Aki 2018 Jungyo – Day 10 (Oct 12)

Yes, indeed, the Jungyo reports are lagging heavily behind schedule, but I did tell you that life may catch up to me. Mostly the fact that the European Basketball season began last week. It’s hard to keep up with two different favorite sports!

venue

🌐 Location: Yokkaichi, Mie
🚫 Scandal level: 0

Today’s is a short report – the small town in Mie prefecture did not produce many visuals. The famous representative of Mie prefecture is Chiyonokuni. But believe me or not, I could not find one fan photo of the man.

In the handshake line, the fans were treated to the two extremes of human aesthetics:

extremes-enho-akiseyama
Enho vs. Akiseyama

…OK. Now that I had my right eye surgically removed, let’s look at Asanoyama stretching:

asanoyama

Nope. That’s not 180º. They should at least have given us Chiyonokuni stretching – as he is really capable of those 180º (and probably has the second best shiko in Makuuchi).

Generally speaking, it seems that everybody was pretty tired this day. Take a look at Yoshikaze:

tired-yoshikaze
“I’m bored. When does the berserking start?”

Now let’s try Mitakeumi:

tired-mitakeumi
“Thanks goodness I have a fluffy tsukebito”

And Hokutofuji is just bummed:

hokutofuji-bummed
“When are we going back home?”

This photo was taken by Asanoyama, by the way, who started a new Twitter account.

Another green-room shot shows us Kisenosato, who also has a colorful towel:

kisenosato-as-budha

Note that the “Yokozuna zone” in the shitakubeya gets padded with foldable tatami (well, technically tatami should all be foldable, because that’s what the name means, but in reality they are pretty stiff boards rather than actual mats).

OK, let’s look at some practice on the dohyo. I’m sure most of you haven’t seen Takekaze for a while. Here he is vs. Meisei:

The old man still has it. Here is Mitakeumi vs. Aoiyama:

Mitakeumi gets that morozashi pretty quickly.

Here is our first glimpse of the man of the day, Chiyonokuni, taking on Sadanoumi:

With that brace on his knee, I think maybe Sadanoumi should have joined the growing number of absent rikishi. Sheesh.

Here’s Shodai, facing Tochiozan, who joined the Jungyo just the day before:

We tend to forget that Shodai is actually a good wrestler, because of his ridiculous Tachiai and his not being quite up to joi level. But he did not become sekitori just because of his beautiful eyes.

Onosho vs. Kagayaki.

Kagayaki doesn’t look too brilliant this jungyo, I have to say. I think he is in a period of transition between his former slap-happy sumo and something else, but not there yet.

Abi vs. Ichinojo:

Yeah, Abi is definitely adding some variation to his sumo. Smart of him not to engage in a belt battle with Ichinojo, though.

Finally, of course Kakuryu will be doing the honors of making the local hero suffer:

Speaking of Kakuryu, in the previous post I mentioned that Gokushindo is his tsukebito and about to “graduate” as he is becoming sekitori. His replacement is Shohoryu, who has already joined the Kakuryu team, so he is in this Jungyo:

shohoryu

As Kakuryu’s team seems to be a prep school for sekitori, we may be seeing this guy in Juryo soon. By the way, I checked, and to my disappointment, he does not wear his hula-skirt sagari during honbasho. 🙁

shohoryu-hula-skirt
(Photo from previous Jungyo)

So to compensate for the long wait, I’m giving you two helpings of Tobizaru today!

tobizaru-2
Tobizaru for dudes
tobizaru
Tobizaru for the ladies

(Did he get caught in that nipple game? 😱)

Aki 2018 Jungyo – Day 9 (Oct 11)

🌐 Location: Kasugai, Aichi
🚫 Scandal level: 0

yokozuna-face-each-other
Time to wake up, Kandayu!

The tour reaches Aichi. Many active rikishi hail from Aichi, but most of them are in Makushita and below and are not present in the Jungyo. But there is one sekitori who gets all the glory when the Jungyo hits Aichi-ken. I give you… Akiseyama!

akiseyama

Aren’t you glad that I couldn’t find any other pictures or videos of the star of the day?

With sekitori dropping like flies, this day brings some replenishment, as several sekitori catch a train to Nagoya and join the jungyo. We have Tochiozan:

tochiozan

accompanied by his heya-mate, Aoiyama:

aoiyama

And we had this guy:

Yeah, we now have a complete set of Ozeki. Nominally, we also have a complete set of Yokozuna, but we already know one of them is not in the best condition:

hakuho-stretching

Hakuho does not skip work, but he is in a bad way. You can see him limping:

But he was very diligent about his fansa:

Good bye, Yokozuna. This is the last we will see of him in this Jungyo.

Going back inside the venue, Tamawashi was having a conversation with Mitakeumi, who still seems to be fascinated with the Eagle’s nipples:

Eventually he tries to trip Tamawashi. And Tamawashi is all like “You want to trip a Mongolian wrestler? You’ll have to do better than that”.

Nishikigi was prowling the grounds, lurking, waiting for anything wearing a mawashi:

Chiyonokuni was his usual enthusiastic self, in a moshiai session with Ryuden.

But enthusiasm was not enough to win.

Since Nishikigi seemed bored, Kisenosato decided to have a sanban session with him:

Nishikigi quite comfortably manages the makikae there, and the Yokozuna does not take advantage of that to push him out of the ring. Odd. Also, he can’t defend against the makikae itself by locking his armpit.

OK, this looks more like Kisenosato.

Oops. Slippiotoshi. The yokozuna is not happy to win other than by his own power, and expresses his opinion to Nishikigi’s tush.

OK, now he’s a happy Yokozuna.

Yet another loss of balance from Nishikigi, who seems to have his ass in the stratosphere. Kisenosato gives it yet another hearty slap. At this point Nishikigi must be wishing hard he did not do so well in the previous basho, because he might actually get to meet Kisenosato and all the rest of the sanyaku in the next one.

Keiko is over. Everybody is going to get cleaned, but Kotoshogiku goes for something special:

kotoshogiku-in-onsen

It’s an onsen. In fact, this onsen:

I think that’s quite a nice way to get yourself cleaned up for the torikumi.

In the mean time we have the low ranking torikumi, and surprisingly, the only torikumi I have for the day is Arikawa’s. Arikawa, whom the fans call “Arikawa dai-sensei”, is Kisenosato’s tsukebito:

Not half-bad! Nice tawara dance.

It’s time for the Juryo dohyo-iri. And apparently, Enho changed his kesho-mawashi back to the one he received from his alma mater.

enho-changed-mawashi

My guess would be that this is in preparation for the jungyo event in Kanazawa, where that university is located (and where he comes from).

He is followed there by Wakatakakage. So where is Terutsuyoshi?

terutsuyoshi-gokushindo

Apparently, he has to touch someone, so why not Gokushindo?

Gokushindo, by the way, travels the Jungyo as one of Kakuryu’s team of tsukebito. But he is about to graduate from it, like Abi did, as he turned sekitori. The Yokozuna informed him that he will not be allowed back once he “graduated” – so stick to Juryo, pal! His replacement is Shohoryu (not Hoshoryu – Shohoryu, the guy with the hula sagari). So watch out for Shohoryu from now on.

Well, here is your Tobizaru of the day:

tobizaru

Aki 2018 Jungyo – Day 8 (Oct 10)

🌐 Location: Kofu, Yamanashi
🚫 Scandal level: 0

nobori

It’s Ryuden day! Take a look at these nobori. There is one “Kisenosato”, and all the rest are a colorful array of “Ryuden”.

Why?

Because Ryuden comes from Kofu, Yamanashi. A rikishi from the same prefecture is enough reason to celebrate. But one from the same town? And a Makuuchi wrestler at that? Let the Ryuden-fest begin!

To ease you in, let’s start with some other people in the hand-shake phase. Here is Nishikigi, who doesn’t want Teraoumi to get any of the spotlight:

nishikigi-hides-teraoumi

Teraoumi maintains his cool, and reminds Nishikigi that he is two months his sempai!

teraoumi-hides-nishikigi

(Yeah, that conversation actually took place)

Abi was goofing around. When does Abi not goof around? First he got Nishikigi’s glasses:

abi-with-nishikigi-glasses

Then he said they give him a headache. Then he got Teraoumi’s glasses:

abi-with-teraoumi-glasses

…and said he can’t see anything. And then he asked Shodai for his secret drink:

But gagged upon smelling it. Shodai told him to take a mouthful. Abi declared it tastes like sewage. Which brings up the question: how does Abi know what sewage tastes like?

In short, Abi and Nishikigi were being pests:

(But hey, at least no nipples got crushed).

Shodai, still with that drink in hand, was stopped inside the main hall for a photo. Now, if you look at Twitter photos of sekitori with fans, you may notice that they are almost never selfies. That’s another job of one’s loyal tsukebito, in this case, Asakura:

Kototsurugi, who apparently travels with the Jungyo, got Ryuden to sign one of his likenesses:

kototsurugi-gets-ryuden-autograph

Now, let’s get closer to the dohyo. And get a couple of lessons in etiquette. First, here is Yokozuna Kakuryu. First, he bows to the oyakata. Only then he stands and start accepting bows from the other sekitori:

But of course, then comes the anti-etiquette part. Tamawashi just sticks around and starts having a conversation with Terutsuyoshi, and everybody else needs to go around him to greet the Yokozuna. How rude!

Here is Endo going to greet Yokozuna Kisenosato. Then he notices someone else and bows to him, too. Who is it?

It’s Jokoryu, his university sempai.

And note also Onosho going to hand a ladle to Kisenosato. Alas, Kisenosato rejects the offering, as he is busy dancing.

On the dohyo, Ryuden gave butsukari to Shobushi. Shobushi is also a local Yamanashi boy:

So the spectators got two locals for the price of one! Other sessions on the dohyo:

Kotoeko vs. Gokushindo in moshi-ai:

Aminishiki vs. Yago:

Takarafuji vs. Kagayaki. Oops.

Meisei vs. Onosho:

Climaxing at Tochinoshin vs. Ryuden:

But of course, for a local boy, you can’t do without a lengthy kawaigari (butsukari) from a Yokozuna. Kakuryu doing the honors:

Note that part when Kakuryu signals to the spectators to applaud.

This session over, Ryuden looked like this:

Keiko over, everybody wants to shower. Actually, it’s Japan. Not just shower – ofuro (bath). And for a bath you need to go to a sento or an onsen. There is a shuttle service:

The sekitori get out of their training mawashi. Here is Goeido’s, hanging out to dry:

goeido-mawashi

Quick reminder: mawashi are never washed.

The fans love capturing Yokozuna as they come back from the bath. Here is your Kakuryu:

It’s a real hinkaku challenge, this thing. Here is Kisenosato, who is famous for coming back from the bath with his hair in a bun, which looks like a one-eared Mickey-Mouse:

In the meantime, the show goes on inside the building. The local boy, Shobushi, performs the Shokkiri, and is then called in for an interview with a local TV station:

shobushi-interviewed-after-shokkiri

There is also a drum demonstration, performed by Yobidashi Shigeo, of Kokonoe beya:

yobidashi-shigeo

Note the cool T-shirt, featuring Chiyonofuji brushing his teeth. Yeah, Shigeo has been with Kokonoe for quite a while.

Here is (a part of) the performance itself:

Time for dohyo-iri. And… you guessed it. Tamawashi is at it again:

tamawashi-abuses-shodai

Shodai gets a free dental examination. Only, the only rikishi who has an actual dentistry license is Tochinoshin. Definitely not Tamawashi.

Then the sekitori’s bouts start. Guess which one I have for you?

There’s a glimpse of Meisei-Chiyoshoma in there, but you only get to see Endo vs. Ryuden there. Endo is a good actor. He has never ever beaten a local boy, though, ain’t than funny?

This was actually Endo’s second bout of the day, as he was also pulled in to replace Daishomaru, who had some sudden health issue. Daishomaru joined two other absentees from the torikumi – Shohozan and Hakuho. Yes, this is the day Hakuho practically started his kyujo, although he still did the fansa. He did not participate in keiko nor do a dohyo-iri, according to eye witnesses. Here he is on his way back home (or rather, to the next location) at the end of the day:

hakuho-barely-walking
Not the happiest expression on Hakuho’s face

And so, everybody went home. But Ryuden was still accompanied by a TV crew till the last possible moment:

ryuden-interviewed-on-way-home

Sorry, no Tobizaru nor Enho for you today. I hope your big helping of Ryuden softens the blow.

 

Aki 2018 Jungyo – Day 7 (Oct 9)

🌐 Location: Higashiizu, Shizuoka
🚫 Scandal level: 0

venue
Heavy-duty rural atmosphere

The Jungyo tours between small towns and villages. But this time they really hit a tiny rural place with a population of about 12,000, famous mostly for its onsen and fisheries.

And the rikishi seem to have started gathering just about the same time the fishermen get up for work:

good-morning
Guys, sleepwalking is detrimental to one’s health!

The day started with the usual handshake parade.

tamawashi-shodai-kaisei
Tamawashi is up to something, and Shodai knows it.

Terutsuyoshi seems to be cultivating a little goatee:

terutsuyoshi

Inside, while low-ranking wrestlers were taking the dohyo, some sekitori were exercising around the perimeter. Here is Enho:

enho-exercises
Sleepwalking, OK. But sleep-exercising?

If you want to have the Abi Shiko, you have to be able to do the Abi splits:

abi-splits
Distance between big toes: 2km. Shuttle busses leave every half hour.

Abi was back in the torikumi this day, as was Tsurugisho.

Moving forward, the sekitori started to practice on-dohyo:

Nishikigi vs. Shohozan in Moshiai. Awaiting the winner are Sadanoumi and Ryuden:

Asanoyama vs. Tochinoshin, with Shodai on the sideline:

Asanoyama beats Tochinoshin? That’s not something you see every day.

There was also a practice bout between Ichinojo and Kaisei. The dohyo remained stable – which is remarkable for something made of polystyrene.

Here is the full Shokkiri of the day (by the Kasugano pair), taken by a very lucky fella who got a ticket in the front row:

This was followed by the Juryo dohyo-iri and Juryo bouts, and before the last three of those, Kisenosato demonstrated rope tying:

kisenosato-rope-tying

Note that stick thing stuck in the front tsukebito’s mawashi? No, it’s not a wand. This is used to adjust the “shide” – those zig-zag pieces of folded paper hanging from the Yokozuna’s rope. If any of them hangs too loosely or is bent, that stick has a flat head that helps push the straps of paper between the tight strands of the rope.

At this point of the Jungyo, all Yokozuna were still present and accounted for:

three-yokozuna

By the way, I read a post today where someone criticized Hakuho (or his team of tsukebito?) for having shide that were too short. “They used to reach all the way down to the fringe of the kesho-mawashi” he said. What do you think? I’m thinking they are about the same length as everybody else’s, only the dai-Yokozuna is rather taller than average.

I only got still photos from the Makuuchi bouts. So here is Ichinojo vs. Takakeisho:

ichinojo-take-1

What do you mean, you don’t recognize Ichinojo? He is very recognizable. His cheeks are his most prominent feature… OK… OK… Let’s try that again. Ichinojo vs. Takakeisho:

ichinojo-take-2

Ichinojo won that one.

I can give you a photo of Goeido-Kisenosato, but really, it’s from the same angle, so you may wish to skip that. Kisenosato won.

Let’s hope that the next destination sports more video-equipped phones.

tobizaru

Aki 2018 Jungyo – Day 6 (Oct 8)

🌐 Location: Minamiashigara, Kanagawa
🚫 Scandal level: 1

The day dawns on Kanagawa. People gather in for some sumo.

Abi and Tsurugisho are still off the torikumi, but Tsurugisho participates in the fansa part of the event.

I suppose it’s a rarity for both sides: there aren’t many black kids in Japan, and I’m sure the kid hasn’t seen many people Tsurugisho’s size, either.

Kagayaki lifted some weights. I mean, lifted the weight of Shonannoumi.

Shonannoumi is a local boy, but I don’t think this activity was exactly front and center.

Hakuho, as usual, was at the foot of the dohyo, exercising:

And Kisenosato… was doing his “dance”:

I still don’t know what this is, really. An attempt to stretch the scar tissue in his chest?

Tochinoshin, being Tochinoshin, was on the dohyo, giving some love to Shodai:

I’m not sure the kawaigari was Shodai’s biggest torture this day, though. Here is a very suspicious game some of the rikishi invented. Do rock-paper-scissors. The loser gets one of his nipples busted. Serious ouch. The first victim is Yutakayama.

First, I would think this is the last game Kagayaki would want to get involved in. Second, from the way they arrange a barrier of rikishi when they do the deed, I think they know they are over the line.

Next victim is Shodai:

Now Yutakayama is doing the barrier thing – but that doesn’t stop him from signing an autograph while Shodai learns the meaning of pain.

In the next exchange, Yutakayama has a very worried face and very defensive stance. I wonder how many of those he lost. But this time, the head criminal, Tamawashi, is the one who loses. And he doesn’t take that very well.

Eventually, though, he straightens up and growls at Shodai: “Do it. Do it already!”, and Yutakayama turns around and guards the scene.

Mmm… I wouldn’t recommend showing any of this to your kindergarten kids. They may get ideas.

Rikishi abuse didn’t end at the dohyo-iri, though. Here is Ryuden pinning Arikawa to the wall. The other day I thought that Arikawa was Shohozan’s tsukebito, but as it turns out, he is Kisenosato’s. Hence the white gloves.

This must be right after or right before Kisenosato’s dohyo-iri. Ryuden is already in his fighting mawashi as his torikumi was the second. Kagayaki seems to be still in his kesho-mawashi (he is Kisenosato’s tachimochi).

The only bout I have is this rather low-quality video of Onosho vs. Shohozan.

The first time I watched it I thought I was watching a bit of shokkiri. Only after the announcer calls the kimarite and says it’s Onosho’s win that I became somewhat convinced that this was an actual match.

Here is your Tobizaru.

Tobizaru in a bona-fide sumo moment on the dohyo.