During Saturday, the sumo worlds, attention was once again focused on Tokyo’s Kokugikan for the NHK charity event. This is a yearly single day program that features elements of Jungyo, at least one rikishi interview, demonstration matches, dohyo-iri and lots of celebrity appearances with famous rikishi.
There was an interview with Tochinoshin, and the people attending were treated to photos of his wife and child in Georgia. As expected, Ikioi treated everyone to his truly talented singing voice, and even Mitakeumi had a song with idol band WaaSuta.
Reports are that the event was sold out, and parts of it will be shown in Japan on NHK-G next weekend. Sadly for us sumo fans outside of Japan, we have to resort to finding parts of it on YouTube.
Saturday in Tokyo, the best and brightest of the sumo world assembled for a one day charity tournament sponsored and conducted by NHK. Although it happened today, it won’t be broadcast until next weekend. As with the prior one-day knockout tournament, the Kokugikan was completely sold out.
All 4 Yokozuna participated, including dohyo-iri. This is a big deal because this is the first time that Harumafuji has made a public appearance since his injury mid-way through the Hatsu basho in January. He looked a bit tender, but it seems clear he is eager to get back on clay and return to sumo. Tachiai sincerely hope he is well and recovered, as stated earlier, Harumafuji has an important role to play in culling the herd for the upcoming tournaments. Although he is prone to donating kinboshi, his offense oriented style of sumo is unparalleled for overwhelming up and coming rikishi.
It’s clear from this, and other recent events that Japan has gone absolutely bonkers over Kisenosato and through extension sumo. Readers may have noticed reduced coverage, which is typical for periods outside of tournaments, but I dearly did not want tachiai to become the “Kisenosato Network”. Frankly the bulk of everything in the Japanese sumo press is all things Kisenosato. I am delighted to know he is enjoying his Yokozuna status, but it’s (at least for now) over the top. Today they were discussing why he didn’t visit his parent’s house on a trip to his home prefecture of Ibaraki.
Some video has snuck out prior to next week’s broadcast, including the three Mongolian Yokozuna singing. I will state that Kakuryu really can sing! We will endeavor to bring you full coverage once the video is broadcast.