🌐 Location: Toyota, Aichi
🚫 Scandal level: 0
The city of Toyota is mostly known for the headquarters of a certain motor company. But if we are in Toyota, we are in Aichi prefecture again. And if we are in Aichi prefecture again, then the star of the day is once again…
OK, it’s enough that Akiseyama looks inelegant in a mawashi. But that sash is certainly not doing him any favors. You see, in each event there are a few rikishi – usually the local stars if any, but others if not – stand in a corner dedicated to the prevention of violence wearing those sashes and shaking hands with the fans. The rest of the rikishi don’t wear a sash, just their practice mawashi.
But anyway, somebody designed these sashes with a normal-sized Japanese person in mind. So it doesn’t really work well for rikishi.
I mean, someone the size of Wakatakakage could look half-way decent in it.
But Gagamaru just had to give up.
Outside the venue, young Yobidashi Shigejiro from Kokonoe beya, who is a Jonidan Yobidashi, was doing the drumming duty for the day. But for some reason, there is a whole Yobidashi conference around him:
What is this all about? I can’t say for sure, but take a look at the official photo:
Oh, a young Yobidashi in a traditional seiza posture (ouch, I can’t sit seiza for more than 30 seconds!), doing the fine traditional duty of… wait a second… is that his smartphone?
That may or may not be the reason for the rather shocked expression of the high-ranking yobidashi behind him in the first photo.
I don’t think he got too badly disciplined for this, though. In fact, he was relieved from duty for a while to have a drink of water, by no other than the san-yaku yobidashi Shiro.
Or maybe Shiro just decided that he, too, wants to watch a movie while drumming.
Going back inside the venue, let’s move along the walls and see who’s doing what.
Takekaze and Okinoumi working out:
I wouldn’t be surprised if that rubber strap with the convenient handles actually belongs to Takekaze. He’s been going around with all sorts of portable workout devices which I think are provided by a sponsor.
Remember I talked about Chiyonokuni’s splits? Well, judge for youself:
Aminishiki, rather than practicing sumo, was practicing his future oyakata skills.
Looks like he is explaining something about a maemitsu grip.
I keep showing goofy pictures of Abi. But the boy is pretty serious when it comes to customer service:
Or maybe he just hasn’t woken up yet.
Kakuryu was doing some push-ups at the side of the dohyo:
While his tsukebito, Gokushindo, was engaged in a battle of Yokozuna tsukebito off on the tarp:
Gokushindo was always at it with Arikawa this day:
極芯道さんとわちゃわちゃしていた大先生 ②— GAMACHI (@gamatink15) October 14, 2018
Wait, these two were spitting at each other?
Speaking of Arikawa, remember that strange Kise Dance? The Yokozuna does that every day. There are miles of footage on Twitter of that puzzling little exercise. But take a look at this one:
— 猫ちゃん (@occhipaisen) October 13, 2018
Arikawa is quantum-entangled with Kisenosato? Or… is he making fun of the Yokozuna behind his back? Chiyonokuni must have given him a significant look as he passed there, because Arikawa hurriedly stops.
Here is a smiling Ichinojo I just couldn’t let pass:
And speaking of smiles, this photo is from the Chiganoura Twitter account. They had somebody take picture of their Jungyo participants this day – on duty, off duty. I think they weren’t quite prepared for the stir this photo (and the others that accompanied it) will cause:
This got replies such as “Takakeisho can smile? I can’t believe it!”, “Chiganoura oyakata, you’re a magician!”, “Wow, this changes my whole perception of Takakeisho”, and so on. It’s not as if Takakeisho never smiled in Jungyo, but it’s a kind of thing you usually only see in unofficial photos.
But Chiganoura seems to be a heya of smiles. This is a picture of Takanosho:
Takanosho’s nickname is “Onigiri-kun”. Fans claim he looks like an onigiri:
…only with a smile. Some fan gave him that figure of “Omusubi-man”. “Omusubi” is another name for “onigiri”. And yes, there are some similarities, aren’t there? 🙂
On the dohyo, Tochiozan, who started this Jungyo kyujo, joined it a couple of days before, and has been working hard since:
But if you take a look at his lower body, it seems like maybe he should have stayed off the dohyo for a while longer:
I guess that’s what happens when your oyakata is the Jungyo master.
Now let’s take a look at some of the on-dohyo action:
Here’s Chiyonoumi vs. Gokushindo:
See, that’s why I wrote above that Gokushindo vs. Arikawa is just not fair. Gokushindo is very serious and beats Juryo rivals left and right. He is literally out of Arikawa’s league.
Chiyotairyu vs. Aoiyama:
Given Aoiyama’s knee situation, he’s pretty mobile.
Kagayaki vs. Asanoyama:
Kagayaki seems to have a rather frustrating Jungyo.
Going off the dohyo again and outside, there is a new yumi-tori performer in training!
This is Awajiumi from Tagonoura beya. He is Kisenosato’s tsukebito. Remember the guy with the little wand-like stick standing in front of Kisenosato in the rope tying demonstration? That’s the guy.
This seems to be significant. In the previous Jungyo a new backup performer was introduced – Hokutoo from Hakkaku beya. But Hokutoo is not a tsukebito for any of the Yokozuna. Tradition requires that the performer should be a yokozuna’s tsukebito. Kakuryu has several tsukebito from Hakkaku beya, but Hokutoo is not one of them.
Now that Kisenosato is out of kyujo, and has passed his “probation” basho, a rikishi from his own team – and his own heya – can be introduced to the bow-twirling ceremony. I’ve seen many tweets wishing to see him installed at Kyusho, though that remains to be seen. I don’t think they depose an existing official performer unless his associated Yokozuna retires – though I don’t know what the custom is when the Yokozuna involved is kyujo.
Going back inside, it was time for Shokkiri. And the performance didn’t even begin, but the gyoji was already bursting with laughter in anticipation:
Time for the Juryo dohyo-iri. And fans, of course, don’t settle just for the designated fansa time, but ask for autographs at all times. Enho obliges, but that doesn’t mean that Terutsuyoshi is going to let go of him for even a second:
I generally think it’s really nice to have someone always ready to hug you when you are on a long, tiring tour of the entire country, far from the comforts of home (or at least your private Sekitori room). But maybe Terutsuyoshi is overdoing it just a a tad.
By the way, lest you think that I have a bias for pretty rikishi, here is a pretty gyoji for you:
This is Shikimori Kinosuke, who is apparently doing the announcer duty for this event. And he is pretty enough to attract the attentions of the ladies. Though admittedly this particular lady seems to be a bit on the young side.
So of course, all I have from either the Juryo or the Makuuchi bouts is just Terutsuyoshi’s salt throw:
Come on! Where are all the aunties with the video-capable phones?
So here is your Tobizaru of the day.