Before Hattorizakura kicks off shonichi this Sunday, our eyes will be glued to the papers and social media for early indication of who’s on the Kyokai Not-Genki list, and thus kyujo for Kyushu. Though not officially on the list yet, we fully anticipate Ichinojo will be on it by the weekend, as Herouth notes below.
Given the state of Takakeisho, and more troublingly, Takayasu, one would expect the kyujo ranks to swell…though it may not be until after salt meets clay. We’re also keeping our eyes peeled for whether Ura will be listed or not. If he competes, he will be restarting his career at Jonidan 106 West. Having seen recent pics of Swole Ura, if I were Daishojo, I think I’d sleep in that day.
Word has come to Tachiai via NHK news (and multiple other sources) that Yokozuna Kakuryu has decided to withdraw from the September tournament in Tokyo. Sadly this leaves us in a “nokazuna” situation, with a greatly depleted Ozeki corps to boot. Earlier in the tournament, Yokozuna Hakuho withdrew with a broken finger, leaving Kakuryu the sole Yokozuna competing.
We assume he was injured day 4 or 5, and gave up 3 consecutive losses, usually a mark of a performance limiting injury. For Team Tachiai, his kyujo was expected. As a result, his day 8 opponent, Tamawashi, picks up his second fushesho / forfeit win of the tournament.
At the moment there is no injury reported, but I would guess it is one of his multiple chronic injuries. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Ishiura defeats Takagenji: Ishiura continues to do well
this tournament by fighting his opponents. It was not a strong tachiai, but not
a henka, as Ishiura ducked and deflected Takagenji’s attack upward. Then
Ishiura drove through from his submarine position and ushered Takagenji out. Ishiura
improves to 4-1, Takagenji falls to 1-4.
Tochiozan defeats Toyonoshima: Tochiozan got the better
of Toyonoshima with a slick little shift in the middle of the ring. It that
threw Toyonoshima’s balance off enough to steamroll out for the win. Tochiozan
is 3-2 while Toyonoshima falls to 1-4.
Tsurugisho defeats Azumaryu: Tsurugisho met Azumaryu
well at the tachiai, got a great grip with his right hand. With superior
position from below, and Azumaryu’s right arm flailing in the air, Tsurugisho
drove forward and pushed him out for the yorikiri win. Both men are having a
decent tournament at 3-2.
Ki defeats Yutakayama: A great endurance battle
between the big men where Kagayaki out-lasted Yutakayama. The crowd really got
going when Yutakayama was pitched up on one leg but somehow recovered to drive Kagayaki
back to the tawara. The two settled to the middle of the ring, Kagayaki caught Yutakayama
dozing and drove him back and out. Both men are 3-2.
Shohozan defeats Nishikigi: Shohozan keeps the East
winning streak alive, driving both hands up into Nishikigi’s neck at the
tachiai. Shohozan never relented, steady with the pressure, continuous attack
while Nishikigi was doing everything he could just to hang on and stay upright,
but Shohozan forced him out. Shohozan improves to 3-2 while Nishikigi falls to
Enho defeats Daishoho: Enho ends the Eastern
dominance with a last second Houdini vanishing act. Daishoho had clear advantage
and went for the finishing shove…when Enho disappeared and reappeared behind
him, and added enough force to Daishoho’s momentum to push him out. Amazing.
Enho is 4-1 while Daishoho is still seeking his first win.
Onosho defeats Terutsuyoshi: Terutsuyoshi went on the
attack, head down, and bulled through his opponent. Onosho slipped to his left
to escape the pressure and managed to dance inside the tawara to stay in while
Terutsuyoshi flopped to the dohyo. Terutsuyoshi falls to 1-4 and needs to turn
things around in the second act. Onosho improves to 2-3.
Meisei defeats Takarafuji: Starting from a stance a
yard behind the line of scrimmage, a genki Meisei took the initiative and
played aggressor in this bout while Takarafuji played defense. The two tussled
at the center of the ring but a quick shift to the right, he got his left hand
up behind Takarafuji’s back, pressured him off down and balance. Katasukashi.
Okinoumi defeats Kotoyuki: A good tachiai and Kotoyuki
on the slap-happy tsuppari attack but Jason’s man from Shimane-ken used his
arms effectively to deflect the bulk of the attack. When Kotoyuki over-committed,
Okinoumi ducked to the side, letting Kotoyuki fall and remains undefeated! The Penguin
falls to 2-3.
Sadanoumi defeats Kotoeko: Sadanoumi prevailed in a
high-octane back and forth bout. The tachiai was well met and the two set a
frenetic pace of steady action as they tried to get the upper hand. Kotoeko
twisted the pair precariously on the tawara but Sadanoumi didn’t want to take
the tumble into the crowd and drove back to the other side of the ring where he
gained the advantage and flung Kotoeko out.
Kotoshogiku defeats Ryuden: This was a straight-forward
Kotoshogiku bout of old, well met tachiai with Ryuden wrapped up and driven
backwards. Ryuden attempted to resist to the left but Kotoshogiku’s gabburi was
too much. Yorikiri. Giku improves to 3-2. Ryuden slips to 2-3.
Shimanoumi defeats Chiyotairyu: Chiyotairyu met his
opponent with a strong right hand at the tachiai but when he foolishly tried a
hatakikomi attack with inadequate real estate behind him. Why would anyone do
that 6 feet from the bales? When he executed the pull he was virtually out already.
Shimanoumi gladly obliged and helped Chiyotairyu out.
Myogiryu defeats Shodai: This Myogiryu is a beast
this tournament. Shodai absorbed the tachiai and started to push his opponent back
but Myogiryu kicked it into a higher gear, forcing Shodai into reverse and out.
Myogiryu is in the chase at 4-1, Shodai slips to 2-3.
Ichinojo vs Tamawashi: The bout didn’t happen. Ichinojo is
kyujo with a shoulder injury. Tamawashi gets the walkover win.
Endo defeats Aoiyama to the delight of the crowd.
Winless Aoiyama tried the hatakikomi pull at the tachiai, without setting up
any kind of tsuppari or slapping attack. It was just “pull” mode from the
start. With momentum going the right way, Endo obliged and chased Aoiyama, pushing
him out for a fourth straight win.
Takakeisho defeats Hokutofuji: There was a decent
stack of kensho riding on this one. A great oshi bout, both got the tsuppari
going. Hokutofuji tried a pull but that wasn’t going anywhere since aite simply
didn’t follow. Hokutofuji went back to re-engage with some tsuppari, and this
time Takakeisho slipped backwards, pirouetting just inside the tawara as
Hokutofuji flopped to the clay. Hokutofuji ends act 1 with the one gold star win
he managed to snag off Hakuho on day one. Takakeisho is undefeated and on
cruise control to meet that 10-win mark.
Mitakeumi defeats Abi: Abi launched forward into his
slapping attack. Mitakeumi put up some strong resistance, drawing Abi deeper
and further forward on his toes, then executed an excellent pull down that
everyone in the building saw coming. Well, maybe everyone but Abi. They’re
calling it a tsukiotoshi but it may as well have been the hatakikomi that Abi
is so vulnerable to.
Tochinoshin defeats Tomokaze: The youngster was
over-eager. A strong tachiai but apparently the Ozeki learned from his hairpull
mistake yesterday to keep that hand flat. He went straight for Tomokaze’s
topknot and forced him down. Both men are 2-3.
Goeido defeats Daieisho: Damn it. Bad Goeido! No
pulling! This win will serve as positive re-enforcement that you can sometimes
win with a pull so you’re going to do it again, and again. But those bouts, you’ll
lose. This one was done against an unprepared Daieisho. Please move forward
from now on. You got lucky this time.
Asanoyama defeats Kakuryu! Zabuton nagatte
kudasai! The Yokozuna had settled on the idea of winning by a throw. So he
tried it once after the tachiai, then he worked Asanoyama over to the straw
bales where he tried again. Didn’t work. Maybe the third time is the charm? No.
The third time he Asanoyama gives a gentle shove and the Yokozuna is out.
Act one ends with a two-horse race between Takakeisho and
Okinoumi! The hunt pack is now led by Kakuryu, and includes Goeido, Mitakeumi, Endo,
Myogiryu, Meisei, Enho, and Ishiura. It’s still far too early in this drama for
yusho race talk as we’re one third of the way in but that’s an exciting group
of folks. Several sharks in these waters smell blood and a shot at a title! It
is a bit disappointing that Ichinojo won’t be able to feast but he’ll be back!