Jungyo Newsreel – October 22nd

🌐 Location: Osaka

Terunofuji keeps working like mad


He came early to the morning practice, and found himself the only member of the joi present. So he got right up on the dohyo and did 14 bouts (opponents unspecified), of which he won 11 and lost 3. You could see him establish a left-hand upper grip right off the tachiai, and powerfully pushing his opponent all in one go. “Not good enough yet. I want to increase the number of bouts.” he said. When asked if he has any concerns regarding his body he replied with a smile “Yes, I have many of those”.


Ikioi goes on a diet to relieve back pain


The Isenoumi wrestler, who was absent from the jungyo due to back pains, revealed that he was diagnosed following the Aki basho with a bulging disc, causing him pains whenever he leaned forward. He was advised not to have surgery, but instead to strengthen the muscles in the affected area, and lose some weight to take some of the load off it. He is on a diet following that advice.

Today he was not doing any on-dohyo exercise, except kiddie sumo, accompanied by cheers from the local crowd, as he is himself from the Osaka Prefecture.


Ichinojo leaves the Jungyo due to hernia

He practiced yesterday in Kishiwada, but did not participate in the torikumi, instead heading back to Tokyo. “It’s a hernia, but it’s a preexisting condition. The affected area has probably been overloaded”, said Tamanoi Oyakata, deputy head of the Jungyo department. “It’s not severe.”


Hakuho makes love to Takakeisho

In the form of butsukari geiko, of course…

The Miracle Of Love

The dai-yokozuna once again dedicated over five minutes to the youngster (shouldn’t he have deducted their Nagoya bout?), and sent him rolling on the ground time and time again.

The Takanohana wrestler was, of course, grateful for the privilege. “It’s not something he would have done for someone he thinks nothing of.”

Following his disastrous Nagoya basho, Takakeisho says he has learned his lesson: “I became depressed after the initial setbacks, and that made it hard for me to even out my score later on. I need to give 100%, grasp at the challenge, and stir things up without thinking too deeply”. Originating from the nearby Hyogo prefecture, Takakeisho vowed that by the next Osaka honbasho, he will be in sanyaku.

(Daily Sports Online)


For those who cherish the Kotoyuki hoot:

Mitakeumi takes revenge on Terunofuji:

Can’t believe he lifted that mountain like that…

And the Musubi of the day:

Note the amount of salt that Hakuho throws in the Jungyo…

Different angle:

Kisenosato must be getting pretty frustrated. Hakuho 6 – Kisenosato 2.

Short Jungyo Newsreel – October 21st

Note: to offset today’s bad news, I just found torikumi videos from the 19th, and added them to that day’s post. Do not miss the Terunofuji-Mitakeumi bout!

🌐 Location: Kishiwada

Today’s news are mostly brought to you from hospitals and ambulances, but there is a musubi as well.

Enho injured, leaves Jungyo


During today’s practice session, Enho fell off the dohyo and injured his ankle. He was carried on a stretcher to the Jungyo’s on-hand ambulance, which got him to a local hospital, where his ankle was bandaged. He was then hurried back to Tokyo for further care. “It hurts both on the inner and the outer side. And it makes crunching sounds.” said Enho “but there is still time until the Kyushu basho”.

Tachiai wishes Hakuho’s uchi-deshi a quick recovery and continued health.

Ikioi joins the Jungyo

On a happier note, Ikioi has joined the Jungyo today. I think he would have wanted to join it yesterday, as his home town of Katano is much closer to Hirakata than it is to Kishiwada. But the Jungyo is still in Osaka Prefecture and I’m sure his local fans were happy to travel the distance to welcome him back.

He was assigned to Ichinojo on the torikumi form, but I do not have any information about the content of that bout.

Update on Nishonoseki Oyakata

As it turns out, when the oyakata had his accident, he was on his way home from a visit to a sauna, where he had a fainting incident. Nevertheless he decided to bike home, and doing that he collapsed with his bicycle and received the head injury that brought about his current condition.

His anesthetic medication  has been reduced to encourage him to regain autonomous breathing, and the doctors observed some positive response.

Shohozan, who is Nishonoseki’s only sekitori, expressed his concern and promised to do his best sumo “for the oyakata” while away on the Jungyo.

Harumafuji Gambarizes

This is a bit of late news from yesterday. After his first day, doing reverse butsukari, he followed that up by teaming with Chiyoshoma for a tachiai practice.

When asked if he is bothered by his elbow, he frowned: “I am not worried, but it hurts. There is almost no inflammation, though. I’ll gambarize”.

And a little bit of actual sumo

The musubi of the day. I think Hakuho decided that if Kisenosato is taking this seriously, then so does he. Hakuho 5 – Kisenosato 2.

Apparently, the gyoji, Inosuke Shikimori, is a Kishiwada local.

Jungyo Newsreel – October 20th

🌐 Location: Hirakata

Terunofuji sweats his heart out

The media continues to follow the ozekiwake’s recovery in his second Jungyo day.


As he promised yesterday, Terunofuji followed his extensive workout below the dohyo with some real keiko. He invited Shodai to sanban. His first bout was a total mess, possibly due to nerves, but he followed that with seven wins. Then he invited Yago and Meisei of the Juryo division to one bout each, winning those as well.

“I felt like even my heart was sweating. It was very tiring, as I have been away so long” commented the Isegahama man. “I’ll increase the number of bouts from day to day. Tomorrow I hope to do 20 bouts. I have to do twice as much as any other guy.”

Say what we may about the advisability of the kaiju’s return, Asahifuji is not raising any sloths in his stable, that’s for sure.

Goeido enjoys some kiddie sumo

Hirakata, today’s location, is five kilometers away from the Ozeki’s home town of Neyagawa. So on this occasion, the usually severe-looking Goeido decided to let loose a little bit, and engaged in some wanpaku-zumo:


Later, it was time for the local man to do his official bout against Yokozuna Kakuryu. The bout was preceded by kensho-kin banners. One of them for some local project. You don’t see that in a honbasho:


As for the bout itself, it was described as an “amazing victory for Goeido”. So either the Ozeki got super motivated playing on his home turf, or Kakuryu really knows how to sell a Yaocho. 🙂

Musubi of the day

Kisenosato and Hakuho continue to give the spectators their money’s worth.

Hakuho sacrifices a few meters for a grip change, and, well, 4:2 to the dai-yokozuna.

More things you see only in the Jungyo

Ever heard of “sumo-jinku” (相撲甚句)?

It’s a traditional song form performed by rikishi dressed in kesho-mawashi. 5-7 rikishi stand in a circle, and one in the middle sings. This is not your 3-minute standard western jingle, either. As you can see in this video, the soloist changes every few minutes. The songs are in the theme of sumo, but not necessarily very serious. The other day I heard one whose general lyrics went “A pumpkin and a cucumber went to see some sumo”. It seems, though, that the score includes some greetings to the audience and wishes for support in the coming honbasho.

These songs (and the accompanying dance moves etc.) are a mandatory subject at the sumo academy (which every rikishi has to attend at some point). Of the current sekitori, Ikioi is considered a very talented jinku performer, but unfortunately, he is not participating in this Jungyo. The ones who are are not half bad, though!

Notice how towards the end the circle turns to the audience, and the rikishi start waving back at any members of the audience who try to get their attention.

What, another Yokozuna+baby dohyo iri?

Yes, but this one is different. Pay attention to the tsuyuharai. Yes. It’s Kotoshogiku. It should be noted that the general rule is that the higher-ranked rikishi is supposed to be the tachi-mochi. But there is a reason why Giku is doing the part that has two free arms to hold the baby: that is his own son!

The last time that Kotoshogiku participated in a Yokozuna dohyo-iri was when Hakuho went to Tohoku after the 2011 tsunami disaster, to encourage the disaster-stricken population the way only a Yokozuna can. Kotoshogiku said at the time that the experience inspired him to strive for that rank as well, which is how he succeeded in achieving Ozeki status. It may be that he repeated the experience today to motivate himself to return to that rank once more.

Jungyo Newsreel – October 19th

🌐 Location: Kashiba

Guess what just popped out of the ocean?

A Terunofuji expression you don’t get to see in honbasho

Yep, today’s main sports news item is Ozekiwake Terunofuji (above, saying hi to Uncle Aminishiki) joining the Jungyo after his serious knee injury during the Aki basho. Which, I remind you, was only a month ago.

How bad was his injury? “Well, at first I couldn’t even use the toilet” remarked the fallen Ozeki (TMI! Please don’t say anything that will cause me to imagine Shunba helping you there, ever again! Somebody hand me the brain-bleach, please!). He was unable to properly extend his leg. Apparently, this was a new injury to his meniscus, unrelated to previous knee problems he had.

Pump it up, Kaiju!

He received some treatment and some rehabilitation, and alongside that (wisely) concentrated on building up his muscles. “I worked out vigorously”, he said.

Today he refrained from doing any on-dohyo practice, and opted instead for shiko, suri-ashi, tachiai practices with his loyal Sancho-Panza, Shunba. And of course, strength training, as you can see here.

But if you think he is taking it easy, like his anideshi Yokozuna, you’re wrong. Tomorrow, when the Jungyo hits Osaka, he intends to join the rest of the sekitori and do some actual keiko.

Moreover, he was in the torikumi today. And the schedulers matched him up with Mitakeumi, no less. When I read that torikumi I was pretty sure Fish-Mouth will make himself a kaiju sandwich. But surprisingly, he didn’t. Mitakeumi did a quick nihon-zashi, and got the ozekiwake all the way to the tawara, but in the end, Terunofuji lifted the sekiwake with both arms (both uwate!) and got him out by Utchari. Video below!

Terunofuji’s problems are far from over, though. “If I told you that there is no pain, I’d be lying. But even if I rested, it won’t heal. I’ll just have to live with it”. He said.

About his demotion from Ozeki after 14 basho in that rank, he had this to say: “If my injuries are healed, I’ll be able to attain that rank again any time. The fact that I ended up with a completely new, unrelated injury that time does not make me happy, but I’m not wasting time thinking about a drop down the banzuke. I have to have self-confidence, and I’ll gain self-confidence by training and competing.”

And as usual, Tachiai wishes our favorite Kaiju a safe and healthy continued career.

It’s kisenosato’s turn to play with Asanoyama

The Yokozuna has apparently forgiven the kanto-sho winner for playing hooky from keiko the other day.


He invited him to a 14-bout sanban today, of which the Yokozuna won 9, and Asanoyama a respectable 5. Half way through the series, the two were pretty much even, and you could hear the Yokozuna grunting unhappily.

Those two have kenka-yotsu – the Yokozuna is hidari-yotsu, while Asanoyama is migi-yotsu. In those bouts in which the Yokozuna achieved his favorite grip, he easily dominated. But not so much when he didn’t. “I couldn’t push forward, so it wasn’t good sumo”, said Asanoyama, “but when I got my right hand in I could somehow negotiate at my own pace”.

Following yesterday’s 11-bout session with Kakuryu, this has been Asanoyama’s sixth time to be called for sanban by Yokozuna in this jungyo. “When I lose a bout, I can tell from the experience itself what the reason for having lost was. The angle at which Kisenosato hits you delivers a huge impact. Then he follows that by rapid attacks. Everybody should learn how to position themselves and quickly attack, from watching him”.

The Yokozuna, when asked about the training, narrowed his eyes: “He is skilled, and he has power. I can use him to assess my own state right now. He is the best opponent for that, as he vigorously produces power” he nodded his head.

(Taken from Daily Sports Online).

One thing I’d like to see is Terunofuji taking up Asanoyama (if the Yokozuna let him play with their toy). The youngster seems to be a certified self-assessment tool for high-ranking wrestlers.

Harumafuji is back on the dohyo

The Yusho winner who has, so far, settled for workouts below the dohyo, except for a couple of torikumi in the beginning of the jungyo, decided to do some butsukari geiko.


This was actually a reverse butsukari. That is, usually it’s the Yokozuna who lends his chest, and the lower-ranked wrestler who attempts to push him out. Given that a butsukari is usually a show of superiority, not just a form of practice, it’s relatively rare to see reverse ones.

Harumafuji commented that the reason he did not participate so far was finding himself “slow to recover from the fatigue of the honbasho”.

(Taken from Daily Sports Online. And if you read the article to the end and get to the part where they say that sumo originates from Israel, and that the calls “Haikioi” and “Nokotta” are actually Hebrew, well, that’s utter nonsense alternative reality).


Is that a nodowa or a Vulcan nerve pinch?

Edit: This just in: some bout videos!




Not Jungyo related, but sad news all the same

Apparently, Nishonoseki Oyakata (60) was found unconscious by passers-by after an accident with his bike. He was taken to a local hospital and underwent surgery, but so far is still in a coma due to a brain contusion. (Sponichi)

Short Jungyo Newsreel – October 18th

🌐 Location: Tsu

Short one today, as the newspapers are pretty dry.

Kakuryu on the mend, minces Asanoyama


Today it was Kakuryu’s turn to play with Asanoyama, the Yokozuna corps’ favorite toy in this jungyo. He took him for an 11-bout san-ban. The Yokozuna won all. Moving quickly, he led with his right and fiercely attacked the up-and-coming youngster.

“It was my own, never-retreating form. I am able to do sumo without any discomfort”, said the recovering Yokozuna. In Hamamatsu he took Asanoyama for 11 bouts as well and won them all. “But then, I was pushed back”, he recalls. Today, he dominated.

But is he back to his full form? “Not yet. There are still several days till the next honbasho, and I will work every day to improve my sumo and reinforce those parts that are currently unsatisfactory. Next time I’ll take on a rival who is a tsuppari specialist”.

Lots of bouts for your enjoyment

Most of these are Juryo and below, though.

Start with Takayoshitoshi vs. Akua (former shokkiri vs. current shokkiri performer here).

There is actually a second in that match that looks like they are actually doing shokkiri.

Hakkairyu vs. Motokiyama

Kyokushoho vs. Meisei

Azumaryu vs. Aminishiki

Daiamami vs. Kotoyuki

A real slapfest, that one.

Chiyonokuni vs. Takarafuji

Chiyomaru vs. Ishiura

Ishiura gets his just deserts.

As for the musubi no ichiban, if I find a decent video, I’ll add it. The only one I found was so bad I couldn’t tell if Hakuho won by Yorikiri or Oshidashi. Seriously. In fact, if it wasn’t for Kisenosato’s slightly larger silhouette, I wouldn’t even be sure who was who. That bad.

But Hakuho did win this time. So it’s 2-2 so far.

Jungyo Newsreel – October 17th

🌐 Location: Takayama

Takanohana still in professor mode, this time with Meisei

Today the Jungyo arrived at Takayama after a day’s hiatus the rikishi spent quietly in Nagoya. So quietly, that there was nothing in the news yesterday, and barely anything today…

Musubi of the day

So far there seemed to be a gentlemen’s agreement between the Yokozuna. Kakuryu and Kisenosato, while they were at it, basically split the spoils between them. But with Hakuho back, the excited Kisenosato informed the press that he is going to take the bouts seriously now until the end of the tournament.

I kind of raised an eyebrow, and wondered whether Hakuho will decide, in return, to just wipe Kisenosato off the Dohyo, or still let him have 50/50. But after Hakuho’s win on the 14th, Kisenosato actually won the next two bouts. BTW, if you have missed it, I edited in the musubi for the 15th.

While that one could be interpreted as Hakuho letting Kisenosato have one on the house, today’s musubi was quite a protracted affair:

So it seems that Kisenosato really is taking this seriously. But what’s up with Hakuho?

Earlier in the day he was practicing his Tachiai. Take a look at this. Is he favoring a leg?

In the penultimate bout, Kakuryu beat Goeido again.

Here is a video from Nagoya TV, with a summary of the day, including some wanpaku keiko (practice with kids), some Shokkiri, and a bit of the musubi from a different angle:

This just in: Goeido vows to clear his honor in Kyushu

“If I forget what happened, it will all come to nothing. I have to use the painful feeling as a springboard for a comeback”, said the Ozeki who let the yusho slip between his fingers in the Aki basho.


Today he took up his high-school kohai (lower class student) Yago for a round of butsukari-geiko. “He uses only his upper body, so I told him to use his knees”, said the Ozeki.

(From Sponichi)

More things you only see in the Jungyo

And today, let’s discuss workouts. Specifically, strength training. Back home, the rikishi have access to proper gyms with all kinds of weight machines. But when you go on the road, you can’t take a gym with you. So we get to see a lot of rubber tubes, rubber bands and hand weights.

And then, of course, there is the water bag:

C’mon, Takekaze, you can do better than that. Fill ‘er up!

But what if you want to pump something that weighs more than 20kg? Something more in the area of 100kg and above? Turns out that there are plenty of weights to lift around the shitaku-beya:


Yep, that’s Kotoshogiku doing squats shouldering 113kg Kotodairyu.

It’s better that my speculations as to how he practices his hip-pumps remain unwritten.

Kyushu schedule published

This is not really Jungyo-related, but there’s a shortage of sumo news… so…

October 29th Rikishi arrive in Fukuoka
October 30th Banzuke announcement
October 31st Rikishi convention
November 1st Medical exams of new rikishi
November 2nd Yokozuna dohyo-iri at Sumiyoshi shrine
November 10th Torikumi meeting
November 11th Dedication of the dohyo
November 12th Shonichi (Tournament Day 1)
November 26th Senshuraku (Tournament Day 15)
November 29th Banzuke meeting for Hatsu


Jungyo Newsreel – October 15

🌐 Location: Kyoto

Hakuho ❤️ Asanoyama

Hakuho's first butsukari with Asanoyama
Ah, true love

After the sekitori were done with their moshi-ai geiko today, Asanoyama was headed down to the locker room, when he was called back by Hakuho: “You’re a Makuuchi freshman. And you got a prize in the last basho. Come over here for some butsukari“.

Asanoyama, of course, did not refuse. “Once you get called, all you can do is respond with all you have”, he enthused.

The enthusiasm soon waned as he was thrown to the ground time and time again. Hakuho dedicated 5 minutes to the love-making, and he doesn’t do things by halves. “It felt a lot longer than 5 minutes” said Asanoyama later to the press.

Here’s a glimpse:

After he released (what remained of) the Kanto-sho winner, accompanied by advice to avoid pulling back his backside when he pushes, Hakuho said about the 189cm, 165kg mostly yotsu-zumo freshman: “He is much like me: has softness, weight and strength. At last such a youngster has come along. One must nurture him and lend him a hand up. They say that he has come too far too fast, but if, once he hits a wall, he has the ability to put his feelings in it, he will be able to extend his success further”.

So far in this Jungyo, Asanoyama was called in by three Yokozuna: Kisenosato for sanban first (and disciplinary butsukari two days ago), Kakuryu for sanban, and now Hakuho for butsukari. I suppose if Harumafuji ever gets to do actual keiko, he won’t  want to be the only Yokozuna not to make out with the lovely new Maegashira. It only remains to be seen if Asanoyama can show the same kind of motivation Onosho has shown, because Onosho really made the best of the similar expert training he had in the previous jungyo, enough to get himself to sanyaku.

Kyoto is a special place

Kyoto is different from most cities in Japan (for one, it has streets with names!). And the Jungyo day in Kyoto was special. Instead of the usual torikumi, the non-sekitori divisions competed in elimination format. The three winners got prizes:


The winners:

  • Jonidan: Hokutoshin (Hakkaku beya)
  • Sandanme: Imafuji (Nishonoseki beya)
  • Makushita: Takagenji (Takanohana beya)

Wait, what happened to Enho?

And yes, if you’re into these things, that’s an actual Maiko in full regalia in the foreground, and she was not the only one observed there. I find this very exciting. To draw a parallel, it’s like Sekitori coming to watch a Geisha performance wearing their Kesho-mawashi. Maiko do not dress like that when they are off duty.

The Juryo and Makuuchi parts of the event went in the usual style. In the penultimate bout, Kakuryu beat Goeido by yorikiri, while Kisenosato beat Hakuho by oshi-dashi.


Edit: Got the musubi!

Things you can only see in the Jungyo

We’ve seen a glimpse of this here in the previous Jungyo, but I can assure you that it’s a very common occurrence. Though not all babies get to have their own tsuna:

Yokozuna + Baby Dohyo Iri

Note that the ceremony also includes touching the baby to the sacred ground three times, tegatana style.

And this is what the shitaku-beya looks like during the jungyo. That is, the sumo equivalent of the “locker room” or “green room”.


Those big trunks are what each sekitori receives together with his kesho-mawashi.