Let’s start with a refresher on the list of absentees from the Jungyo: Takayasu – re-injured his elbow ligament by participating in the Meiji Jingu dedication tournament. Takakeisho – tore pectoral muscle on senshuraku, hopes to join the jungyo on Day 11. Ichinojo dislocated his shoulder last basho. Tomokaze tore his internal oblique muscle. Toyonoshima has an inflammation in and around the Achilles tendon. In Juryo, I don’t have a list of their medical conditions, but Chiyonoumi, Chiyoshoma, Kyokushuho and Seiro are missing, in addition to the AWOL Takanofuji. Note that Seiro has been absent since last basho, and although his problem was initially reported as a gastric issue, it turned out to be Aseptic Meningitis, which would explain the prolonged kyujo.
Today was the second day in Hyogo prefecture – but right on the opposite side of it than Day 4’s event. Early morning, the dohyo is already consecrated from the day before.
And… what’s this parking right in front of the entrance to the venue?
Why, it’s Ryota Hama’s Chanko Nabe bus!
While in Tokyo or Osaka honbasho you rely either on the food supply inside the venue or the regular restaurants around it, events in small towns rely on mobile stalls. So as yobidashi Hiromasa calls the townspeople with his drum, a little matsuri is being set up around the venue.
And early-bird Hama got the most lucrative location, right at the entrance! Mmmm… chanko!
But not yet, the stalls are just being set up. First, it’s time to shake hands with some favorite rikishi. For example, Hyogo local Terutsuyoshi.
Ah, the contrast between the beautiful kimono of those ladies gathering around him, and his own ratty yukata…
Yokozuna in the house!
Low-ranking rikishi practice on the dohyo, while around it some sekitori are starting to stretch and exercise:
Very entertaining squats on the left side there.
On the sidelines, Sadanoumi practices his oshi:
Ando is doing suri-ashi:
And so does Aoiyama, though in a totally different style:
It’s time for the Juryo rikishi’s practice on the dohyo. We have Kyokushuho with Wakamotoharu, then Kyokushuho with Azumaryu:
And in the session’s closure, Takakeisho gives butsukari to Wakamotoharu:
Then Makuuchi gets into the picture. Aoiyama faces Meisei, then Okinoumi, then Asanoyama, then the latter takes over and faces Ryuden.
This is not the end of the road for Ryuden, who later gets Mitakeumi (for some reason this bout appears twice in this video). Then we can see Mitakeumi vs. Tochinoshin:
Practice time is over, and we can relax and enjoy Shokkiri. Here is the full performance.
Apparently, in this Jungyo, the gyoji is getting creative. When the two performers fall down together, he leaves the dohyo, and consults with some spectator – preferably a child: “I should call that dotai, right?”.
“Dotai” is when both rikishi touch ground at the same time. In a normal bout, the gyoji doesn’t call it – the gyoji always has to point the gunbai one side or the other – and this is settled with a monoii and a torinaoshi. In shokkiri, of course, the gyoji makes all the decisions himself. Or with the help of a child, as it turns out.
Next up is the Jinku performance. And once again I have the full version:
But hey, aren’t you hungry? It’s nearly noon and we haven’t tasted that chanko, yet!
Apparently they also serve Udon. But who cares? Chanko!
There is also a mobile Takoyaki stall if you’re tired of Chanko, as some rikishi are
Both lunch and Jinku over, it’s time for the Juryo dohyo-iri. And Sokokurai is arguing some point with Gagamaru:
Skipping the Makuuchi and Yokozuna dohyo-iri, right before Makuuchi, Takakeisho, the local hero, receives a bale of rice as a gift – and apparently, a large amount of beef.
The area of Toyooka is known for its stork-friendly rice. Apparently, Japanese storks have been on the decline, and the city of Toyooka is making an effort to bring them back, by raising rice that coexists with the creatures that storks feed on to sustain themselves. So Takakeisho got a bale of stork-friendly rice. I don’t know how stork-friendly the beef is, though.
So let’s see some bouts! Here we have a series of bouts from Juryo:
This is followed by bouts from Makuuchi:
Tochiozan vs. Endo:
Sanyaku-soroi-bumi, and Mitakeumi vs. Tamawashi
Tamawashi’s killer nodowa does it again.
Takakeisho vs. Tochinoshin:
I think Tochinoshin forgot that he was supposed to let the local boy win.
Finally, Musubi-no-ichiban, Kakuryu vs. Goeido.
I think I have yet to see Kakuryu win a bout this basho.
Finishing with our pin-up… How about Nishikigi for a change?
The reason I decided to use the NSK’s official Yokozuna photo as my header is that last year, the 2017 Aki Jungyo passed through exactly the same city and the same venue, and I used that same photo as my header:
Alas, what a difference a year makes. It’s the same place and the same season, but the King of Hearts has broken our hearts, and the King of Spades is spading bone fragments out of his knee. They had to substitute Hiyonoyama for them this year.
But at least Kisenosato seems happier.
In fact, I think Kisenosato has a thing with Hiyonoyama, the lead mascot. Here he is leading him down the aisle:
Well, there’s no accounting for taste. And it’s about time the Yokozuna settled down, isn’t it?
Last year, Hakuho joined the Jungyo at Kanazawa, having been kyujo when it started. The reason he chose Kanazawa as his point of rendezvous is probably that there was a special request for Enho, who at the time wasn’t a sekitori, so he arrived as Hakuho’s tsukebito (Chief Holder of Threads, later promoted to #5 VP of Rope Pulling).
You see, Ishikawa is blessed with no less than three popular rikishi who call it home:
It seems the lesson has been learned. This time they provided the rikishi with rikishi-sized sashes. Ones big enough to wrap even around Kagayaki’s big… tracts of land.
And while Endo merely came from a small town in Ishikawa, Enho and Kagayaki are both from Kanazawa itself. So they had their traditional photo together:
And when I say “traditional”, I mean these two are always photographed together. They are from the same town, have been doing sumo in the same competitions.
And Kagayaki is only 4 months older than Enho. They were even team mates in middle school, until Kagayaki decided to join the world of professional sumo:
Enho didn’t have plans to be a professional sumo wrestler, until Hakuho convinced him to do so despite his obvious height disadvantage. And thus, they find themselves in that same pose once again. And Again. And again.
All three Ishikawa men had a very busy day. In fact, Enho had an especially busy day, as he had no less than three bouts in the official part of the evening. The torikumi today had extra bouts that were specifically added to feature the local boys: Enho vs. Jokoryu before the official Juryo matches, then (for some reason) Yutakayama-Asanoyama, Abi-Kagayaki, Mitakeumi-Endo – preceding the official Makuuchi bouts.
So Enho had this bout with Jokoryu, then the “official” bout vs. Daiamami, and then he had to fill in for Aminishiki, as the veteran’s knee’s condition has worsened.
Yes, I’m sorry to say that Aminishiki has left the Jungyo as of the next day, to try to nurse his knee back to health.
So, as I said, busy day. Enho also helped Kototsurugy promote his Enho goods:
Kagayaki was busy outside promoting Ishikawa’s new rice crop:
And Endo was doing the oicho-mage tying demonstration:
They were also attacked from all sides by fans demanding that their baby be held or that their hand fan be signed:
But hey, there are also other rikishi in this Jungyo. And they seem to be enjoying themselves:
Kotoshogiku also seems to be in a good mood:
Goeido seems to be having an especially good time:
It’s not really clear from this photo, but with Kyokusoten laughing behing him, this may be related to his recent running gag: he makes his tsukebito heckle Tamawashi during his bouts.
Abi was having a good time with a little friend:
Which is remarkable, because usually those tykes scream their heads off when held by even the most charming rikishi.
Abi was also having his photo taken in a sexy pose:
Ah, erm, er… OK, I declare a competition in the comments: who can come up with the most hilarious explanation for that bulge in Abi’s towel, but keeping it strictly family-safe?
I’m sure you’re feeling an Enho overdose by now, but I just couldn’t skip this one of him returning from the bath. We know Kakuryu has a funny towel wrapped on his head, while Kisenosato prefers the lopsided Mickey-Mouse look. So here is what Enho does with his washed hair:
Chiyoshoma decided to apply for assistant announcer:
But I think it won’t work well with a Mongolian accent.
And Kisenosato somehow lost the good mood he had earlier:
What is he so angry about? I hope he didn’t discover Arikawa’s little mime act.