Between the Olympics black-out and the natural gap between Hatsu and Haru, sumo fans are seriously starving for information! Have no fear, the Haru bazuke is published in about 24 hours from RIGHT NOW.
Of course, Tachiai will bring you analysis and details in the two-week run-up to Osaka’s yearly sumo tournament. We expect there to be a flurry of news and action prior to March 11th’s opening day.
Today the Jungyo arrived at the city of Usa, which happens to be the birth place of the one Yokozuna Hakuho is still looking up to – Futabayama Sadaji.
This, of course, meant that many rikishi were fiercely working their smartphones to get a pic with the most awesome Yokozuna in the world:
2300 spectators flocked to the venue despite the cold weather. Once again, Harumafuji goods were sold out as soon as they were offered.
Yoshikaze was the main man of the day, hailing from close-by Saiki. He entertained the crowd in the kiddie sumo:
Yes, from time to time you’ll see a girl sumo enthusiast. They get to wear something modest in addition to the mawashi. Alas, they cannot dream of growing up to be rikishi.
But although Yoshikaze drew a lot of spectator attention, when Hakuho decided to step up the dohyo and do some kiddie sumo, the crowd blew up.
Yokozuna and Ozeki don’t normally do the kiddie sumo duty. In the previous Jungyo, Goeido chose to participate when the Jungyo passed through his home territory. Hakuho also chose one stop to play with the kids. So the crowd was delighted that the Yokozuna chose their town this time.
Back to Yoshikaze, when time came for the torikumi, the warm local support caused him to go for spectacular sumo, and he ended up with a tsuri-dashi win over Mitakeumi. Shohozan, who studied in a local high school, won against Takakeisho by okuridashi. Hakuho was less fortunate today, and got yori-kiried by Kakuryu. 2:2.
As you can see in that video, there is a new Shokkiri team. I feel a bit sorry for Baraki for losing his Shokkiri status so quickly. He seems to be the perfect fit for the job. I guess with Akua being promoted to sekitori, it couldn’t be helped.
Here is the full Shokkiri performance by the new duo:
Did someone from the crowd throw back some salt to the dohyo?
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…
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
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 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.
Shamelessly stolen from a twitter post, because I could not find it on YouTube. Some highlights of the kinds of things going on during the summer jungyo, including shokkiri (aka you can’t do that in sumo), Kisenosato toting a baby to the dohyo for his dohyo-iri, and Goeido taking a practice match from Harumafuji. Oh yeah, and Onosho!