Fuyu Jungyo 2018 – Day 10 (Dec 11)

🌐 Location: Fukiagecho, Hioki, Kagoshima
😛 Goofometer: ◾️◽️◽️◽️◽️

We now move to the Kagoshima prefecture, which boasts several rikishi of fame. There are the Kinoshita brothers, Chiyomaru and Chiyootori, Meisei and Daiamami. There is even a rikishi who is from Hioki city itself, though admittedly, a less well-known one:

Kiseoka of Kise beya, local boy

Early morning, and in the handshake corner, we finally get to see Yoshikaze in his mawashi rather than yukata:

Rash or no rash? Maybe the aftermath of rash?

Inside, as usual, the Kokonoe rikishi are diligently working out around the dohyo. Kokonoe oyakata assures us that Chiyosakae is, in fact, serious:

As you know, the rikishi don’t have commercial weights available during the Jungyo, so they lift each other. Chiyomaru starts by lifting up Chiyonoumi, a reasonable 140kg weight. But then Chiyonoumi starts lifting Chiyomaru:

Now, that’s a 140kg rikishi lifting 191kg… 😨

By the way, notice those zabuton (sitting cushions) laid down on the floor? Take a look at one close-up:

The organizers of the event commissioned the design for these cushions from Kototsurugi. And Kototsurugi did a wonderful job – the light reflecting off Hakuho’s eyes! The shadow of the oicho-mage on the reflective, oiled hair! It’s a wonderful memento to take home with you… only… sitting on a Yokozuna’s face?

Some fans did sit on these zabuton. Not Hakuho fans, I guess. Others preferred sitting on zabuton they brought with them and holding the gift ones in their hands (“I hugged it and watched sumo!” said one of the spectators). The next day, when Asashoryu saw this he tweeted his indignation in two separate outraged tweets and even tried to get a reaction from Hakuho. Hakuho is not an idiot, of course, and didn’t react. At least not in public. He just kept on doing his thing:

I’m betting he got to sign a lot of those cushions at the end of the day.

His little pixie uchi-deshi also did his thing. That is, turned on the kawaii production to max:

Standing up, cute. Crouching down, also cute:

Tochinoshin was doing his shiko below the dohyo:

And Juryo rikishi were practicing on the dohyo:

I’m not sure when Chiyomaru had time to interview for the local news:

Maybe during the Makuuchi practice?

I guess he is getting himself used to being in Juryo.

Here is Tochinoshin vs. Takakeisho:

Tochinoshin doesn’t like to lose.

In the afternoon part of the event, Daiamami took the opportunity to get a photo with the sumo club of his alma mater, the Kagoshima Commercial Senior High School:

Enho was taking a stroll through the concession stand, where some fan sneaked in some unspecified unlicensed cheeky merchandise that managed to make Enho gasp, laugh, and apparently, feign anger:

Hey, calm down, pixie! Don’t beat up the customers!

No, I really have no idea what the fake merchandise was. The tweets I read that in had that part intentionally redacted. All we are left with is a pixie who is cute even when he tries to look fierce. And of course, Tomokaze who gets his share of pixie skin.

You can catch some glimpses of bouts in this video. Yes, it’s a video of a TV set showing a news segment. What you see are the local stars:

Also, enjoy Abi’s shiko:

And here is an expression you’ll never, ever see on the Yokozuna’s face when he gets ready to throw his salt in honbasho. Jungyo exclusive face here:

The day ends with Kasugaryu twirling his bow:

And this post ends with a double header in the pin-up corner:

Fuyu Jungyo 2018 – Day 7 (Dec 8)

🌐 Location: Takamori, Aso District, Kumamoto
😛 Goofometer: ◽️◽️◽️◽️◽️

We have a short one today, as few fans blessed us with photographs or videos from this town by Mount Aso in Kumamoto.

There are two sekitori from Kumamoto prefecture, so they starred today, and will be celebrated in the next two days as well. I give you Sadanoumi, in a Myogiryu Paisley yukata, and Shodai, in a dragonfly motif.

You’ll note that everybody was wearing yukata for their handshake this time. The temperature was 0ºC in the morning, and I guess the strict oyakata felt a little guilty going around in their own warm Uniqlo padded vests and having the rikishi freeze. You may also notice that they are not wearing any obi – my guess is that they have their mawashi on under the yukata.

Inside the main hall, though, the rikishi are in their mawashi, and keep warm by doing exercise. Here is Asanoyama doing his suri-ashi:

What does “suri-ashi” mean? Listen to the sound track. It means “sliding feet”. The feet are supposed to slide along the ground when you do suri-ashi, rather than be lifted.

Chiyomanu, on the other hand, was doing… what is he doing?

He was doing this repeatedly. It must be practice! Practice for… er… some father-son day in the distant future, where there will be sack racing?

On the dohyo, Nishikigi was giving butsukari to Onosho:

Easy. Abi giving butsukari to Endo:

Note that if the submissive is too successful and gives the dominant no opportunity to roll him, the dominant will sometimes signal for an itten – in which the submissive symbolically hits his chest, and is then rolled immediately. An itten is also how a butsukari session ends – and sometimes there may be more than one to finish the session (especially in kawaigari sessions).

Tochinoshin offers his chest to Daieisho:

Here is some moshi-ai:

Is that Endo again? Not sure. Meisei beats him, and Abi as well – and Abi is definitely practicing yotsu again.

Tochinoshin takes up Chiyotairyu:

Time to go away and take a relaxing bath. Coming back – in his own van – is the dai-Yokozuna, already in full regalia. And Mongolian though he is, the cold is getting to him, too:

So Kasugaryu wraps him up with his yukata. It’s good to be the king!

I do not have any bouts or even bout photos from this day’s event, but here is a video of the san-yaku soroi-bumi (“kore yori sanyaku”):

What this video tells us is that, for the first time in this Jungyo, Hakuho is participating in the bouts!

Indeed, according to the press, this was the first bout he had since leaving the Aki Jungyo and having his surgery. He beats Takayasu by yori-kiri, to much applause.

And today’s pin-up boy is:

One of the spectators asked him to hold her boy in his arms (dakko – the Japanese believe that if a rikishi holds your child he or she will grow up strong and healthy). After letting him down, he keeps patting the child’s head and talking to him. The kid seems to be interested in his sagari!

Fuyu Jungyo 2018 – Day 2 (Dec 3)

Nice, fluffy zabuton… Too bad there is no chance of kinboshi

🌐 Location: Nogata, Fukuoka
😛 Goofometer: ◾️◽️◽️◽️◽️

So, having only left it a few days ago, the rikishi find themselves back in Fukuoka. Well, not in the city of Fukuoka, but in the prefecture. Today’s event in Nogata is sponsored by Mochikichi, a long-time sponsor. So the event is called “Mochikichi basho”, and in exchange, the spectators get fluffier zabuton, yay!

A day before the event, while the rikishi were still in Nagasaki, two yobidashi were already in Nogata, to let everybody know that Grand Sumo is in town:

The sign reads “Coming up – Nihon Sumo Kyokai – Tomorrow”

This is called “furedaiko”. The yobidashi also stopped and let people know what important torikumi to expect.

This tradition comes from the Edo period – when they would do these rounds from morning till evening on the day before the competition. Too bad they are doing it in front of a virtually empty mall here.

The next day, rikishi arrive at the venue – including one king and his entourage (Yokozuna frequently have special accommodation arrangements so they arrive separately from the buses).

Note that the impressive regal arrival is somewhat marred by the fact that the royal person has to lean on Kasugaryu’s arm to walk to the venue. Hakuho is certainly not in a good condition. Take a look at the scars from his operation. The leg doesn’t look swollen or anything – but still, he leans on Kasugaryu.

“Ooh, amusing salt!” (He is actually talking to Kokonoe oyakata)

Hakuho took time to practice as much as he could, though.

Of course you know that the poor tsukebito on the bottom right is going to be in serious pain in a minute or so.

There were people other than Hakuho around the dohyo, though. For example, one smiling Yusho winner:

If you want to get a big smile from Takakeisho, just put him next to Daieisho.

Hakuho and Takakeisho also paid a visit to a shrine earlier on, and poured water on a “Jizou” – a protector Bodhisattva – for good fortune:

Back in the venue, here is shodai with a group of future rikishi:

The spectators seem to be younger and younger each Jungyo.

Let’s look at some practice bouts, shall we? Starting with Ishiura vs. Wakatakakage:

I guess he saves the henka for torikumi time. Next up – Nishikigi vs. Shohozan:

You’ll notice the bout is over before it’s technically over. This is part of moshi-ai, and I guess nobody wants to waste time on nearly-hopeless tawara dances. Shohozan had him in a very firm morozashi.

Up next, the tadpole buddies, Takakeisho and Onosho:

Remember when Onosho was the stronger one of the two?

It’s lunch time, and we have Wakamotoharu in the company of Mr. and Mrs. Chanko.

I wonder if those are for him, or if he’s taking one for his brother. Or maybe, both are for Wakatakakage. After all – sekitori eat first.

Dohyo-iri time, and Tamawashi, as usual, can’t keep his hands to himself:

Surprisingly, this gives Hokutofuji, who is right behind him, an idea what to do with his own arms:

Aha, Tamawashi! See how that feels?

Moving on to bout time, and here are a couple of diligent emergency rescue team members:

OK, maybe not so diligent. But the sign behind them definitely says they are the emergency rescue team members. Anybody feels like being rescued by Abi (わら)?

I have a couple of half-bouts to share. Sorry, apparently this sumo fan doesn’t think a tachiai is an important part of a sumo bout. 🙁

Kotoshogiku vs. Endo:

Once again, Endo gets to face the local favorite. Kotoshogiku doesn’t even have to engage in chug mode.

Shohozan vs. Takakeisho:

Hey, isn’t that the same morozashi Shohozan practice in that keiko match vs. Nishikigi earlier? Takakeisho tries the arm lock, but to no avail.

This next one is actually a Juryo bout, but I saved it for last, because, well, wow. Presenting Enho vs. Takekaze:

Wow. Just, Wow. In the last measurement, Enho weighed 97kg. Takekaze was 150kg.

And so, the Nogata event ends, and all the rikishi go back on their buses:

What, did you think I’d leave you without any pin-up rikishi for the day? That wouldn’t do. Here is Tobizaru, and he is, apparently, hot.

Note: My schedule has been taken over by, well, life. So don’t expect the next installment before Friday. Thank you for your patience!

Bouts from the lower divisions – Day 12

Terutsuyoshi’s has been called “salty” in the past, but…

Today I have few bouts for you from the black cotton mawashi divisions for you, as the interesting yusho-related bouts start tomorrow. Er… in about an hour or so. We’ll get to that shortly.

Let’s start with a Jonidan bout. I picked this one up for the big name. Well, not that big, but familiar: Kasugaryu, Hakuho’s tsukebito and the current official performer of the Yumitori-shiki. At this level, I wasn’t quite ready for the excellent sumo.

The rival is Chura, from Miyagino beya, which means he and Kasugaryu probably know each other quite well. But although Kasugaryu is Hakuho’s tsukebito, he is from Nakagawa beya rather than Miyagino, and so they are eligible for a match. (The video includes two additional matches – Tamanoryu/Okunisato, Dewanosora/Ezuka).

Wasn’t that lovely? Both sides have good control of their feet and balance, and so recover several times before the deciding move. I guess Kasugaryu’s age is one of the deciding factors. If Kasugaryu was Chura’s age, we might have ended up with a…

Niban-go torinaoshi

Here is a little gem for you. Sumo is not a sport of stamina. When the bout is long, the wrestlers lose much of their power. This, in turn, may prolong it further as they go into a leaning contest which is hard for either to break.

Therefore, there is a limit to the length of the bout. In the top two divisions, after four minutes of wrestling with the bout in a stalemate, a procedure called “Mizu-iri” (water break) takes place. This involves the gyoji (at a signal from the shimpan) tapping the wrestlers’ backs (much like when he needs to retie a mawashi). He then memorizes the positions of their feet and grips, and then they get a short break, after which they assume the same position, based on the gyoji’s memory and help from the video room if needed.

That’s a complex procedure, and in Makushita and below they have a simpler one. As the time limit is reached, again, the timekeeping shimpan signals to the head shimpan, who in turn raises a hand to attract the gyoji’s attention. But in this case, the bout is simply stopped, and a torinaoshi is called. The torinaoshi, unlike one that comes after a monoii resolution, doesn’t take place immediately, but rather, after the next two bouts. This allows the participants to rest a while.

Here is what it looks like, in today’s Jonidan bout between Kototaiko and Mori:

The video title says it’s a mizu-iri, but it isn’t one. The gyoji, it appears, is inexperienced, and the shimpan have to remind him what to do.

By the way, I should mention that although there are four sides to the dohyo, there are five shimpan sitting around it. The one sitting closest to the red tassel is the time-keeping shimpan (left hand ref in the video above).

For comparison, I’m adding a video of a mizu-iri, in the bout between Terunofuji and Ichinojo, Haru 2015. The video is timed just before the break.


Here is a Makushita bout between Ryuko and Ichiyamamoto. Ichiyamamoto has reached as far as Makushita 3 in the past year, but has struggled to survive in the Heaven/Hell interface area with his light frame. Ryuko is also a young up-and-comer, but also suffered a slump as he hit mid-Makushita – from which he seems to have recovered. They are both 4-1 coming into this bout.

Very nice ashitori there. Ryuko is the winner, and will continue his climb up the banzuke and into the purgatory area.

State of the Yusho races Makushita and below

In Jonokuchi, the only lossless rikishi, with 6-0, is Hatooka. Today he is facing Kojikara, who is 5-1. Besides Kojikara, four more wrestlers are 5-1. So if Hatooka wins, it’s his yusho, and if he loses, there will be an interesting playoff situation, where it’s still unclear how many will participate – between 3 and 5. This is because two of the wrestlers who are 5-1 (Yuma and Kokuryunami) have already faced each other, so they are scheduled for their last bout against wrestlers who are not in the yusho race, so both, either or neither may win. In short – ask me tomorrow!

The situation in Jonidan and Sandanme is slightly less confusing. Both of these divisions have three remaining 6-0 wrestlers. So the lowest ranked of the Sandanme 6-0 men, Fukunofuji, is scheduled against the highest ranked of the Jonidan 6-0 men, Mitsuuchi. Also scheduled tomorrow are Ura vs. Hikarifuji (the remaining Sandanme 6-0 men), and Kenho vs. Kotourasaki.

Thus, if Mitsuuchi wins, there will be a playoff in Jonidan on Senshuraku, whereas Sandanme will be decided today. If Fukunofuji wins, there will be a playoff in Sandame on Senshuraku, and Jonidan will be decided today. So anybody hoping to see Ura on Senshuraku should cheer for Fukunofuji.

The simplest situation is in Makushita – we have Sokokurai vs. Takaryu today. Winner is yusho, no playoff possible.

Juryo recap

  • Irodori is brought up from Makushita, perhaps as a test case to see if he should be promoted to Juryo from his Ms2 position. Jokoryu doesn’t waste much time taking him down. Irodori is make-koshi, and will not advance to Juryo this basho. Jokoryu still needs to win through to get his kachi-koshi.
  • Tobizaru is back to himself. A bit of a cautious start on the part of Azumaryu, and the monkey kicks his legs from under him. Yes, low kicks are a perfectly legitimate sumo technique. The monkey needs one more win for a kachi-koshi, Azumaryu will need to get two in the next three days.
  • Takekaze doesn’t seem to be able to do anything against Mitoryu, and is easily swept away. He cannot afford to lose any of the three remaining bouts or his drop down the banzuke will continue. Mitoryu in no danger, and seems to have finally overcome that injury he suffered in Haru.
  • Gokushindo faces Chiyonoo, and will probably face him again in Makushita next basho. Chiyonoo tries everything he can to avoid the double-digit make-koshi, but to no avail. Gokushindo finds an opening for a drop, and keeps his own make-koshi at a minimum for the time being.
  • Tsurugisho does not henka Shimanoumi, but still his sumo is a backward-moving one, and that doesn’t end well for him. He is nearing make-koshi land, and can’t afford a single loss, whereas Shimanoumi needs a single win in three days.
  • In an interview after this bout with Ishiura, Toyonoshima said that he is just no good at fighting with small rikishi. He is used to fighting taller rikishi and using his lower center of gravity to his advantage, but this is nullified when the opponent is short and low. Good sumo on Ishiura’s part today. He has a good chance at a kachi-koshi.
  • Highlight bout of the day – Terutsuyoshi, the leader, vs. Tomokaze, the newcomer. Terutsuyoshi does have a good mawashi hold, but that fatigue I mentioned yesterday shows. His feet remain on the tawara – Terutsuyoshi is nothing if not tenacious – but his body topples over, dipping his hair straight into the salt basket. The salt sticks to the suki-abura (the pomade used to keep the hairdo stiff) dying half of Terutsuyoshi’s hair white. Well, Terutsuyoshi is a sodium fan, so why not have some in his hair? Terutsuyoshi loses the lead.
  • Chiyonoumi is not a mawashi wrestler, but he hangs on to Takagenji for dear life. Eventually, the twin, who is more experienced in belt battles, gets a good hold on Chiyonoumi’s mawashi knot and rolls him. The knot is undone, and so is Chiyonoumi. He is make-koshi and should be very careful not to lose more because he is in the danger zone for demotion. Takagenji still needs to win out to avoid a make-koshi.
  • This bout between Enho and Kotoyuki was a really sad one. As a result of being locked yesterday by Mitoryu, Enho has lost his confidence in the technique that brought him all the way to the top of the leaderboard. Or perhaps it’s the remembered pain and being afraid Kotoyuki will do the same, as that arm lock seemed rather painful. Whichever, Enho tries to circle around Kotoyuki rather than getting inside, has no real plan, and his sumo is all the way back to what it was in his first Juryo visit. I hope he got some guidance from Hakuho about that (I’m assuming that Hakuho is still with his heya in Fukuoka), because although I don’t think he can contribute any of his own techniques to a deshi so different than him in body type, I’m sure he could teach him a river of knowledge about resilience and maintaining his self  confidence through difficulty. Enho drops to the chaser group.
  • Kyokushuho aggressive out of the Tachiai, but Tokushoryu twists himself and lets him drop down. Kyokushuho make-koshi, Tokushoryu staving off the make-koshi for the time being.
  • Not sure what to say about the Kyokutaisei-Daishoho bout. It just looked too easy. Daishoho suffers some unseen injury? Kyokutaisei needs one more win for a kachi-koshi.
  • Aminishiki getting dangerously close to make-koshi zone, again. He starts by pulling, rallies a bit and sticks his head into Hakuyozan’s chest. But he makes an untypical mistake by trying to drag Hakuyozan to the tawara and show him out. Hakuyozan keeps on his feet, but now Aminishiki is too close to the edge and easy to topple himself. Uncle Sumo usually has better dohyo sense than that.
  • Akiseyama starts the bout vs. Yago with a clear advantage and nearly manages to get him out. Yago can’t get a grip while Akiseyama has a good one. But then it seems that Yago simply doubles the output of power and Akiseyama suddenly moves backwards and out. Yago kachi-koshi, and we’ll see him in Kintamayama’s reel every day next basho.
  • Kotoeko makes good use of his weight advantage against Wakatakakage. It seems all the light-weight rikishi have started to flag towards the end of the basho – except Ishiura, who has been, er, preserving his strength. Ahem.

For the time being, Gokushindo and Chiyonoo seem certain to drop to Makushita in the next banzuke. They will be replaced by the top two wrestlers in Makushita, Daiseido and Gagamaru, who are both kachi-koshi. If a third rikishi drops – Gokushindo or Chiyonoumi – the most likely replacement is Sokokurai.

Aki 2018 Jungyo – Days 15 and 16

I couldn’t get much stuff yesterday about the Ikeda event, so I decided to give you a double-header today instead.


terutsuyoshi-salt-throw

🌐 Location: Ikeda, Osaka
🚫 Scandal level: 0

Feast your eyes on that salt throw by Terutsuyoshi, because after this event, he goes off the radar.

Well, not before he manages to join the list of rikishi with a moob fixation. But while Tamawashi at least chooses fine-chested harassment objects, Terutsuyoshi is going for one who is not really known for his good build.

And while he does this, he continues to talk to Wakatakakage, completely ignoring his squeezy toy. No wonder Akiseyama looks sad. Eventually he fends off the groping pixie and covers his chest with his arms defensively.

Tamawashi gives Chiyotairyu a command: fetch Enho. Enho arrives at the dohyo at the komusubi’s request, and Don Tamawashi takes him a side for a little conversation:

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me like Enho is twice trying to escape. I can only imagine the conversation:

“Hello, little one. I hear a lot of good things about you lately, you know. We were in Kanazawa the other day. You have family in Kanazawa, right? Well, I sent some people to pay them a visit, see that they are alright. You know, family is important. Your brother seems like a nice guy. I’d hate to see anything bad happen to any of them. So now, half pint, I have something to tell you. I’m sure you’re not going to be impolite and not listen”

[gulp] “Um, yes, sir?”

“Happy birthday! Many happy returns!”

Yes, yes, this was Enho’s birthday. And that’s what Tamawashi wanted him for, apparently. Well, I’m sure it is. Positive.

So let’s look at some keiko.

Chiyonoumi vs. Tomokaze:

Azumaryu vs. Meisei:

Meisei is not having the best of times lately.

Takakeisho vs. Aoiyama:

Kisenosato continues with Mitakeumi:

Aoiyama lending his mighty chest to Meisei for butsukari:

Tochiozan turns out to be a rather severe dealer of butsukari:

Get your legs moving! Get up quickly! The legs, I told you to get your legs moving! [slap on arm] Legs!

Arikawa is a friendly guy. Here he is following his bout:

Admit it, before this Jungyo you didn’t have a clue who Arikawa was. Now you know!

And speaking of Yokozuna tsukebito, here is Kasugaryu, the servant without a master, getting his oicho done in preparation for his bow twirl:

I wonder who it is he is greeting with that shy smile and “osu”.

Finally, the only bout I have is Meisei vs. Kyokushuho:

How Kyokushuho manages to get his front mawashi end loose like that in this slow match is beyond me.

Here is your Tobizaru:

tobizaru


🌐 Location: Kurayoshi, Tottori
🚫 Scandal level: 0, despite this being Tottori.

hiyonoyama-misasa-onsen
Hiyonoyama decides to go to Misasa Onsen

Do you know what day it is?

It’s Ichinojo day!

Everybody knows that Ichinojo and Tottori are synonymous. Well, in a world in which he is not a Mongolian giant specializing in shepherding and wolf avoidance, that is.

Having graduated from the famous Tottori Johoku high school – and also worked there after graduation – the locals consider him a home boy. Especially when all the other home boys, like Ishiura, Takanoiwa and Terunofuji are MIA. He has managed to stay away from last year’s scandal by being kyujo due to hernia, so this year, he is the subject of adoration. Sought after when he is in his practice mawashi:

ichinojo-in-practice-mawashi

And when he is in his kesho-mawashi:

ichinojo-in-kesho-mawashi

Requested for interviews:

Looking mighty worried until he remembers the magic incantation: “Gambarimasu!”

Note how he always shuffles his feet and seeks something to cover himself up:

Even Abi wants a piece of Ichinojo this day:

Which he obviously doesn’t need because as soon as Ichinojo leaves, everybody is running to Abi.

Speaking of Abi and attention-seeking, here is how he avoids stopping for autographs:

“Oh, my shoulder hurts! Ow, it hurts terribly! Oh, woe is me!”

Five minutes later he was signing autographs with a totally straight face, of course.

Right outside the venue a great board was set up, for people to write encouragements following the Chubu Earthquake. Some space was allocated for the rikishi to put in their tegata, autograph and words of encouragement. Here is Takanosho applying his:

Ichinojo chose this spot for todays fashion statement:

ichinojo-fashion-statement

I want a towel that’s big enough to wrap around a whole Ichinojo!

Here is a part of the board:

tegata

Ichinojo’s message is the one without a Tegata, right below the 回. He wrote in shaky Hiragana “All Tottori people, gambarize! I love Tottori! Please support me.”

By the way, the tegata marked with that triangle is Takakeisho. The tweet author noticed that he has a much smaller hand than most other rikishi. It’s a real mystery how this man is the level he is, given his short arms, tiny hands, and severe respiration issue. I guess he has serious gambarization skills.

I can’t pretend to be able to read the rikishi signatures, but I can recognize Tochinoshin (to the right of Ichinojo’s spot), and Nishikigi (below Takakeisho’s).

Back inside the venue, Chiyonokuni once again demonstrates his superb flexibility:

chiyonokuni-really-flexible

While Shodai is harrassed again – but not by Tamawashi, but by Kaisei:

kaisei-hazes-shodai

Shodai was doing his stretches, when out of nowhere Kaisei appeared, declared “You are not flexible enough”, and proceeded to apply pressure to Shodai’s legs to make them more like Chiyonokuni’s above. This was countered by cries of “Ouch! It hurts! It hurts! Stop forcing it! You are the sumo world’s dark side!”

Kotoshogiku practiced a bit on the side lines:

Some practice bouts on the dohyo:

Meisei vs. Azumaryu:

Ah, the voice of frustration.

Nishikigi vs. Tochiozan:

Chiyonokuni vs. Tochiozan:

Chiyonokuni seems to try to go for the mawashi – but that fails miserably.

Ryuden vs. Myogiryu:

Practice time over, and Nishikigi shows us how he survives through a Jungyo full of practical jokers who fiddle with his glasses when he is away:

nishikigi-three-pairs-of-glasses

Three pairs. Simple.

Are we going to see a whole day without somebody groping somebody’s boobs?

No we aren’t!

A… A… Aoiyama?! People who live in glass houses…

And why is everybody picking on Shodai anyway?

On a brighter note, remember the new yumitori performer, Awajiumi? Well, today was his debut. This doesn’t mean Kasugaryu has been deposed, yet, though I’ve seen many on the net wishing for that to happen… Guess why…

The man has talent! Still needs to brush up his transitions, but look at that shiko!

No Tobizaru was forthcoming this day, so here is Enho instead:

enho