Kyushu Day 6 Preview

Aki Day 8 Toys

Welcome to act 2 of the Kyushu basho! This is where we sort who is hot from who is not, and begin to shape the yusho race. At the start of act 2, we are in a Nokozuna status, and none of the Ozeki or Sekiwake are undefeated. The basho is possibly being conducted in “toon town” of Roger Rabbit fame, where the rules of the normal world do not seem to apply.

That said, it’s still an official basho, and the results are all too real. While many are thrilling to both Takakeisho and Tochiozan, the mechanics of act 2 are quite a bit different than act 1. Endurance, experience and a number of factors will govern the race for the cup, and we won’t have even an idea what the yusho race will be until the middle day of the tournament on Sunday. Until then, cheer your favorite rikishi, and try not to worry too much – it’s going to be a great tournament.

What We Are Watching Day 6

Daiamami vs Aminishiki – With the Yokozuna out, the imbalance in the torikumi is made up by a random Juryo guy of the day. As fortune would have it, today’s guest rikishi is none other than Uncle Sumo!

Onosho vs Chiyomaru – You can either be sad that Chiyomaru is likely going to earn defeat number 5, or happy that Onosho continues to strengthen following his surgery over the summer. Or both.

Chiyonokuni vs Endo – The time has come for Endo to throw Chiyonokuni the grumpy badger aside and strive for a strong (more than 8 win) kachi-koshi. Chiyonokuni continues to underperform even at this lowered level of the banzuke. Maybe there is something amiss with the chanko at Kokenoe?

Ikioi vs Yutakayama – Two from the scratch-and-dent bin, but I would likely nod to Ikioi to be less damaged. Yutakayama needs to find a way to heal up, we need him strong and ready in the future.

Chiyotairyu vs Takanoiwa – The key to beating Chiyotairyu is to survive the first few seconds on your feet and with your balance intact. Takanoiwa is highly mobile, but still nursing an injury.

Abi vs Asanoyama – Abi-zumo seems to be on a roll, where Asanoyama is working to just tread water, so I am going to concede a slight advantage to Abi, in spite of Asanoyama’s tendency to disrupt Abi and toss him around like a dachshund with an old sock.

Kagayaki vs Yoshikaze – I like both rikishi, and I have no idea if deliberate and strong is going to carry the day over fast and agile. I would tend to think that Yoshikaze wants it a bit more.

Tochiozan vs Nishikigi – If Nishikigi wins this, I am prepared to eat both my own buttocks. But I am going to assume my seated posture is safe for today.

Takakeisho vs Kaisei – I am fond of saying that being enormous is not necessarily a strategy for top division sumo, but there is the consideration of Newtonian mechanics to consider in this match: 500+ lbs of Brazilian rikishi who does have some skill. Takakeisho with his powerful “wave action” attack, but his tiny short little T-Rex arms may not allow him to scratch his head and his lower back at the same time, let alone reach Kaisei’s body. Advice to Kaisei, do your best impersonation of a teppo pole and just let him wear himself out. You don’t have to move, or even acknowledge him. Just let kindly Isaac Newton take care of business.

Mitakeumi vs Hokutofuji – Hey, Mr “I could have been a contender”, Hokutofuji is on a bit of a hot streak. You can redeem yourself with a win here. Your fans are legion, but even they have to be noticing that you are a half-step slow at every tachiai.

Myogiryu vs Ichinojo – Does Ichinojo have any drive to win, this tournament? We never get know much about the health of rikishi except for the Yokozuna, but it’s tough to explain a 1-4 start from this guy. Nobody should assume they can beat Myogiryu this basho, he’s in the right place at the right time and he’s trained to peak performance.

Tamawashi vs Takayasu – Evenly matched with a 10-10 career record, these two were San’yaku fixtures for a good number of consecutive tournaments, and each know how to attack and defeat the other. I am looking for Takayasu to bounce back from his day 5 loss. In spite of my frustration, he is still very much a contender to finish this tournament on top.

Goeido vs Ryuden – What is Goeido going to do? Who knows! After his loss to otherwise hapless Nishikigi, I don’t know what is real and what is cartoon any more. I have to assume that Goeido has some injury we are not aware of.

Shodai vs Tochinoshin – The newest Ozeki has been struggling with foot injuries, and we have only seen use his trademark “power sumo” sparingly in this basho. While Shodai would seem to be the mayor of cartoon town, he can and sometimes does beat just about anyone. So hopefully Tochinoshin operates with greater care than he showed in his embarrassing loss to Hokutofuji on day 5.

September Day 4 Preview

dohyori

Of Course You Know This Means War…

More chaos in the matches as we go skidding into day 4. It’s still early, and it’s really up for grabs. Even the research staff here at Tachiai are confused (and possibly drunk) given all of the twists and turns thus far. Day four now approaches, with calamitous intent!

Endo v Chiyoshoma – Really now, Chiyoshoma is still undefeated? Can we have the good Endo please, to bring maximum parity to the dohyo? Prediction / wish-casting: Endo

Sokokurai v Kotoyuki – The next undefeated Rikishi will go against Sokokurai. I predict that Sokokurai will not be kachi-nokori

Takekaze v Mitakeumi – That guy Mitakeumi is actually good enough to win this thing. I wonder if the veteran Takekaze can furnish a speed bump on his road to victory.

Ikioi v Chiyootori – Much as I love watching Ikioi win, he was hurt on day 3. I really don’t want to see Chiyootori go 0-4. Ikioi was limping bad enough on that bad ankle I worry about him going kuyjo. So far no word in the sumo press on that.

Takayasu v Tochiozan – I think the Takayasu sumo machine finally has his boiler up to temp, so this will be a good match. I hope to see Tochiozan make kachi-koshi when all is done in 11 days.

Goeido v Takanoiwa – Great sumo cat of the Kokugikan! If either of the Kadoban Twins win this basho, i am honor bound to eat both my own buttocks. Not an easy task. Takanoiwa has been on a hot streak, my backside prays he can slow down Goeido, it’s not like we can count on Kakuryu to do it

Okinoumi v Terunofuji – Wow, you know Terunofuji is worried, right? What happened to regular Okinoumi? I expect that he will one day peel his lifelike skin away to reveal Hakuho inside there operating him like a robot.

Kisenosato v Yoshikaze – The Great Pumpkin is off his game. He is at his best when he is straight ahead hug-and-chug mawashi sumo. I don’t even see him getting a grip on these bouts. Good luck trying to touch Yoshikaze’s belt. I predict (as i always do) the Berserker. He’s kind of the Mike Ditka of sumo. Yeah, that slipi-toshi loss to Kakuryu? We still love you Berserker!

Juryo

Ura v Sadanofuji – Sorry Sadanofuji, it’s time for more Ura goodness

Chiyomaru v Osunaarashi – I worry the Sandstorm is not healed up yet. Anyone’s guess on this one as Osunaarashi is hit or miss