The Updated Haru Basho Experience

I’ve long been open about the fact that I view the Osaka honbasho as one of the more definitive sumo experiences. While the hallowed ground of the Kokugikan in Ryogoku is the ultimate destination for any pilgrim seeking dosukoi action, the EDION Arena in Osaka in some ways showcases the most romantic elements of sumo. Or at least it did.

Before the pandemic, the Osaka tournament was notable for many things. Among them, the raucous nature of the Kansai match-going fanbase, and also the proximity of spectators to the rikishi as they emerge from the shitakubeya and make their way down the hanamichi to the side of the dohyo.

This last feature was also a staple of the year-end Kyushu basho in Fukuoka, but the EDION Arena’s layout had long been unique for the fact that souvenir shoppers in the hallways would likely end up intoxicated from the scent of binzuke as combatants of all shapes and sizes made their way to and from the arena throughout the day. It was not uncommon for fans to mix it with rikishi or even get handshakes, autographs or photos with sekitori at the business end of the torikumi.

And speaking of intoxication, before the edict to “cheer inside of your heart” went into place as a mitigating strategy in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus, you’d often find dyed-in-the-wool (or dyed-in-the-cotton-cheer-towel) supporters of a particular rikishi or heya screaming out messages of support or instruction to “GANBATTE!” for hours on end from the pacy schedule of Sandanme right through to the lengthy rituals leading up to a top division bout.

Before the basho, I remarked on these pages that I had some trepidation for what I might find. Osaka has always been my favourite basho. Maybe it lacks of a bit of depth compared to the three Tokyo tournaments in terms of the fan experience that you can find inside the venue itself. But the personality, feeling and emotion of the basho – never more showcased than when a Kansai native mounts the dohyo in front of a full house, lights and cameras – for me is more than worth the annual pilgrimage. I had ringed the first week of the tournament on the calendar ever since Japan announced its reopening to foreign visitors, and could not wait to reintroduce it as a staple of my travel calendar.

So, what did we find?

A bit of a mixed bag, truth be told, but it was mostly a return to the experience I knew and loved. Some elements were missing, while others improved on my past memories.

First let’s talk logistics. I flew directly into Osaka’s Kansai International Airport from elsewhere in Asia and this was the correct decision. Post-pandemic, Japan has had mixed reviews for the entry experience into the country. In some places it is easy, others convoluted, and some ports like Tokyo’s Narita have been plagued by hours-long queues. Entering the country at Kansai was a relatively smooth experience, amplified by an express train taking me to my hotel 2 blocks from the venue near Osaka’s Namba hub in the Naniwa district of the second city.

Tickets were procured through Tachiai’s partner I’ve long been a user of their service and could not be happier with the seats or the special gift bags we received for our business. I had the tickets delivered directly to the hotel in Osaka on the day before my arrival, and after presenting my detailed delivery confirmation from Japan Post which BuySumoTickets provided, the front desk team was able to track down the envelope in the back room.

A word here about sumo tickets – they are the equivalent of cash, and can only be issued once, so coordination and attention to the package is key. A lot of first time visitors to a basho really seem to struggle with this. We’ve heard stories of people losing or failing to turn up with tickets, bringing their receipts and expecting to have it honoured by the Kyokai. They won’t. But once inside, they are very accommodating of foreign visitors and brought us directly to our box.

I went back and forth before the basho about whether to order the “Arena S” seats (hardback chairs with a removable cushion) or a 2 person masu-seki. I don’t find the boxes to normally be comfortable for a full day’s viewing, but the 2 person box is a great feature of Osaka’s venue. Most fans that I know don’t travel in groups of 4 and don’t have a need for the 4 person boxes which are most prevalent across the venues. While I was a little worried about the distance from the box to the dohyo, I shouldn’t have been. BuySumoTickets managed to secure an absolutely outstanding view from our seats.

One note about the layout of the EDION Arena is that unlike in Tokyo, which has the faux-cherry blossom lined chaya-michi alley where the various tea-houses supply luxury gift packages to tanimachi and other fans, the section of the EDION Arena housing the chaya’s booths is actually outside the main gate of the arena. Osaka tickets grant you one re-entry, so if you have ordered a lunch set or gift set and don’t pick it up on the way in, you will have to use your one re-entry in order to go out the front gate and retrieve it. After this, you won’t have any more exit and entry privileges.

Our gift sets came replete with a very generously portioned bento, a traditional dessert, program, various other souvenirs including sumo chocolates, and of course, the famous sumo yakitori. While I normally will want to sample food from the venue throughout the day, this package was simply so filling that there was no need to report on other options available within the venue. I can report however that the various gift shops were full with the usual omiyage gift boxes of sumo themed cookies and snacks, and yakitori, chips and drinks were available at points in the venue. Chankonabe did not however appear to be available in the venue, at least as far as I could tell.

The Arena’s hallways, so well-known for its previous ability to interact with rikishi, had been re-organised since the pandemic. Rikishi walkways to the hanamichi had now been fully segregated, with all of the previous shopping areas in the vicinity of the shitakubeya moved to other areas of the venue. This is obviously meant to limit casual interaction between rikishi and members of the general public, although it is still possible to linger outside the shitakubeya entrances from a distance. But there is no longer any casual engagement with sumotori that’s possible inside the venue. It’s possible that those wishing to engage with very low rankers could have more luck earlier in the day, but punters should be aware that there is a security presence in this area. You will, however, still see lower-rankers entering and leaving the venue throughout the day by the front entrance.

While rikishi are less-spotted, oyakata are still very much milling around and tending to their various duties. Once inside, the very first blue-jacketed-giant we came across was Tomozuna-oyakata, the recently retired Brazilian fan favourite Kaisei. He was happy to pose for photos with fans in the hallways. Word also travelled around the venue that former Sekiwake Okinoumi was performing fansa in an effort to drum up interest and ticket sales ahead of his forthcoming danpatsushiki, although I didn’t personally see him.

As I’ve said many times, Osaka’s atmosphere, for me, is unmatched. The crowd warmed up gradually throughout the day until eventually exploding into life late on. I can’t say it was exactly like the basho that I used to know, but you could see flashes of it here and there. It’s not sumo without a heavily drunken uncle veering between punching the air, slumping over half asleep or effing and blinding in reaction to the day’s events. Happily, the next box contained a local karaoke bar owner who was happy to oblige in all of these things and also engage in some spirited banter about which rikishi had been bad boys in recent years for their misadventures in the company of deep-pocketed sponsors or in gambling dens or with alcohol or ladies or all of the above. Some of the conjecture was too hot for TV, but you’ll just have to believe me.

I attended Day 3 of the basho, and its first week coincided with Japan’s loosening of mask restrictions. While mask observance was obviously still heavily prevalent throughout the venue (and Osaka and Tokyo generally), it was also clear that fans were starting to feel more comfortable eating, drinking, socialising and cheering in the public space. After a couple years of tournaments plagued by a lack of real fan engagement and cheering, where drinking beverages apart from water had been forbidden and thunderous winning moves were met with timid clapping, it was good to see the arena sparking back to life.

While the sumo continued on for several matches after, I think the highlight in terms of atmosphere will have been the match contested and won by Osaka native Ura. As I have said already, I felt in this basho that he rubber-stamped his position as heir-and-successor to Osaka’s Ikioi as local hero. While this may have felt obvious for sometime, it just isn’t right to see an exciting victory met by golf claps. The magic of Osaka is when the venue explodes into life as the flashbulbs pop from the side of the dohyo at a moment that fills the fans with pride for the performance of a native son. The sakura-tinted mawashi wearing man from Kise beta duly obliged to ensure no matter what else took place, the locals would be sent home happy.

All in all, it did not disappoint. It would be inaccurate to say that I felt the frisson that I used to before going to a basho. But I think that will come, perhaps whenever I am next able to visit the Kokugikan. I think more than anything the prevailing feeling was one of relief, of being able to return to something we used to know and love. Of feeling thankful to be back at sumo again.

Haru Basho Contest Winner

We have a winner for the BuySumoTickets contest! We actually had five entrants who correctly guessed BOTH Osaka-native Ura’s wins (9) AND that of the tie-breaker, Ochiai (10). Kirk, aka Shussekiyama, was also eligible for the tickets since he will be in Japan. But I still want to give recognition to the full list of correct entries:

  • Kirk (Shussekiyama)
  • Jonathan Wagner
  • Daniel Hazelrigg
  • Aric Wu
  • Boris Cardinale

I must say, I was way off with my own pick. But pretty much everyone thought both men would secure kachi-koshi, winning records. There were only a handful of more pessimistic entries, including mine. I know Ura had fallen down the banzuke but I didn’t think he would be that successful. I’d possibly underestimated the home crowd boost in Ura’s favor.

Juryo is also far from a cake walk, so Ochiai’s impressive 10-win debut will lift him into the meat of the division. How many tournaments do you think it will take for him to make it to Makuuchi? Nakamura, now known as Onosato, will be nipping at his heels this year as both try to rocket into the top division.

Thank you to the winners, and thank you to all of the participants. I will need to come up with something a little more difficult for the tie breaker next time. Maybe guess the number of wins by yorikiri?

Haru 2023 Winners & Losers

In the past, I’ve chanced my arm at a rundown of all of the 42 rikishi in the top division and their performance in the preceding tournament. The problem with doing these kinds of posts is that there are an awful of lot of guys whose performance doesn’t really bear writing about. If you’re a rikishi that was swirling around the Darwin Funnel™ going into the final weekend, then there are good chances I’m talking about you.

So instead, this time, I’m going to give my thoughts on who won and didn’t win in this basho. It will be controversial and some people will be angry! I can’t wait. We’ll save the best for last, and start with the…


Sumo – But for some final day drama, this was a forgettable makuuchi tournament. It will not be referenced among the all time greats. Sumo is the loser when its top rankers do not challenge. The way the sport is set up requires big performances from big names or other guys dethroning big names. The title race changed hands twice in 15 days. Yikes.

Takakeisho – As Andy remarked, he went from rope run to kadoban in a matter of days. There’s no way to spin that positively.

Daieisho – He will move up to Sekiwake and posted a very strong basho, but he lost the yusho in horrific fashion: two virtually identical losses on the final day to the same opponent, having only needed to win one. Then, in the second defeat, he was given the hope of redemption by a monoii, only for that hope to be cruelly dashed upon confirmation of the final result. Woof.

Takayasu – His confident, assured, 6-0 start raised the idea that this might finally be his basho, but an awful fade took the dream away. Again. A couple of extremely convincing wins towards the end signalled what could have been. 10-5 is in no way a bad result, but finishing 4-5 in yet another basho that was his for the taking was extremely disappointing. When people reference Takayasu being the bridesmaid, they often reference his mighty collection of Jun-Yusho scorelines – but there are just as many of these tournaments that don’t show up in any Sumo Reference box score and where Takayasu had it all to lose and then did just that. As fans, we cannot alter fate, so the best we can do is just cheer him on whole-heartedly and hope that one day it will change.

Hoshoryu – You might think I’m crazy putting a couple ten-win guys and a twelve-win guy in the loser category. To be fair, you could put 41 guys in the loser category and you’d have a case for all of them. That’s how sports works. This is another case of “what could have been?” I firmly agreed with Herouth’s tweet early in the basho that Hoshoryu needs to shelve his niramiai until he’s got a couple Emperor’s Cups in the bag. Staring down a former Ozeki in Takayasu as if he’s the top dog, only to get embarrassingly dropped on the chief shimpan – and a cocky approach to a Nishikigi match that ended in defeat – showed a rikishi who’s simply not ready for the top two ranks.

He could have won this yusho outright with a more professional approach to his sumo. It may seem like we’re being hard on a rikishi who once again displayed some fabulous sumo, but whatever, if anything, is between his ears continues to let him down. The best thing he can take from this basho is that he’ll probably be S1E and he’s potentially just put down the first basho of an ozeki run. But I’ll come right out and say it: he’s frittered away losses in the last two tournaments which would have had him at the rank already. While he’s still young, more top prospects are coming and he will not want to look back on this period as the golden opportunity that he missed.

Hokutofuji – He’s been the master of come-from-behind kachikoshi in the past, and looked to be well on his way with 7 straight wins after digging himself an 0-4 hole. Alas, he couldn’t find the one win in his last four days to get the job done, and continues a slide that will leave him outside the joi for an entire calendar year.

Wakatakakage – I left a stat in the comments here this week that since his sekiwake promotion, he’s been 15-20 over days 1-5 of tournaments, and 31-11 over days 6-11 (before the final, most difficult matches for a sekiwake). If he could start better when his schedule was lightest, he’d have already been an Ozeki. When you consistently start so poorly, the issue is either preparation or mental or both. This tournament proved to be one escape act too far, with an 0-5 hole proving too much to overcome. His 7-1 rescue attempt over days 6 to 13 looked to have him on solid ground until the injury that led to a late kyujo. One early win and this all would have been a non issue with kachikoshi in hand, but instead he’ll have to completely rebuild from komusubi next basho – if indeed he’s able to return (reports are that he may not).

Mitakeumi – His body hasn’t looked right since the injuries that zapped his chance at an Ozeki career upon his promotion to the rank. This tournament was ghastly to watch, a 4-11 that left me wondering at the end where the 4 wins could ever have come from.

Ryuden – I think this was just a basho too far on the meteoric comeback trail for one of sumo’s latest bad boys. It’s a credit to him that he mostly looked very genki en route to his 13 loss campaign. Every rikishi fights hurt, some more than others, but Ryuden’s performances were vastly superior to the results that he got (the eye test would credit him with a 6-9 or 5-10 at worst). But nevertheless, he will take a massive demotion after this basho. You have to call that what it is.


Sumo – Sumo can be the loser and also be the winner. You can have grey areas in life, deal with it! With makuuchi being the equivalent of pulling a green turban out of your fishing net when you were expecting a sea urchin, Juryo emerged as a thrilling division. We also can’t overlook the top division’s final day drama, a new yusho winner whose rank and profile is good for sumo, and the fact that much of lower san’yaku managed to hang around the title race in its final days.

Kiribayama – He’s now one of the most technically proficient top rankers. Some could be forgiven for looking at an 8-11-12 Ozeki promotion after this basho as reasonable given the current state of the sport (and some Tachiai commenters have already posed it as an idea), but with two fusen-sho in there he’s always going to need another strong tournament. You’d think 9 next time could be enough to make things interesting, but 10 should bank it.

Small guys doing crazy stuff – Ura, Midorifuji, and Enho all had highly entertaining tournaments, even if it did fizzle a bit from Midorifuji after his first loss. Credit to these guys and their weird sumo for giving us box office entertainment.

Juryo – it was always going to be a good tournament with 4 former makuuchi yusho winners in the division plus a catalogue of top prospects, but strong performances from big names made this one of the marquee collections of second division talent in ages.

Ichinojo – Everyone expected another Asanoyama yusho, but the big man blasted his way to a 14-1, making his Juryo return brief.

Ura – He was king of the dohyo in his native Osaka, and highly entertaining and mostly successful in the ring. He received rapturous applause and a thunderous reception in the EDION arena. His comeback has firmly sealed his place as successor to Ikioi as Osaka’s hometown hero.

Nishonoseki-beya/Kisenosato – The mid-basho announcement of the recruitment of generational talent Nakamura stole all the headlines (more on that later), but his squad also grabbed the makushita yusho through journeyman Ryuo, had a handful of other good prospect results (Kayo, Takahashi, Miyagi) and a successful return to sekitori level for Tomokaze.

Kakuryu-oyakata – Much has been made of the close attentions the former Yokozuna has paid Kiribayama since his retirement, having taken his compatriot under his wing after moving from Izutsu to Michinoku beya. Kiribayama’s rise has corresponded with this tutelage, and it bodes well for Kakuryu’s future as shisho – be that in his own heya someday or a Michinoku-beya (including Kiribayama) that he could yet inherit upon the incumbent’s retirement.

Miyagino-beya/Hakuho – the top 8 rankers in the stable all scored winning records, with Enho starting to close in on a comeback to the top division and Ochiai putting out a very solid and entertaining sekitori debut. Hokuseiho’s 9 wins on his top flight debut were overshadowed by Kinbozan’s debut, and it’s clear that his ponderous sumo may lead him to struggle for consistency as he approaches the joi for the first time. I’d probably revise his ceiling to be a more technical version of Ichinojo. But for now, all good.

Isegahama-beya – Midorifuji took the headlines, but Nishikifuji put up another very solid basho. Meanwhile, an initially hopeless looking Takarafuji found his patented defend-and-extend technique late on to clinch a kachi-koshi when the conversation on nakabi was about whether he could really be demoted to Juryo. Plus, the heya boasted winning records for top prospects Hayatefuji and Takerufuji. As for the Yokozuna? Even he’s a bit of a winner in absentia, as Takakeisho’s rope-run collapsing amid the removal of Wakatakakage from the Ozeki conversation (for the time being) means that Terunofuji’s seat isn’t especially hot in spite of his lengthy absence.

Wakamotoharu – His 11 win basho will see him overtake his brother as heyagashira. He has grown gradually into the top division and looked at points to have an outside shot at the Haru yusho. It will be curious to now see whether he or Wakatakakage can mount an ozeki run soonest – if he’s able to get the yusho in May, one would think Wakamotoharu could even grab it in his next basho.

Kinbozan – In a tournament that boasted three fairly high(ish) profile debutants in the top division, some props should be due to Kinbozan for his excellent performance. While it’s not unusual to see talents who have blown through Juryo come up and grab double digits in their first top division tournament, Kinbozan did it with a minimum of fuss and some excellent sumo. He (and Juryo’s Gonoyama) still looks like a rikishi that has a lot of physical development until he finds his final competitive physique, and it will be interesting to see how he takes on higher challenges in the division. With Hokuseiho impressing but also lumbering at times to victory, and Bushozan being mostly overmatched, we should put some credit on Kise-beya’s Kazakhstani special prize winner.

Who are we forgetting? Who are you angry about me calling a loser? Let’s hear it in the comments!

Haru Day 15 Highlights

We conclude a fine tournament in great style, with a playoff and a yusho for Sekiwake Kiribayama. He was able to beat Daieisho twice today to take him the cup, and score his second consecutive double digit tournament score. His finish in January was 11-4, and earned him the jun-yusho for Hatsu, along with the gino-sho special prize.

Naturally talk will begin to swirl about him being one good tournament away from a possible Ozeki promotion, already have 23 wins over two tournaments. One win each in the last two tournaments have been fusensho, so I am going guess that guidance from the kyokai will be for a strong performance in May.

Congratulations to Kiribayama on a fantastic tournament.

Highlight Matches

Tsurugisho defeats Kagayaki – Kagayaki lost this match when he allowed Tsurugisho to capture him. Yes, Kagayaki did have a double inside grip, but he could not muster enough power to do much against Tsurugisho’s ponderous bulk. Tsurugisho ends Osaka with a kachi-koshi at 8-7.

Kinbozan defeats Takanosho – Kinbozan had the inside hand position from the second step, and never really allowed Takanosho an opening to attack. There was a brief moment where Takanosho almost landed a good thrust, but it left him off balance, and Kinbozan finshed him with a sukuinage to finish Osaka 11-4 with a Kanto-sho special prize.

Azumaryu defeats Daishoho – A final win for Azumaryu, they went chest to chest at the tachiai, settling into a mutual right hand inside position. As they struggled for position, you could see Azumaryu working to set up the throw. He never quite completed rotation, but it was enough to get Daishoho stumbling, and he stepped out of the ring. Azumaryu finishes 4-11.

Nishikifuji defeats Kotoeko – Nishikifuji able to finish in double digits at 10-5. He was able to set up a right hand inside grip on the second step, and quickly drove forward to send Kotoeko out.

Bushozan defeats Myogiryu – Bushozan had his hands inside and in contact with center mass by the second step. He immediately dialed up the forward pressure, and rammed Myogiryu out of the ring and into Oho’s lap. Both finish Osaka 5-10.

Hiradoumi defeats Oho – Oho is denied his kachi-koshi after Hiradoumi attacks well on the first step, and never lets up the pressure for a moment. Oho has no escape plan, and finds himself escorted from the ring in short order. Both finish the basho 7-8.

Mitoryu defeats Aoiyama – Mitoryu is able to end the tournament with a kachi-koshi thanks to his quick ring sense and reaction time. Both are pushing forward with all they can deliver, but Aoiyama momentarily loses traction. Mitoryu reacts with an immediate slap down to pick up his 8th win, and finishes Osaka 8-7.

Ura defeats Chiyoshoma – Ura continues his unquestioned dominance of Chiyoshoma, extending his career record to 8-0. That could have been a matta as Chiyoshoma launched a tad early, but the fight was on. They battled for hand placement until Ura was able to duck inside and attack. He put power forward, and launched himself and Chiyoshoma out of the ring, taking out at least 3 cameramen. Both end the tournament 9-6.

Hokuseiho defeats Ichiyamamoto – Ichiyamamoto had a brief window at the start of this match where he could have won, but Hokuseiho was able to capture Ichiyamamoto with his right hand, and shut down any further offense. They enter a battle hug, and that’s where things stay for a while, with just a few struggle sessions as Ichiyamamoto tries to improve his grip. But lets be honest, there is no way he’s moving Hokuseiho, he’s only making himself tired. After a long time, Hokuseiho decides he’s done. He powers forward and runs Ichiyamamoto out of the ring to finish 9-6.

Takarafuji defeats Hokutofuji – Our only Darwin match, and I am both surprised and delighted to announce that Takarafuji managed to squeeze out a kachi-koshi with an 8-7 finish. There were times last week where I worried he would be back in Juryo in May, but he’s going to stick around the top division for a while longer. Sadly the winning move may have injured Hokutofuji’s already injured right knee. Not what I was hoping he would take him from Osaka, to go with his 7-8 make-koshi.

Nishikigi defeats Kotoshoho – Excellent work by Nishikigi to methodically work his hands to Kotoshoho’s mawashi. Once he had both hands attached, he was in charge and he attack with power, eventually brining Kotoshoho down with an uwatenage. Both end Osaka 6-9.

Ryuden defeats Mitakeumi – Ryuden finds only his second win of the tournament on the final day. Mitakeumi had a solid defense running until a missed move caused him to turn his back on Ryuden for just a moment, and Mitakeumi only recovered with his feet on the bales, but soon had to step out. Ryuden finishes 2-13.

Abi defeats Endo – Endo continues to struggle with Abi-zumo, again we saw him leave Abi to attack at will, and suffered a potent oshitaoshi as a result. Both end Osaka with 9-6.

Shodai defeats Midorifuji – One time yusho race leader Midorifuji suffers his 5th consecutive loss. He had a double inside grip against Shodai by the second step – it was both a blessing and a curse. Once Shodai had his heels on the bales, out came the “Wall of Daikon”, and Shodai bodily rammed forward. With his arms now locked around Shodai, Midorifuji had no escape. The resulting kimedashi pushed him into the front row, and both end the tournament 10-5.

Meisei defeats Tamawashi – Meisei snaps a 6 match losing streak with solid, aggressive sumo. Tamawashi really can’t generate or tolerate any forward pressure this month, and has been a fairly easy mark. Meisei pushes him out into a shimpan, and its a 5-10 finish for him.

Tobizaru defeats Sadanoumi – An even tachiai evolved into Tobizaru’s superior foot work setting up an uwatenage that sent Sadanoumi tumbling to the clay. Fast and effective, both end the tournament 6-9.

Wakamotoharu defeats Kotonowaka – An impressive 11-4 final score for Wakamotoharu, and it’s his third double digit finish in the past year. Consistency – check. A quick tachiai saw them lock up yotsu-zumo style to fight it out. The finishing move was a tumbling rescue utchari at the edge that saw Wakamotoharu land on his neck. A monoii was called, but the judge’s decision was affirmed, Wakamotoharu had won.

Takayasu defeats Hoshoryu – Ah, Hoshoryu. Never change you numb skull. Takayasu has stared down plates of food at his mother’s restaurant more potent than you. Delighted to see Takayasu in good form today. He took his time and dismantled Hoshoryu a piece at a time. He seldom fights like this any more, but this is the form that took him to Ozeki, coupled with almost inhuman endurance. Hoshoryu gives him a good fight, but by about 20 seconds in, it’s clear Takayasu has been building an uwatenage. The throw has to overcome Hoshoryu’s excellent mobility, but Takayasu has ample strength to make it stick. Both end the tournament 10-5.

Kiribayama defeats Daieisho – The decider, and Kiribayama does what he needs to and takes out the yusho race leader to end the tournament with a 12-3 tie. Kiribayama played Daieisho perfectly, letting him get his mega-thrust train running, then stepping out of the way. Both win the technique prize, and we have a playoff for the yusho.

Yusho Playoff

Kiribayama defeats Daieisho – Kiribayama takes his first Emperor’s Cup, of what I hope will be several. Oddly enough it’s quite similar to their prior match, Daieisho is all power forward, Kiribayama absorbs two volleys then steps to the side. Kōnosuke calls it for Kiribayama, but they want a monoii to make sure. Clearly they are not up against a news break on NHK, so they have plenty of time. But of course Kōnosuke was right, and it’s time for Kiribayama to hoist a big fish.

Thank you, dear readers for sharing the 15 days of Haru with Team Tachiai. We hope you have enjoyed our daily coverage as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you. We hope to see you all again during the Natsu basho in May, and please check back for commentary, and sumo news as it happens.