Wakaichiro fought a ragged battle against Miyakogawa early day 3. Wakaichiro surprised (and delighted) his fans when early in the match, he established a yotsu-zumo attack, grabbing his opponent’s mawashi. From there the match featured a wild series of moves, with each rikishi working to gain advantage, but Wakaichiro kept fighting, a won the match.
With this win, he improves to 2-0 to start Hatsu, which is great to see. We think he will next fight day 5 or 6, and we will keep his fans up to day with his progress.
Day 2 was a non-stop feast of some bright young stars of sumo. We got to see Ura blast someone off the dohyo, we saw Hoshoryu struggle, and we saw Akua stuff Chiyonoo into dumpster. Onward to day 3, it’s another great night of lower division action, with may of the rikishi we are tracking back on the dohyo for more battles.
Wakamotoharu vs Takanofuji – All three Waka* brothers will fight on day 3, with Wakamotoharu just withing reach of joining his brother as a Sekitori. Takanofuji’s only trip to Juryo was interrupted with an injury that pushed him back down the pile. He’s hungry.
Akua vs Seiro – It’s steak, and lobster with both Akua and Wakamotoharu in action. It will be worth staying up just to see this match. Seiro is a former lower Maegashira, a Mongolian from Shikoroyama heya. He dropped out of Juryo in September following an injury, and like most of the “Wall” crew, he is ready to tear his opponent’s head off to return to Sekitori status.
Ura vs Chiyosakae – Ura submarined and ejected Takakento like a JMSDF torpedo, and on day 3 he draws Chiyosakae, a Makushita veteran from Kokonoe heya. He has been ranked as high as MS7 last year, but has been struggling to produce much above a 4 win kachi-koshi.
Wakatakamoto vs Hokutokawa – Another Waka* brother on the dohyo! this time he faces off against Hakkaku heya’s Hokutokawa. Hokutokawa as been unable to rank above mid-Makushita, and will provide a fairly solid opponent.
Naya vs Dairaido – Former Juryo Sekitori Dairaido will be quite a test for young Naya. This opponent will be no easy push over, in spite of the fact that he sufferd a significant injury in 2016 that saw him drop back down to Jonidan.
Shoji vs Okinoiwa – Okinoiwa is a mid-Sandanme mainstay, and I will be interested to see of Shoji can bounce back from his first match loss.
Torakio vs Kotonoumi – Torakio takes on a young rikishi from Sadogatake heya, who has never ranked above Sandandme.
Wakaichiro vs Miyakogawa – Wakaichiro looked strong and confident in his day 1 win, and we are all hoping that he has overcome the mechanical injuries he had been nursing at Kyushu. Day 3 he’s against Miyakogawa, from Isenoumi heya. Another newcommer, Miyakogawa has yet to break out of Jonidan, and had a fairly rough time of it in Kyushu.
Our favorite Musashigawa rikishi opened the new year with a most welcome win over Tochinoshima, to open the basho 1-0. Wakaichiro has been battling a number of physical problems around his right kneed and shoulder, and his performance has suffered the past 2 tournaments. In his day 1 match he looked stronger, more confident and more aggressive than ever. His sumo was smooth, efficient and powerful, and we hope it’s the shape of things to come.
In what his fans are hoping is rebound tournament, Texas sumotori Wakaichiro faces his first match early on day 1. The past two tournaments saw him finish with make-koshi records, as he struggled to overcome injuries and adapt to fighting with a bit more mass to his body. In spite of his losing records, his sumo has shown steady technique improvements, and many of his fans believe its simply a matter of time before aspects of his sumo begin to work in harmony, and produce a record equal to his potential.
Wakaichiro, ranked Jonidan 36 East, will face off against Jonidan 36 West: Long serving veteran Tochinoshima. Tochinoshima is a 31 year old rikishi from Kasugano stable who has participated in 77 basho, and has been ranked as high as Sandanme 8. He has been plagued with injuries since 2014, and has struggled to maintain ranking in Sandanme. He is at Jonidan 36 after a disappointing 1-6 record at Kyushu.
We will bring you news of the match as soon as we learn the results, and video once we can find it.
Attention all sumo fans! The Japan Sumo Association has published the banzuke for the January basho. Due to the holidays around New Years in Japan, the Hatsu banzuke tends to show up early, and for sumo fans in the western world, it makes a great Christmas gift. Some notes:
Believe it or not, Kisenosato got Yokozuna 1E for showing up and winning zero matches.
Sekiwake ranks are Takakeisho on the east, and Tamawashi on the west.
Ichinojo dropped completely out of San’yaku down to Maegashira 1W
Nishikigi is at Maegashira 2E, good luck sir, you continue to surprise.
Kotoshogiku returns to the joi-jin at Maegashira 4
Takanoiwa holds Maegashira 9E in spite of leaving the sport after roughing up a tsukibeto.
No new shikona for Yago for his Makuuchi debut, though many anticipated he would get his “kaze” name.
Ura launches to Makushita 23 following his Sandanme yusho in November.
Terunofuji down to Sandanme 88, rumors are that he is training and may enter the tournament.
Wakaichiro down to Jonidan 36
We may put together a news update later today or early tomorrow to discuss the banzuke and the upcoming January tournament.