Aki Day 6 Highlights

I would call today “Shimpan, can you spare a mono-ii day?” There were a number of close matches that featured rikishi in motion exiting the ring or falling to the clay in unison. But after Atamifuji and Mitakeumi required two mono-ii, I think the shimpan crew got worried about running past the 6:00 PM news deadline, and decided to not worry about it. As a result, a few of the contests that may have benefited from video review may not of gotten any, and the basho churned on within its allocated time block.

The group with 1 loss narrowed from 8 rikishi to 5, with kadoban Ozeki Takakeisho possibly having an edge once we begin to cover the yusho race on Sunday.

Highlight Matches

Aoiyama defeats Chiyoshoma – In Nagoya, Aoiyama had a cold start and then rallied to finish with a strong kachi-koshi. Now that he has won 2 in a row, could the same thing be happening after losing his first four? Aoiyama prevented Chiyoshoma from closing in at the tachiai, and then fired up the V-Twin and preceded to pommel Chiyoshoma into submission, sending him out by tsukidashi. Big Dan now 2-4.

Tsurugisho defeats Kotoshoho – How do you get that much human flesh hopping forward and maintain your feet? The athleticism required for some of these guys just handle their own bodies is incredible. Tsurugisho completely overrides whatever sumo Kotoshoho had planned and stomps him out on the East side three steps later by oshidashi. Tsurugisho holds onto his leader slot at 5-1.

Myogiryu defeats Kagayaki – Kagayaki had the better initial attack following the tachiai, but he allowed Myogiryu to position him, then ease him forward until he was ready for Myogiryu’s hatakikomi. Kagayaki hits the clay as Myogiryu improves to 4-2.

Nishikifuji defeats Daishoho – The first part of this match featured Daishoho’s showing some solid upper body defenses, keeping Nishikifuji from thrusting or getting a belt grip. But Nishikifuji was able to break contact, putting Daishoho off balance. In that moment, Nishikifuji grappled, and was rewarded with a double inside grip. Daishoho again did a solid job of defense, but could not overcome the advantage of Nishikifuji’s grip. The yorikiri improves Nishikifuji’s score to 3-3.

Atamifuji defeats Mitakeumi – Neat “low hands” tachiai from Mitakeumi played right into a solid hazu-oshi attack. A push, a pull and the battle went see-saw as the two traded forward combinations. The two lock up on the West side of the dohyo to sort themselves out. Atamifuji ran out of patience first, and attempted a pull. Mitakeumi was ready, driving Atamifuji back and out. but who was out first? The gumbai went to Atamifuji, but it was monoii time. They made the best possible decision – fight again! The second version was a fast forward version of the first, with Mitakeumi getting a body grip and driving forward, hitting the deck just as Atamifuji stepped out. It’s a shimpan parade as the men in black once again mount the dohyo to look deliberative while the guys in the replay room do all the real work. The decision went to Atamifuji, which I thought was maybe a bit generous, as it seemed another rematch was a more reasonable call. Maybe they were short on time. Atamifuji advances to 5-1 by uwatenage.

Kinbozan defeats Takarafuji – Kinbozan extends his record against Takarafuji to 3-0. Takarafuji was quick to square his hips and his shoulders, and Kinbozan responded in a fascinating way. Check out how he continually attacks from an oblique angle, and alternates the leading side of his body. This keeps Takarafuji’s working to adjust, and it does in fact result in Takarafuji being wide open for a grab and quick yorikiri from Kinbozan. Brilliant sumo, and Kinbozan maintains his share of the lead at 5-1.

Endo defeats Sadanoumi – Endo was working very hard to be fast off of the shikiri-sen today, and it caused a couple of matta. I think he was working to counter the speed at which Sadanoumi tends to merge in at the tachiai. However, Sadanoumi is still too fast for him, and gets a right hand outside grip before Endo can counter. But Endo was low enough that he was able to move Sadanoumi back, and step him out for a yorikiri. Both end the day 3-3

Midorifuji defeats Hokuseiho – Midorifuji gets a deep right hand hold on Hokuseiho’s mawashi knot, but then struggles to convert it into any kind of offensive sumo. There were at least two attempts to generate a shitatenage, both of which failed largely due to the tremendous size difference. After more than a minute, Midorifuji simply abandons any plan to throw the giant, lifts him by the belt with both hands, and manages to walk him out. Hokuseiho is being quite passive these days, and I do not like it one bit. Both end the day 2-4.

Kotoeko defeats Onosho – Onosho has now lost 2 in a row, and I hope this is not the start of a losing streak. Both men fought well, and it looked to me that Onosho had the advantage. But a lunge forward to finish Kotoeko was partially deflected, which devolved into both men being off balance and stumbling. The win went to Kotoeko, as he managed to get Onosho to hit the clay first. Kotoeko improves to 2-4.

Hiradoumi defeats Ryuden – Hiradoumi was willing to throw everything he had into that win. I give respect to Ryuden for surviving the first two attempts to finish him off, but Hiradoumi kept throwing in “yet another combo”. In the end, it required Hiradoumi launching himself at Ryuden, propelling both of them into the zabuton. They end the day 2-4.

Takayasu defeats Gonoyama – Excellent and effective opening combo from Takayasu. That left forearm strike followed by a big right hand thrust got Gonoyama off balance. From there, Takayasu maintained contact, and kept Gonoyama moving and off balance to win by oshitaoshi. Well played sir, he maintains a portion of the lead at 5-1.

Shonannoumi defeats Oho – Shonannoumi left hand outside belt grip amidships gave him control of the match, and allowed him to lift Oho up and walk him out. Simple, effective. Shonannoumi now 3-3.

Hokutofuji defeats Takanosho – Hokutofuji snaps his 2 match losing streak with some reverse gear sumo. He gets his opening nodowa in, and moves to pull down Takanosho two steps later, improving his score to 4-2.

Meisei defeats Abi – Another formulaic match from Abi. When he does this, it leaves a lot of room for counter attack, as most of these rikishi are used to fighting him now. Meisei was able to counter well, and kept Abi from putting power forward. Meisei’s oshidashi left both men at a 3-3 score to end their day.

Wakamotoharu defeats Tobizaru – Tobizaru tries a duck and spin Ura style opening combo. It sends both rikishi stumbling, with Tobizaru exiting the dohyo first. Wakamotoharu improves to 4-2.

Ura defeats Daieisho – Daieisho had Ura on the bales, and then for some reason decided to pull. Tremendous miscalculation, as Ura powers forward launching Daieisho off the dohyo. The acrobatics from Ura were the icing on the cake, he is now 3-3.

Kotonowaka defeats Nishikigi – Nishikigi spell seems to have been broken. Kotonowaka tangles up Nishikigi’s arms and walks him back for a simple but effective yorikiri. Kotonowaka advances to 4-2.

Takakeisho defeats Tamawashi – Tamawashi has got to be hurt. He puts up a token defense against Takakeisho, who overpowers him and drives him out of the ring by oshidashi. Tamawashi will take a hit on the banzuke in November, but I think there is a good chance he will rally once more before he finally fades away. Takakeisho maintains his share of the lead at 5-1.

Kirishima defeats Shodai – Shodai almost scored a 3rd win using cartoon sumo today, but Kirishima found his Ozeki fortitude and finished Shodai before he could reach for his acme sumo kit, unleashing a sukuinage that bodily slammed Shodai out of the ring. Kirishima improves to 4-2.

Hoshoryu defeats Asanoyama – There it was again – Asanoyama looking perfect, but missing about 10% of his former power. It left him short of what was required to defeat Hoshoru, who once again made the mistake of aligning his feet. They both worked to rotate their holds into an effective throw, but it was Hoshoryu who completed his pivot first, slamming Asanoyama into the front row. Hoshoryu really needed that win, and he is 3-3.

15 thoughts on “Aki Day 6 Highlights

  1. The NHK highlights were stingy on the replays thanks to a few long bouts and a re-match (though the Meisei win deserved to be a redo). I really wanted to see that Onosho-Kotoeko bout a few more times. That was concentrated chaos. I also wanted to see other angles from the Midorifuji-Hokuseiho match, mainly to see if Hokuseiho was actually trying anything or just standing there being big. It amazes me that the former Hakuho hasn’t been able to teach his star pupil any technique, from the looks of it.

    Some other observations from this high-energy day: Takayasu is looking dangerous… is it finally his time, or is this yet more false hope? Hokutofuji bounced back, again largely thanks to his stable lower body. Chiyoshoma looked resigned to getting smacked about before the bout, and lo and behold, Aoiyama delivered in spades. Poor man… And lastly, the Ozeki seem to be consolidating their positions. A solid sanyaku is going to do wonders to stabilize this current topsy-turvy transition period. Sign me up for more days of sumo like today, ’cause this had everything.

    • I access GRAND SUMO HIGHLIGHTS from the NHK website. Can scroll back the time and watch over and over. Watched both of those matches again and have no idea what HOKUSEUI is thinking.

  2. An interesting day of sumo and a wide open yusho race.

    I had trouble accessing day 6 Makuuchi today, It feels like
    the JSA might prefer to have no sumo fans outside Japan. If
    I can’t watch the Sumo on the net this gaijin will no longer
    be following Sumo.

    • As I tend to say – Sumo is a Japanese sport made for Japanese people who speak Japanese living in Japan. Everyone else can take what they can find, or bugger off. At least that seems to be the attitude. I get how they want to protect their copyright.

  3. I agree Kinbozans blend of styles and techniques was fascinating! Very promising, I think he’s Sanyaku material. Earlier in his career I was frustrated he was not sticking to tsuparri and settling on a brand of sumo, but perhaps his future is as a generalist?

    • I agree. Lots of ways to find “bootleg” sumo highlights on UTube in addition to the day old highlights posted on NHK. Can’t seem to find Makushitta matches, though.

  4. No clear bolters – is this yusho going all the way to the last bout on the 15th day?

    I always write off Takakeisho, perhaps because I don’t warm to his personality or brand of Sumo, but he knows how to eek out the wins.

    Still lighting the candle each day for Kirishima and Horshoryu, who seem to be firming up for the second leg.

    As for maegashira contenders…Kazakhi yusho?

  5. Hokuseiho is so big and boring that I called him « Mount RushBore ». What a snooze…His sumo career won’t be long. If only he had Kotoeko’s work ethic…

    • I love having Hokuseiho in Makuuchi. He adds a circus-spectacle appeal. And comedy when you see him lining up against someone like Midorifuji.

      I love the breadth of Sumo.


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