Osaka Day 13 Highlights

With the developments on day 13, the scheduling team has a veritable sumo playground for the final weekend. We have so many potential outcomes right now, and so many ways they can match rikishi up and down the banzuke to consider.

Midorifuji endured his third straight loss today at the hands of Hoshoryu, dropping to 10-3 and leaving Daieisho, who won his match against Meisei, the sole leader of the tournament. While he has been de-throned, he is not out of the running yet, as there are two days of high intensity sumo action left in this basho. The crew mathematically in the hunt number at 4, and as of today, any one of them could head back to Tokyo with the hardware.

Highlight Matches

Ichinojo defeats Bushozan – Face slap to start the match by Ichinojjo, followed by mutual shoulder rams. For a moment the are separated, staring angrily at each other. Bushozan decides its time to skip the foreplay, and dives in for a hold. Ichinojo deftly throws him down by uwatenage, and Bushozan breaks his fall with his face. Ichinojo now 12-1.

Mitoryu defeats Takanosho – Mitoryu continues his dominance over Takanosho, who will have to look for his kachi-koshi tomorrow instead. Takanosho puts in the work, but can’t find a way to break Mitoryu’s stance. Mitoryu settles into a right hand… ear hold? Could someone check if a mimiyotsu (耳四) is a thing in sumo? So we have Mitoryu with a (ok, just run with it) mimiyotsu, and Takanosho is rightfully confused. The gyoji is confused, the shimpan look aroused and curious, the fans are wondering where they go from here. In fact, nobody knows for a time, and the two stand there trying to decide if they are still going to fight. The answer turns out to be yes, yes, Mitoryu did not really intend to do that, and they will fight. So it’s back to sumo time, and Takanosho charges ahead, and Mitoryu slaps him down. Both end the day 7-6.

Azumaryu defeats Oho – Let me get this straight. Oho defeats former Ozeki Asanoyama on day 12, who is still fighting like he belongs in san’yaku. Day 13 he loses to an injured guy who has the second to worst record in the basho. It was the old “Grapple – sidestep – push” number, and Oho was oblivious to it all. Fine, be that way. Azumaryu happy for the win, and is now 3-10.

Nishikifuji defeats Hokuseiho – Nishikifuji defeats the Skytree to reach kachi-koshi. Hokuseiho was the aggressor here, but really did not mind his feet or his balance. Nishikifuji dances him around and swings him to the clay a moment before Hokuseiho could finish pushing him out. Nishikifuji kachi-koshi at 8-5.

Takarafuji defeats Myogiryu – Ok, that’s 4 wins in a row for the injured Takarafuji. Unlike acts 1 and 2, Takarafuji seems to have found a way to hold ground, and was able to withstand Myogiryu’s pushing attack at first. Once Myogiryu was able to consolidate and break Takarafuji’s stance, he rushed forward into Takarafuji’s tsukiotoshi. Myogiryu make-koshi at 5-8, Takarafuji improves to 6-7.

Kinbozan defeats Hiradoumi – Hiradoumi has fought well this March, but he was completely out-classed by Kinbozan’s offense today. Kinbozan had the stance, the hand placement and the forward drive to push Hiradoumi back, and quickly put him across the bales to advance to 9-4.

Tsurugisho defeats Aoiyama – That tachiai deflection by Tsurugisho is not something I expected to see in this battle of the mega-fauna. I would not call it a henka, as there was too little speed for that. More like when you see a container ship move from one pier to another. But Tsurugisho managed to get to the side and behind Aoiyama, disrupting all of his offense and defensive plans. A quick grapple and walk for Tsurugisho, and it was yorikiri time. Tsurugisho now 7-6.

Ura defeats Daishoho – Ura remains unbeaten against Daishoho, and today he had a good strong ottsuke to defend against Daishoho’s right hand. Ura follows the block with a break and attack, coming in lower the second time and driving Daishoho back. A solid oshidashi win for Ura, and he is now 7-6.

Kotoeko defeats Ichiyamamoto – Kotoeko picks up kachi-koshi on the donor match, his first kachi-koshi since last year in Osaka. We got to see two volleys of traditional Ichiyamamoto sumo, but then he came under pressure, and tried to pull. Wrong move against the very stable Kotoeko, and Kotoeko ran him out the nearest exit, improving to 8-5.

Takayasu defeats Chiyoshoma – I am not sure what Chiyoshoma had in mind, but it fell apart before it could really get started, and he was immediately off balance. Takayasu chased him about, and dumped the stumbling Chiyoshoma into the zabuton row. Takayasu fans can take some comfort that at least he was able to get kachi-koshi, both now 8-5.

Nishikigi defeats Kagayaki – To me it looked like Nishikigi used a variation of the “Wall of Daikon” that is Shodai’s hallmark. Kagayaki had a couple of good hits, but could not get any arm extension, as Nishikigi maintained a close cover. Nishikigi normally likes to get a belt or body hold, but instead just rammed Kagayaki back with his body, winning by oshidashi. Kagayaki make-koshi at 5-8, Nishikigi improves to 4-9.

Sadanoumi defeats Mitakeumi – After being MIA for most of the month, we finally get to see some of Sadanoumi’s speed. Mitakeumi blew the tachiai, with his hands going complete catawampus. As a result Mitakeumi was nearly upright, and a bit off balance. Sadanoumi rotated and thrusted with his left, sending Mitakeumi tumbling into the salt basket. Sadanoumi advances to 5-8.

Shodai defeats Ryuden – Shodai wins his donor match against hapless Ryuden, scoring Shodai a kachi-koshi in the process. A really fast grip change by Shodai set up the double inside hold. From there it was lift and walk ahead, and Ryuden was out. Shodai now 8-5.

Kotoshoho defeats Tamawashi – Kotoshoho is now on a 4 match winning streak, after a terrible start to the basho. He’s finally looking like he should, and he really surprised the fans, and Tamawashi, by that hikiotoshi. Kotoshoho improves to 5-8.

Abi defeats Tobizaru – Tobizaru gets one moment to attack, but bounces off Abi at the tachiai. Abi moves behind and runs him off of the dohyo for an okuridashi win. Abi gets his kachi-koshi at 8-5.

Daieisho defeats Meisei – Compliments to Meisei for holding his ground quite well under the withering mega-thrust attack from Daieisho. It took until the 6th volley before Meisei’s balance was wrecked, and Daieisho pushed him into the waiting gyoji. Daieisho maintains his spot on the leader board at 11-2.

Wakamotoharu defeats Hokutofuji – Hokutofuji’s opening combo was nearly enough to finish Wakamotoharu straight from the tachiai. But he allowed Wakamotoharu to rally, and settle into a left hand inside position. He took a moment to consolidate his stance, then drove forward to win by yorikiri. Wakamotoharu remains one behind the leaders at 10-3.

Kiribayama defeats Endo – We got to see Endo get lost yet again when his left hand failed to do any work at the tachiai. Kiribayama was tack sharp at the initial clash, and got his hands around Endo before turning him and running him out by okuridashi, improving to 10-3.

Hoshoryu defeats Midorifuji – Impressive defense by Midorifuji against Hoshoryu’s opening combo. Hoshoryu brought his right hand up across Midorifuji’s neck and attempted to pull him down, but Midorifuji was able to keep his feet. They then proceed to open up with some outstanding yotsu-zumo attacks, each unable to overwhelm the other. Hoshoryu’s avenue of attack was limited by Midorifuji’s hazu-oshi, but Hoshoryu managed to pivot and lower Midorifuji to the clay. Huge effort by both men, and Hoshoryu is now 9-4.

Wakatakakage defeats Kotonowaka – Ok, that’s seven wins out of the last eight matches for Wakatakakage. He needs to get his week 1 sumo in better condition, and he’s an Ozeki candidate. Kotonowaka gave him a tough fight, and was in control most of the match. But a rescue throw at the bales ended the match. They fell together, and it was declared a rematch (good!). Second try – its all Wakatakakage, who attacks low, dials up the forward pressure and rampages Kotonowaka out in a hurry. Wakatakakage now 7-6.

5 thoughts on “Osaka Day 13 Highlights

  1. Boy, the Juryo/Makuuchi exchange sure is muddy right now, isn’t it? When was the last time we only had 2 promotions from Juryo?

    Right now, it feels like Oho is going to be captaining the Juryo barge based on how people are fighting, but who knows?

    Daieisho with 11 wins, Kiribayama/Wakamotoharu with 10, and Kotonowaka/Hoshoryu with 9 on the 13th day. Goodness, May is going to be a fascinating basho!

    Tomorrow it’s Daieisho/Midorifuji for potentially all the marbles too. Hang on to your hats, folks!

  2. Woohoo!!! Rejoice!!! Party time!!! Nishikifuji kachi-koshi!!! I was starting to get worried and wondered how he’d deal with Hokuseiho but he’s had 12 days to watch the big guy’s sumo and it really seemed like Nishikifuji went into today’s bout with a plan. Great stuff!

    Not such a good day for his chum Midorifuji. Poor guy! I have everything crossed for him on Day 14. What an amazing and memorable bout today with Hoshoryu. I reckon it won’t be long before we see the Little Green Man in San’yaku.

    Very exciting to have a torinaoshi at the end of the day, too! We love more sumo!!!

    P.S. “Catawampus”‽

  3. Was that the first time The Sumo Strangler (Abi) lead with an attempted kachiage? In any case Tobizaru seemed to be expecting the standard two-hands-to-the-throat plan and indeed bounced off The Sumo Strangler’s shoulder. Bummer for Tobizaru.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.