very well. Time and again Endo lunged in to get a hand full of silk, and Takakeisho timed his thrusting to match. By the 4th exchange, Endo was off balance enough that the Ozeki could pull him forward and down. Takakeisho slaps victory number 5 out of Endo, advances to 5-3 by hatakikomi.

Shodai defeats Tamawashi – Great opening combo from Tamawashi. He had Shodai in deep trouble, and maybe that’s what it takes now to get some Shodai sumo. One step short of the tawara, Shodai breaks out the “Wall of Daikon”, and rushes forward to brute Tamawashi back. Where has this been? Stuck in the post from from the stable in Aichi? Did Yutakayama have it under his futon and forgot it was there? Glad to see it back, sir. Please use daily from here on out. Tamawashi gets yorikiri’d out, and Shodai is now 4-4.

Terunofuji defeats Wakamotoharu – Wakamotoharu loves to fight yotsu-zumo style. This is always a tough choice when facing Terunofuji, as he will happily join you in a battle hug, and wear you down. Wakamotoharu has some fine moves, but each time, Terunofuji slows him down, and marches him back to the center of the dohyo. They are fighting well, and I really was impressed by Wakamotoharu’s drive and stamina. After a long lock up, Wakamotoharu tries to drive forward… and WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? Tate gyoji Inosuke jumps in and tries to stop the match? Wakamotoharu kind of sort of won? They rewind the match? Try.. again? Well, on the re-do(?) Terunofuji uses his enormous strength to bodily throw Wakamotoharu down with a shitatenage, advancing to 6-2.

8 thoughts on “Nagoya Day 8 Highlights

    • Konosuke, the nimble, alert, decisive and dapper! Yes, yes! But probably there is some hierarchy/seniority rule that keeps him from it if there’s someone else ahead in line.

  1. Looks like Takakeisho was feeling considerable pain in his left shoulder/upper body area after his bout. Possibly incurred when he landed after being thrown off the dohyo by Abi? Recurrence of old injury? I didn’t see anything in today’s bout which would have caused this discomfort.

    • It’s probably his neck into the trapezius. We’ve never heard exactly what his neck injury was, but it’s been clear since it happened that he’s not the same fighter he used to be. Whatever the injury was robbed him of a lot of his power in his arms. He can barely get people moving backwards these days and has to rely on shifts and swats when before he’d send people into the second row quite often.

  2. I suspect Ichinojo jarred his back. The way he was moving during and after the bout was different. His back problems are well known but it robs him of his ability to hold position which was pivotal in the early matches.

    With his confidence likely shattered he might struggle the rest of the tournament.

    • I don’t think he jarred his back; he went for a makikae which is a high-risk high-reward maneuver and in this case it didn’t pay off — simple as that.

  3. This basho is a total mess again and todays musubi no ichiban was just the icing on the cake. I haven’t ever seen something like this before and I’m watching sumo for over 10 years now.
    I was quite impressed with Wakamotoharu. I didn’t see him winning, but at least he was in a position to give himself a chance when that incident happened. then after a 5min break or something to discuss the situation and redo the position, he had a well rested Terunofuji with a grip at his belt … I don’t know the rules, but a “sorry guys, we fucked it up, lets do a torinaoshi…” would have been a better choice imho.

    Other than that it was quite an uneventful day of sumo again. Tobizaru seems to be the one guy who manages to produce entertaining bouts every day. Shodai who looked like a walking dead apparently got a wake up kiss from Hoshoryu and is suddenly on track to clear kadoban. Ichinojo who was the feel good story for the first 6 days seems completely drained of his power. Somehow this already looks again like a basho which a badly wounded Terunofuji will somehow carry home.

    Meanwhile in Juryo Oshoma, Gonoyama and especially Hokuseiho are off to a promising start. Let’s hope one of them proves the real deal. Down in Makushita I was wondering if Ex-Motobayashi could have his breakthrough basho after starting 3-0 from Ms10, but he lost his match today. Ever since changing his Shikona to Oshoryu he kinda hit a wall. Technically he can still finish 6-1. Even a kachikoshi that high would be a first for him. Also having an eye on Roga who has a prime position in the pormotion race with his 3-1 start after spending the last 2.5years trying to get over the hump there. Kinbzan is obviously the frontrunner for promotion as well as for the Yusho. His schedule should get easier from here on, especially if he can beat Shonnanoumi in his next bout. Tomikaze unfortunately seems already out of the promotion picture after a 1-3 start.

    Surprisingly after that shaky start for the Sanyaku it looks like some well timed fusen got everyone back on track and everyone can keep their rank by going 4-3 in week 2.


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