Nagoya Day 11 Highlights


Mitakeumi Kensho Stack

Tachiai Is Not Spoiler Free.

A word to our readers. We dearly appreciate all of you, and are grateful that you take the time to come by and visit our little sumo site. A special thanks to all of you who take the time to add your voice to the community here, and post your comments on our stories. As happens from time to time, we get people who are disappointed that we are reporting facts about the day’s sumo events prior to their chance to watch it either on Youtube or HNK. For that, we are somewhat sorry, but let me explain our policy.

Sumo fans in the west are at a huge time disadvantage. By the time the early birds rise in the US East Coast morning hours, matches have been over for hours, and the results are known to everyone who follows sumo across the world – except for the Americas. We made a decision that we would write and comment about the events that happen in Japan from a Japanese time reference. So for Tachiai, there is no such thing as a spoiler. We know that some of our readers are fairly hard core (as we are) and sometimes stay up overnight to watch the matches as they happen. If we waited until Noon or 1:00 PM Eastern, we are just a few hours away from the next day’s matches starting. Very silly. In addition, some of our contributors are fortunate enough to be at the venue and watch the action live. It would make no sense to limit their ability to contribute and report.

So for now and the foreseeable future, Tachiai is an “as it happens” venue. If you want to savor the anticipation of not knowing the outcome until you see it on video, we ask that you refrain from the temptation to check our site, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Because we will post major events more or less as they happen. In the instance of twitter, I follow several dozen sumo fans in Japan, and they are tweeting like mad about the matches as they happen, so the entirety of the day, and everyone’s reactions to them bouts is known as I prepare to write.

Again, thank you everyone who reads the site and visits us, we really do treasure you, but we are going to follow sumo action during a basho as closely as our sleep schedule allows.

Highlight Matches

Takekaze defeats Kotoyuki – With Kotoyuki’s make-koshi confirmed, we can assume he will be relegated back to Juryo, short of some divine intervention. Takekaze inches closer to yet another winning record and remaining in Makuuchi.

Okinoumi defeats Gagamaru – Bloody lethargic match was closer to a pair of tired grizzly bears fighting for a sleeping bag than any kind of sumo. Gagamaru has always be sort of low energy “win by being huge” sort of rikishi, but given the speed and energy of the young ones, he looks tremendously out of place. Back to Juryo with him as well.

Nishikigi defeats Aoiyama – Nishikigi will not surrender to the specter of a return to Juryo. Today he was able to best Aoiyama, who has been on a tear this basho. First the shimpan had to talk it over, but they upheld the gyoji’s gumbai. Given Aoiyama’s mass, there is a real question of mechanical injury on any fall or throw. We hope the big Bulgarian is undamaged, though it looks like his damaged knee hit hard.

Chiyonokuni defeats Takanoiwa – Takanoiwa must be hurt, as I know he can produce some powerful and effective sumo. But it’s great to see Chiyonokuni back in winning form. He looked confident and aggressive today, and kachi-koshi is still within reach.

Onosho defeats Takarafuji – Onosho continues to impress, do not be surprised if he wins yet another special prize for his excellent sumo this tournament. I suspect he will take the “Young Rikishi Punching Bag” slot from Takakeisho for Aki. Victory seemed to come in the form of Takarafuji slipping and falling, but a win is a win.

Tochiozan defeats Chiyotairyu – Tochiozan has quietly been putting up some solid sumo for a few basho now. I expect him back in the joi for Aki given his kachi-koshi, and we shall see how genki he is feeling then. Chiyotairyu is also likely to finish with a winning record, and a modest move up the banzuke for the fall.

Ichinojo defeats Ikioi – Another marathon battle from the JNS Ichinojo, and the crowd was eating it up. Much respect to Ikioi for going the distance on this one.

Tochinoshin defeats Hokutofuji – Brillant session of mawashi combat today, and both rikishi looked very good. It’s always a tough road when someone decides to challenge Tochinoshin in a strength contest. Possibly san’yaku slot for the mighty Georgian if he can pick up a couple additional wins.

Takakeisho defeats Kotoshogiku – Takakeisho very effectively countered the Kyushu Bulldozer’s front attack. Takakeisho took a pounding this basho, but there is and remains a reason he achieved Maegashira 1 ranking. Talk in sumo circles is questioning if Kotoshogiku will retire on his 8th loss and imminent demotion from san’yaku.

Yoshikaze defeats Shodai – Shodai earns his make-koshi, and will have a chance to improve his tachiai for Aki. Shodai’s fundamental mechanics are sound, but some of his execution requires upgrades before he can compete at the next stage of his evolution. Yoshikaze was in control of this match from the start.

Tamawashi defeats Takayasu – After a good opening gambit by Takayasu, Tamawashi rallied and took the match. The deciding fact was Tamawashi’s ability to block Takayasu landing an effective mawashi grip. Well played Takayasu!

Goeido defeats Ura – Solid Ozeki performance from Goeido, damn I am happy to see him booted up in 2.0 mode for multiple days in a row. Ura is a bit banged up from his prior days with the Ozeki / Yokozuna corps, and was looking vague and stiff. Goeido needs to push hard for his kachi-koshi, it would be ugly to have kadoban twins for Aki again.

Harumafuji defeats Chiyoshoma – A solid and decisive win for Harumafuji, he is now safely in kachi-koshi territory. Each basho he seems a bit more injured, and I really want him to be an active Yokozuna for a while longer. But it’s clear the cumulative damage to his joints are taking their toll.

Mitakeumi defeats Hakuho – Zensho is no longer an option, the shin Sekiwake stops The Boss’s winning streak at 25. This is still Hakuho’s yusho in all likelihood, but Mitakeumi scored an important victory that puts his possible Ozeki campaign into an active mode. He needs two more wins to kick it off. If Iksumo’s forecast is correct, Ikioi and Chiyoshoma seem to be the likely donors.

Purple Rain Falls In Nagoya


Purple-Rain-Nagoya

Mitakeumi Upsets Yokozuna Hakuho.

On day 11, Sekiwake Mitakeumi upset the Nagoya basho yusho favorite Hakuho in the final match of the day. Hakuho had been on 25 match unbeaten streak up to that point, and Mitakeumi’s win removes the possibility of a second consecutive zensho victory for Hakuho.

With this victory, Mitakeumi secures his kachi-koshi, and will remain as Sekiwaki for the Aki basho in September. Many (including the team at Tachiai) have speculated how long it would take for Mitakeumi to start his campaign to be considered for Ozeki, and his victory of Hakuho marks a likely indicator that his run for sumo’s second highest rank starts from Nagoya.

Wakaichiro Loses Day 11 Match


The the Nagoya basho’s morning session, American sumotori lost his 6th match of the tournament, dropping to 3-3. he was bested by Jonidan 27e Izumigawa, with the kimarite listed as hatakikomi slap down.

With this loss, Wakaichiro needs to win his final bout to secure a winning record for the Nagoya tournament, and a promotion to a higher Jonidan rank for the Aki basho in Tokyo this September.

San’yaku Torikumi Forecast


Since the schedulers only give us the Torikumi one day in advance, it’s fun to speculate about the days ahead. Below is a guess for the bouts for the remaining San’yaku rikishi for days 12-15. Others who know more about scheduling than I do should chime in.

  Day 12 Day 13 Day 14 Day 15
Hakuho Tamawashi Goeido Takayasu Harumafuji
Harumafuji Mitakeumi Takayasu Goeido Hakuho
Goeido Tochiozan Hakuho Harumafuji Takayasu
Takayasu Kagayaki Harumafuji Hakuho Goeido
Tamawashi Hakuho Hokutofuji Ura Kagayaki
Mitakeumi Harumafuji Tochinoshin Ikioi Chiyoshoma
Yoshikaze Tochinoshin Ikio Kagayaki Ura
Kotoshogiku Shodai Ura Tochinoshin Hokutofuji

The Yokozuna schedule should be very straightforward. The only question is the order in which they face the Ozeki, and given the cache of the HakuhoTakayasu bout, I’m guessing they’ll hold it till day 14, even though Goeido is ranked higher than Takayasu on the Banzuke.

This also sets the Ozeki schedule except for day 12. They will already have fought the rest of the San’yaku and the upper maegashira after day 11, and Kagayaki and Tochiozan are next in line. Given his stronger record, I have Takayasu facing the higher-ranked of the two.

The two sekiwake have their remaining Yokozuna bouts on day 12, and then face the upper maegashira they haven’t fought yet. The two komusubi are done with their San’yaku schedule, and will face maegashira from here on out.

Beyond the high-rank bouts with obvious yusho implications, I’m looking forward to Ura facing Kotoshogiku, Tamawashi, and Yoshikaze, as I’m sure is everyone else. Goeido is fighting to avoid kadoban status. All four sekiwake/komusubi slots are mathematically up for grabs (although Mitakeumi needs only one more win), with multiple candidates to move up to the San’yaku should slots open up, so the remaining Tochinoshin and Hokutofuji bouts also have a lot of meaning and should be fun to watch.

It’s looking like a great final act to Nagoya!

Nagoya Day 11 Preview


Hulk-Smash!

Take Your Turn – Help Me Out

Dear readers, your humble associate editor is stranded at one of America’s scenic airports, praying that he will make hit home tonight. As a result, your preview for day 11 will be fairly short. If you are feeling genki, please feel free to put in your predictions in the comments section below.

Given some of the past forecasts, we have a pretty smart group of readers that are able to handicap a bout. So please feel free to have at it. Just to be clear: serious, accurate, silly or outrageous predictions are all welcome. Except the prediction that upon tying Kaio’s record, Hakuho’s false human skin melts away to reveal he is a terminator, who replaced the real Hakuho during surgery last September. (Yes, I did call that)

Matches I Hope I Get To Watch

Gagamaru vs Okinoumi – Loser takes maki-koshi. My bet is it’s Planet Gagamaru.

Aoiyama vs Nishikigi – Odds are not good that Nishikigi will break his 4 bout losing streak against the Man-mountain.

Takarafuji vs Onosho – First time meet up, both have kachi-koshi already, so sure, why not?

Ikioi vs Ichinojo – Both have maki-koshi, already, so lets hold a contest of rikishi we wish would get their sumo back in order. Ichinojo leads career total 6-3!

Tochinoshin vs Hokutofuji – First time match could be a real point of interest for day 11. Both have a good amount of strength. Will Hokutofuji grapple the big Georgain, or stay mobile?

Takakeisho vs Kotoshogiku – Kind of the WTF match of the day. Angry Tadpole Takakeisho has play time with Ojisan Kotoshogiku. Kotoshogiku seems to be tired of not being taken seriously, so maybe he’s going to really throw down some serious belly bumping goodness. First (and possibly only) meet up between these two.

Yoshikaze vs Shodai – One request for this match. Future oyakata Yoshikaze, could you please help Shodai fix his tachiai? Consider it a gift to the future of sumo.

Takayasu vs Tamawashi – Well, this could get brutal. Both of these guys are big, strong and like to rain blows down upon their opponents. So let’s keep the blood off the already shattered dohyo, guys.

Ura vs Goeido – Ura is like a delightful new toy for the upper ranks. Everyone wants to dance with him. He looked a bit hurt following his day 10 bout, so I hope he is back together and well. I anticipate a Goeido 2.0 stampede charge straight off the line. Worryingly, Goeido is edging closer to going Kadoban yet again!

Chiyoshoma vs Harumafuji – Harumafuji kachi-koshi coming up.

Hakuho vs Mitakeumi – Looking for The Boss to tie Kaio’s all time win record today.

Wakaichiro Returns To Action Day 11


Wakaichiro-7

Wakaihiro’s second to last match of the Nagoya basho is against Minezaki heya’s Jonidan 27e Izumigawa. Izumigawa is a relative newcomer to sumo, like Wakichiro, and has been patrolling around the Jonidan ranks for 8 basho, with his highest rank to date being Jonidan 3e.

As with his prior matches, we will post news of the results as soon as we can get them, and video as soon as our blessed benefactor, One and only, posts the match to Youtube.