Grand Sumo came back to the Kokugikan, briefly, this past weekend for a Fuji TV sponsored tournament. While this was billed as the 47th edition, #45 and #46 were canceled due to the COVID pandemic. This is the first time back since the 44th Grand Sumo Tournament. A well-deserved hat-tip and a bow are due to Tim Sumo for remembering this gem from that tournament in 2020 where Hakuho faced Enho in the third round.
Fuji TV is one of the major television networks in Japan, headquartered in Odaiba in the big globe building. Junk Sports is a very popular show on the network, hosted by Hama-chan of the comedy duo, Downtown. They frequently have sumo wrestlers on as guests. Toyonoshima will be on tonight with Wakanohana. Looking over at the Junk Sports Twitter feed right now is to expose yourself to unabashed food porn. Oh my God. The delectable dishes are selected by various rikishi from restaurants local to Ryogoku, including a Mongolian restaurant favored by Hoshoryu. The only question left now is, “why am I still here and not sat there?” Even this $5.50 meal deal, suggested by Azumazeki-Oyakata, looks absolutely scrumptious. I love curry but this would be like $15-$20 bucks here. Geez, I really need to stop researching the food and get back to the tournament.
Getting back to the sumo, the main feature of the Fuji TV event is an elimination-style tournament between the Makuuchi wrestlers and another for Juryo. The prize purse is ￥11,000,000 — about $80,000 — so there’s a significant amount of money on the line here. To add to the fun, there are exhibition bouts between some of the recently retired wrestlers. Schedulers pitted shorn oyakata against their mage-sporting brethren as Sokokurai fought Ikioi and Toyohibiki fought Kaisei.
In the Makuuchi event, Endo took out Kotoeko, Shodai and Mitakeumi before falling to Onosho. Onosho had taken down Takayasu and Kotoshoho but lost to eventual champion Daieisho in the semi-final. Daieisho had defeated Takakeisho, Takanosho, and Azumaryu, then sealed his victory with a win over Hoshoryu. I loved this ferocious bout between Aoiyama and Kiribayama. Big Dan sure brought the intensity and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of his yotsu abilities in prime time.
In the Juryo tournament, Kitanowaka took the title with five consecutive victories, including wins over Asanoyama, Gonoyama, Hokuseiho, and Terutsuyoshi.