Where Has Sumo Gone? – Jungyo! (巡業)


For international Sumo fans, it’s a long wait between the end of the Nagoya basho and the September basho in Tokyo. but in the 2 months between tournaments, for those in Japan, Sumo goes on tour! Referred to as Jungyo (巡業 – Literally, to “make the rounds”), each day  consists of exhibition matches, training sessions demonstrating how Sumotori work out, and sessions where local children square off against Rikishi for fun and entertainment.

The schedule includes a slapstick Sumo bout called “Shokkiri” (しょっきり), which seems to be straight out of the 3 Stooges in places.

These tours in between tournaments helps raise public awareness of Sumo and build the audience for the sport.  It appears to be working, as the popularity of Sumo has risen in Japan during the past few years.

The Sato-Shuffle


Screenshot (168)Kisenosato surprised the world with his dodge of Kotoshogiku. Well, forgive the hyperbole but he sure surprised me…dunno about you all. He’s getting close and yusho talk is picking up. The last time he was 9-0, he actually kept winning until Day 14 when Hakuho put an end to his yusho hopes. He finished 13-2 behind Hakuho’s zensho yusho. This time, though, Hakuho is already one loss back.

But obviously they’ve got several fights before a potential showdown with the yusho on the line. Hakuho will face a weakened Terunofuji who had his hands full of Toyonoshima. Kisenosato will face a Kakuryu hoping for redemption from getting bounced by Goeido of all people. Goeido secured his kachi-khoshi and stays in the yusho mix, tied with Hakuho.

Sadly, Ikioi fell one more loss off pace in an entertaining bout with Harumafuji. No words are needed. The picture below summarizes the bout brilliantly:

Screenshot (167)
Harumafuji (L) vs Ikioi (R)

NekoDamashi x2 + Henka = Angry Japanese Press


Okay, the hilarious Hakuho/Tochiozan match had more going on than I noticed when I watched this morning. I obviously saw the henka but I didn’t notice the hand-clapping. The clap is called neko damashi. Mainoumi, who is frequently the Japanese commentator for NHK, was famous for this move. Apparently the Japanese media is all aflutter because they think the trick is not becoming of a yokozuna, nevermind the fact that he did it twice and topped that with a henka.

Mainoumi could get away with it because he was tiny and needed to pull out all the stops to succeed. This is another bit of silliness.

November 2015: Kakuryu Falls


Kakuryu fell to Goeido in the final match and biggest upset of the day. Previously, Hakuho’s failed henka was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while. Tochiozan stopped his momentum before falling out, so Hakuho had to run over and shove him a few times to get him out of the ring.

After Shohozan’s loss to Ikioi, Takayasu’s loss to Kyokushuho, and Kisenosato’s loss to Toyonoshima (arguably a bigger upset than Goeido over Kakuryu), Harumafuji stands as the lone competition trailing Hakuho who still controls his own destiny. If Harumafuji wins out, including victories over Hakuho, he will win the tournament.