Five Interesting Matches on Day 7


Things are beginning to get more and more exciting as the midway point of the 2017 Kyushu basho draws closer. With another day of action ahead of us, here are five matches of interest for day 7.

Nishikiki vs. Kagayaki

Sitting right on the line between Makuuchi and Juryo, Maegashira 15 Nishikigi is desperately trying to prolong his time in the top division. He is set to face Kagayaki on day 7, who is also at risk of a return trip to Juryo should he not get his sumo in gear. While Nishikigi may be battling one opponent this Saturday, Kagayaki is facing two, as the young rikishi from Kanazawa is constantly fighting his own poor balance. Kagayaki leads their series 4 to 3.

Asanoyama vs. Myogiryu

The Asanoyama we all remembered from Aki finally showed up today and delivered a commanding performance against Aminishiki. While it was disappointing to watch everyone’s favorite uncle take his first loss, I’m sure many were relieved to see the promising young rikishi halt his four-day losing skid. Asanoyama’s day 7 opponent will be Myogiryu, who has also been struggling to collect wins in Fukuoka this basho.

Kaisei vs. Chiyomaru

Those of you averse to ample fields of sweaty back hair may want to give this match a pass. The only thing Chiyomaru has been consistent with this basho is his inconsistency. The rotund rikishi has flip-flopped between winning and losing every day and can expect his fourth loss tomorrow if he continues to follow this pattern. His rival for Saturday, Kaisei, is having a somewhat better basho and comes into day 7 with four wins.

Takarafuji vs. Shodai

Early in the basho, it was looking like we would finally see a bit of the Shodai who took the sumo world by storm in 2016. He’s since fallen back into his old habits and suffered a third consecutive loss yesterday in a one-sided bout against Daieisho. Tomorrow he meets Takarafuji, who managed to bring his win-loss ratio back to 50% with a day 6 victory over Chiyonokuni. Shodai needs to figure out his sumo, and soon, or he risks another make-koshi, while Takarafuji is probably just glad Ishiura is down in Juryo untying other mens’ mawashi.

Tamawashi vs. Mitakeumi

Tamawashi really wants back in the San’yaku, and I mean really! The former Sekiwake brought his A-game to his day 6 match with Yoshikaze and must have peeled a few layers of skin off the veteran brawler’s face with his blistering tsuppari attacks. Tamawashi takes on Mitakeumi tomorrow, who may be the worse for wear despite winning his bout with Onosho on Friday. Mitakeumi appears to have hurt his leg after landing on the stadium floor and was limping as he made his way back on to the dohyo. Tomorrow’s match will be a good indicator of just how serious this leg injury is. Mitakeumi leads their series 8-1.

Jungyo Newsreel – October 5th

Note: I’ll do my best to make this newsreel a daily feature during the Jungyo, but this is subject to (a) work and other demands on my time, and (b) the availability of news on Japanese media outlets and twitter, so no promises made.

🌐 Location: Yachiyo

Kisenosato spars with Asanoyama 17 times, wins 15-2


Kisenosato summoned Asanoyama for a rather lengthy sanban session, consisting of 17 bouts, of which he won 15. There was still no sign of the Yokozuna’s famous left ottsuke, but he did grab Asanoyama’s upper right arm for a Yorikiri and did a left-hand uwatenage.

Kisenosato sounded rather pleased with the practice, saying he “tested out various things”, and that “he worked hard to be ready to work with sekitori”. Asanoyama’s comment: “The Yokozuna is heavy and has a low stance”. Yes, sunshine, learn.

Aminishiki celebrates 39th birthday and new age record

Aminishiki with cake and stablemates Takarafuji, Homarefuji and Terutsuyoshi

Everybody’s favorite Uncle Sumo celebrated his 39th birthday a few days ago, but received a belated cake from the press at the opening of the Autumn Jungyo, to celebrate a new record: being the oldest to return to the Makuuchi division. Aminishiki thanked his family for their support during “The most difficult 39th year of my life”, and vowed to strive to advance to a level that will allow him to face Ozeki and Yokozuna once again. “I’d like to wrestle with Hakuho again”.

Don’t kid us, Uncle, we know there’s a Yokozuna, not from your heya, off of whom you still haven’t peeled a Kinboshi. And that’s not Hakuho.

Hakuho to join jungyo on October 14th together with Enho

Hakuho expressed his intention of joining the tour on October 14th, when it hits Kanazawa. He will probably be accompanied by the Sandanme Yusho winner Enho, who hails from Kanazawa.

Kakuryu does butsukari with Daieisho

Kakuryu gave Daieisho a butsukari session. Commented afterwards: “I have been working out sufficiently, and now I am aiming to gain my sense of the dohyo again”.

Kisenosato beats Harumafuji again

I termed this on twitter “a Paralympic bout”, as it’s hard to tell which of the two has a worse disability. Better tachiai than the one in Beyond2020, though:

Asanoyama: The Pride of Toyama Prefecture

Takasago beya, despite its legacy of big named stars, has fallen on hard times. To start 2017, the stable which produced Asashoryu and the American ozeki Konishiki had no active sekitori. According to the article, this was the first time since the 11th year of the Meiji era (1868) that Takasago beya did not have an active sekitori. Asanoyama’s promotion for the March tournament brought the stable back into the elite divisions. He will climb quickly into makuuchi on the back of his 10-5 record, just missing out on the Juryo yusho, losing a three-way playoff which included Osunaarashi and yusho-winner, Toyohibiki.
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