初場所 2016, 15日目: Special Prizes

Shodai’s makuuchi career is off to a great start; 10 wins and a Fighting Spirit award. To provide a bit of a comparison with highly touted debuts: Endo got his first kanto-sho after his third tournament while it took Ikioi almost 2 years to pull it off. Of course Ichinojo’s rise was even quicker as he scored two special prizes and a kinboshi, finishing in second place upon his debut. However, we’ve all seen the ups-and-downs those three have gone through. Continue reading

初場所 2016, 15日目: Kotoshogiku Yusho

WP_20160124_10_11_28_ProApologies for the late update. I was up to watch the final day but internet was out. I live near DC and we’ve been having a snowstorm the past few days. I was upset not being able to watch live. Thanks to Kintamayama, I was able to watch just now.

It’s official, we have the first Japanese yusho in 10 years. I’m excited for Kotoshogiku and for the sport. Hopefully this will spark more interest among Japanese – and Kotoshogiku. He’d not had a good 2015, starting the year kadoban after 6 wins in November 2014 and then going kadoban again after the May tournament. I’m hoping for consistent double-digit wins from him and ozeki-worthy performances.

I’m concerned for Goeido. He was only able to pull out four wins and is kadoban for the third time in his short ozeki tenure. He’s had 1 tournament with 9 wins and 5 where he’s scraped by with 8.

初場所2016, 14日目: Kotoshogiku Can Taste It

Kotoshogiku has the yusho in the bag. With Hakuho’s quick loss to Kisenosato, only Goeido stands in his way. He’s also clearly determined. After a matta, he plowed straight into a helpless Tochiozan. Tochi-from-Kochi does seem a bit weakened in his left leg; it seems a bit like Ikioi’s injury. He was in obvious pain crouching for the tachiai, which probably caused – and was exacerbated by – his false-start. Continue reading

初場所2016, 13日目: Toyonoshima Smells Yusho

Now, Toyonoshima should not be in this. He lost to Okinoumi early in the tournament but was somehow declared the winner. He went off script, defeated Kotoshogiku (who’d “found” the power to defeat three yokozuna in a row) and finds himself one back from the leaders. Hakuho and Kotoshogiku are now tied for the lead as Hakuho bested junior-zuna Kakuryu.

Harumafuji forced out Kisenosato who’s been having a terrible tournament. It’s still quite possible for us to have 3 kadoban ozeki who are not named Kotoshogiku. The question for tomorrow, will Tochiozan play ball? C’mon Tochi from Kochi!

初場所2016, 11日目: The Zabuton Fly

Kotoshogiku now leads alone. His straightforward, jack-rabbit action was too much for the yokozuna and a jubilant Kokugikan erupted with cheers, and zabuton rained down on the dohyo as Hakuho was forced out of the ring.

Harumafuji now shares his place with Hakuho, one loss back after his convincing win over Goeido. He will face Kotoshogiku tomorrow and a win will make this a three-man race. This looks to be an exciting yusho.

初場所2016, 10日目: Woah-kinoumi

I’ve changed Okinoumi’s name. It’s now をきのうみ. I’ve just gotta say, “Woah.”

One year ago there was a bloodbath in the rough-and-tumble ranks between maegashira 4 and Sekiwake. Both sekiwake and both komusubi were demoted. The only one among the top 10 maegashira to finish with a winning record was Terunofuji who launched himself into a spectacular ozeki run. Another “beneficiary” of this calamity was Okinoumi who leaped from M6 to Sekiwake in March. From there, it’s a tale of two cities: Terunofuji gets 13 wins and a jun-yusho. Okinoumi goes winless the first few days and pulled out injured. Continue reading