Jungyo Newsreel – October 17th


🌐 Location: Takayama

takanohana-meisei
Takanohana still in professor mode, this time with Meisei

Today the Jungyo arrived at Takayama after a day’s hiatus the rikishi spent quietly in Nagoya. So quietly, that there was nothing in the news yesterday, and barely anything today…

Musubi of the day

So far there seemed to be a gentlemen’s agreement between the Yokozuna. Kakuryu and Kisenosato, while they were at it, basically split the spoils between them. But with Hakuho back, the excited Kisenosato informed the press that he is going to take the bouts seriously now until the end of the tournament.

I kind of raised an eyebrow, and wondered whether Hakuho will decide, in return, to just wipe Kisenosato off the Dohyo, or still let him have 50/50. But after Hakuho’s win on the 14th, Kisenosato actually won the next two bouts. BTW, if you have missed it, I edited in the musubi for the 15th.

While that one could be interpreted as Hakuho letting Kisenosato have one on the house, today’s musubi was quite a protracted affair:

So it seems that Kisenosato really is taking this seriously. But what’s up with Hakuho?

Earlier in the day he was practicing his Tachiai. Take a look at this. Is he favoring a leg?

In the penultimate bout, Kakuryu beat Goeido again.

Here is a video from Nagoya TV, with a summary of the day, including some wanpaku keiko (practice with kids), some Shokkiri, and a bit of the musubi from a different angle:

This just in: Goeido vows to clear his honor in Kyushu

“If I forget what happened, it will all come to nothing. I have to use the painful feeling as a springboard for a comeback”, said the Ozeki who let the yusho slip between his fingers in the Aki basho.

goeido-yago-butsukari

Today he took up his high-school kohai (lower class student) Yago for a round of butsukari-geiko. “He uses only his upper body, so I told him to use his knees”, said the Ozeki.

(From Sponichi)

More things you only see in the Jungyo

And today, let’s discuss workouts. Specifically, strength training. Back home, the rikishi have access to proper gyms with all kinds of weight machines. But when you go on the road, you can’t take a gym with you. So we get to see a lot of rubber tubes, rubber bands and hand weights.

And then, of course, there is the water bag:

water-bag
C’mon, Takekaze, you can do better than that. Fill ‘er up!

But what if you want to pump something that weighs more than 20kg? Something more in the area of 100kg and above? Turns out that there are plenty of weights to lift around the shitaku-beya:

kotoshogiku-weightlifting

Yep, that’s Kotoshogiku doing squats shouldering 113kg Kotodairyu.

It’s better that my speculations as to how he practices his hip-pumps remain unwritten.

Kyushu schedule published

This is not really Jungyo-related, but there’s a shortage of sumo news… so…

October 29th Rikishi arrive in Fukuoka
October 30th Banzuke announcement
October 31st Rikishi convention
November 1st Medical exams of new rikishi
November 2nd Yokozuna dohyo-iri at Sumiyoshi shrine
November 10th Torikumi meeting
November 11th Dedication of the dohyo
November 12th Shonichi (Tournament Day 1)
November 26th Senshuraku (Tournament Day 15)
November 29th Banzuke meeting for Hatsu

 

Jungyo Newsreel – October 15


🌐 Location: Kyoto

Hakuho ❤️ Asanoyama

Hakuho's first butsukari with Asanoyama
Ah, true love

After the sekitori were done with their moshi-ai geiko today, Asanoyama was headed down to the locker room, when he was called back by Hakuho: “You’re a Makuuchi freshman. And you got a prize in the last basho. Come over here for some butsukari“.

Asanoyama, of course, did not refuse. “Once you get called, all you can do is respond with all you have”, he enthused.

The enthusiasm soon waned as he was thrown to the ground time and time again. Hakuho dedicated 5 minutes to the love-making, and he doesn’t do things by halves. “It felt a lot longer than 5 minutes” said Asanoyama later to the press.

Here’s a glimpse:

After he released (what remained of) the Kanto-sho winner, accompanied by advice to avoid pulling back his backside when he pushes, Hakuho said about the 189cm, 165kg mostly yotsu-zumo freshman: “He is much like me: has softness, weight and strength. At last such a youngster has come along. One must nurture him and lend him a hand up. They say that he has come too far too fast, but if, once he hits a wall, he has the ability to put his feelings in it, he will be able to extend his success further”.

So far in this Jungyo, Asanoyama was called in by three Yokozuna: Kisenosato for sanban first (and disciplinary butsukari two days ago), Kakuryu for sanban, and now Hakuho for butsukari. I suppose if Harumafuji ever gets to do actual keiko, he won’t  want to be the only Yokozuna not to make out with the lovely new Maegashira. It only remains to be seen if Asanoyama can show the same kind of motivation Onosho has shown, because Onosho really made the best of the similar expert training he had in the previous jungyo, enough to get himself to sanyaku.

Kyoto is a special place

Kyoto is different from most cities in Japan (for one, it has streets with names!). And the Jungyo day in Kyoto was special. Instead of the usual torikumi, the non-sekitori divisions competed in elimination format. The three winners got prizes:

kyoto-winners

The winners:

  • Jonidan: Hokutoshin (Hakkaku beya)
  • Sandanme: Imafuji (Nishonoseki beya)
  • Makushita: Takagenji (Takanohana beya)

Wait, what happened to Enho?

And yes, if you’re into these things, that’s an actual Maiko in full regalia in the foreground, and she was not the only one observed there. I find this very exciting. To draw a parallel, it’s like Sekitori coming to watch a Geisha performance wearing their Kesho-mawashi. Maiko do not dress like that when they are off duty.

The Juryo and Makuuchi parts of the event went in the usual style. In the penultimate bout, Kakuryu beat Goeido by yorikiri, while Kisenosato beat Hakuho by oshi-dashi.

kisenosato-hakuho-oshidashi

Edit: Got the musubi!

Things you can only see in the Jungyo

We’ve seen a glimpse of this here in the previous Jungyo, but I can assure you that it’s a very common occurrence. Though not all babies get to have their own tsuna:

Yokozuna + Baby Dohyo Iri

Note that the ceremony also includes touching the baby to the sacred ground three times, tegatana style.

And this is what the shitaku-beya looks like during the jungyo. That is, the sumo equivalent of the “locker room” or “green room”.

shitaku-beya

Those big trunks are what each sekitori receives together with his kesho-mawashi.

Jungyo Newsreel – October 14th


🌐 Location: Kanazawa

Four Of A Kind
K♣️ • K♥️ • K♠️ • K♦️

Before going into today’s stories, here is one that still belongs to Nagano, but was published very early today.

Takanohana performs a miracle

Wait, Takanohana? Didn’t he retire ages ago, and open his own stable?

Yes. Takanohana Oyakata is currently the head of the Jungyo department in the Kyokai. And he spends the days of the Jungyo sitting on one side of the dohyo, and receiving bows from wrestlers, together with his second-in-command, Tamanoi oyakata.

Yesterday, after the Asanoyama affair, Yokozuna Kisenosato proceeded to do sanban with Shodai, taking him for 11 bouts, when the former Dai-Yokozuna decided that being a Yokozuna does not mean that you can’t get an education.

He started by criticizing Kisenosato’s bowed-back, arms-in Shikiri. That same Shikiri the Yokozuna said he was practicing when he picked up his wooden sword the other day. Adding gestures to words, Takanohana invoked previous generations of his own family as well as Kisenosato’s own previous shisho, telling him that they both performed a wide, commanding shikiri.

Takanohana teaching Kisenosato
Listen kid, this is how a real Yokozuna does it!

The relative he invoked was, in fact, the first Wakanohana, also known as “The Demon of The Dohyo”.

But the coaching didn’t end with just an improved shikiri posture. Takanohana proceeded to shower the lone Japanese Yokozuna with advice for seven of the 11 bouts. In response to this guidance, Kisenosato’s signature left ottsuke, which has been AWOL since his injury, made a reappearance!

Kisenosato practicing left Ottsuke

And if that’s not a miracle, I don’t know what is.

(Based on article in Sanspo)

The return of the King

Hakuho joined the jungyo today, as you could see in the opening photo. He concentrated mostly on doing dohyo-side workouts:

Heh. Even his nail-gazing is more impressive than Kisenosato’s. 🙂

He didn’t do any san-ban, but he did offer butsukari to Kagayaki. Today it was Kagayaki’s turn in the spotlight, as he hails from Ishikawa prefecture. So like Mitakeumi yesterday, he got various honors, including having his oicho done in public, and of course, butsukari with Hakuho is definitely an honor (if a painful one):

hakuho-butsukari-kagayaki

The crowd cheered for the local. Following that first training with a sekitori since his kyujo he remarked: “Kagayaki was hitting me as hard as he could, being on his home turf. It was a good feeling”. Following the butsukari, his chest remained red (as can be seen in the four Yokozuna picture above!), and he remarked: “I have been undergoing rehabilitation and preparing my body for this sort of exertion as much as the circumstances allowed. The red spot? That’s a man’s decoration.”

The musubi-no-ichiban was Hakuho vs. Kisenosato. “Am I the only Yokozuna who has not engaged with him yet?” he asked. In the Haru basho, when Kisenosato made his debut as a Yokozuna, Hakuho was kyujo, then Kisenosato was kyujo, and then both of them.

hakuho-kisenosato

The result, unsurprisingly, was Hakuho winning by uwatenage. And as you can see in this picture, this was despite Kisenosato prevailing in the grip war.

Enho bathes in adoration

As promised, there was another arrival from Miyagino beya – Hakuho’s uchi-deshi and three zensho-yusho winner, Enho, who also hails from Kanazawa. And he found himself the center of attention, surrounded by clicking phones from every side.

The Sandanme rikishi did morning keiko with all the Makushita-and-below rikishi, but admitted he was too nervous “what with all the sekitori around to bow to”. The sekitori, however, were determined to put him in the limelight, and he was invited to butsukari by both komusubi Tamawashi, and our favorite Uncle Sumo:

enho-aminishiki
Enho with a surprisingly bandage-free Aminishiki

This is a 17 year age gap butsukari that you see here. What was Aminishiki doing when he was Enho’s age? Probably offering his chest to a young Ama…

As the sekitori started their own training, Enho remained and worked out below the dohyo. Yoshikaze took notice of him and said “Right now I’m at my prime. I’d really like to take you on, so hurry up and get yourself advanced.” Enho is working with Hakuho on improving his physique, but Yoshikaze told him “don’t put on too much weight. Your ideal should probably be 105kg”.

Enho later commented: “Until last year, I was just a spectator in Jungyo events. Now I find myself as a participant! I’m glad I could do it in such a good form” (referring to his 21 consecutive wins).

And of course, he did his torikumi in his usual style:

Jungyo Newsreel – October 13th


🌐 Location: Nagano

Kisenosato reprimands youngsters, disciplines Asanoyama

This story actually starts yesterday, at Ichinomiya. Kisenosato came to the stadium in the morning with the intention of engaging Asanoyama in some practice, and was dismayed to find only six sekitori around the dohyo – all of them veterans. None of the young talents (Onosho, Takakeisho, Asanoyama etc.) were to be seen.

The Yokozuna liked this not at all, and made his opinions clear to the press: “Keiko is part of their job. When I was young, I never missed keiko. If you want to become strong, you have to be diligent. And there are spectators present who came today especially to see Asanoyama, the freshman who won ten bouts in the Aki Basho. The Yokozuna and Ozeki are present, but where are the young sekitori?”

The message apparently got through and today at Nagano the mean age around the dohyo dropped significantly. But Kisenosato didn’t let it go at that.

kisenosato-asanoyama-butsukari

The Yokozuna summoned Asanoyama to a session of disciplinary butsukari, which extended to five minutes of tough TLC, apparently accompanied by some talking-to. “The words were rough, too”, said Kisenosato. “Do I have expectations of him? Yes, though saying this to someone who doesn’t give a hoot is worthless.”

Edit: I originally translated from this article in Sponichi, but now they published another version, which makes the statements clearer. Bakanofuji’s translation of Kisenosato’s statement about Takakeisho and Onosho in the comments makes sense now that it is in the context of Hakuho’s return rather than the message to Asanoyama.

Mitakeumi welcomed as a hero on his home turf

Today was Mitakeumi’s day. He hails from Nagano prefecture, and the Jungyo today comes two years after the previous visit. The local police honored him (and Onosho, I have no idea why, as he comes from Aomori) as “police chief for a day”, which mainly consisted of Mitakeumi keeping his face straight, warning the elderly not to fall victim to phone solicitations.

Sumo-wise, almost 7000 people gathered in the stadium to see the local hero, and during the customary handshake part of the day, a long line formed waiting for Mitakeumi to shake their hand. On the dohyo, the sekiwake took some low-rankers for butsukari, and put some extra effort into the wanpaku-keiko goofiness. He even got his oicho-mage done in front of the spectators:

mitakeumi-oicho

He finished up with a torikumi vs. Goeido, ending with a tsuridashi in favor of the local celebrity, to the delight of the spectators. View it all here:

(This is taken from NHK)

“I’m glad I could come back here as sanyaku”, said the sekiwake.

Torikumi of the day

Lots of torikumi today! Thank you, sumo lovers of Nagano!

For Taka-twin lovers, let’s start with Takayoshitoshi vs. Terao:

And complete that with Takagenji vs. Yago.

Uch, Yago should not have tried that grip change. Very clumsy.

Edit: The YouTube videos were removed by their owner, so I can only describe the Kotoyuki vs. Asanoyama bout: Kotoyuki hoots, knocks the air out of Asanoyama twice, then when Asanoyama goes low and tries to headbutt his chest, he sidesteps. Asanoyama recovers and turns around, but Kotoyuki adds a rapid tsuppari and sends Asanoyama out by oshidashi.

The Takarafuji-Chiyoshoma starts with Chiyoshoma gaining a slight advantage. Takarafuji backs down, but gets a good grip, picks up Chiyoshoma and throws him off the dohyo and onto poor Nishikigi. This is followed by a bout between Ishiura and Chiyonokuni, in which Ishiura does the most flagrant Henka in the world, and then you get this:

Chiyonokuni flies out and… falls on Nishikigi on the sidelines. End of edit.

Poor, poor Nishikigi! And poor granny behind Nishikigi! Well, now we know why he puts his glasses somewhere safe and far away from the dohyo every time. 🙂

Actually, he didn’t suffer too much from that. In fact, it seems that he did two Torikumi today and won both (first one not really well filmed):

The one vs. Ichinojo (right after the granny incident):

As far as I understand, he did this one while covering for Arawashi. No word on what happened to Arawashi, though.

If I get a video of the musubi-no-ichiban I’ll be sure to post it. The result was yori-kiri for Kakuryu (vs. Kisenosato, obviously).

Tomorrow Hakuho is back, so maybe there will be some variation in the musubi from now on!

Short Jungyo Newsreel – October 12th


🌐 Location: Ichinomiya

Once again there is barely anything to be found in any media newssites, so my apologies for the meager portion of the day:

Kisenosato trains with Shodai

Takes Shodai for an 11-bout san-ban. Wins all of them. Here is an easy one:

Here is one that’s blurry, but the bout is a little more interesting:

Musubi results

With Harumafuji not participating, the musubi is Kakuryu-Kisenosato each and every day.

Yesterday Kakuryu won.

The following video is from Nagoya TV. It’s a summary of today’s Jungyo day, including some wanpaku keiko (sekitori playing around with kids), Shokkiri, Yokozuna dohyo-iri, and finally, today’s Musubi. Kisenosato wins, but still one-handed.

Jungyo Newsreel – October 11


🌐 Location: Hamamatsu

After a short break in which the rikishi went back from Ibaraki to Tokyo, they got on their buses again and traveled back to Shizuoka prefecture, venturing further than before, south to Hamamatsu. By now, even Aminishiki is gently complaining in his blog about the busy schedule.

That is, all got on buses but the Yokozuna, who instead took the Tokaido shinkansen along with their respective retinues, straight to Hamamatsu. It’s good to be the King.

It’s actually rare for all participating Yokozuna to travel together, as usually each makes his own arrangements (or has them made for him). This time they all had a reception to attend, and therefore traveled together.

Let’s see what they have been up to since finishing with their non-sumo obligations:

Kisenosato gives Daieisho a nosebleed

daieisho-bleedingKisenosato once again engaged Daieisho in san-ban. They did 10 bouts, of which Kisenosato won 8 and lost 2. And Daieisho, as you can see, also lost a bit of blood.

Sponichi reports that Kisenosato was in good form, used his left arm, and entertained the viewers with excellent mobility. Me? I’ll believe that when I see it. Unfortunately, it seems that no obasan was kind enough to record any of the events. If I see any video, I’ll be sure to edit it in later on.

Kakuryu practices with Asanoyama

kakuryu-asanoyama

Having been dumped by Kisenosato in favor of Daieisho, Asanoyama has been batting his pretty eyelashes at Kakuryu. Apparently Kakuryu couldn’t resist much longer, and offered him some Yokozuna love. That is, a sanban. I suppose Asanoyama’s tachiai is better than Shodai’s.

Harumafuji gives Ichinojo personal tutoring

Harumafuji, in addition to all the other responsibilities he seems to enjoy accepting, has taken it upon himself to give sumo lessons to anybody around the dohyo who is willing to listen. In the Natsu jungyo, he taught Goeido his arm and shoulders workout routine. In this Jungyo, at Chikusei, he picked Meisei and demonstrated waza to him (seemed to be ashitori), patiently placing Meisei’s hands on his own person to clarify the points. Today he took up Ichinojo.

ichinojo-harumafuji-lesson

While the other sekitori were busy with moshi-ai geiko (winner picks next opponent), the Yokozuna spent about half an hour making Ichinojo do suri-ashi repeatedly, and at the same time physically corrected his technique, such as the use of his left arm. “It was a tachiai practice. I just taught him what I know. But whether he’ll diligently ingest this or not is up to him,” said Harumafuji.

Ichinojo himself was dutifully thankful, and noted that it has been a long time since he received guidance from the Yokozuna. “If I can get this down pat, I’ll have confidence facing the next basho”, he added. The Yokozuna remarked: “That depends on him”.

Ichinojo himself paid it forward, picking Yago for butsukari:

ichinojo-butsukari-yago

Now, this makes a lot more sense than Nishikigi offering his chest to Yago. This is a butsukari whose video I’d love to find. I’m sure when those two bodies clashed, seismographs around Shizuoka went into the red.

Terunofuji achieves pole position in race for Darwin Award

terunofuji-leaning-on-shunba
Terunofuji, the knee disaster personified, announced today that he will… oy… be joining the… oy… Jungyo as of October 19th, when it stops at Kashiba in Nara. Sorry, it’s really painful for me to type this. Oy.

Reminder: last time the fallen Ozeki prematurely returned to action, it ended up as you see on the left. And he just refuses to learn. I wonder how much more of this Shunba can take.

A less painful addition to the Jungyo occured today, as the recovering Yutakayama joined forces with the rest of the Makuuchi.

Short Jungyo Newsreel – October 9th


🌐 Location: Chikusei

Yes, it’s already Monday, and you’d expect the media to come up with some real beef to feed us after a dry weekend, but no. The only article on Nikkan sports, for example, is about… Aminishiki caught reading a book! A book! I’m sure there is a rule against that somewhere…

Aminishiki Reading A Book

So today, like yesterday, we’ll settle for a short summary. But let’s start with a little tidbit that escaped me a couple of days ago:

New Shokkiri performer: Baraki

shokkiri-duo
Shokkiri duo: Akua (left), Baraki (right)

Baraki, who definitely has the right looks for Shokkiri, with a short stature (164cm) and a comical face, joins veteran Shokkiri man Akua to perform the traditional, but not-so-serious duties in this Jungyo.

Three Yokozuna exercise outdoors

After the regular asa-geiko, all three Yokozuna opted to exercise outdoors. Harumafuji performed shiko and mostly exercised his (already well-developed) smile muscles. Still no dohyo practices or torikumi. Still cites fatigue.

Kisenosato, who took a 9-bout sanban with Daieisho, opted for some fundamental exercises with his tsukebito for half an hour in the sun.

Kakuryu opted for nearly 40 minutes of walking around. “I drew power from the sun”, he said.

Nishikigi-Yago butsukari

Nishikigi offered his chest to Yago, but this was a rather short affair, as the muscular and bulky Juryo man easily pushed the medium-sized Maegashira across the dohyo.

Today’s musubi

Kisenosato can’t really lose in Ibaraki, can he?

Another angle: