In the morning bouts of day 14, Texan sumotori Wakaichiro went up against Asanotosa, a much larger and more experienced rikishi. The bout was quick, energetic and unsuccessful for Wakaichiro. He finishes the Natsu basho with a 4-3 record, which may either place him at the top of Jonidan or the bottom of Sandanme.
Wakaichiro has shown steady progress improving his body, and his sumo. His fans around the world and the team at Tachiai look forward to his matches in July, when the Nagoya basho will be in full swing in the heat of the Japanese summer.
Congratulations to Wakaichiro for a successful Natsu!
The Sumo-Texan, Wakaichiro, wrapped up his winning record in fine fashion on day 12, and has one remaining match in his fight card for the May tournament in Tokyo. On Saturday morning he will face off against another 4-2 record Jonidan rikishi, Asanotosa. Asanotosa is a long-serving veteran sumo wrestler who has been in the sport since January of 2000. He eventually ranked as high as Makushita 21, but has been slowly fading down the banzuke since 2008.
This contest will pit the young, rising Wakaichiro against the larger, heavier veteran in Asanotosa. This is actually an outstanding preview of how Wakaichiro will fare in Sandanme, as this is precisely the kind of rakish that gave him a lot of trouble during his past postings to that division. Wakaichiro of Natsu is stronger, faster and more aggressive. We will see if he has improved enough to wrangle the wide-bodies.
As always we will bring you coverage of the results, and video of the match once we find it on line.
Texas sumotori Wakaichiro won his day 12 match against Jonidan 9 Ako in a blazing flurry of offense. The win came at the edge of the dohyo, where Wakaichiro was able to push his opponent to the clay.
With this win, Wakaichiro improves to 4-2, and is now kachi-koshi. The team at Tachiai congratulate Wakaichiro for his winning tournament record, and look forward to his 7th and final match coming soon.
Texas sumotori Wakaichiro will return to the Natsu dohyo early on Thursday for a day 12 match against Jonidan 9 Ako, from Onomatsu heya. Ako comes into the match with an identical 3-2 record, the winner will get kachi-koshi. Ako has been in professional sumo for the past 10 years, with his highest ever rank achieved Sandanme 44. He is roughly the same size and weight as Wakaichiro.
As with his previous matches, we will bring you results of Wakaichro’s 6th match as soon as we learn of it, and video as soon as we can find it online.
The kami of YouTube have once again provided for our desire, and we have video of Wakaichiro’s day 10 match. This match features a loss too Kotosato, which dropped the Musashigawa rikishi to 3-2. Kotosato owns this bout from the start, and overpowered Wakaichiro for a solid win.
There are two more chances for Wakaichiro to pick up the last win he needs for kachi-koshi, and we will bring you details as they happen.
Our favorite Jonidan rikishi, Wakaichiro, lost his 5th match of the May tournament today in Tokyo, taking him to 3-2. He is still one win from securing his kachi-koshi, and will need to prevail in either of the next two matches.
His opponent, Kotosato, overpowered him from the tachiai, and relentlessly drove forward. We will bring you video as soon as it becomes available.
We covered Texan sumotori Wakaichiro at the start of our day 8 live blogging marathon, where he won his match against Shinyashiki. Now through the magic of the internet, video above of that match so fans around the world can see him in action. It’s great to see the improvement between even his last tournament in Osaka and today. Clearly gaining muscle, balance and reaction times. This match features a monoii, as the touch out looked fairly close.
The man from Texas is back on the Natsu dohyo day 10, facing off against 105 kg Kotosato, from the Sadogatake heya. This is their first ever match, and kachi-koshi is on the line. We wish good fortune to Wakaichiro, and as always we will bring you results of the match as soon as they are known, and video of the match as soon as we can find it.
In the course of our live blogging spectacular overnight, we started our evening with news that Wakaichiro prevailed in his day 8 match, boosting his tournament record to a respectable 3-1. Fans have noticed that Wakakichro always seems to fight better in Tokyo, which is an interesting oddity. He is now one win away from hi kachi-koshi, which would keep him perfectly alighted to his pattern of winning in Tokyo, losing on the road.
Sadly at the moment, we don’t have any video to share of his win, but hopefully it will crop up in the boundless fountain that is the internet at some point.
As if day 8 could get any more awesome… Well Wakaichro has a match day 8 as well. It’s against Shinyashiki from Otake beta. He’s been in sumo for 28 tournaments, so he brings some experience to the dohyo. He’s much lighter than our Texas rikishi, but I am sure he makes up for that in skill. His highest ever rank is Sandanme 60.
With us live blogging and possibly having folks inside the Kokugikan, I am sure there will be no shortage of coverage of this match.
As we wrap up the first week of the May 2018 basho, let’s check in with some of our up-and-comers to see whether or not they’ve got good chances of moving up the banzuke after the tournament.
Before we start, a few items that might be of note to lower-division watchers:
Toyonoshima and Toyohibiki have both got off the mark to perfect records in upper-Makushita. Many sumo fans will be rooting for Toyonoshima to make it back to sekitori status, but that’s not the extent of his ambitions: despite turning 35 in a few weeks, he’s trying to come all the way back up to Makuuchi. Hiro Morita noted on today’s NHK broadcast that Toyonoshima made Kotoshogiku promise he wouldn’t retire until he made it back to makuuchi, so that the two could resume their long-standing rivalry!
Next, Chiyootori has come back into the dohyo down in Sandanme-land. The big man was heavily bandaged and looked awful on Day 3 when I saw him, but somehow won his other two matches and sits with a decent chance of a promotion back to the third tier. He gets called up to face Shikihide’s Baraki next, a smaller man making his debut at the Makushita level this time, a man whose chances of making the top divisions John Gunning poured cold water on in our Tachiai interview earlier this year. So, that might be a match to look out for on Day 8.
Now, onto the young guns:
Ms1 Chiyonoumi (Kokonoe) – The 25 year old is a win away from clinching a debut in Juryo, as he sits 3-1 so far. His sole loss has come to a desperate Tsurugisho when called up to Juryo for a day to make up the numbers following Terunofuji’s kyujo. He’s not in action day 8 but it’s likely his next match will be against Ichiyamamoto thereafter. He’s knocked off a couple ex-Juryo guys already in Amakaze and Tochihiryu. I saw him unleash an unstoppable oshi-attack on day 3 against the latter to win by tsukidashi.
Ms5 Ichiyamamoto (Nishonoseki) – The pusher-thruster is the only other rikishi in the top 5 Makushita slots to post 3 wins thus far, so if he does in fact get drawn against Chiyonoumi, he’s got a bit more riding on it. 4 wins should be enough to get Chiyonoumi up whatever the outcome, but at this rank Ichiyamamoto may need as many as 6 wins depending what happens up in Juryo and above him throughout the second week. He too has knocked off two ex-sekitori in Jokoryu of Kise-beya and Kizenryu. When I saw him Day 3 against the latter, he was absolutely flawless against the more experienced rikishi, winning by oshitaoshi.
Ms6 Enho (Miyagino) – Mixed results so far for the “Next Generation” star, who finds himself 2-2. While he beat Akua, his losses came against Kizaki of Kise-beya and Murata – two guys who may well make it to Juryo before he gets back and the exactly the kinds of rikishi he needs to be beat to show he’s ready for the next level after his overpromotion last time. He too won’t be in action until at least Day 9.
Ms7 Murata (Takasago) – His second go in the Makushita joi is going a bit better than the first, as he’s adjusted to the higher level of opposition en route to a 3-1 start. His next match is likely to be against Wakamotoharu (the middle of the Arashio-beya brothers), so hopefully the big bopper brought his Onami code to the basho (… I’ll get my coat).
Ms13 Tomokaze (Oguruma) – As I said at the outset this is the first time Tomokaze’s been put up against strong opposition and it shows in his 1-2 record. He gets Makushita lifer Tsurubayashi of Kise-beya on Day 8 in what will likely be a bellwether this tournament for his current ability to compete at this part of the banzuke.
Ms13 Wakatakamoto (Arashio) – The elder Onami brother came into this tournament on fire (not literally), which was quickly doused by first match loss to Toyonoshima. There’s no shame in that, but he now finds himself at 2-2 and so will need a strong second week to keep up the progress.
Ms20 Midorifuji (Isegahama) – The small man from Kinki U has come out 1-2 to start the tournament, and Tokushinho of Kise-beya now stands in his way on Day 8. It used to be that your route to a yusho in makuuchi ran through Isegahama-beya, and while that’s no longer the case, you will have noticed by this point in the post it’s impossible to make progress in the Makushita division without a good record against Kise-beya.
Ms26 Ryuko (Onoe) – I said it was “all about the rebound” this time up, but the man has been pushed, shoved and crushed out en route to 1-3 start. Big second week on the cards.
Ms30 Nishikifuji (Isegahama) – One of the men doing the business to Ryuko is this man, who beat him on Day 7 by yoritaoshi. He’s 2-2 in his proper debut in this part of the banzuke after flu-enforced absence last time, so I’ll be looking for that 4th win so that he can resume his good progress. He’s another guy I caught in Day 3 action and despite his heavily strapped knees, he delivered a professional performance, moving forward against Asakoki and depositing him out via yorikiri with minimum fuss.
Ms36 Tanabe (Kise) – He’s looking to get it right in his second go at the division and looks to be off to a good start at 2-1. On day 3 I saw him take on Ichiki and my word, he absolutely tossed him out of the dohyo. He has immense strength. Also he’s still in zanbara in tournament number 7. His only loss came to the as yet perfect Kiribayama who blows hot and cold (currently very hot), and he’ll take on Aomihama on Day 8.
Ms50 Inoue (Kise) – He looked good on Day 3 against Wakanofuji but I must have been his lucky charm as he’s dropped his other two matches in his makushita debut. Lucky for him, I’ll be in attendance on Day 8 when he gets Kokonoe’s fabulously named Chiyonokatsu.
Ms52 Shoji (Musashigawa) & Musashikuni (Musashigawa) – I had the American Musashikuni just shading it among the two promoted stablemates, as he has more experience of the level. So far, both men sit with two losses, though Shoji also has two wins having competed a day more. Both will need a winning record to secure their place in the division, and Musashikuni gets his chance to keep the party going with a Day 8 match against 34 year old Katsunofuji. While I witnessed his loss on Day 3, I did feel that his commitment to always keep going forward was notable and a very good sign.
Sd40 Kizakiumi (Kise) – He steamrolled Jonidan opposition last time out in his debut as Sandanme tsukedashi and he has picked up where he left off, posting 4 from 4 as he looks to get out of the division as quickly as he got into it. It doesn’t look like he’ll get pulled too far up the banzuke by the schedulers in his next match, so we’d look for that to happen by his 6th or 7th match assuming he’s still in the yusho race.
Sd42 Tsukahara (Kasugano) – It won’t be a 3rd yusho from his 3 first tournaments for the Kasugano man, but there are other guys in his stable challenging for honors this time so we’ll give him a pass. He’s 2-1 thus far though and will partake in a battle of the extremes against 39 year old Gorikiyama on Day 8, who is taking in his 145th basho in an example of what makes sumo great.
Sd73 Torakio (Naruto) – The Bulgarian’s first attempt at the division was disrupted by injury and his second attempt has at least started rather better, as he’s at 2-1. He gets lightweight Hamadayama on Day 8, who could be a good candidate for the strong youngster to attempt to dominate.
Sd77 Kototebakari (Sadogatake) – He started with 3 wins but was dropped from the yusho race by Satoyama on Day 7, so the big man will have to be content with another big move up the banzuke if he can regain his form in week 2.
Sd89 Hayashi (Futagoyama – moves from Fujishima) – Mike Hayashi appears to be faring better against callow opponents in his first appearance at Sandanme as he’s beaten a 20 year old while dropping two to much more experienced counterparts. Somewhat more luckily for him, he gets 22 year old (but experienced) Ariake on Day 8.
Jd6 Yoshoyama (Tokitsukaze) – Not the best week for the much vaunted Mongolian as he sits 1-2 and on the verge of having his promotion campaign derailed. 3 wins from his last 4 should still do it, and the challenge begins anew against 23 year old Jonidan sumo addict Masutenryu on Day 8.
Jd11 Naya (Otake) – No problems here. The future superstar and postcard art subject has continued his bulldozing act through the fifth tier and looks to be on course for another yusho. His next opponent is oft-injured 21 year old Wakasenryu, and I can’t imagine Naya – an incredibly developed 18 year old war machine with a young history of winning and a perfect pedigree – is the kind of person that a young rikishi with fitness problems is going to want to be facing.
Jd14 Wakaichiro (Musashigawa) – We’ve beencovering himall week on the site as usual, and he’s back on the winning track, taking a 2-1 record into the midpoint. He’ll get Naya’s 20 year old stablemate Shinyashiki on Sunday, so we’ll be looking to catch that match.
Jd42 Hoshoryu (Tatsunami) – Asashoryu’s Nephew™ is working hard for a rematch date with Naya as he’s also off to a perfect start, at 3-0. He gets youngster Izumigaya on Day 8 and if he can come through that and probably one more match, we’d expect to see the rivalry resume in the sixth match of the basho.
Jk16 Terasawa (Takasago) & Jk16 Kawamoto (Kasugano) – Out of all of the new debutants this tournament, it was always going to be tough to come up with the goods, but it looks like I’ve drawn a blank with the obvious choice of taking two college guys to take the division by storm. Terasawa’s already dropped two matches, and Kawamoto sits 2-1 and definitely out of the yusho running. That said, as many as 3 wins may still be enough to move up to Jonidan for the pair.
Jk25 Iwamori (Hakkaku) – The rikishi with zero sumo experience but more of a sumo frame than most, is off to a 1-2 start. We’ll be interested to see where this ends up, as it will still be fun to follow the career of a person who joined sumo after being teased at school for their big frame.
Finally, for fans of Hattorizakura, Herouth posted a great video on Twitter earlier of his latest defeat. Video comes from the “Sumo Samurai Hattorizakura” channel. He gave it an almighty go:
In Friday morning action in Tokyo, Texas sumotori Wakaichiro won his third match of the Natsu basho against Kirizakura. Shown in the video above, Wakaichiro attacks aggressively and overwhelms Kirizakura straight from the tachiai. With this win, Wakaichiro improves to 2-1.
Texas sumotori Wakaichiro returns to tournament action on day 6, facing off against Kirizakura from Michinoku heya. Kirizakura is roughly the same height as Wakaichiro, but 20 kg lighter. Kirizakura is a 34 year old veteran who was been in sumo since 1999 (when Wakaichiro was 1 year old!). Both men come to this match with 1 win and 1 loss for the tournament, looking to pick up their second win.
As with prior Wakaichiro matches, we will post results and information as soon as they become available.
Earlier in the day in Tokyo, Wakaichiro went down to defeat in his match against Ono. It’s fairly clear from the video above that Ono was able to keep Wakaichiro high, and used his superior body position to control the match. With this loss, Wakaichiro goes to 1-1 for Natsu.
Texas sumotori Wakaichiro returns to the dohyo in Tokyo on day 4 for this second match of the Natsu basho. Today he is facing Jonidan 15 Ono from Isenoumi heya. Ono is a relative newcomer to sumo, and his fighting at his highest ever rank. Wakaichiro has about at 15kg weight advantage over him, so this may be simply a matter of mechanics.
As with prior matches, we will bring you results and video if we can find it as soon as news hits the internet.
In his first match of Natsu, Wakaichiro won convincingly in his rematch with Tokimaru, beating him for a second time. Abema TV clip above thanks to a super secret source from the depths of the sumo underground.