Here we are again, nearing the half-way line, many rikishi have completed their fourth match in the lower divisions, and some of them even collected their kachi-koshi or make-koshi already.Continue reading
Aki Day 5 – Bouts from the lower divisions
It’s another hot day in the lower divisions, with many of the rikishi who competed yesterday competing again today. Let’s take a look.Continue reading
Aki Day 3 – Bouts from the lower divisions
No typhoon today, and at 8:40 the third day opened with some mae-zumo matches. Maezumo is very short this time around, as only one new recruit joined this basho (another recruit was checked out, but being Mongolian, and requiring a visa, he will only be able to do his maezumo next basho). The other two are returning rikishi. One is Okuniasahi, from Nakagawa beya, who has been kyujo for five basho. The other is Asahimaru from Tomozuna beya, who only did his original maezumo in Haru 2019, and was kyujo last basho. His hair has not even grown yet.
The formidable new guy has a shikona already, “Yutakanami”. He belongs to Tatsunami beya. He has some high school sumo experience, but he wasn’t recruited straight out of high school. He actually worked in the car industry for four months (“I love cars”) before quitting and switching to the one profession in Japan that does not allow him to drive a car under any circumstances.
Skipping the lowest division here. Now, if you are missing Terunofuji, since he only wrestles 7 days of the 15, why not try Fujinoteru, the off-brand replacement from Jonidan?
Fujinoteru belongs to Onoe beya. Here he attacks from the right, against Kirimaru from Michinoku beya (the heya with the foggy shikona tradition):
Well, although clearly Fujinoteru is not Terunofuji, he does get a win here against the somewhat elderly Kirimaru.
Next we have the other of the Tatsunami mystery crew-cut rikishi, Yukiamami. Here he is on the right, in his short-hair glory, facing Asadoji from Takasago beya:
This is his second win in two matches, and like Roman, his shorn heya-mate, he seems to have quite a good run since returning from the mystery kyujo.
Since we are missing Musashikuni, I thought I’ll give you Shoji, his heya-mate, instead. On the left, he faces Hibikiryu from Sakaigawa beya. Both are 1-0 coming into the match.
Alas, the Musashigawa man does not look too good. What’s with that Tachiai? This was zombie sumo. Tsukiotoshi, Hibikiryu wins.
The pearl of the day was the next bout, which was posted in video by everybody who is anybody. On the left we have Nakaishi, from Nishonoseki beya. On the right, yet another Musashigawa man, Kaishu. Feast your eyes:
This kimarite is called “mitokorozeme”. That means “Attack in three places”. He grabs one leg, trips the other, and pushes the chest with his head. Mainoumi was known for this rare one.
Roga, who suffered an initial loss, is here on the right, facing Kotoseigo (Sadogatake beya).
The Mongolian with the new chon-mage wins and balances his score to 1-1.
Another Mongolian we have already seen, Kyokusoten, faces Kotokuzan from Arashio beya. It’s not the same “Koto” as the Sadogatake “Kotos”. Kotokuzan nearly made it to Juryo a few basho ago, and his elderly stablemaster hoped he would become one by the time he retires (which is March 2020). But Kotokuzan somehow lost his edge, and dropped back to the Makushita ranks from which promotion is unlikely. So it’s Kyokusoten on the left, and Kotokuzan on the right.
Kyokusoten looks more Mongolian than usual… and indeed, the kimarite is uwatenage.
We now have Naya, who blew it on Day 1, trying to even back his score. However, he is facing Daiseido, from Kise beya, who is not to be taken lightly.
“I just can’t hit properly”, says prince Naya in an interview to the press. He has been touted as Yokozuna material, and I just can’t see it. I feel perhaps he made a mistake in joining his Grandfather’s former, declining heya.
Up we go to meet our Hungarian of the day. Well, our Hungarian of every day, since he is the only one around. Masutoo, on the left, faces Chiyootori on the right. This is a typical top Makushita match-up.
Chiyomaru informed us in an interview at Abema TV, that his little brother is quite genki and ready to return to silk mawashi status. I hope Masutoo rallies, though. It would be nice to see him enjoy some money and privileges before he retires.
Next up is Kototebakari, the man on a mission, facing yet another former sekitori from Kokonoe, Chiyonoo. Kototebakari is on the left, Chiyonoo, on the right:
The gunbai goes to Kototebakari, but a monoii is called, a consultation ensues, and the gunbai is reversed. Kototebakari apparently touched down first. I think perhaps Chiyonoo still had a toe inside at that point, but that makes it his win either way. Mr. Handscales is now 1-1, while Chiyonoo is 2-0.
Finally, we have Wakamotoharu, the middle Onami brother, facing Akua/Aqua from Tatsunami beya. These two are both eager to slip back into Juryo and the good life.
Wakamotoharu introduces Akua to some clay, and improves to 2-0.
I’ll spare you the hospital ward scene that was Seiro vs. Ikioi. Ikioi lost, but Seiro was also unable to bend his knee and had his butt up in the sky. It was a sorry bout.
Instead, I’ll direct your attention to Yago vs. Kiribayama. Yago, on the left, does a great defensive work here, while Kiribayama is throwing the kitchen sink at his legs.
Eventually Kiribayama realizes that Yago has a good lateral balance. So he moves sideways, and pulls. Uwatedashinage.
Aki Day 1 – Bouts from the lower divisions
Yay, Aki basho is finally here! Here are some of the bouts that took place in the lower divisions on day 1.
We can’t start a basho or start the day without the Knight of the Woeful Countenance, Hattorizakura, here attacking, ahem, from the right, while his tiny opponent, Chiyotsurugi, attacks from the left:
Wow, he actually resists for a long while for Hattorizakura. Chiyotsurugi must be thinking “I was told it would be easier!”.
If you noticed in the background, a tall young man coming in and not exactly knowing what to do with himself and where to sit, that’s Senho, Hakuho’s latest recruit. And boy, is he green. He didn’t know when to mount the dohyo, and Kaio, er, Asakayama oyakata, had to explain it to him.
His bout is up next. Here we see him on the left side, and his tiny opponent, Urutora from Shikihide beya, is not exactly the cream of Jonokuchi. But…
Urutora wins by ashitori. The first “Ho” of the day suffers the same fate as the last “Ho” of the day.
Hakkaku’s prince charming, Kitanowaka (left), faces Shimomura, from Sakaigawa beya.
Round and round and round he goes, where he lands, nobody knows. Uwatenage, Kitanowaka (“The youngster of the North”) wins.
We have several bouts from Sandanme. First and foremost, Wakaichiro, here on the left, facing Fujitaisei from Fujishima beya:
Wakaichiro barely stops to blink.
Next we have some former sekitori who are looking for their way back up. First, Homarefuji, who was one of the proud lineup at Isegahama back in the day, starting from the left, facing Kasugakuni from Nakagawa beya.
Kasugakuni is out of his league against the veteran.
Then we have Amakaze, from Oguruma beya. For once, he is facing a rival bigger than he is, Dewanojo, whom we met during Jungyo as Mitakeumi’s tsukebito. He is about the same weight as Ichinojo. Amakaze on the left, Dewanojo on the right.
He may be Ichinojo-sized, but he is not Ichinojo-skilled. Amakaze deals with the giant without problem.
We start relatively low, with a face we haven’t seen on the dohyo in a long time: Chiyonokuni! On the left we have Ayanoumi from Yamahibiki beya.
Chiyonokuni’s mobility may not be Makuuchi-level, but it certainly suffices for Ayanoumi, who gets hatakikomied.
Shiraishi from Tamanoi beya, a strong man whom I didn’t quite like last basho, because he was doing too many henkas and really had an annoying match with Terunofuji, faces Okinofuji from Hakkaku beya (right):
This is more what I expect from an up-and-comer. That was proper windmill tsuppari.
Further up the Makushita chart, blue-blooded Naya, on the left, faces experienced Toyohibiki:
…and once again fails to deliver on all the hype that has been heaped upon him. Toyohibiki wins by tsukiotoshi.
Midorifuji (left) and Kototebakari (right) are right at the doorstep to heaven.
Kototebakari is a man on a mission. Isegahama’s deputy pixie can’t really do much here.
Finally, the last bout of Makushita, and who is this in a black cotton mawashi and a modest chon-mage? Oh dear, it’s Arawashi. How many of you failed to notice that Arawashi fell out of the salaried ranks? Here on the right, he faces Akua/Aqua from Tatsunami beya.
Whoa. This bout had a monoii, but it went gunbai-dori. That is, the decision was held, and it’s Akua’s win.
Makushita rikishi Wakamotoharu had a bout in Juryo today, and got to wear an oicho-mage again briefly. He is on the left, with fresh Juryo promotee Kaisho on the right:
Wakamotoharu is determined not to miss out on the opportunity to return to Juryo his rank gives him. He wins by yoritaoshi.
In a bout between two single-kanji, four-syllabled rikishi, Irodori, who is on his second stint in Juryo, on the left, faces Ikioi, who is trying to stay in Juryo:
This is the genkiest I have seen Ikioi in a while. He wins by tsukidashi.