Natsu Day 10 Highlights

Act 2 has drawn to a close, and we have a couple of rikishi kyujo announcements. First Kotoshoho went kyujo during day 10, giving Daieisho a fusensho win for day 10, increasing his score to 7-3. There is no word yet on what medical reason was given, but Kotoshoho had only won a single match so far at Natsu, and was clearly not doing well.

Just when it looked like we would once more get Juryo visitors to fill the banzuke gap, along comes word that Takayasu will re-enter competition on day 11. I have no idea why this would be the case, but sure, you big hairy beast, get back in here.

Along the way, poor Meisei got to find out what it’s like to fight an 8 story apartment block. It’s a simple fact that you can grip that building tightly, but maybe you just can’t throw it around. As a result, he has dropped out of the leader group as Hokuseiho showed him what big can do. For the san’yaku who may have been shaking your heads, suck it up boys, Hokuseiho fights Wakamotoharu on day 11.

Highlight Matches

Kagayaki defeats Myogiryu – Some genuinely sloppy sumo in the first match of the day. Kagayaki focuses on Myogiryu’s face, and Myogiryu tries to figure out which part of Kagayaki to attack. Myogiryu stays unfocused long enough, that Kagayaki actually scores a win by pushing out a frustrated Myogiryu. Kagayaki improves to 4-6.

Aoiyama defeats Mitoryu – Not the V-Twin, just plain oshi-zumo today from Aoiyama. It worked quite well as Mitoryu surrendered the inside attacking lane early, and Aoiyama kept the pressure on until he drove Mitoryu out. Both end the day 4-6.

Kotoeko defeats Ichiyamamoto – Ichiyamamoto gets the first hit, but cannot keep Kotoeko from closing the gap and shutting down his double arm thrusting attack. This results in Ichiyamamoto having an awkward left hand outside grip, and poor body position. Its only enough to keep Kotoeko from the yorikiri, but Kotoeko quickly figures that out, and set up the sukuinage which brings Ichiyamamoto to the clay. Kotoeko now 5-5.

Oho defeats Ryuden – Another day, another data point that Oho has gotten the handle on his sumo at last. Sadly this is also the 5th loss in a row for Ryuden, and he’s looking really iffy. Ryuden comes in low at the tachiai, Oho pushes him a bit lower, and finds that Ryuden is stuck. Oho takes control and shoves him out by oshidashi, improving to 6-4.

Chiyoshoma defeats Onosho – Onosho decides to go chest to chest against Chiyoshoma, and that does not work well. He moves Chiyoshoma back, but also powers the resulting throw that took him down. Poor tactical choice by Onosho today, as Chiyoshoma improves to 6-4.

Asanoyama defeats Hiradoumi – Asanoyama caps Hiradoumi’s winning streak a 4 in a lightning fast match. Hiradoumi attempted a reach in at the tachiai, and encounters more ottsuke than anyone should put up. Asanoyama moved to pull Hiradoumi forward and down, but over loaded the power setting, sending Hiradoumi stumbling for the bales. Asanoyama advances to 9-1.

Tsurugisho defeats Sadanoumi – Tsurugisho gets the better of the tachiai, and gets an immediate body hold on Sadanoumi. Again we see Sadanoumi’s agility and lateral movement taken out of a match, and it results in a loss. Tsurugisho runs forward at full buffalo stampede pace and takes Sadanoumi out of the ring by yorikiri. Tsurugisho now 7-3.

Daishoho defeats Takanosho – Daishoho was clearly in control of this match at the first step. He used his superior size and his working lower body to relentlessly move forward. Takanosho is not quite genki enough to respond to this kind of fight, and was quickly out by oshidashi. Daishoho improves to 4-6.

Tamawashi defeats Takarafuji – As a long running sumo fan, this match is a bit tough to watch. We get Tamawashi at maybe 40% power up against Takarafuji at maybe 40% power. It’s like someone is putting on a stage show of these two guys, and can’t quite get the moves right. It ends with Tamawashi getting up enough steam to brute Takarafuji out. Tamawashi now 4-6.

Hokuseiho defeats Meisei – Meisei loses his share of the lead, but not for lack of energetic sumo. But as we have seen since last Sunday, there is only so much you can do against a strong rikishi of that size. Meisei pours on the pressure, but once you hit a certain point and Hokuseiho is not moving, you are more or less done. Hokuseiho eventually works Meisei into position and finishes him with an uwatenage. Both end the day 8-2 and are 1 behind the leaders.

Ura defeats Hokutofuji – Ura continues his dominance over Hokutofuji, shutting down Hokutofuji’s lower body sumo, and taking control of the match. Hokutofuji knows he is in trouble, and tries to pull Ura down at least twice. The second attempt leaves him too far forward, and Ura slaps him down, improving to 4-6.

Nishikigi defeats Mitakeumi – Mitakeumi seems to be so focused on preventing Nishikigi from getting a hand hold that he loses track of where his feet should be. Nishikigi does eventually get a tenuous hold, and quickly converts it to an uwatedashinage, and finishes the day 4-8.

Tobizaru defeats Midorifuji – If you blink, you will miss it. Tobizaru reaches in with both hands, then pulls forward and down, catching Midorifuji with no defensive foot placement, and sending him to the clay. Tobizaru is still on track for a day 15 Darwin match at 5-5.

Abi defeats Shodai – Abi has been in sumo for 10 years, everyone knows what Abi is going to do at the tachiai. Everyone knows what Abi-zumo is. Except Shodai. No defense, no counter move, just a “howdy! oh, let me get out of here for you” from the former Ozeki. I was hoping for more than that, but Abi is now 5-5.

Kiribayama defeats Wakamotoharu – A battle of Ozeki hopefuls, there was a good amount of solid defense from Wakamotoharu. Double bonus points for fending off that attempted leg trip, but the match did not last long after that last counter from Wakamotoharu. Kiribayama, was able to position off-axis from Wakamotoharu, and hurled him forward with a kotenage to put Wakamotoharu on his head at the tawara. That’s kachi-koshi for Kiribayama at 8-2.

Hoshoryu defeats Nishikifuji – Nishikifuji attacks with great skill at the tachiai, immediately putting Hoshoryu at risk, and moving back. But Hoshoryu’s skill in any mode of travel is great, and he musters a match winning tsukiotoshi to bring Nishikifuji down as Hoshoryu dances along the tops of the bales. Nishikifuji now make-koshi at 2-8 while Hoshoryu advances to 7-3.

Kinbozan defeats Takakeisho – For a time it looked like Takakeisho was going to have a manageable run to 8 wins to clear kadoban. Now it’s looking increasingly worrisome. He has lost his last 2, and both days he looks a bit worse off than the day before. Today he has no ability to repel Kinbozan, and ends up taking the loss by oshidashi. Solid sumo from Kinbozan to pick up the win, he is now 4-6.

Terunofuji defeats Kotonowaka – Kotonowaka put up a good fight! He had Terunofuji’s heels on the tawara for a moment, and defended well against the Yokozuna. Nothing to be ashamed of here for him. But Terunofuji was able to crank up the sumo power and hoist Kotonowaka out for a yorikiri, improving to 9-1 and maintaining his lead with Asanoyama.

20 thoughts on “Natsu Day 10 Highlights

  1. Throwing day! I love to see it.

    Hokuseiho is mainly using one arm each bout. If he ever gets both going at the same time, can anyone stop him?

    Also, the younger crowd seems to truly be getting their acts together. Oho, the aforementioned Hokuseiho, Hoshoryu… even Kinbozan got back on track in a big way today. This transition period might be unsettled, but it’s allowing a lot of personal development in many rikishi who need it.

  2. That was “sugoi sumo” from Meisei and Hokuseiho. I loved watching the gyoji during that bout, so meticulous in keeping his eyes on their feet.

    Did that count as “espresso crab” sumo from Ura today? Great fun!

    Wow! That was so impressive from Kiribayama, but I really hope WMH hasn’t hurt his neck.

    Ok, onto my guy Nishikifuji… Hoshoryu delivered his make-koshi in Hatsu on Day 11, and I was pretty sure he’d do the same a day earlier this basho. From what I can tell, this is Nishikifuji’s second top division make-koshi, seventh since his Juryo debut in September 2020, and his earliest make-koshi since Day 9 of November 2020. Lots of things might be contributing to his sumo not being on point this basho (talk of injury, first time in the joi, being a newlywed, not changing his mawashi colour) but to my mind he’s not being fighting particularly badly, just not quite clinching the wins. Hopefully he’s learnt a lot from this basho and can sort out whatever’s up to come back strongly in Nagoya!

  3. All around fun day! Asanoyama bounced back like he did in the lower ranks after a loss. Daieisho really caught a break today, as two losses in a row threatened to completely derail him. Kiribayama is all but there, needing 10 wins and having 8 with Hiradoumi tomorrow. Takakeisho sure seems to want things to be very interesting with his rank, and the match vs. Daieisho tomorrow could well end up an ozeki eliminator.

  4. Bout of the day – Hokuseiho vs Meisei
    Most Entertaining bout – Ura vs Hokutofuji
    What the hell bout – Tobizaru vs Midorifuji
    Upset of the day – Kinbozon vs Takakeisho
    Technical bout – Kiribayama vs Wakamotoharu

  5. Kotoeko looks solid, he is fighting very good this basho, but still has an average record of 5-5.

    In Juryo, once again great show of stamina by Ochiai. As Gonoyama lost today, Ochiai is the sole leader.
    Enho kyujo due to neck injury, so it’s almost certain he ends up in Makushita, very sad.

  6. I have to give Hokuseiho credit for incredible resilience at the edge but I really don’t like that his approach this basho relies on the strength and power of his tippy toes. I’m not of the opinion that good sumo must be forward-moving at all times but I do think it should move forward at least some of the time. Meisei was the true winner — if not in reality then in my reality.

    Ura’s skipping pirouette to his spot after his victory was poetry in motion.


    Desperation sumo from Hoshoryu, do not love to see it.

    Boo! to Kinbozo for exposing my beloved Takakeisho. Boo I say.

    Sometimes this blog has hyped rikishi who have failed to fulfill the potential seen in them — if memory serves, Yutakayama and Hokutofuji are examples. I think Kotonowaka will prove to be of this mould — talented, yes, and strong enough to shift Terunofuji, but not good enough to stop Terunofuji’s makikae and losing because of it.

  7. Ichiyamamoto may be the Captain of the Juryo barge for this basho. He can’t get anything going at all. I think Mitoryu will join him unless he pulls off another magic trick like he did at the end of the last basho. I’m still not sold on Kagayaki either. He can only lose two matches for the rest of the basho which is a big ask from him.

    The biggest surprise for me this basho? Tsurugisho sitting at 7-3. Apparently, he wasn’t at 100% the past basho or two. It’ll be interesting to see how long he sticks around in the top division.

    I think both Tamawashi and Takarafuji will drop down the banzuke this basho. They’re both tenacious, though, so we’ll see what the future holds for both of them.

    I suspect that Meisei losing to Hokuseiho is a wake up call for all of the other rikishi. I keep waiting for Hokuseiho to take the fight to his opponents, but that’s not what he generally does. I’m assuming that’s a lack of experience (and maybe risk avoidance because he makes less mistakes this way?). The rest of this basho will tell us a lot about him and how his opponents deal with him.

    I think Shodai was caught, literally, flat footed by Abi because today was the first day that Abi really went for Abi-zumo. Don’t forget Abi’s the dude who sidestepped for four tachiai in a row recently.

    I do think that both Kiribayama and Wakamotoharu are getting to ten wins this basho. Hoshoryu also has a chance to get there too, but I think he needs more than that for 33 wins. In other words, Takakeisho faltering won’t be an issue for the NSK at all. They’ll just have to put him in the proper place on the banzuke based on his record after next Sunday. I do think he’ll find two wins. But, I don’t know if he’ll find more than that.

    I’m not too worried about Kinbozan or Kotonowaka at this point. They’re both still young, so they’ll be around for a while.

  8. Before Asanoyama got punished he had a run where he simply couldn’t beat Teru, I know almost nobody else could but there was this feeling that even others had a slight chance while Asanoyama had this mental barrier (also stylistically it was a bad matchup for him) and I always felt that was hurting him mentally that as an Ozeki he had no chance of beating the current Yokozuna, then the punishment came and he disappeared for a while.

    I think if he manages to beat Teru on his way to winning this tournament it will do wonders for his confidence and in hindsight, the punishment could be the best thing that happened to him, he also has the benefit of being fresh while Teru is coming from surgery and while Teru does look strong there can be a mental issue there that can allow Asanoyama to finally beat his “nemesis”

    I really hope it happens just so that it creates a rivalry for Terunofuji because right now its usually those push and thrusters that have a chance but I would hardly call Daieisho Terunofuji’s main rival. He always has a chance, as does Abi, as does Keisho, and others can surprise him as well, he is vulnerable, but it would be fantastic to see Asa up there, confirming Hakuho’s prediction that it would be Asanoyama who makes Yokozuna next.

    • Terunofuji was promoted to Yokozuna after Asanoyama’s suspension had begun. I suspect that Asa was intimidated by Teru, but having “no chance of beating the current Yokozuna” wasn’t a part of it. Let’s hope we see them square off in this basho.

      • Honestly out of the top bunch he always looked the least likely to beat Teru, there was definitely a mental hurdle there couples with the obvious clash of styles that doesn’t help Asa. But this version of Asa seems more with it than before,
        I’m liking what I’m seeing.

        Although I still favor Teru atm

  9. After day two I found it hard to imagine that Hokuseiho and Takakeisho could reach their eight.
    The Tower is now 8-2… I was utterly wrong and this although I still find his fighting lame (but strangely fascinating to watch).
    I only can hope Takakeisho will prove me wrong, too.

  10. Looked like Kiribayama gave a little backward kick to Wakamotoharu as he was going out, like a push to make sure he kept going, it was odd.

  11. Like those men who enter competitions for women I feel that Hokuseiho is just too big and thus does not give the other rikishi a fair chance and yet… unless it was just fortuitous I was fascinated today by his so precise and effective foot placements. What I think the other rikishi should do is realise that in relation to Hokuseiho they are Ura or Enho-sized and should thus try those wrestlers’ tricks – leg pulls and so on.

  12. How big and powerful do you have to be to pull a Terunofuji/Hokuseiho at the tawara and come out winning? I’m willing to bet they’re just about the only two guys who can do that.

    And note to Hoshoryu, stop with the garbage sumo and get back to solid fundamentals. F-ups and the necessary trickery to recover and win will only get you so far. Especially now that we’re heading into Act 3 where business is really going to pick up.

  13. I shudder at the thought of what would be left of me if I had been on the receiving end of that Abi nodowa. If my head remained tethered to my neck, I’m pretty sure I’d be in traction for a good long while.

    I didn’t like the look of what happened to Gonoyama’s left knee in his Day 10 bout. He reached for it immediately upon hitting the clay. I’m afraid that he may be damaged goods upon his arrival in the top division. Let’s hope not.

  14. I’m not exactly sure why, but the bout between Kiribayama and Wakamotoharu had a distinctly 90s feel to it. I really enjoyed it! Looking forward to this rivalry progressing into the future!


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