Nagoya 2023: Day 2 Highlights

I just have to say, Shohozan is a joy on the Abema coverage. I think we’ll hear from him again later this week. But let’s not bandy about; it’s early in this basho and we had enough news yesterday. So, let’s just get to the action.


Hakuoho (2-0) defeated Kagayaki (J1-1): Kagayaki was not able to get much tsuppari going against Hakuoho, and not much offense at all. Hakuoho corralled him early and ushered him over the bales. Yorikiri.

Aoiyama (1-1) defeated Bushozan (0-2): Aoiyama-zumo. Strong, whithering attack of tsuppari from Aoiyama. As Bushozan began to move forward Aoiyama shifted, forcing Bushozan to the clay. Tsukiotoshi.

Endo (2-0) defeated Ryuden (0-2): Endo didn’t fall for Ryuden’s early hit-and-shift. He locked in with a left-hand deep inside, back on the knot of Ryuden’s mawashi, and slowly crab-walked Ryuden back and out. A very strong start from Endo. Yorikiri.

Shonannoumi (2-0) defeated Takarafuji (1-1): Both combatant’s locked in on their opponent’s mawashi. Shonannoumi’s second kotenage attempt worked as he pivoted, right arm locked around Takarafuji’s left at the armpit, and forced Takarafuji down. Kotenage.

Kotoshoho (1-1) defeated Daishoho (0-2): Daishoho let Kotoshoho move in and lock-on with a morozashi, double-inside grip, and Kotoshoho took advantage, immediately walking Daishoho back and out. Yorikiri.

Gonoyama (2-0) defeated Chiyoshoma (1-1): Gonoyama weathered Chiyoshoma’s nodowa and strong slaps to the face. As Chiyoshoma shifted his weight forward to lay in some more, Gonoyama shifted to the right and slapped Chiyoshoma down. Gonoyama did get in a couple of good, satisfying slaps of his own before bringing down the hammer. Hatakikomi.

Kotoeko (2-0) defeated Tsurugisho (0-2): Kotoeko engaged at the tachiai, drove Tsurugisho back and out. Tsurugisho appears headed for a deep makekoshi. No convincing attack as Kotoeko was not far enough forward for a force-down and he didn’t seem able to pivot or move well horizontally. Yorikiri.

Kinbozan (1-1) defeated Myogiryu (0-2): Kinbozan’s attack was to maintain forward pressure. Keep his weight centered, Myogiryu ahead, and move forward. Myogiryu tried to move inside and get a morozashi but failed. He backed out, pivoted, and nearly brought Kinbozan down with a slapdown but failed. Then he pulled and tried a kotenage but Kinbozan drove forward as the pair fell – nearly simultaneously – over the edge. The gunbai went to Kinbozan as he landed a heartbeat after Myogiryu. No mono-ii. Yoritaoshi

Hokutofuji (2-0) defeated Takanosho (0-2): Misdirection was the only thing on the menu here today. Hokutofuji’s first shift at the tachiai nearly worked as an off-balance Takanosho sprawled to the edge. Takanosho caught himself, though, and re-engaged. His own shift nearly caught out Hokutofuji but he couldn’t finish him. Hokutofuji regained his balance and shifted again, this time bringing down Takanosho. Hatakikomi.

Nishikifuji (2-0) defeated Sadanoumi (0-2): Nishikifuji first shifted to his left and when that didn’t work, he shifted to his right and forced Sadanoumi down. Tsukiotoshi.

Halftime – time to sweep and water the clay

Takayasu (2-0) defeated Tamawashi (1-1): I expected fireworks but got a damp squib as Tamawashi chose to retreat today, rather than a forward-facing, head-to-head brawl. Takayasu drove forward and Tamawashi shifted, trying a kotenage and a slapdown. Both failed as Takayasu maintained his balance and drove Tamawashi out. Oshidashi.

Oho (1-1) defeated Hokuseiho (1-1): A fast-paced start to the bout settled into a lengthy game of patience. Hokuseiho’s early kimedashi didn’t work as Oho escaped. Hokuseiho established a morozashi and tried to move forward but Oho resisted and maintained good position at the center of the ring. Oho pivoted with his left arm locked in on Hokuseiho’s right, bringing Hokuseiho down at the edge. As both tumbled out the gunbai went to Hokuseiho. But the shinpan corrected the call after a quick mono-ii. Kotenage.

Onosho (1-1) defeated Hiradoumi (1-1): Onosho drove back into Hiradoumi and shrugged off Hiradoumi’s early attempt at a belt grip. He pivoted inside and successfully forced Hiradoumi down. Tsukiotoshi.

Asanoyama (1-1) defeated Ura (0-2): After an early flourish of tsuppari, Asanoyama wrapped Ura up with a right hand inside and maintained the pressure as Ura retreated around the ring. Finally trapped at the edge of the ring, Ura tried to tip the pair over but Asanoyama was having none of it, maintained his balance, and threw Ura down from the left. Uwatenage.


Meisei (2-0) defeated Kotonowaka (1-1): Meisei all the way. Strong tachiai, he drove forward like a freight train. Who needs a belt grip when your opponent is that damn high? Maybe Kotonowaka thought he was Hokuseiho as he tried to lock in on Meisei’s belt from over top. Meisei ate that attack for lunch. Yorikiri.

Abi (1-1) defeated Midorifuji (1-1): So much for the Isegahama-collaboration on shutting down Abi-zumo. Abi got his revenge today. Rather than rapid fire tsuppari, though, Abi layed into Midorifuji with heavy artillery. Midorifuji tried a slapdown which nearly worked but Abi was able to maintain his balance. Rather than a .50 calibre, machine-gun, Abi apparently brought a howitzer, driving Midorifuji back and out with fierce thrusts to Midorifuji’s face. Oshitaoshi.

Hoshoryu (2-0) defeated Shodai (0-2): Hoshoryu forced Shodai into retreat with strong tsuppari and nodowa. Then finished him at the edge with a right-hand inside. Yorikiri.

Wakamotoharu (2-0) defeated Tobizaru (0-2): Tobizaru gave WMH fans a scare as his dynamic brand of sumo nearly caught Arashio-beya’s top dog out. Once Wakamotoharu was able to corral Tobizaru at the center of the ring with a solid left-hand inside/right-hand outside grip, though, the match was over. Wakamotoharu drove forward and forced Tobizaru out. Yorikiri.

Daieisho (2-0) defeated Mitakeumi (0-2): Mitakeumi tried to weather Daieisho’s tsuppari but the torrent was too fierce and unrelenting. Daieisho’s powerful thrusts forced Mitakeumi back and over the edge. The Sekiwake line holds strong for a second day. Tsukidashi.

Nishikigi (2-0) defeated Terunofuji (1-1): Zabuton rained on the dohyo as Terunofuji’s patented kimedashi attack was thwarted at the edge with Nishikigi’s pivot and throw. Terunofuji got what he wanted. He was executing his sumo. But that kimedashi attack yields a morozashi to the opponent. Nishikigi was able to leverage that hold of the Yokozuna’s trunk, even without a belt grip, and counter with a twisting throw. Kinboshi! Sukuinage.

That’s right. The big news today happened on the dohyo for once. Nishikigi kinboshi. Congratulations!

9 thoughts on “Nagoya 2023: Day 2 Highlights

  1. “The big news today happened on the dohyo for once!” Haha! I’m liking the coverage again. Nice touch with the kimarite at the end of each summary. Thumbs up from me!

    Something that always makes me smile is when a wrestler does what Daieisho did today, when upon winning he immediately put the breaks on the intensity of the bout and held Mitakeumi back from falling off the dohyo. You see it quite a lot, and I think it really shows the mutual respect and camaraderie among the rikishi.

  2. There is definitely a shift regarding mono-ii for this basho. I’m not sure if there were grumbles about so many of them in the last basho or if it’s something else. But, so far the only reason the shimpan have stood is when the call was so obviously wrong they had to get involved. Interesting.

    While yesterday started slower, I do like the amount of motivation I’m seeing from all of the rikishi today. No one is slacking (although I’m wondering if Mitakeumi is injured based on his performance today, but he did face Daieisho today, so….maybe?) and even people currently with losing records are doing their best on the dohyo.

    I don’t think that Terunofuji has anything wrong with him. I think he just got caught by someone who was looking for him to use his “go-to move”. Nishikigi had that scouted from a mile away and had his hips mostly set up as soon as Terunofuji grabbed him. Let’s see how the Yokozuna does tomorrow before we start with doom and gloom forecasts.

    I think Wakamotoharu is doing great, but if he’s injured like he previously stated then he’ll fade later in the basho. Fingers crossed that I’m wrong. Also, I don’t think we’ll know who’s going to win the Cup until all of the matches are over.

  3. Some quick notes here:

    The Hokutofuji/Takanosho fight was a mess. It was like you could see the ring rust flaking off with each twirl away and stumble to maintain their footing.
    Hokuseiho looked like he was trying not to be a Sleepy-nojo clone, but then got into his stand there and lean sumo. Yawn. He’s gonna keep rising through the top division, but because the mediocrity is strong in the Maegashira ranks right now. Sanyaku will be another story, though.
    As an addendum to that fight, the gyoji aren’t off to a great start this basho, with that reversal and yesterday’s missed hand touch by Hoshoryu.
    Good rebounds by Onosho and Asanoyama after disappointing losses yesterday.
    It’s early, but Meisei is my dark-horse title frontrunner. The top two ranks are absent or fighting hurt, and the Sekiwake on Ozeki runs might get in their own heads (and in each others’ ways). So this basho seems ripe for a Maesashira winner.
    Rikishi who already mentally have a make-koshi Shodai, Mitakeumi, Tsurugisho, Midorifuji. Rikishi who already seem locks for kachi-koshi: Wakamotoharu, Daieisho, Takayasu, Kotoeko
    Is Nishikigi’s kinboshi victory a sign of a late career resurgence, or is Terunofuji coming back down to the mortal plain? Either way, that throw was sublime.

  4. Interestingly Nishikigi is also a kimedashi exponent and surely has a pretty good idea of what makes it effective (or to put it another way, what makes it ineffective) — gotta compress those elbows if you want to defuse a moro-zashi.

  5. That Takanosho bout looked like both had been knocked out before the bout and still trying to regain consciousness.

    For most people it was probably Nishikigi, but for me Oho was the bout of the day. He often looks sluggish and acts even more sluggish, but today everything pointed towards the typical boring Hokuseiho win … stalling the fight, tiring his opponent and then after 10 minutes walking him out, but today Oho was having none of it. He had the better start, was more active, but couldn’t convert it and even ended up with a morozashi for Hokuseiho in the process, but he never gave in and finally threw Hokuseiho down. Referee obviously couldn’t believe it and pointed to Hokuseiho, but luckily today we got a monoii.

    Takayasu looked a bit too wild for me today and I was worried about that Kopenhagenerinnen, but luckily he dissolved that quickly and unharmed.

    Hakuoho, Shonnanoumi and Gonoyama going strong on day 2 as well. Looks promising.

    The Ozeki hopefuls … jury on Hoshoryu is still out to me, as Shodai just decided to yield today. Daieisho and Wakamotoharu look genki and solid.

    Terunofujis face said it all, he got surprised. He doesn’t look hurt so far, so I guess that will only help his focus and motivation.

      • Well, I should have proof read. I have no idea how a kotenage was turned into this by my iPad. I’m not aware of any connection of Takayasu with females from Copenhagen;–) that’s what this weird word means in German.

        • That’s what I thought but I figured it was some reference about the way women from Copenhagen are. I am sympathetic to them, though. I like licorice, too.


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