Anyway, it was really hard to peel Terutsuyoshi off Enho’s skin that entire day. Someone with an evil sense of humor decided to pit them against each other in the torikumi of the day. Terutsuyoshi won. And yes, he continued to hover around Enho even after they showered.
But we are still on the subject of kyujo. Tsurugisho continued off the torikumi (though still staying with the Jungyo), and Abi is also not in the wrestling list – although he did participate in the fan service:
Aminishiki – not kyujo – was also giving autographs, though he looks very tired.
Inside the main hall, Shohozan was utilizing TRX to maintain his pythons:
This was followed by the Shokkiri (and yes, apparently they are alternating between the same two pairs of performers as in the previous Jungyo). Then came the Juryo dohyo-iri. With all the absences, this looked positively sad:
Many cheers for Aminishiki – who waves. It’s the Jungyo, after all.
Then there was taiko demonstration (only part is shown):
This was followed by the Juryo torikumi. Today, Nakazono was allowed to rest a bit, and Chiyoarashi joined the Juryo bouts instead, sporting an oicho for the first time in a long while (he last had an official one in 2013!):
This is, of course, because he is a local Chiba boy.
Daishoho tried to pull the old salt-in-the-ladle trick on Daiamami.
Many rikishi hail from Saitama, among them Hokutofuji, Daieisho, and Abi – but would you believe that the only decent photo I could find of Abi from this day is this one?
Twitter says he was very busy giving autographs. I guess people were busy handing in shikishi to sign, and forgot to take photos…
Hokutofuji received the attention of Tochinoshin, who gave him Butsukari.
Tochinoshin, reports say, went all the way with butsukari and did this 38 times (not all of them with Hokutofuji). I’m going to assume this means he got pushed 38 times, because I don’t really think any human being would withstand 38 full butsukari sessions, even as the receiving chest.
Daieisho, in the mean time, didn’t seem to get much limelight – just kept hanging with Takakeisho.
Of course, these are just fan shots. It could be that all three of the locals were engaged by the high rankers, as is usual for local boys, but for some reason, neither the NSK Twitter has been active nor have the local fans at Saitama recorded any of that.
Here is Kakuryu with his rubber strap:
That’s actually one of the best shots I’ve seen of him in a while. Kisenosato was also practicing off-dohyo, but I have to admit that… I’m not sure what I’m seeing here…
I’ve already seen short videos of him doing this on several occasions. What is that? The fans call it “The Kise Dance”. Is Kisenosato considering exotic dancing as a second career?
Goofiness mostly concentrated around the dohyo-iri. For example, in the Juryo dohyo-iri, Wakatakakage was picking at Terutsuyoshi. But I must say the Isegahama pixie seemed to actually enjoy the attention:
In the Makuuchi dohyo-iri, Tamawashi was looking for fun. In the past couple of days his trick has been to just stop dead and cause Mitakeumi to bump into him. Mitakeumi seems to be on the alert now, so disappointed Tamawashi starts pestering Ikioi instead:
The Yokozuna’s tsukebito are on the alert at the hana-michi to take the sword, clean the kesho-mawashi and whatnot. And one of them has the glasses, for an exchange that looks like a relay race, only the baton is passed to the arriving runner instead of the other way around.
In less happy news, Tsurugisho seems to be injured or ill, and was abruptly taken off the torikumi. Daishoho replaced him vs. Gagamaru (meaning Daishoho had two bouts this day):
At some point that same Daishoho took some time to relax together with Tobizaru… in the guest seats. I don’t think the spectators minded too much, though:
Further up the banzuke, here is the sanyaku-soroi-bumi (well, one side of it, anyway):
Hakuho seems to have gotten over his rather embarrassing match yesterday:
This picture, by the way, given that the last three bouts were Mitakeumi-Tochinoshin, Kisenosato-Goeido, Kakuryu-Hakuho, tells you that Tochinoshin lost. Otherwise there would be no need for the Yokozuna who wrestles last to hand the chikara-mizu to anybody.
Oops. Shikimori Kandayu – who is to be promoted to Shikimori Inosuke after the Kyushu basho – loses his footing there. He then keeps a good distance from the still skirmishing Ozeki and Yokozuna.
Too bad the video doesn’t continue, because Goeido, again, is on Hakuho’s side, meaning there would be no kachi-nokori, and we would be treated to Hakuho’s tsukebito handing him the chikara-mizu with a bare shoulder. I wonder if Kasugaryu is qualified to do that, given that he is wearing a (kesho) mawashi anyway, and is on his way to the dohyo anyway for the yumi-tori ceremony.
Following which, everybody went home, and the dohyo was dismantled:
But I will not leave you without a Tobizaru for the day – accompanied by Yago, because I am still not sure all of you can recognize the man with the chin. Or is it the chin with the man?
Let’s proceed with the past two days, which were full of events in the lower divisions. You have already seen Ura and Wakaichiro. Here are some others.
Tsukahara has won the Jonokuchi and the Jonidan yusho when he started out in Hatsu 2018 (Mae-zumo in 2017). But he got a little stuck in his next two basho. He is going for the Sandanme Yusho this time. In this bout he faces Seigo from Shikoroyama beya:
He also had a bout on day 7, and is currently 4-0.
Now we turn to the princes. First, the Duke of Tatsunami, Hoshoryu. Here facing Sasakiyama. At this point both are 2-0. Note that the torikumi committee regularly matches people with the same record – this helps separate the wheat from the chaff quickly and efficiently.
Sasakiyama returned after a long kyujo and went 6-1 in Jonidan and 7-0 in Sandanme (Jun-Yusho, with Kagamio winning the yusho).
Sasakiyama is not happy. But at least that kotenage left him in one piece.
The next is the Prince of Otake, scion of Taiho (and Takatoriki). He is already 1-1 at this point, and faces Sakigake with the same score.
Bad mistake there, and he finds himself facing outwards, and is respectfully led out. Serious setback, two losses in a row for a man with so many hopes pinned on him. If he doesn’t get a kachi-koshi, it’s back to Sandanme, as he is at the very bottom of Makushita.
I am not going to go through the entire Juryo, but I want you to watch two special bouts. The first is a mixed bout. Toyonoshima in Makushita is scheduled for a Juryo match. So he gets to wear an oicho-mage and throw some salt, which he hasn’t done for a while. It’s a bit unusual to be scheduled for the fourth time in six days, but hey, if he wants to be a sekitori, he has to be able to wrestle every day, right?
He is matched with Jokoryu – a former Sekiwake against a former komusubi. One striving to return to sekitori status, one just now having achieved that.
Since Toyonoshima is at Makushita #1, if he wins this bout, he is kachi-koshi and virtually ensures his return to Juryo for Kyushu.
With both falling about the same time, there is, of course a monoii. And a torinaoshi. Toyonoshima is full of fire. The second time around ends in a hearty uwatenage. Toyonoshima returns to Juryo.
The next interesting day 6 bout is not quite as emotional, but still brilliant. Enho – who else – meets Tokushoryu.
Enho goes for the Hakuho slap-and-grab. The grab doesn’t quite work, but Enho is unfazed. He finds Tokushoryu’s mae-mitsu, and at the same time secures a hold on Tokushoryu’s mawashi knot. The kimarite is shitatenage. But if you look at the replays, you’ll see that enho actually throws him with both arms – he needs a lot of leverage on that hefty guy. With this, Enho is level again, 3-3. His game is much improved over his first Juryo visit.
Oh, and there was something very odd going on in the Day 6 Juryo dohyo-iri. Take a look:
Three wrestlers are missing from the dohyo-iri, and come running in just in time to delay Aminishiki, who looks rather outraged. Perhaps because one of the delinquents is his own ototo-deshi (member of the same heya who joined at a later date) – Terutsuyoshi, accompanied by Tsurugisho and Daishoho. I’m pretty sure Aminishiki had a little talk with Terutsuyoshi after that.
The gyoji-announcer, however, smoothly adds the names of the three late joiners without pause.
Interestingly, despite being late for the dohyo-iri, Terutsuyoshi’s tsukebito (Midorifuji, in the top picture) seems to have retained all of his teeth. I guess there are ways of dealing with one’s own tardiness without spilling the blood of one’s subordinates.
(Yeah, I am referring to the Bakayoshitoshi incident).
Anyway, here is the day 6 full Juryo digest for your pleasure:
How can we pass up a Hattorizakura bout? Here vs. Kogitora:
In the previous basho it seemed that Hattorizakura has made a step forward, and started working on his staying power. Alas, this basho none of that seems to have remained. His stablemaster promised him a new shikona should he make kachi-koshi. I guess he likes “Hattorizakura”.
Let’s look at another Jonokuchi bout for a change. Here is one of the new recruits for Naruto beya, Oju, vs. Toya. Oju’s first basho in Jonokuchi has been a disaster, but take a look at this bout:
Oju looks pretty drained after the bout, but still goes over to try and help his opponent up (which Toya refuses). So he is a nice guy. But besides that, it was a good bout, and he kept his stance lower than his opponent and used his opening. He is now 2-2.
Tsushida, who was the Jonokuchi yusho winner in Nagoya, suffered a setback on day 6. So probably no Jonidan yusho. But can he come back? Here he is faced with Sakabayashi. Again, the torikumi masters match wrestlers with the same score:
So maybe no yusho, but Tsushida is still going strong.
Now, on day 1 I said Satonofuji looked tired and spent, and speculated that he may retire soon. But in fact he is having a lovely basho. And, oh, feast your eyes on this bout vs. Chiyotaiko:
In my opinion, that tachiai should have been a matta. But it wasn’t called, and Satonofuji finds himself in an awkward position. But if you think that the 41-years-old Isegahama man just accidentally came up with a clever kimarite, think again. This Izori is his 15th. The man has 36 distinct kimarite under his belt.
I still follow Torakio, but the man is starting to have a really disastrous basho, despite not being seriously injured this time. Take a look at this match vs. Yokoe. Both 1-2 coming into this match:
A lot of effort, but the Musashigawa man manages to unbalance the Bulgarian and Torakio is 1-3, very close to a make-koshi, and it’s not nakabi, yet!
At the bottom, the struggling Naya meets Shosei. Both 1-2 coming into the match. Shosei is a veteran and Makushita regular.
Naya recovers from his two losses and is now 2-2.
Now here is a familiar face we haven’t seen in a while. Yet another one trying to make a return to sekitori status, Chiyootori. Here he faces Koba from Kise beya, both 2-1 coming into this match.
Despite that huge brace on his leg, Chiyootori seems full of genki. Bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce until the tachiai, and a yorikiri soon after. Chiyootori is now 3-1, and at Makushita 25, still has a way to go before he can start throwing salt again.
Finally, here is Sokokurai, who wants the yusho very badly, facing Gokushindo, who wants it quite as much (and there are other people in Makushita aiming for it):
This kind of bout is the reason why they invented tsuppari. Guys, stop circling around and tring to find an opening that doesn’t exist. Show some initiative. Sokokurai is very careful, tries not to expose himself in any way. This could go on forever, but Sokokurai makes the first mistake and loses his chance of a yusho.
Chiyonoumi is having a real hard time this basho. His tsuppari attack is effective at first, but still, Hakuyozan is bigger and not easily moved by mere thrusts, and it’s the Kokonoe man who finds himself outside.
Akua with his back to the wall. His bouts in the past few days are very fierce, even desparate. Tokushoryu is the winner and Akua is 2-5.
Mitoryu started the basho strong, but weakened a bit as the days passed. Azumaryu wants to find his way back up.
Jokoryu manages to turn Tobizaru around, but the monkey somehow gets back around and they both fall outside. There is a monoii, but the decision holds – Jokoryu “nokotteori” – he still has a leg inside.
Enho tries to get inside, doesn’t find a way, but Seiro – back from kyujo – can’t unbalance the little pixie. Eventually, Enho achieves a straight oshi-dashi. This is the first time he manages two consecutive wins in Juryo.
Gagamaru lifts Tsurugisho easily over the bales.
Takekaze slams into Shimanoumi, but that doesn’t seem to impress his opponent much. He is soon sent out.
Terutsuyoshi – half henka, gets inside Hidenoumi’s belly, and sends him out. 5-2 for the Isegahama pixie.
Wakatakakage suffers a serious weight disadvantage in his bout with Takagenji. That was one fierce oshidashi.
Kotoeko requires some time before he succeeds in forcing Chiyonoo out.
Nice battle between Yago and Daishoho, which goes back and forth between the two. Daishoho tries a hatakikomi, but is driven out before Yago finds himself on his knees.
Akiseyama once again switches mawashi color to stop his losing streak. Alas, this time it doesn’t work. Meisei somehow manages to keep in the black, while Akiseyama is 1-6.
Kyokushuho doesn’t leave any opening for Uncle Sumo’s wiles. Aminishiki flies to the fourth row before the fans finish their first “Aminishiki” shout. Two consecutive losses for the Isegahama veteran, and he is now 4-3.
Finally, once again, Arawashi grabs the mawashi and throws at the edge. Daiamami is down before Arawashi’s legs leave ground.
Juryo is crazy this basho. It seems the level is very very even. No one is 7-0. No one is even 6-1. And there are four men with 5-2:
If Terutsuyoshi, the pixie with the sodium fixation, who only secured his kachi-koshi in the previos basho in the last day, is in the Yusho arasoi in this one, then as far as Juryo is concerned, we are in a Wacky Aki.
Yesterday all my YouTube sources dried up all of a sudden, so I decided to collect the little material that I had from two days. This doesn’t matter much in the divisions below Juryo, as mostly the wrestlers have bouts on alternating days. But it does mean that I’ll have to concentrate on today’s Juryo rather than yesterday’s.
What I have from day 3 are mostly Makushita bouts from the top of the division.
Here is the hottest thing in Isegahama, the back-flipping Tomisakae, vs. Wakamotoharu – that’s Wakatakakage’s slightly older brother (the oldest is Wakatakamoto).
After a matta, Tomisakae drives straight forward and quickly dispatches of the Arashio man. Note that he is then called over by the one of the shimpan and scolded for something. I’m not sure what that would be. Maybe that little jump of glee at the end?
Then we have Sokokurai, who means business. And in this case, it’s a very long business transaction:
Sokokurai has Tokushinho in a morozashi, but Tokushinho is bigger than Sokokurai and gets a soto-yotsu (both hands outside) grip. First he only gets the outer layer of Sokokurai’s mawashi, but then manages to get a hold of the lower layer with his right hand. Sokokurai releases one hand and tries a throw, but it doesn’t work. Tokushino starts forward, but Sokokurai rallies and reasserts his morozashi. Tokushinho, however, starts marching forward again, and Sokokurai is running out of stamina. But he is not the only one. Eventually a little shift and Tokushinho drops to the floor. It’s called a shitatenage, but it was more like an underarm release than an underarm throw.
Here is Tomokaze, facing another rather hot name, Irodori:
Irodori starts the attack, but then Tomokaze changes the direction and puts Iridori between himself and the closest line of bales, where he goes ahead and pushes him. Tomokaze is 2-0 at the moment.
Finally, we have Toyonoshima vs. Toyohibiki:
Those two go back a long way. Most of their past 14 meetings were in Makuuchi.
Toyohibiki goes for the attack, but Toyonoshima does a little dance around and reverses the fates. The ancient one is now 2-0.
Here is the Juryo digest for day three, for those who do not want to miss a single bout, but I am leaving it uncommented:
We start the action in Day 4 with two Jonokuchi bouts. First, we cannot do without Hattorizakura.
Here he meets Takanoryu again. Takanoryu has only ever beaten two other rikishi. One of them twice before. Can you guess who that is?
Hattorizakura tries to stick it on the bales, but his heel goes lower and lower and eventually the shimpan signals to the gyoji that the bout is actually over.
Next up is a bout with a little more talent. It’s my favorite stick insect, the underfed Chiyotaiyo, vs. Hayasaka:
(Extra bout – Akatsuki vs. Kyonosato)
Chiyotaiyo seems to be very popular – gets a lot of calls from the spectators. He launches himself at Hayasaka, grabs an arm, and wins by tottari. My guess is that this time he is not staying in Jonokuchi. 2-0 for the Kokonoe string bean. Feed him, Chiyotaikai!
Up we go to Jonidan, where we have a bout between Tsushida – the Jonokuchi yusho winner from Nagoya, and an expected contender for the Jonidan yusho in Aki – facing the now famous Kasugaryu, Hakuho’s tsukebito, and current yumi-tori performer.
34 years old Kasugaryu is certainly giving Tsushida a run for his money. Nice legwork, and it’s amazing how he manages to survive most of this bout on one foot. But eventually this causes him be turned around and Tsushida shows him the lovely view at the bottom of the dohyo.
Moving up to Sandanme, we have Torakio meeting Matsuda.
Now, this looks completely different than Torakio’s first bout. So I suppose that one should be attributed to ring rust? We’ll see over the coming 10 days. He patiently works his way to Matsuda’s mawashi, and then picks him and leads him to the edge. That really looked like mature sumo.
Now, we move up to Makushita. And we concentrate on its lower part this time. First, what is Naya up to? Here is his bout with Hitachigo:
He suffers a similar kind of setback to that suffered by Ura in his second bout. Now he has virtually lost his chance of a Yusho (well, there have been yusho which were won with 6-1 in Makushita, but it’s relatively rare). No yusho means no shortcuts up the banzuke. If Hoshoryu manages a 7-0, let alone a yusho, he will leave Taiho’s grandson way behind him.
Speaking of Hoshoryu, here is his bout vs. Sadanosato:
Hoshoryu’s style is usually going for the mawashi and attempting a throw – a typical style for Mongolians (Tamawashi a well-known exception). But in this particular bout he chooses to switch to tsuki-oshi. It’s not really forced on him by his opponent. This is a surprising flexibility from someone not yet 20.
OK, we now move up to Juryo, and here is your digest for the day:
Due to Seiro’s kyujo, a rikishi from Makushita is called up to do a Juryo torikumi. It’s the yo-yo, Kizenryu, facing Akua in his retina-damaging shimekomi. This turns out to be a protracted battle, in which both sides are doing their best to deny access to their mawashi. But Akua is again left winless, with nothing to show for his great effort. He is probably going back to Makushita yet again.
Now, if you have watched Kintamayama today, you will have seen that Enho’s bout with Gagamaru came after two very strange mattas. Enho explains:
“I was seriously scared. When we had the matta, my opponent’s face went boiling red. Well, his head was very low, so it was clear that I should go to the right. That was so strong on my mind that before I knew it I found myself flying. It’s the first time in my life I have flown”.
Personally, I was not too enthusiastic about that Hassotobi, having seen its sister being performed over and over again in the Jungyo by Enho’s stablemate, Ishiura. It’s not good sumo and I’m sure Hakuho is not going to proudly tweet about it. But the spectators at the Kokugikan loved it, and Enho made it to the kanto-seishin (the crowd fighting-spirit favorites list). What is he going to do when he gets to Makuuchi and has to face the likes of Chiyomaru, Chiyotairyu and Kaisei?
Azumaryu suffers his first loss with some serious pressure from Tokushoryu.
Chiyonoumi started his comeback after his first loss yesterday. Today he faced Jokoryu (who is the first one I see daring to wear a brown mawashi), and aims some massive thrusts at him. Go, go, Kochi-man.
Tobizaru is also on the mend from his disastrous first two days. He changed his shimekomi, by the way, to something that looks like banana-milk or Badam-milk color.
Mitoryu faces Shimanoumi. Some fierce nodowa and Shimanoumi is pushed away. Mitoryu continues to dominate with 4-0.
Terutsuyoshi, however, had excellent first two days, but has now followed them with two consecutive losses. This time he doesn’t manage to keep his grip as he did in the first day.
Wakatakakage suffers his first loss at the hands of the rebounding Tsurugisho.
Takekaze is doing the push-me-pull-you, and ends up luckily inside the ring.
The Hidenoumi-Takagenji bout seemed pretty simultaneous to me. I expected a torinaoshi, but it went to Hidenoumi. I’m not complaining, mind you.
The Kyokushuho-Meisei bout was fine, but I don’t really get how Meisei made it into the kanto-seishin list.
Yago made the same mistake twice in the same bout. In both cases he tried to pull and failed. He is much better moving forward. He loses too much ground when pulling.
Akiseyama secures a grip and tries to trip the tripper, Arawashi. He also tries to lift him and take him aside. Arawashi shows what he is made of – and keeps his balance perfectly. The way he uses his feet to change his center of gravity is superb.
Aminishiki’s bout was a very short version of “Crime and Punishment”. Daishoho saw his henka and raised him a hatakikomi.
That’s it for day 4. By now, day 5 action has already started in the lower divisions. Hope you enjoyed this collection!
August 16 saw the rikishi reach Aomori. There are no less than 18 active rikishi from Aomori – six of them from Isegahama beya. Why? Because Isegahama oyakata is from Aomori. Aminishiki, Takarafuji and Homarefuji hail from Aomori. Unfortunately, Takarafuji is kyujo this jungyo. So only Aminishiki and Homarefuji represented the heya in this day’s event.
Aminishiki wished to have his photograph taken with his son in his home prefecture. He couldn’t do dohyo-iri with him (I have seen no babies or toddlers in this Jungyo’s dohyo-iri). But he did get that photo taken:
Note the matching kesho-mawashi.
In the event itself, Aminishiki and Homarefuji chose to kill two birds with one stone, and practice together to the cheers of the local crowd:
The Isegahama men were not the only ones celebrated this day. There were also the Sasayama brothers, Daiseido and his older brother, who maintains his original surname:
Of course, the most prominent Aomori-born rikishi is Onosho, currently the only Makuuchi wrestler from that prefecture. Takayasu, who does san-ban with him almost every day, gave him butsukari today instead:
Of course, the Yokozuna also performed his dohyo-iri with the rest of the Yokozuna.
Nice wolf-themed kesho-mawashi. The writing at the bottom says “Hakuho’s Hokkaido Support Group”. The Yokozuna doesn’t have just one support group, it appears.
Here is a video with the events of the day and lots of bouts:
You may notice the spectators shouting “keppare” to Onosho. “Keppare” is the Aomori version of the word “Gambare” used in central Japan. The word is used generally in Tohoku and also in Hokkaido. So instead of gambarizing, the northern folk kepparize. 🙂
All the local boys win… (Nishikigi seems to be considered local due to being from Tohoku). Daiseido’s brother, Sasayama, also won his bout vs. Kyokusoten earlier.
While the Jungyo is taking place, the rikishi who are not in the Jungyo are either in their Tokyo heya practicing, or going around doing various training camps. Isegahama beya had its traditional training camp at Aomori (mostly) – together with Tatsunami beya. The day after the Aomori Jungyo event was a rest day for the Jungyo, and this coincided with Isegahama’s conclusion of aforesaid training camp. They had a pep rally to celebrate that conclusion and cheer on their rikishi – and conveniently, the Isegahama sekitori and tsukebito were still at Aomori and could join their heya for the day:
And with this little side trip away from the Jungyo, I conclude today’s report. And there is absolutely no Enho today. Nor Tobizaru, nor Arawashi. The ladies of Aomori simply refused to share the pretty faces of the sumo world with the rest of us.
All I can give you is Hoshoryu, who – for some reason – participated in the Isegahama event:
(Yeah, it was a joint training camp, but it doesn’t seem to be a joint rally)