Aki Day 10 Highlights

With day 10 complete, act 2 of the Aki basho is closed. Act 2 is where we narrow the field to find out who has what it takes to compete for the yusho, and to start sorting the survivors from the damned. The yusho race is a bit odd as of today. With Atamifuji winning his head to head with Takayasu, he’s alone atop the leader board. Takayasu is the only rikishi who is close, occupying a sole position on win behind. Everyone else is 2 wins behind Atamifuji, and only one rikishi in that group has prior yusho experience, Ozeki Takakeisho.

Clearly if they want to make a race out of this, we are going to see Atamifuji face some high ranking rikishi soon. They need him to pick up 2 more losses in order to open it back up for the final weekend. But let’s be clear, it will take some doing to set that up, but I am eager to watch them try. Step 1 – Tobizaru on day 11.

Highlight Matches

Hokuseiho defeats Nishikifuji – Sometimes, being enormous is a valid sumo strategy. Hokuseiho uses his enormity well today, after Nishikifuji grapples him tightly, Hokuseiho find he is not too tough to lift, and gently carries him over the tawara. Hokuseiho now 6-4.

Kinbozan defeats Tsurugisho – Kinbozan steps to the side and deflects most of Tsurugisho’s forward rush at the tachiai. It was not what I would call a henka, and Tsurugisho certainly did not keep his eye on Kinbozan. A quick left hand grab and toss from Kinbozan, and Tsurugisho is out by uwatedashinage. Kinbozan now 6-4.

Endo defeats Myogiryu – Endo gets in a solid tachiai, which stands Myogiryu up. Myogiryu decides his best option is to try a pull, which fails. Endo exploits that Myogiryu is no longer defending and runs him out. Oshidashi win for Endo, and he is now 7-3.

Midorifuji defeats Kagayaki – Oh Kagayaki, what the hell man? Kagayaki has lost to Midorifuji 3 times out of their 4 matches. Each time its more or less the same thing, a quick grapple, a partial turn and then katasukashi. Look, Kagayaki, next time try something a little different, ok? I love a Midorifuji katasukashi, but some variety would be welcome. Midorifuji now 5-5.

Kotoeko defeats Daishoho – The mini-elimination match goes to Kotoeko, giving Daishoho his 8th loss, and relegating him to demotion to Juryo. Daishoho did not defend his chest well, and allowed Kotoeko to grapple and push at will. Kotoeko now 3-7.

Hiradoumi defeats Chiyoshoma – Perhaps joining Daishoho on the Juryo barge of the damed is none other than Chiyoshoma, who picked up his 8th loss today. As with most days this September, Chiyoshoma fought well, but was unable to close the deal. His attempt to throw Hiradoumi collapsed, and Hiradoumi crumpled him to the clay, improving to 3-7.

Atamifuji defeats Takayasu – The big match of the day, its another day that ends in “y” for Takayasu fans. Takayasu fights well enough, but goes for a pull early in the bought, and gets hurled to his back by Atamifuji. Atamifuji now sole leader at 9-1.

Kotoshoho defeats Oho – Oho decided to accept Kotoshoho’s invitation to a face hitting battle. It went on for some time, until the two broke contact. When they re-engaged, it was a perfect chance for one of them to get the other off balance. Both tried, but Kotoshoho connected well, and heaved Oho from the ring. Kotoshoho improves to 4-6.

Onosho defeats Sadanoumi – Sadanoumi tried to use his speed and agility to get out of Onosho’s way when he was charging forward. It nearly worked, but served to remind Onosho that he needed to bracket his opponent. The next time he made contact, he held Sadanoumi with both arms and rushed him out. Onosho improves to 7-3 by yorikiri.

Ryuden defeats Aoiyama – We got to see a little bit of Aoiyama’s classic V-Twin attack, but it really did not have the power it did even 6 months ago. Ryuden endured it well, and kept moving forward. With his crummy knee, Aoiyama can’t hold ground well, and had to step back. Sadly he was too close to the tawara, and a foot crossed the bales for a loss. Both end the day 3-7.

Mitakeumi defeats Gonoyama – This match did live up to my expectations, it was a power forward thrust and grapple masterpiece. I am so happy we got to see Ozeki Mitakeumi again, and it was for a great cause – give Gonoyama some real challenges to overcome. I am likewise impressed by Gonoyama’s ability to stay in the fight, and give Mitakeumi a real battle. This new guy has a lot of potential. But they both tired, and Mitakeumi was able to swing Gonoyama out like a wayward piece of furniture. Both end the day 6-4.

Takarafuji defeats Shonannoumi – Impressively even fight, both men were committed to a yotsu-zumo battle, and we got a big struggle to see who could out brute the other. The loss came when Shonannoumi broke contact and attempted a hatakikomi, but stepped out before he could complete the move. Takarafuji gets the win, and both end the day 5-5.

Shodai defeats Tamawashi – I thought for a moment that Tamawashi was going to score his first white star today, but a quick move at the bales by Shodai sent him out first, and into Kisenosato’s lap. Shodai improves to 4-6 by sukuinage.

Abi defeats Takanosho – An Abi henka – Takanosho should have been on the lookout for that one. It’s over almost before it started, and Abi is now 6-4.

Hokutofuji defeats Tobizaru – Tobizaru can’t get Hokutofuji off balance with his downward slaps, and is relegated to getting his monkey butt shoved out of the ring. I will point out to readers that once again Hokutofuji’s lower body seems to be its own independently operating sub-system, intent on winning matches no matter what the upper body is doing. In this way he is a close human analog to a typical Chicago Bears team, where the defense (lower body) is just as likely to win the game as the upper body (offense). Hokutofuji improves to 7-3 as the match ends with Tobizaru in the crowd to greet the fans.

Kotonowaka defeats Meisei – Meisei was unable to generate any offense against a very stable Kotonowaka, and was shoved out in short order. Kotonowaka now 6-4.

Daieisho defeats Asanoyama – Daieisho continues his dominance over Asanoyama. Asanoyama catches a full Daieisho thrust right in the neck, and is unable to maintain his footing following that much force. A quick tsukiotoshi, and Daieisho improves to 6-4.

Hoshoryu defeats Wakamotoharu – Lightning fast grab from Hoshoryu, he lifts Wakamotoharu and runs him to the bales, dumping him unceremoniously into the east side salt basket. Hoshoryu now 4-6.

Takakeisho defeats Ura – A quick Takakeisho tachiai blast catches Ura full in the chest, tossing him back with force. But the acrobat Ura has just enough in him to strike Takakeisho down as he is once again launched into the air. They land in a heap, and the gumbai goes to Ura. Takakeisho is clearly down first, and the shimpan call for a rematch. Good enough! Second match, Takakeisho stands his ground and slams Ura into the clay as he rushes forward at the tachiai. Hatakikomi win for Takakeisho, and he is now 7-3, one win from clearing kadoban.

Nishikigi defeats Kirishima – Kirishima allowed Nishikigi to get his battle hug, and immediately knew he was in trouble. A strong move by Kirishima to break contact, but it only removed any chance he had to evade the yorikiri that followed. Nishikigi now 5-5.

21 thoughts on “Aki Day 10 Highlights

    • It had to be this “dead body” rule at work. But for me it makes sense, since Ura clearly jumped up to be later on the ground.

      • If Ura was a “dead body” they would have given the win to Takakeisho during the mono-ii. Zero idea why it was a torinaoshi.

  1. “as the match ends with Tobizaru in the crowd to greet the fans” 😂
    I would like to meet Tobizaru in such a way.

    Atamifuji fought very good, I don’t blame Takayasu for his loss today. When the opponent is in such a good form, the match could go either way. But I am worried about Takayasu, he looked hurt with the fall.

    Ura won the match, with his aerobics skill.
    Tarinaoshi was not required, Takakeisho’s luck.

    • I don’t believe luck had anything to do with it. The powers that be are trying to insure that the Hamster gets his 8.

  2. Some nice contests today. Some rikishi getting their acts together, like Hokuseiho and Hoshoryu. Again, Mitakeumi involved in a fine bout. He hasn’t looked this good for a long time. And I liked his extended hand and tap on Gonoyama’s shoulder after the bout – he’d put up a good fight. Hokutofuji still looking good. It’s hard to see a winning score better than 12-3, which would leave a lot of possibilities, unless Atamifuji is the real deal.

    • Mitakeumi is always extending the hand to a defeated comrade. As did Hokutofuji in his last bout – turned on his heels and went back to help…was it Tobizaru?….back onto the dohyo.

  3. Takayasu definitely got hurt today or he was hurt when he started the match (and that’s the reason for his pull in the first place).

    I completely agree about Mitakeumi/Gonoyama today. Great stuff from both rikishi!

    It’s interesting that Chiyoshoma didn’t henka until he was close to a make-koshi with only 2 wins, but Abi is playing matador when his record could be 5-5 with a loss and 5 days are left in the basho. Hidden injury maybe? No idea why he’d do that against Takanosho of all people otherwise.

    I’m wondering if the shimpan will get a talking to about their decisions during mono-ii after this basho. Even if it’s not intentional or purposeful, there’s definitely a feeling of preferential treatment for certain rikishi based on yesterday’s win for Kotonowaka against Hoshoryu and the torinaoshi given during Takakeisho/Ura today. They could have just given the win to Takakeisho because both of Ura’s feet were off of the dohyo in the original match. That usually qualifies rikishi for the “dead body” rule. That would have been simpler and less jarring overall.

    Nishikigi has definitely found another gear in his sumo recently. High quality stuff from him today!

  4. Kinbozan pulling out the deliberate matta to help sell his henka (I’m comfortable calling it that even if there was a bit of shoulder-on-shoulder contact).

    Midorifuji really needed to reach for the sky to get his underhook high enough for that beautiful katasukashi.

    I wish Kotoeko’s size matched his fighting spirit — what a rikishi he would be.

    I’ve noticed Chiyoshoma has started catching himself when he’s lost rather than hitting the dirt with his body (or face) — I wonder what that’s about…

    Onosho’s footing has certainly improved; if he keeps it up we could see him in sanyaku come January.

    Gonoyama looked great in his bout against Mitakeumi, an even match or perhaps slightly better — he was outlasted, not beaten for strength or technique.

    Something happened to Shonnanoumi in the summer of last year — after years of toil in makushita everything clicked and his rise began. I take Shonnanoumi’s loss today as a sign that he’s found his level, for now at least.

    If I was in Tamawashi’s position I’d be tempted to retire on the spot, but we all know sumo guys are built different.

    I’m surprised that the shimpan called a torinaoshi on Takakeisho/Ura — seems to me that either Takakeisho was still in while Ura was jumping backward out of the ring (and hence dead body) or Ura’s slapdown was successful, with no middle ground available. I wish I understood enough Japanese to comprehend the shimpan’s announcement.

    • I started drafting the above comment prior to three other people posting the exact same thought about the torinaoshi. Sigh.

  5. Good to see Hokuseiho putting some effort into it now! I think someone lit a fire under him after he fell asleep in his Midorifuji match and got yorikiri’d by someone a foot shorter and 100 pounds lighter.

    Takanosho knew he should have been watching for the Abi henka. Just look at that rueful grin as he returns to his spot for the bow, ha ha.

    I don’t understand Japanese, but I can’t see the reason for a torinaoshi in Ura/Takakeisho…

  6. That torinaoshi was a joke. Ura was the clear winner. And on the re-do, I’m wondering if Takakeisho didn’t get away with a hair-pull. Seems like the powers that be want to ensure that Takakeisho remains in position to bat away Atamifuji’s yusho bid.

    I’m wondering in what shape we’ll see Takayasu tomorrow. He was in some serious discomfort after his bout.

    • It was the most shini-tai of all shini-tai. If anything, it was the rematch was a bit severe towards Takakeisho.

  7. For those wondering why a Torinaoshi for URa-Takakeisho. Ura was dead when his feet were off the gorund and his entire body was out of the ring. IT seemed to be that occurred roughly the time Takakeisho hit the deck so a Torinaoshi was called. Could really have gone either way and, IMO, the right call was made. Ura had zero chance of recovery and was completely out of the ring so dead body is the correct call.

  8. Takayasu is the heart breaking rikishi. What a shame! If you see his remaining opponents as weaker, Atamifuji’s as stronger, it’s their still trying position him for one last crack at winning the tournament. My feeling was they wanted him win this bout, and they would create a schedule thereafter trying allow his further distancing himself from Atamifuji.

  9. It’s still pretty plausible that one of the group currently on 7-3 ends up winning this (perhaps after a play-off). Atamifuji has looked great so far, but given that he will now start to be matched against the top guys it is easy to imagine him losing 2 more from his last 5 bouts. And given Takayasu’s limping after his loss today (and his recent history of fading down the stretch) we should probably expect him to lose at least one more. So a path to the Yusho is still open if one or more of the 7-3 group – Takakeisho, Hokutofuji, Onosho or Endo (I discount Tsurugisho) – can win their last 5 in a row. I would very much enjoy seeing any of those guys clinch the cup. But I would love it if Endo was the surprise winner

  10. Why was there a torinaoshi? Why was there a monoii? There are been countless times with someone hanging in the air on much closer finishes and nothing has happened. The Weazle’s arm hit first, then his other arm and finally his lovely stomach….And Ura was still hanging in the air. This was simply a case, as someone mentioned, of our devoted Kyokai keeping Weazle’s record intact, for any of a number of possible reasons. And by the way, the laws may have changed since I began watching this sport, but Weazle is frequently guilty of roundhouse slapping when he becomes frustrated, and this has always been a no-no. Yes, even open-handed. If it’s now legal, why is it no one else does it?
    Sumo is a unique, wonderful sport – a study in human types perhaps its best feature. Too bad it must be periodically ruined by a brain trust with a shady side.

  11. Midorifuji defeats Kagayaki: The gyōji had his back to the action, but used the eyes in the back of his head to make the correct call.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.