Jungyo Newsreel – Day 1

It’s the weekend, and I’ll try to fill the gaps for the days we have missed from the Jungyo. If I can’t… well, we’ll have to skip a few days. Let’s get to it.

🌐 Location: Gifu, Gifu prefecture.

The sekitori, their tsukebito, gyoji, tokoyama, yobidashi, oyakata, and all the rest, started their journey from the Dolphins Arena in Nagoya, where the Nagoya basho took place. It was a rainy day.

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Tochinoshin Heads Home, Part I

With Permission from Adjara Sport

Tochinoshin used his brief break from training to head home to Georgia. At the airport he was greeted to a very warm welcome from his fans. In the interview he acknowledged the re-injury to his knee after Day 10, making that final win that much tougher to get…especially after getting robbed of an important win against eventual yusho winner, Asanoyama. He was obviously still able to gamberize and win back the Ozeki rank. Will he be able to move forward and claim his second career yusho?

Thank you to Adjara Sport for sharing and translating this great background video, as well. Their site has a great page featuring more of their sumo coverage, and several interviews in Georgian with Tochinoshin during his recent trip and from before, including this one of a very young, 17 year old Levan. “一所懸命練習します。” With this break from touring, as there’s no jungyo in June, his knees may have gotten the rest and rehab “kneeded” to be ready for Nagoya.

As Bruce mentioned, the health of our Ozeki corps is a concern as we see how long this cohort of four Ozeki will stay together. Herouth noted Takayasu’s absence from events while Takakeisho is slowly returning to training after his kyojo-kadoban Natsu.

Compatriot Gagamaru isn’t forgotten on the Adjara site, and features in this long interview here at the end of last tournament where his 9-6 record puts him in striking distance of a return to the top division. There are also some great general interest sumo videos and highlights.

While We Wait…

Yes, it’s true – I did not catch that the NSK was holding back the Banzuke until Tuesday AM Japan time. You can understand given that tradition plays a strong role in most things they do, that a rabid sumo fan would assume it would be published on Monday.

While we wait for it to actually show up, here’s a fun little video clip shared by Nicola Hetherington – a wonderful person and friend of Tachiai (she shares many, many basho photos with us).

Is That… Gagamaru on Drums?

Jungyo Newsreel – Day 19

🌐 Location: Takasaki, Gunma prefecture

Unlike our previous location, which boasted a local sekitori, a local tsukebito, and a semi-local former Yokozuna’s nephew, Gunma prefecture is really short on famous or high-ranked local boys.

The local organizers gave Hikarifuji and Kayatoiwa their due glory, but their real pride and joy is not regularly a part of the jungyo anymore. He was brought in specifically for this event.

That, of course, is 42 years old Satonofuji, the grand master of the bow, who hails from Gunma prefecture. And while all the other low-ranked rikishi were working on the dohyo, Satonofuji was working with the struggling new performer, Shohoryu, giving him a master class.

This was just one of the various outdoor activities today. The weather was deemed warm enough to have the handshaking sessions outside:

Though the sky looks pretty gray, if you ask me. Not all the rikishi just stand for handshakes. Some famous veterans sit in a separate corners, and fans can go and have a photo taken with them:

But actual practice takes place inside the venue. The first sekitori arrive and pull their taping kits:

Asanoyama, get, set, tape!

Others start stretching:

Some squatting and suri-ashi are in order:

Takarafuji is showing us his his good side.

Wakamotoharu works on his upper body:

But then he and Mitakeumi decide to gang up on poor Enho:

The Yokozuna synchronize:

But then each goes his own way. Kakuryu manages an exercise that doesn’t look ridiculous:

While Hakuho is doing suri-ashi in the hana-michi, and interacts with the spectators:

Near the wall, a group of lower-ranked rikishi prove to us that titty obsession is not just a Tamawashi thing:

What are you doing, guys?

Up on the dohyo, Ichinojo is giving butsukari:

While Terutsuyoshi seems to have… a toothache?

By now, you should know who it is who makes Takakeisho smile this wide:

Takayasu finishes stretching, has a bout with Mitakeumi, and butsukari with Onosho.

Some more practice bouts: Daieisho-Takakeisho, Myogiryu-Ichinojo, Kiribayama-Takanofuji:

Practice over. Lower-ranked rikishi get their hair done and go about their chores:

Some sekitori go out and enjoy the food stalls outside the venue. Namely, Terutsuyoshi, Chiyotairyu and Enho. Enho starts well with some yaki manju:

But seems to pick up something that doesn’t suit his dainty palate:

Or maybe it’s the camera crew that affect his apetite.

Terutsuyoshi and Chiyotairyu enjoy some yakisoba:

With everybody fed and in good order, it’s time for the afternoon part of the day. We begin with a Jonidan bout, because of course we don’t want to miss Satonofuji:

Nice throw. Next up, we have the Juryo dohyo-iri, or as Gagamaru calls it, “cheeky time”:

The cheeks in question being Takanosho’s of course.

Azumaryu and Akiseyama have a less painful way to enjoy the wait:

Next up, the Juryo bouts, and we have Aminishiki vs. Hidenoumi for you:

Nice effort from old Uncle there, but to no avail.

Chiyomaru makes short work of Daiamami:

And we are up in Makuuchi. And the dohyo-iri there is not free of sin, either:

No, no, you have to wait for the Ozeki!

For some reason, Chiyotairyu decides that facing the spectators is just too much for him and turns around in the middle of the dohyo-iri. Abi tries to argue with him.

Takakeisho, by now getting used to all the “shin-ozeki” stuff, receives gifts of local produce – rice, meat, etc.:

The bouts start, and Yoshikaze has a wardrobe malfunction:

Is it me or does Toyonoshima surreptitiously improve his mawashi hold during this matta? Zurui… he won this bout.

Next up, Terutsuyoshi throws his usual bucket load of salt… and seems to hit his own eye:

Typical Terutsuyoshi sumo. Sorry, Yago, maybe next time!

Next up, Ichinojo vs. Endo:

Ichinojo is not sleeping.

Kaisei is pitted with Nishikigi, and doesn’t let the green mawashi man set up any sort of defense:

Last before the san-yaku, Hokutofuji vs. Mitakeumi:

Takakeisho is up next vs. Tamawashi:

No rolling into the crowd today. The last bout whose footage I got is Goeido vs Tochinoshin:

And after Kakuryu beats Takayasu (sorry, no video), comes the part everybody has been waiting for – good old Satonofuji’s yumi-tori shiki. Watch it, then go back to previous reports and compare with Kasugaryu, never mind poor Shohoryu. This is the work of a true master:

Our pin-up of the day is Wakamotoharu. Adieu!