Fierce competition in the top division this tournament. Let’s get straight to the action and chat afterwards.
Tohakuryu (4-8) defeated Shimazuumi (7-5) with forward-moving sumo! Of course, he tried the retreating, crap-style of sumo first. Hopefully he will learn to ditch that. Oshidashi.
Tamawashi (8-4) defeated Oho(6-6). Oho lasted longer than I thought he would and he tried several different attacks. But he never was able to get out of Tamawashi’s firing range. Eventually, Tamawashi battered him out of the dohyo. Tsukidashi.
Tsurugisho (7-5) defeated Sadanoumi (6-6). Tsurugisho power sumo. Sadanoumi was no easy target and nearly pulled a “Reverse” out at the edge. Yorikiri.
Hirodoumi (8-4) defeated Churanoumi (7-5). Hiradoumi shot off the line like he’d been fired out of a cannon. He stayed low but kept his balance through Churanoumi’s slapdown attempt and blasted Churanoumi out of the ring. Oshidashi.
Takarafuji (4-8) defeated Myogiryu (4-8). 妙義龍元気ないですね。Takarafuji drove forward and handed Myogiryu his make-koshi. Yorikiri.
Endo (4-8) defeated Kitanowaka (4-8). Endo started with oshi-zumo but moved inside and got a good grip of Kitanowaka’s belt and tried a strong uwatenage. Though his opponent didn’t fall, the throw was effective at yanking Kitanowaka around the ring and putting him up against the tawara. From there, Endo kept up the pressure and forced Kitanowaka out. Yorikiri.
Hokuseiho (6-6) defeated Roga (3-9). Roga initiated all of the action, trying multiple throws. At first, Hokuseiho had Roga’s right arm locked up as if he was going to attempt a kotenage which never came. I think that grip helped keep Hokuseiho up. He then switched to that loooong lefthand belt grip. Roga tried a final throw and Hokuseiho reacted by getting his right-hand grip and pressing Roga forward. When Hokuseiho’s right hand went up to Roga’s neck, Roga stepped out. Yorikiri.
Kinbozan (7-5) defeated Mitakeumi (7-5). Kinbozan pressed forward and never allowed Mitakeumi to get any forward churn. Oshidashi.
Shonannoumi (7-5) defeated Tomokaze (6-6). Shonannoumi collected his thoughts and pressed forward, forcing Tomokaze out. He punished Tomokaze’s ineffective makikae by pressing forward when Tomokaze had lost his ability to counter. Yorikiri.
Onosho (3-9) defeated Nishikifuji (4-8). Nishikifuji’s early charge was powerful enough to roll Onosho off the dohyo. Matta, reset. Another early start from Nishikifuji. Onosho got his revenge on the tachiai and steamrolled Nishikifuji over the edge. Yorikiri.
Ichiyamamoto (9-3) defeated Nishikigi (6-6). Early charge from Ichiyamamoto. Maybe nerves. He launched forward early again…but no matta. Ichiyamamoto pressed forward into Nishikigi. As Nishikigi adjusted and changed grips, his right foot stepped out. Yorikiri.
Takayasu (8-4) defeated Ryuden (8-4). As Ryuden reached in for a righthand belt grip, Takayasu pulled him forward to the ground. Katasukashi. It was impressive to see Ryuden weather Takayasu’s powerful tsuppari attack and land a one-handed grip of Takayasu’s mawashi. That grip was enough to spin Takayasu around. But going for the second hand was just greedy and Takayasu made him pay.
Gonoyama (6-6) defeated Tobizaru (5-7). Brutal tsuppari drove Tobizaru back and out. Oshidashi.
Ura (5-7) defeated Shodai (5-7) with a deft shift and throw while dancing along the tawara. Shodai was slow to get up, limped away with yobidashi help. I think Ura landed on Shodai’s leg…which was lying on the tawara. Tottari.
Abi (5-7) defeated Meisei (3-9). Abi laid into Meisei with powerful tsuppari but Meisei bulled forward. When Abi backed to the tawara, he stepped quickly to the side and thrust Meisei forward to the dirt. Tsukiotoshi.
Hokutofuji (4-8) defeated Asanoyama (1-4-7). Hokutofuji let Asanoyama play his yotsu-game for a while. But when Asanoyama drove forward, Hokutofuji stayed in the ring. And when Asanoyama pulled, he kept his balance. Hokutofuji then used that momentum to drive Asanoyama back and out over the bales. Oshidashi.
Daieisho (8-4) defeated Midorifuji (8-4). Daieisho power sumo. He drove forward with powerful tsuppari, pushing Midorifuji onto his backside. Oshitaoshi.
Kirishima (10-2) defeated Kotonowaka (9-3). Kirishima’s in the driver’s seat now. Kotonowaka matta. I swear, lots of those today. Strong yotsu-zumo from both but Kirishima was never in danger. Controlled, quality sumo from the Ozeki as he forced Kotonowaka ever closer to the edge and…eventually…over the bales. Yorikiri.
Takakeisho (8-4) defeated Wakamotoharu (4-8). Wakamotoharu drove forward into Takakeisho’s tsuppari. But he was unprepared for Takakeisho’s sidestep and lost his balance. Takakeisho followed with a simple shove to push Wakamotoharu over the bales. Oshidashi.
Atamifuji (10-2) defeated Hoshoryu (8-4)! Hoshoryu drove forward but Atamifuji shifted at the tawara and pulled the Ozeki down. Hoshoryu gave a long, hard stare at that tawara; disbelief that Atamifuji had remained in bounds.
Wow, quite the day! The yusho picture draws into focus with the spotlight on Ozeki Kirishima and the Hiramaku upstart, Atamifuji. Kotonowaka and Ichiyamamoto challenge, one loss back. Eight wrestlers sit just behind the lead pack.
- 2敗: Kirishima, Atamifuji
- 3敗: Kotonowaka, Ichiyamamoto
There are several big bouts on tap for tomorrow. Kirishima will face Daieisho; Atamifuji will face Takayasu. Kotonowaka will face Ryuden and Ichiyamamoto will face Midorifuji. Hoshoryu will face Takakeisho in our first Ozeki bout.
Unless weird things happen, Kirishima will then be able to fight each of his fellow Ozeki in turn on Day 14 and 15. Though these bouts are clearly not official, I wouldn’t be surprised if Atamifuji/Kotonowaka on Day 14 and a Takakeisho/Atamifuji revenge match is on tap for Senshuraku if Atamifuji wins tomorrow.
All of our Ozeki are kachi-koshi. Kirishima has his 10 wins and both Takakeisho and Hoshoryu are still in the running to pick up theirs. We end 2023 in a different place than we started it, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, Kotonowaka’s Ozeki run is now on life support. A 12-win yusho will likely still secure promotion, even though it’s shy of the 33-win benchmark, but he’s chasing now.
Day 13 will decide several lower division yusho contests.
Ajigawa-beya’s Aonishiki is the only Jonokuchi wrestler on six wins. If he wins tomorrow, he will seal the first division yusho. He will face Hatachijo, who at 5-1 just beat Ultraman and is now on my list. No worries, Ultraman is kachi-koshi and will sneak back into Jonidan.
Speaking of Jonidan, undefeated Dairinzan will face 5-1 Kototaiga. But the big match will be between the pair of undefeated: Higonoumi and our Yusho-favorite Shiroma. If Dairinzan wins, he will force a senshuraku playoff with the winner of Shiroma/Higonoumi. If Kototaiga wins, the winner of Shiroma/Higonoumi will claim the second division title outright.
In Sandanme, Daishoryu will face Nishida for the yusho. Both are undefeated. Lastly, in Makushita, Kitaharima will face Satorufuji, as Leonid covered yesterday. https://tachiai.org/2023/11/22/makushita-finals-and-promotion-race/.