Today was an interesting day in the lower divisions. Here are some stories (guided, I admit, mostly by what can be found by the way of videos, which is not much this basho):
First and foremost, it was Hattorizakura’s birthday today. He is now officially an adult by Japanese law. And he engaged in today’s bout like an adult:
This is the true meaning of gambarization. Too bad it didn’t work out. The rival, Houn, BTW, has only ever won against one person. Hattorizakura, of course.
Shunba, who is known to many of us as Terunofuji’s fatherly tsukebito, and who now serves as Takarafuji’s tsukebito, has lost some weight and seems to have gained some energy together with that. He is now kachi-koshi, and has a good chance of making it back to Sandanme next basho. Unfortunately, I found no shareable footage of this bout.
How are our three princes faring?
First, let’s look at Naya, Taiho’s grandson (and Takatoriki’s son, which is a fact the press likes to gloss over). Most of the bouts he engaged in looked one-sided, but today he met his high-school rival, Kototebakari.
Ah, apparently Naya stretches diligently. That didn’t look like a comfortable pose down at the edge of the dohyo. This loss probably denies him the Sandanme Yusho.
The second prince is, of course, Asashoryu’s nephew, Hoshoryu. He already dropped one bout on day 1. I’d say that was ring rust for sure, because he has been looking quite formidable since. Here he is against Tochikodai:
Kachi-koshi. The prince continues his ascent.
The third prince is the heir to the kingdom of Kotooshu, Torakio of Naruto beya. He has had a very strong basho so far – much better than his previous three. Unlike Naya and Hoshoryu, he still maintains the possibility for a yusho with this bout:
But wait, what was that at the end there? He seemed rather aggressive as he pulled his arm away Hokutoshu’s arm lock. Let’s look at this from a different angle (the following video has a glitch, but it’s time stamped to the replay of this bout which is fine):
Ahem. That’s not how a rikishi is supposed to behave. And his stable noticed.
— 鳴戸部屋 (@NARUTOBEYAteam) July 16, 2018
Naruto beya’s tweet translates:
Good day, everybody. Here are the results for day 9:
Torakio wins, 5-0
Kawamura wins, 3-2
Some allowance may be made for the fact that Torakio has little dohyo experience. And yet his behaviour at the end of today’s match lacked respect towards his rival. He shall be strictly disciplined.
“When you win, don’t gloat. When you lose, don’t sulk”. “Start with a bow, end with a bow”. Fundamentals first.
In addition, it seems that Torakio once again ends a bout with some level of injury. Let’s hope that he learns manners and keeps up the good sumo.
Tomisakae from Isegahama – known mostly for his agile backflips, his charming smile, and a shikona that stands out in a heya fulls of Terus and Fujis – has recorded five straight wins for the first time in his sumo careers. He seems to be bursting with genki:
If he does find himself with a surprising Makushita Yusho (which mathematically he is in the race for), he will find himself next basho in the Makushita purgatory – the zone separating heaven from hell. That will be a whole different story.
Enho is currently in that same purgatory, and his chances of making it back to sekitori heaven have improved with Murata dropping out of the basho after an injury. Of course, for this you have to have a kachi-koshi. And the schedulers were not merciful today, sending him to a Juryo bout against a rival 26 cm taller than him – Kizenryu, the purgatory yo-yo, who has spent no less than 9 basho in Juryo, but none consecutively.
Yo-yo or not, 26 cm, let alone the near 50kg weight difference, are something to be reckoned with. So let’s take a look at one of the best bouts of the day:
At first, Kizenryu denies Enho access to his mawashi. Enho takes a step back and then attacks again, this time finding his favorite mae-mitsu grip. Then he changes his grip to the back of Kizenryu’s mawashi. Kizenryu manages to get a grip on the pesky little mosquito’s mawashi. Enho tries a throw, realizes he doesn’t have the right hold, lets go of the mawashi with his right hand and grabs the leg. Within seconds – the end. Worth watching again from another angle:
This Ashitori got Enho first place in the kanto-seishin, the crowd favorite ranking, for the Juryo division – despite the fact that he is not in Juryo at all… yet!
Alas, my personal Jurya favorites have all been losing today:
Aminishiki is doing well for his age and condition, and managed to tie Taiho’s record of career wins (8th place, 872 wins) yesterday, but not to pass him today. Still has 5 days in which to get 2 wins for a kachi-koshi.
Terutsuyoshi was trying for straightforward sumo against Chiyonoo, but it didn’t work out for him:
Another favorite of mine is Chiyonoumi, the newcomer to the Juryo division. He is not doing badly for a beginner, with 5 wins in 9 days, but today he didn’t get one of them:
Takanoiwa seems to be heading for the Juryo Yusho. He has made his kachi-koshi already, at a record speed for himself as a sekitori. That is, this is the first time in his sekitori career he has only one loss in 9 days.
Good survival skills, there! Whether or not he wins the Yusho, we are almost certain to see him back in Makuuchi next basho (well, unless he happens to be in the same place as a Yokozuna and a Karaoke remote control again).
Akiseyama, the local Aichi boy, has been suffering greatly in this basho. He was down to seven straight losses, when he decided to go back to wearing his old purple Mawashi.
In purpule mawashi – two wins.