Nagoya 2023: Day 4 Highlights

Terunofuji is out. So the big news, and the big concern, comes once again from the sidelines. We hope Terunofuji is able to use the rest to come back strong next tournament. In the back of our minds, however, we do wonder when it will be time to retire. It would be crazy if he retires and we have two kadoban Ozeki in September. However, if we’ve got 5 Ozeki waiting in the wings, maybe it would be time? Let’s not dwell on this too long. There is a full slate of action on the dohyo tonight and hopefully the news for tomorrow is generated there.


Aoiyama (2-2) defeated Endo (3-1): It was very weird to have this bout as the first Makuuchi bout of the night. The allure of Endo’s kensho is strong. Aoiyama executed his sumo well but Endo nearly escaped with his own tawara dance. The gunbai went to Endo but his toe touched out before Aoiyama did. Oshidashi.

Hakuoho (3-1) defeated Bushozan (1-3): Bushozan pressed forward at the tachiai but couldn’t drive Hakuoho out. Hakuoho secured an over-arm grip with the right arm on Bushozan’s mawashi and drove him over the edge. Yorikiri.

Takarafuji (3-1) defeated Daishoho (0-4): Daishoho had a splash of gas in the tank for a strong tachiai but any attack sputtered to a halt. Takarafuji took complete control and drove him out and over the bales…despite not being 100% on that left leg and mostly of the driving power seemed to be generated from the right. Yorikiri.

Gonoyama (4-0) defeated Ryuden (0-4): Ryuden used up his splash of gas on a matta. Gonoyama bashed him repeatedly as he blasted Ryuden out of the ring. Tsukidashi.

Shonannoumi (3-1) defeated Kotoshoho (1-3): Kotoshoho was doing well, pressuring Shonannoumi and moving forward but he slipped with the right foot. Shonannoumi pounced and pushed him out, oshidashi.

Kotoeko (3-1) defeated Chiyoshoma (2-2): While Kotoeko tussled for an inside grip, he was able to pressure Chiyoshoma and press forward. He had an inside grip with the right and was trying to secure a morozashi when he cornered Chiyoshoma at the tawara. Here, he just opted for the overarm grip with the left so he could pick Chiyoshoma up and plop him back down outside the ring. Kotoeko tiny but Kotoeko stronk. Yorikiri.

Tsurugisho (1-3) defeated Kinbozan (2-2): Tsurugisho locked on to Kinbozan’s mawashi at the tachiai and swung Kinbozan around and down. Uwatenage. That was fast. Where in the hell did that come from? That was beautiful, actually. Kinbozan’s no shrimp. He’s one of the big guys in the division according to the Kyodai’s data. Tsurugisho does weigh 13kg more but at 181kg, Kinbozan is not only heavier than most of the guys in Makuuchi, he’s in the top quintile.

Hokutofuji (3-1) defeated Myogiryu (1-3): Effective ottsuke from Hokutofuji on the left and on the right prevented Myogiryu from coming inside and securing a belt grip. At the same time, Hokutofuji battered Myogiryu with tsuppari and forced him down. Hatakikomi.

Takayasu (4-0) defeated Takanosho (0-4): The frustration and disappointment was visible on Takanosho after such a great effort. Misdirection wasn’t working early for either man so they settled in a grapple at the middle of the ring and put their minds together to rethink their strategies. Takayasu must have had a eureka moment as he pounced, and with his hand on the back of Takanosho’s head, thrust him down for the win. Hatakikomi.

Tamawashi (3-1) defeated Nishikifuji (3-1): The scoreline points to a yorikiri win and suggests a yotsu battle, but this was a patented Tamawashi oshi bout. He harassed Nishikifuji with tsuppari and battered him, chasing him around the ring. At the edge, the decisive moment he went in and grabbed Nishikifuji’s belt and shoved him over the bales. Yorikiri.

Oho (2-2) defeated Sadanoumi (1-3): The youngster battered Sadanoumi with effective tsuppari, several slaps landing right on Sadanoumi’s face. Tsukidashi.

Hokuseiho (2-2) defeated Hiradoumi (2-2): Hokuseiho dwarfed Hiradoumi by a good 27cm. Inspite of that, Hiradoumi tried his best to disrupt Hokuseiho’s planned attack, shrugging off Hokuseiho’s first few attempts to latch onto the belt. But he wanted to lock in with his own belt grip and eventually relented. That meant it was really a matter of time before the giant Hokuseiho wore him down and forced him out. Yorikiri.

Asanoyama (3-1) defeated Onosho (1-3): It looked like Onosho had just managed to go on the offensive and shrugged off Asanoyama’s right arm, locked in, and charged forward. But Asanoyama quickly pulled his right arm back inside Onosho’s left arm and twisted with all his might, swinging Onosho to the dohyo. Sukuinage.

Ura (2-2) defeated Meisei (2-2): Meisei could not contain Ura. While Ura retreated, he pressed down on Meisei, forcing Meisei to stop and try to regain his balance. Ura came back for another attack, this time shoving him out of the ring. Oshidashi. I would compare this 1-2 attack as something akin to a shark. Ura took his bite from the side, and then squared up and came back to finish him off. It’s a little weird to think of Ura that way since he’s often on the retreat for most of the bout, as was the case this time. I may need a better analogy. But for now, he’s a shark.

Abi (3-1) defeated Tobizaru (1-3): Abi-zumo. Disruptive tsuppari, he didn’t allow Tobizaru to launch any attack. The decisive moment was a powerful shove from the side that got Tobizaru off-balance, then once the momentum was headed to the edge, he followed up with finishing attack to shove him out. Oshidashi.

Wakamotoharu (3-1) defeated Midorifuji (0-4): A well-timed slapdown from Wakamotoharu here. Rather than the usual retreating slapdowns, this was executed as Midorifuji drove forward to attack from the edge. Wakamotoharu stood his ground and shoved down from above Midorifuji’s outstretched body. Hatakikomi.

Nishikigi (4-0) defeated Daieisho (3-1): マジ This was an Ura-like escape from Nishikigi. Daieisho launched out from the tachiai with purpose but Nishikigi weathered the blows and shifted to the left. As Daieisho drove forward, Nishikigi attacked from the side and Daieisho went down on one knee. Hikkake. What bizarre world have I fallen into? Day 4 and this horse race is led by Nishikigi, Takayasu, and Gonoyama? Wild!

Shodai (2-2) fusen over Terunofuji (1-3)

Hoshoryu (3-1) defeated Mitakeumi (0-4): Mitakeumi did not go quietly into that good night. I loved the effort, but he is hurt. Hoshoryu advanced and pressed Mitakeumi back to the tawara and, eventually, out.

Kirishima (1-1-2) defeated Kotonowaka (2-2): Solid sumo from the Ozeki. When the Ozeki engaged with a belt grip, Kotonowaka twisted, violently. Kirishima released and shoved Kotonowaka out from behind. Okuridashi.

10 thoughts on “Nagoya 2023: Day 4 Highlights

  1. There’s an interesting thing to track for the top 3 people on the leaderboard at the moment: Nishikigi is mostly done with the upper ranked rikishi already. He still has to face Wakamotoharu, Kotonowaka, and Abi and then it’s all Megashira after that. So, while Takayasu and Gonoyama might have easier schedules, Nishikigi already is mostly through the toughest part of his tournament already.

    As soon as Onosho attacked, Asanoyama set up that throw. He pivoted as soon as his footing was solid. Fantastic stuff.

    Abi is really hot or cold right now. It’s obvious some rikishi have figured him out and others still haven’t put the pieces together. Good to see that he’s not henkaing as much though.

    If Mitakeumi had two uninjured legs he might have gotten away from Hoshoryu there. I hope he recovers well and quickly while not making his injury worse in the next week and a half.

    It would be completely ridiculous if one of the current leaders wins the cup and we have more than one Ozeki candidate get promoted in this tournament, but I can absolutely see that happening. Kirishima might avoid kadoban too. Wild.

  2. Also, it’s interesting that the injuries to Terunofuji that were given for his kyujo are back related instead of something with his knees. That could mean he has a better shot at recovery.

    • I hadn’t heard that, but it fits what I saw. He didn’t look good losing yesterday, but he also didn’t look like he did when the knees were failing before the surgery.

  3. Given how well he’s fought to get to his current rank, I have faith Kirishima will get to 8 wins, even with basically 3 losses in the books. At this point it’s not a yokozuna run or even an ozeki run, it’s “just do enough to hold on.”

  4. There has been a lot slippiotoshi this basho, and it made me wonder if more experienced wrestlers modify their sumo at all to cope with a slippery dohyo, or if it’s too hard to change instinctive moves and reactions.


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