Nagoya 2023: Day 6 Highlights

I’m chuffed. What a great day of action today! I’m not going to get ahead of myself here today. Let me know what you thought of today’s action in the comments. I thought it was absolutely bloody brilliant. That Ura/Hokuseiho bout. Wow. And there’s so much more tomorrow!


Endo (5-1) defeated Mitoryu (J3-3): No stealing Endo’s cash today. Mitoryu was massive compared to Endo, so it was an impressive display of power and skill just to get Mitoryu to the edge. From there, it was difficult for Endo to get a force out or push out victory because of that size. Mitoryu tried to pivot at the edge and Endo pressed into him. Mitoryu tried a kick but Endo pressed his knee into Mitoryu while shoving him in the opposite direction, forcing him to lose his balance and fall into the ring. Kirikaeshi.

Takarafuji (4-2) defeated Aoiyama (2-4): Maybe Takarafuji’s secret is patience. He weathered Aoiyama’s flurry of tsuppari until Aoiyama was apparently too tired to keep throwing hands. As he waited, he used excellent footwork to steadily press Aoiyama closer to the edge. When the V-twin ran out of gas, it was elementary to reach in, grab the belt and force him over the tawara. Yorikiri.

Daishoho (2-4) defeated Bushozan (1-5): That strategy of “Be Big” is enough to win sometimes. And Daishoho used that strategy effectively against Bushozan. He kept Bushozan in front of him and steadily cut off his options to advance, forcing him to the edge and over. Yorikiri.

Hakuoho (4-2) defeated Gonoyama (5-1): The mummy was gone. None of the shoulder tape on Hakuoho. Maybe he blamed it for his loss yesterday? That’s not to say the shoulder injury is gone, obviously, but perhaps it was limiting him when he’d try to extend and reach in to get a belt grip. The slapdown is an effective option when a belt grip is difficult to achieve. Gonoyama’s tsuppari was effective at keeping Hakuoho at arm’s length. But Hakuoho employed a subtle shift and well-timed slapdown while blocking Gonoyama’s right arm. Hatakikomi.

Ryuden (2-4) defeated Kotoshoho (2-4): Ryuden used the same strategy as Takarafuji, just weather Kotoshoho’s attack and move forward. Kotoshoho’s tsuppari was utterly useless against Ryuden as he just shrugged it off and advanced into Kotoshoho, forcing him back and over the edge. Yorikiri.

Chiyoshoma (3-3) defeated Shonannoumi (4-1): An impressive force out win by Chiyoshoma. He did an excellent job corralling Shonannoumi at the edge and getting low, pressing up against the big man to stagger him backwards, and then kicking to move him a bit closer to the tawara. Finally, it was brute force as he shoved Shonannoumi over the edge. Yorikiri.

Takanosho (1-5) defeated Tsurugisho (1-5): The futility derby was lost by Tsurugisho. Takanosho did not need much of an attack to drive Tsurugisho back and over the edge. Tsurugisho had no offensive firepower and offered no resistance. Yorikiri.

Hokutofuji (5-1) defeated Kotoeko (3-3): I always have to give respect when a wrestler abandons their preferred attack to beat their opponent with their own technique. Hokutofuji gave up the tsuppari and let Kotoeko engage in a grapple. Kotoeko was clearly uncomfortable and over-extended with that overarm grip with his left arm. He was stretched pretty far. I think this let Hokutofuji control the pace and move Kotoeko around the ring. At the edge, Kotoeko used his left leg on the tawara and tried to twist, maybe sukuinage attempt. This gave Hokutofuji an even deeper belt grip on the knot of the mawashi and he pressed him down to the ground from behind. Okuritaoshi.

Kinbozan (4-2) defeated Sadanoumi (1-4): When Sadanoumi tried a slapdown, Kinbozan maintained his balance, got low and forced Sadanoumi to the edge. Sadanoumi resisted as much as he could but Kinbozan’s strength and persistence was eventually too much and he drove him over the edge.

Myogiryu (3-3) defeated Nishikifuji (3-3): Quick hatakikomi win by Myogiryu as Nishikifuji tried to advance after the tachiai.


Tamawashi (5-1) defeated Hiradoumi (1-5): This is that efficiency I mentioned. No wild brawls. First, a slapdown attempt to pull Hiradoumi in. Then he wrapped up his right arm and pressed forward, forcing Hiradoumi out. Yorikiri.

Onosho (2-4) defeated Takayasu (5-1): Onosho stayed low and drove into Papayasu. But Takayasu’s real mistake was to execute a pull with no room to pull. He was already near the edge and without a good grip, he couldn’t hope for a twisting throw. The hatakikomi failed. Oshidashi.

Asanoyama (4-2) defeated Oho (2-4): Oho tried tsuppari and then a pull but Asanoyama kept his footing and advanced, trapping Oho at the edge for the force out. Yorikiri.

Ura (4-2) defeated Hokuseiho (3-3): EPIC WIN BY URA! I called it. For once, I was right! Ura had to get behind Hokuseiho and press him out. Okuridashi is an effective tool for opponents with a significant mass deficit because if you’re behind your opponent they cannot grab you or shove you. That’s not to say it’s easy. I tried this when I got in the ring last month against Tooyama. There is a lot of weight to move and I have clearly not done enough shiko. But Ura swole.

**Update** I added the video from the sumokyokai Instagram.

Tobizaru (3-3) defeated Mitakeumi (0-6): Mitakeumi’s right hand grip was not powerful enough to drive Tobizaru over the edge. An uninjured Mitakeumi would have won right there. You had him on the ropes! Injured Mitakeumi let Tobizaru off. Then Tobizaru chased Mitakeumi around the ring with slapdown attempts, eventually working his way behind the bigger wrestler. Okuridashi.


Nishikigi (6-0) defeated Abi (3-3): Nishikigi took Takarafuji’s strategy from the early bouts and leveraged it against Abi. Patience. Abi made a big mistake with a pulldown attempt, putting himself on the ropes. Nishikigi obliged and shoved him out. Oshidashi.

Kotonowaka (4-2) defeated Daieisho (4-2): Oh, that was beautiful. Kotonowaka had to endure a lot of abuse but when Daieisho had him at the edge and moved in for the kill, Kotonowaka shifted and forced him down. Tsukiotoshi. Very nearly a hatakikomi if he’d pushed him down from the back of the head/shoulders area but it’s the same idea. Deflect and use Daieisho’s extended attack against him.

Hoshoryu (5-1) defeated Midorifuji (1-5): Hoshoryu wrangled Midorifuji with both arms and slung him to the side. This forced Midorifuji to try to retreat…but Hoshoryu had both of his arms locked up! As Midorifuji was desperately trying to back away, Hoshoryu dragged him into his extended right leg. Sotogake.

Wakamotoharu (4-2) defeated Meisei (2-4) and breathes a sigh of relief. He starts with a nerves induced matta…Wakamotoharu knows his Ozeki-run is already precarious with two losses. He could only afford one more. Meisei engaged at the tachiai but a clever shift and effective slapdown means WMH takes another step toward Ozeki.

Kirishima (2-2-2) defeated Shodai (2-4): Kirishima shoved Shodai hard and when Shodai brought his upper body forward to resist, Kirishima grabbed him with the left and pressed down with the right, forcing Shodai to the floor…hard. Tsukiotoshi.

Today’s Wrap-up

Welp, it’s been great filling in for Bruce. Congratulations on the new addition! There has been so much action this week and a lot of news…not all of it good. I hope Kaiju heals and comes back strong in September. Nishikigi has torn through sanyaku, though it is was a depleted field. Fusen win from Kirishima and no Takakeisho. He will face Kotonowaka tomorrow to round it out before taking on rank-and-filers from nakabi. Takayasu and Gonoyama fell off the pace today, leaving Nishikigi out front alone. All three Ozeki runs are still intact but there’s a lot of action to come and a couple will probably fall short as they cannibalize each other at the end of next week. And then there’s just been a lot of wild bouts and a whole lot of action. Thank you, Ura!

25 thoughts on “Nagoya 2023: Day 6 Highlights

  1. any news about wakatakakage ?

    he is retired ? absent for 3 or more basho ? whats going on ?

  2. When Ura pushed Hokuseiho from behind, I remembered reading this in your preview and was like no way!!
    Good prediction Andy.
    And of course that was the bout of the day.
    Upset – Takayasu vs Onosho

    • I don’t think it’s an injury. I just think it’s Hokuseiho’s “brand of sumo.” If he’s got one hand reaching over Ura, both of his feet are solidly on the clay. They might think that a two-handed grip would shift his weight too much or bring him off balance? It is an interesting tactic but one that I think Ura exposed because it turns him half way to his opponent. I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone tries to get behind him when he does this.

  3. Just a quick (positive) comment about the reviews and previews thus for for this basho: they have been excellent and much better than I’ve seen in previous tournaments. There is better attention to detail and almost no typos or grammar mistakes. Also, the overused cliche comments like Aoyama’s “V-twin” or “old stompy” have been avoided, which makes it much more enjoyable to read. Thank you for the great work!

    • In contrast some of us like to read those comments like V-twin, Old stompy.
      Those comments are funny and also these lingos pop up to my mind, when ever I see the actual sumo bout of that rikishi.
      In fact I was trying to find and locate those signature moves from the rikishis, like wall of Daikon from Shodai, V twin from Aiyoyama, etc..

      • I‘m very glad, Bruce will be back. I like his humour.
        And he ain‘t as damned quick as Andy is, always tempting me to read his comments before I‘m able to see the matches on NHK. Nerve wrecking temptation!
        That said: well done, Andy, thank U very much.

    • To each their own – I was glad that Andy filled in, as he is definitely a change of pace. Please keep in mind, I am the undisputed KING of typos.

      • Although Paul added one just for fun! 😂 Everyone’s efforts to keep up the commentary and conversation adds so much fun to the basho. Thanks Bruce and Andy.

      • Hi Bruce, nice to have you back, Kilban’s cat. The typos might confuse the non-natives, but who am I to criticise. “Excellent, but to many careless mistakes”, was what the teacher would write under my essays. I was always in a rush to get my homework done.
        I enjoyed Andy’s timely “Highlights”. I am looking forward to your humorous remarks and plenty of typos from a sleep deprived new father.
        It is the mix that makes it.
        As for the basho, I am enjoying the Nishikigi magical mystery tour imensely, and Hokuseiho vs Ura was the most entertaining bout of the tournament so far.

        • Yes, due to work and family duties (which clock in at a higher priority) my writing time is heavily constrained most days. Add to that crippling dyslexia, and you have the making of epic typos. Season liberally with autocorrect and you get… well, this stuff.

  4. Thanks for keeping us informed, Andy! Great to see Ura taking your advice :D

    I remember Nishikigi having a great run a few years ago, Bruce making Cinderella comments. Nishikigi seems like a nice guy and I relate to the nearsightedness.

    Happy to see Takarafuji doing well so he can put a bigger buffer between himself and Juryo.

    Best of luck to our Ozeki and Ozeki hopefuls!

    • If Nishikigi does manage to win the basho, I just Know he’s going to do the presentations & interview while wearing his glasses …. that would be superb!

  5. Honestly, this tournament had been kind of boring for me until today, I was excited for the basho but then in the blink of an eye, the new ozeki doesn’t compete the first day, takakeisho is out and Teru was also out. Thankfully there were interesting things going on like Hakuoho and Gonoyama and of course Asanoyama but he also lost right away.

    Now its interesting, for me at least, It’s there for the taking for Hoshoryu, Daieisho, Waka, Taco, Tamawashi, etc. Ura had a fantastic match that will for sure be the win of the tournament. Hopefully Kirishima makes KK.

    Mitakeumi, wtf’?

  6. Thank you, Andy. Enjoyed reading your writings. Yes! Today’s Ura defeat of Hokuseiho is an instant classic
    — and you called it!

  7. Two Okuridashi in a row!

    My advice as an armchair Oyakata as to defeating Hokuseiho would be to go for an Enho style leg-pull but if that does not work to let Hokuseiho exhaust himself first and then try a force-out. Alternatively the JSA should outlaw the technique used by Hokuseiho of just standing upright. He has to be the most boring Sekitori (where Tobizaru or Ura are the most fun).

    • The best way to stop people from using a technique is to defeat it, consistently. If no one lost to henka, no one would do them. Same with this. If he gets beat, he’ll have to change.

      • Though I must say, there’s no chance of anyone trying a henka on Hokuseiho with his molasses-in-january tachiai.

  8. Ura-Hokuseiho is an instant classic, one of those bouts NHK will find a way to feature on their little educational segments after each day’s highlights package. That was very reminiscent of Mainoumi vs. Akebono.

    Tsurugisho needs to withdraw before he loses function permanently in that hand/wrist. Mitakeumi and Kotoshoho need to consider dropping out early, too.

    I fear all the Ozeki bids will fall by the wayside in week 2. None of the three look quite 100 percent; whether that’s mental or physical or a combination, I dunno. But Daieisho’s run is already on life support, and Wakamotoharu is pressing. And Hoshoryu is always good for one loss a basho that should’ve been a gimmie win.

    I don’t think Nishikigi will take the yusho. But it will sure be entertaining watching him pace the pack.

    • I think Wakamotoharu’s run is the most precarious with 8 wins needed while Daieisho and Hoshoryu both need 7 more.

  9. Tsurugisho should definitely withdraw. Mitakeumi maybe; he would stay in the division and could start a run from down there just like Endo this time. But why Kotoshoho? A withdrawal would mean Juryo next basho and his 2-4 doesn‘t prove he‘s still injured.
    I tend to agree with U about the Sekiwake and Nishikigi, but I strongly hope that we‘ll be wrong!

  10. Sometimes I really hate Takayasu. Losing to Onosho is already an offense to his level of skill, but freely gifting it away like this?

    On the contrary this Gonoyama vs. Hakuoho bout looked very promising for a rivalry to come here. Ura obviously was another highlight. I also quite liked Hoshoryu today.

    Don’t know if anyone still remembers march … Midorifuji started 10-0 before finishing 10-5, so I’m holding my breath on Nishikigi, but he definitely adds an interesting story to the basho. We are still in a period we’re Maegashira Yusho are much more likely/easier to achieve. Even with the promising development of Kirishima and the other Ozeki hopefuls, we are far away from the dominant Sanyaku we were used to during the 2010th and obviously Yokozuna hoarding Yusho are completely absent (Teru finished one of his last tournaments).

    I’m also having my eyes on Tamawashi. He is in good form so far and in a nice spot on the banzuke. I root for Takayasu of course, but today …


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