Nagoya Day 3 – Highlights

Our fears were justified. Word trickled in during the early bouts that Takakeisho would be absent due to a neck injury suffered during last night’s bout with Ichinojo. The injury itself wasn’t too scary, it seemed a rather normal tachiai at the start. But Takakeisho’s reaction, the “what just happened?” stare as he rode Ichinojo’s shoulder out of the ring and then collapsed in a heap, the sumo fan world hopes he will be okay. This injury is not one which will see him make a quick comeback in the second half of the tournament. He will be kadoban next tournament.

The other big story of the day is the return of Takayasu after missing the first two days due to a back injury suffered in practice last week. He is nominally on an ozeki run, but odds on that are just about 0 as he spotted the field a two-win headstart. He’s not mathematically out as 13-2 has been good enough for a yusho lately and would put him right on the 33-win yardstick/rule-of-thumb we fans use (but isn’t really a rule). At this point, he’s probably just thinking that he needs to perform. If he is to become Ozeki, he’s got a solid start to a run but may need another strong tournament after this one…but he still needs this to be a strong tournament. Otherwise, his hopes are likely dashed.


Ichiyamamoto (2-1) defeated Yutakayama (2-1): Ichiyamamoto established his style sumo from the outset, blasting Yutakayama about the head and shoulders. Then going for the slapdown win. Hatakikomi.

Chiyonokuni (2-1) defeated Ishiura (0-3): High energy tsuppari from both rikishi. Ishiura cornered Chiyonokuni against the tawara but could not establish any force which would move Chiyonokuni back and out. Instead, Chiyonokuni continued blasting with tsuppari and slapped Ishiura down. Hatakikomi.

Tsurugisho (3-0) defeated Tokushoryu (2-1): Tsurugisho blasted Tokushoryu at the tachiai and did not relent.  Despite failing with the early slapdown attempt, Tokushoryu was overwhelmed, and quickly exited, stage right. Yorikiri.

Daiamami (1-2) defeated Chiyonoo (1-2): Daiamami turned things around and picked up his first win with a straight forward force out. Four bouts, four overpowered opponents. Chiyonoo offered token resistance as Daiamami established a grip with both hands on Chiyonoo’s belt and backed him out. Yorikiri.

Ura (2-1) defeated Chiyomaru (1-2): Chiyomaru went for the early slapdown. After the initial flourish, the two settled into a grapple. For Ura, this was a waiting game. Ura slapped Chiyomaru’s arm down and as Chiyomaru tried to recover, Ura pressed forward with his attack. With both arms around Chiyomaru’s girth, Ura used his low position to keep Chiyomaru high, and backed him out. Yorikiri.

Kagayaki (2-1) defeated Tochinoshin (0-3): As Kagayaki moved forward, Tochinoshin tried to force Kagayaki down. Kagayaki powered through and pushed Tochinoshin out easily. This start does not bode well for Tochinoshin. Oshidashi.

Kotonowaka (3-0) defeated Terutsuyoshi (1-2): Kotonowaka broke the pattern and forced Terutsuyoshi down at the tachiai for the quickest win so far. As Terutsuyoshi moved forward, Kotonowaka attacked his shoulders from above and shoved. Hikiotoshi.

Kaisei (1-2) defeated Shimanoumi (1-2): Shimanoumi launched out with a strong initial charge but Kaisei moved forward with his powerful upperbody attack. Shimanoumi’s weak slap did not slow Kaisei at all as he thrust Shimanoumi out. Tsukidashi.

Tamawashi (3-0) defeated Hidenoumi (1-2): Tamawashi forced Hidenoumi back to the edge with tsuppari and a strong nodowa. However, Hidenoumi resisted at the edge. As he rotated and cornered Tamawashi, Tamawashi’s tsuppari morphed into an armbreaker. Tamawashi pivoted with the pressure on Hidenoumi’s shoulder forcing him down and out. Kotenage.

Takarafuji (1-2) defeated Aoiyama (1-2): Aoiyama was the aggressor, battering Takarafuji and pushing forward. The V-twin seemed stuck in second gear, however. At the edge, Takarafuji twisted and threw Aoiyama down. Sukuinage.

Myogiryu (1-2) defeated Chiyoshoma (2-1): After a matta, we got a brawl from a pair of Tasmanian Devils, circling around the ring, battering each other with slaps. Chiyoshoma let up and pulled but Myogiryu bulled forward through the attempted slap down, sending both men crashing into the shimpan. Myogiryu was a bit slow to get up and could not really squat well to acknowledge his victory. Myogiryu got his first win but it may have come at great cost. Oshitaoshi.

Halftime break: Someone open a window! It’s a bit stuffy in here…and what’s that smell? Hopefully someone can clear the air there in Dolphins Arena. Time to head to the fridge for some coffee.

Kiribayama (2-1) defeated Onosho (1-2): We started out with a brawl and as Onosho chased Kiribayama around the ring, Kiribayama had enough and wrapped up Onosho. “I’m tired of this oshi-tsuki stuff.” A solid right-hand grip from Kiribayama on Onosho’s belt and he ushered Onosho back and over the edge. Yorikiri.

Okinoumi (2-1) defeated Hoshoryu (2-1): Okinoumi valiantly resisted the early throw and turned the tables with his own attack. Okinoumi attempted to crush Hoshoryu, bringing all of his weight and force down on his opponent. Hoshoryu would not go down easy. Concern for Hoshoryu’s knee as it seemed to buckle as Okinoumi rolled Hoshoryu over. Makiotoshi.

Kotoeko (2-1) defeated Chiyotairyu (1-2): INASU. Where’d he go? Chiyotairyu pressed forward but Kotoeko vanished in thin air, reappearing behind Chiyotairyu. Well, that’s how it would have appeared for Chiyotairyu. Kotoeko shifted beautifully as Chiyotairyu charged forward. Kotoeko dodged, got in behind, and then gently pushed Chiyotairyu out for the easy oshidashi.

Wakatakakage (1-2) defeated Tobizaru (1-2): Wakatakakage pushed Tobizaru back at the tachiai, getting Tobizaru to stand vertically. Then, Wakatakakage pulled down hard on Tobizaru’s shoulders, forcing him down. Hikiotoshi.

Mitakeumi (2-1) defeated Hokutofuji (2-1): Big man sumo here. Hokutofuji pressed forward, squeezing hard on Mitakeumi’s left arm with his right as he tried to prevent Mitakeumi from getting inside. When backed to the edge, Mitakeumi got inside, got the belt grip and launched forward. Yet again, the tawara offered enough resistance to stop the pair from going out and the two settled into a grapple. As Mitakeumi crab walked Hokutofuji to the edge, Hokutofuji tried a last-minute twisting throw but Mitakeumi powered through, forcing Hokutofuji out. Both were slow to get up, and I don’t think either saw which direction the gunbai pointed. Yorikiri.

Takayasu (1-0-2) defeated Ichinojo (2-1): Takayasu weathered the storm from Ichinojo. I don’t think Ichinojo has quite figured out the art of tsuppari. He can grab and throw but he’s not a brawler. He tried a kotenage but Takayasu escaped and pivoted. So as the pair travelled coast-to-coast, Ichinojo tired. Takayasu pressed forward and forced him out. Yorikiri.

Meisei (1-2) fusen win over Takakeisho (1-2): As Bruce feared, Takakeisho is done for the tournament with a scary neck injury suffered during his bout with Ichinojo. We hope hope this injury is not a longer term concern. The sumo world awaits news on the severity of the injury.

Terunofuji (3-0) defeated Takanosho (0-3): An exciting, evenly matched, back-and-forth bout. The match was really two bouts, a fast-paced brawl that ended in stalemate, and a patient waiting game that ended with a beautiful throw. The video below, though, only catches the ending. It picks up as both men needed to recover from the exertion from running around, so they gathered at the center, heads together, waiting. Terunofuji, with a flick, put an end to the suspense. Terunofuji took Takanosho by the hand and rolled him over. Kainahineri.

Endo (1-2) defeated Shodai (2-1): That was not Ozeki sumo. What was that? Endo hit with a solid shoulder at the tachiai. As Shodai came in high…and apparently wanted to get higher?!?! Shodai peeked up like he was going to go up and over Endo. But Endo had no time to wait for Shodai to figure out what he wanted to do, or to call his ACME sales rep, so he ducked to the side and the “Ozeki” stumbled forward. Endo then finished him off thrusting him down. Tsukiotoshi.

Hakuho (3-0) defeated Daieisho (0-3): Harite, then a shoulder blast at the tachiai. Hakuho caught Daieisho by the shoulder and spun him down. Geez, he’s a master technician. We can see that he’s walking a bit gingerly, he sure can’t put the weight of two men on that leg but this was no contest. Wham, bam, thank you bodyslam. Sukuinage.

Aki Day 7 Highlights

The Landscape

In this odd tournament with few fans and no yokozuna, there have been few rikishi stepping up to take the mantle. As we head into the middle weekend, everyone has found the dirt at least once. There’s no obvious front-runner. All of those prospective Ozeki runs rest on a razor’s edge while several rikishi at the bottom of the banzuke find themselves at the top of the table.

Today offers us fans a study in pulling techniques: when to try, and when not to. For those who are beyond such a base strategy, though, today’s action did provide a few choice moments of great sumo and a bit of drama. Read to the end. It’s worth it.


Kotoyuki defeated Shohozan (0-7): You know things are going poorly for Shohozan when he henkas Juryo visitor, Kotoyuki. Kotoyuki was unfazed and bludgeoned Shohozan repeatedly in outrage, driving Shohozan back to the edge, where Shohozan fell forward. Hikiotoshi.

Meisei (4-3) defeated Ichinojo (4-3): Ichinojo never got his feet planted as Meisei drove forward with a strong tachiai, driving Ichinojo back and out. Ichinojo was way too high at the initial charge and tried to envelope Meisei’s arms for a kimedashi but that just handed Meisei a strong morozashi, with momentum and superior position. Yorikiri.

Shimanoumi (4-3) defeated Kaisei (2-5): Shimanoumi patiently waited out Kaisei’s fumbling. After a nice initial charge, Kaisei fumbled with his right hand for a belt grip. Shimanoumi shoved Kaisei off but Kaisei moved in again for a belt grip. Shimanoumi pushed Kaisei’s hand away and drove forward, putting Kaisei in retreat and gaining some separation. As Kaisei reached the edge, Shimanoumi pivoted and Kaisei stumbled forward. Shimanoumi re-engaged from below and with Kaisei standing upright at the tawara, it was all over. Oshidashi.

Kotoshoho (6-1) defeated Hoshoryu (3-4): Kotoshoho’s perfect pull was decisive as Hoshoryu fell first. No mono-ii. Hoshoryu was puzzled as to how he lost but Kotoshoho’s initial charge drove Hoshoryu back just enough to give him space to execute the hated pull. His hand, firmly on Hoshoryu’s head and feet planted firmly in the tawara, Kotoshoho guided Hoshoryu to the ground without stepping out. Tsukiotoshi.

Tobizaru (6-1) defeated Chiyotairyu (5-2): The tachiai descended into a wild brawl of charging and slapping. Tobizaru dove for Chiyotairyu’s mawashi and secured a right-handed belt grip. With the left on Chiyotairyu’s top-knot, he twisted and threw Sumo’s Elvis to the floor. Shitatedashinage.

Kotoshogiku (2-2-3) defeated Enho (1-6): Kotoshogiku wrangled the struggling Enho in the middle of the dohyo. Enho secured a belt grip at the tachiai and tried to drive forward but Kotoshogiku just dropped all of his weight down on Enho, forcing the pixie’s knee to buckle awkwardly. Koshikudake.

I’m a bit worried about the way that right knee twisted, but Enho seemed to walk it off. I’ve always wondered what it would look like if someone decided to squish Enho. Now we know. If Giku can squeak out three more wins, he may just save his rank. Enho, on the other hand, may join Ishiura in Juryo unless he can turn things around quickly. Perhaps fortunate for both men, there appears to be more men ready to flee makuuchi for the safety of Juryo than there are eager promotees.

Wakatakakage (5-2) defeated Kotoeko (3-4): Wakatakakage henka’d Kotoeko. He tried to pull Kotoeko down for the hatakikomi but Kotoeko kept his footing. However, Kotoeko seemed perplexed as to how to attack this man who moved over so suddenly. While Kotoeko tried to figure things out, Wakatakakage charged forward and blasted Kotoeko off the back of the dohyo. Oshidashi.

Ryuden (3-4) defeated Sadanoumi (2-5): Ryuden was having none of Sadanoumi’s pulling. He charged forward steadily as Sadanoumi circled in retreat. Ryuden kept up with Sadanoumi and his shove forced Sadanoumi to lose his footing and fall to the clay. Oshitaoshi.

Kagayaki (5-2) defeated Onosho (5-2): Bruce’s worries about an Onosho slump are well founded. Kagayaki got the jump on the tachiai, forcing Onosho back. But Onosho rallied at the tawara, driving forward into Kagayaki. However, as the back-pedaling Kagayaki neared the edge he drove his left arm forcefully into Onosho’s right side, throwing Onosho to the clay. Tsukiotoshi.

Takayasu (5-2), no, wait, Aoiyama defeated Aoiyama (3-4): Big Dan stepped out. This is the ultimate, sad danger of the pull when you step back too far and lose. Aoiyama absorbed Takayasu’s tachiai and pulled backwards. Takayasu’s forward charge wasn’t particularly strong and should have been easily defeated. But Aoiyama’s big left foot had gone over the bales. Oshidashi.


Takarafuji (5-2) defeated Tokushoryu (1-6): Bruce is right, Tokushoryu’s out of ideas. Tokushoryu’s entire game plan was to pull. After a decent tachiai, he gave it his first attempt for hatakikomi but Takarafuji was not falling for it. This yielded position and forced Tokushoryu back to the edge. Uncle Takara reached in for a firm right-hand grip. As Tokushoryu pulled again, Takarafuji drove forward and Tokushoryu rolled over. Yoritaoshi.

Kiribayama (5-2) defeated Hokutofuji (2-5): Kiribayama sidestepped the tachiai. No bother, Hokutofuji drove forward into Kiribayama. Kiribayama’s twisted at the edge and with his left hand on the mawashi and right arm in Hokutofuji’s side, he threw Hokutofuji down.  Sukuinage.

Takanosho (4-3) defeated Myogiryu (3-4): Takanosho weathered Myogiryu’s nodowa, and drove forward. Myogiryu launched for a belt grab but Takanosho deflected him with the right arm. This gave Takanosho the advantage as he came at Myogiryu’s right side and shoved Myogiryu out. Oshidashi.


Terunofuji (5-2) defeated Endo (3-4): Ready for a brawl, right? LOL. Migi-yotsu vs Hidari-yotsu. I gotta say, I was ready for a great belt battle but Terunofuji had other plans and, “Wow”. Terunofuji wrapped up Endo’s arm, spun him around and cast him from the dohyo in the blink of an eye. It was brilliant!

At the tachiai, Terunofuji had his sights on that right arm of Endo. He came up with his right, immediately, ensnaring Endo’s arm. Once he secured it, he shifted to his right, twisting Endo around, still holding Endo’s arm behind him. While Endo’s still trying to figure out why he’s facing the wrong way, Terunofuji propelled him forward, off the ring and halfway back to Saitama. Okuridashi.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Isegahama had a higher goal in mind for Terunofuji…not just a return to Ozeki. He’d be able to rest his knees on occasion with a nice tsuna, that’s for sure. I think this is the first time that I’m taken aback more so by the brilliant tactics than his brute force. This was no sea monster, meting destruction. This was Dr. Kaiju, dissecting his opponent and flaying him for all to see. In the 9 second clip, half of it is Endo running down the aisle. The bout itself was over in three seconds.

Tochinoshin (3-4) defeated Daieisho (2-5): I’m pretty sure I saw the kitchen sink get thrown across the screen during this bout. Watch for it on the replay. What didn’t we have in this bout? We had a bit of oshi/tsuki and a bit of yotsu. This was a rough-and-tumble brawl as both men tried to out-pull each other. It seemed that since both men had the same game plan, neither of them were falling for it. Tochinoshin delivered several great blows as he showed he can do tsuppari quite well. Though his knee is weakened, his stamina is strong. When Daieisho tired, Tochinoshin was finally able to step in for that belt grip and usher the Oitekaze’s faltering hope over the straw bales. Yorikiri.

Tamawashi (3-4) defeated Mitakeumi (4-3): Tamawashi may have ended Mitakeumi’s Ozeki run. Mitake who-me? Why in the hell would Mitakeumi try a hatakikomi pull from his own side of the ring? Why? Tamawashi met Mitakeumi with a solid tachiai and drove forward, forcing Mitakeumi back deep into his own side of the dohyo. Mitakeumi did charge forward and try to get some separation but he had nowhere near the space required for a pull, so he ended up cast off among the empty purple squares. Oshidashi.

Okinoumi (2-5) defeated Shodai (5-2): Shodai drove forward into Okinoumi. Okinoumi resisted at the edge and circled back. While Shodai applied forward pressure, Okinoumi wrapped his arms around Shodai, twisted and thrust him to the floor, along with any hopes of yusho or promotion. Tsukiotoshi.

Takakeisho (6-1) defeated Yutakayama: T-Rex’s wave action was too much for Yutakayama. Both oshi-battlers fought to their strength but Yutakayama’s thrusts were unable to move Takakeisho at all. Takakeisho, however, was able to move Yutakayama around the ring, almost at will. “You go right now. Now backwards. Now down.” Oshidashi.

Yutakayama’s knee buckled awkwardly at the tawara so we’ll be watching that tomorrow. He kept it extended as he sat to watch the next bout and when he finally got up to walk back to the shitakubeya, he limped down the hanamichi. Watch this space for a kyujo. Takakeisho is now the favorite for the yusho, especially since he has already faced, and defeated, Terunofuji.

Asanoyama (4-3) defeated Terutsuyoshi (2-5): “Not again!” Terutsuyoshi went for the ashitori — again — but Asanoyama was prepared this time. When the attempt missed, Terutsuyoshi retreated and jumped off the dohyo with Asanoyama close in pursuit. Asanoyama connected with a bit of a push so it counts as oshidashi rather than what it looked like at the time, niwatori-tobikomi.

Tokyo July Basho Day 5 Highlights

We’ve had some nerves and sloppy sumo to start the tournament but we’ve also had some great sumo as four yusho winners lead the pack coming into Day 5. By now at the end of Act One, that rust should be brushed away. Asanoyama has proven to be stainless steel and Hakuho must have been bathing in WD-40 since March because he’s dominant and he’s winning without the tricks, dame-oshi or dirty play that had earned him a bit of derision over the past year. These two are at the top of the heap and the top of their game. Will they close out the first third of the tournament still in the lead? This day is one to stay until the end, that’s for sure.

Highlight Matches

Kotoeko (4-1) defeated Tobizaru: The flying monkey visits from Juryo to take on Kotoeko. A bit too nervous and outmatched by Kotoeko, who’s on a hot streak. Kotoeko got under his armpits and looked to drive him back and out. Tobizaru wriggled free from Kotoeko’s grip but Kotoeko was able to use his right arm to execute a throw.  Sukuinage.

Nishikigi (2-3) defeated Chiyomaru (0-5): Winless Chiyomaru got the advantage on the initial charge, thrusting Nishikigi back to the edge. The tawara gave Nishikigi the resistance he needed and Chiyomaru tried a pull but Nishikigi used the change in direction to charge forward and force Chiyomaru out. Oshidashi.

Wakatakakage (2-3) defeated Kotoyuki (1-4): Wakatakakage defeated Kotoyuki at his own game. A strong charge at the outset earned the youngster superior position in the center of the dohyo. He kept up the pressure on Kotoyuki who countered with his own thrusts but Kotoyuki was never able to get enough power in those thrusts to back Wakatakakage out. Instead, Wakatakakage wore out the penguin and pushed him out. Oshidashi.

Takayasu (3-2) defeated Terunofuji (4-1): Yesterday, Takayasu faced Kotoshogiku. Today, the former Ozeki got another former Ozeki in Terunofuji and again came out victorious. At the charge, Terunofuji tried reaching in for that belt but Takayasu fought against it and shoved Terunofuji away. Takayasu re-engaged, securing both hands on Terunofuji’s belt. While Terunofuji tried to get purchase with his left hand, Takayasu began backing him up until he was fully stood against the tawara. Terunofuji recognized that he was done and stepped out. Yorikiri.

Kotoshoho (5-0) defeated Shohozan (0-5): Shohozan baited Kotoshoho into a false start. Shohozan charged fiercely at the tachiai and added a slap for good measure. Kotoshoho was unphased, however. He pivoted and used Shohozan’s hard charging ways against him with a well-executed throw. Kotenage.

Tochinoshin (3-2) defeated Sadanoumi (2-3): Tochinoshin drove forward into Sadanoumi but Sadanoumi stayed composed, got a solid grip and started forcing the Georgian Giant back. Tochinoshin pivoted and brought the action to the edge of the ring where he grabbed Sadanoumi by the butt cheek and forced him over the edge. Tsukiotoshi.

Kotoshogiku (4-1) defeated Shimanoumi (1-4): A strong showing from Kotoshogiku today. A quick blast driving Shimanoumi back and wrapping him up. He attempted a throw which Shimanoumi resisted but some strong gabburi action got Shimanoumi stumbling backwards and out. Yoritaoshi.

Myogiryu (5-0) defeated Kotonowaka (3-2): Myogiryu charged forward, always the aggressor. He kept Kotonowaka at arms length, never allowing access to his mawashi and driving action. Kotonowaka briefly slipped to the side and had a chance but Myogiryu recovered at the edge, turned back around, and drove Kotonowaka back and out. Oshidashi.

Ikioi (2-3) defeated Kaisei (2-3): A slim Ikioi drove forward into Kaisei with both arms under his armpits. Kaisei resisted with his own grip but Ikioi charged again. At the edge it seemed Kaisei’s leg gave but the official call was an underarm throw but I couldn’t see what that right arm was doing. Anyone have the opposite view? Shitatenage.

Tamawashi (4-1) defeated Ishiura (1-4): Ishiura’s predictable henka attempt put him halfway toward the edge of the dohyo and Tamawashi was more than happy to give him a single shove out. Ishiura needs a new schtick. There are plenty of other successful pixies who aren’t afraid to bring the action to their opponent. Oshidashi.

Chiyotairyu (3-2) defeated Terutsuyoshi (2-3): What did I say about successful pixies? Chiyotairyu gave a beautiful demonstration of how the Non-henka is supposed to work. One hand securing the belt, the other hand on the top of aite’s head. A strong pull with that right hand, in this case, and Terutsuyoshi was whipped around and thrown down. Uwatenage.


Hokutofuji (4-1) defeated Enho (2-3): Hokutofuji blasted Enho back at the tachiai. Enho seemed puzzled, not knowing how to attack. So Hokutofuji used that left oven mitt to decide for him. “Go back now.” He shoved Enho back to the tawara and down. Oshitaoshi.

Abi (3-2) defeated Tokushoryu (2-3): Classic Abi here. Right hand under the chin of Tokushoryu, forcing his head up and back. This gave Abi the clear advantage and he followed up with a convincing win, shoving Tokushoryu out quickly. Oshidashi.

Aoiyama (2-3) defeated Ryuden (1-4): Aoiyama with the advantage of a stronger tachiai, pushed Ryuden back to the straw bales. Ryuden tried his own shoves putting all of his might and weight into Aoiyama but getting no backward movement until…Aoiyama pulls beautifully and Ryuden rolls across the clay. Someone was asking about pulls after Takakeisho’s loss the other day. The timing is so crucial with a pull and Aoiyama timed it very well today. Hikiotoshi.

Takanosho (2-3) defeated Kagayaki (2-3): Kagayaki had the better force in the initial charge, moving forward strongly. Takanosho’s sidestep combined with Kagayaki’s slow recovery time allowed Takanosho to shift right and help Kagayaki out. Oshidashi.


Daieisho (3-2) defeated Yutakayama (0-5): This was an entertaining slapfest. Daieisho with the slight advantage but both wrestlers landed several haymakers. Daieisho’s were more effective, keeping Yutakayama on the ropes with slaps to the chin and the throat. Yutakayama pitched forward to counter and Daieisho landed a perfect left on Yutakayama’s shoulder, sending him tumbling across the dohyo. Tsukiotoshi.

Mitakeumi (5-0) defeated Endo (1-4): A great tachiai from both men, a nice blast. Endo tried to shove Mitakeumi back…it almost looked like he was going to try an oshi battle but got confused. While he tried to sort things out, Mitakeumi moved forward through the golden boy. Another Oshidashi. Oshidashi Day here in Tokyo.

Shodai (4-1) defeated Okinoumi (3-2): The best tachiai of the day? A Shodai bout? Na… Shodai slipped that left arm under Okinoumi’s armpit and whatever Okinoumi was trying to do was utterly irrelevant. Shodai continued turning while Okinoumi hopped along, trying to stay up but eventually hopping over the bales. Okinoumi didn’t meet clay but it was a throw. Sukuinage.

Asanoyama (5-0) defeated Kiribayama (1-4): Kiribayama slid to the side and channeled Harumafuji with his continued pressure. He wanted the spin of death to end things quickly but Asanoyama persevered. Twisting and turning, Kiribayama kept up a vigorous attack. Asanoyama was always able to maintain his balance and his composure. He countered by bringing the action back to the center and wearing Kiribayama down. Eventually, Asanoyama struck forcing Kiribayama out. The best sumo from Kiribayama this week. Sadly, not enough against the ozeki. The effort from both men combine for the bout of the day, enthusiastically appreciated by the crowd. Yorikiri.

Takakeisho (4-1) defeated Takarafuji (2-3): Another strong tachiai as skin-on-skin echoes through the Kokugikan. Takakeisho kept up the thrusts as Takarafuji was on the defensive, shifting about. Takakeisho worked Takarafuji back and several times tried the pull down. It wasn’t until the fourth attempt that his right hand found the top of Takarafuji’s head and pulled him down. Hatakikomi.

Hakuho (5-0) defeated Onosho (0-5): Onosho jumped the gun and the two reset. Hakuho got under there with both hands on the belt immediately. As he charged back Onosho got some resistance at the edge. Hakuho wasn’t having any of it and used that belt grip to throw Onosho forward to his doom. Uwatedashinage.

To follow on with Tim’s kimarite of the day, I’d have to go with that forceful yorikiri from Asanoyama. I know, yorikiri is the most common and therefore the dullest choice of kimarite of the day in the 1000-year history of sumo…but here we are. I liked it. He held on in a great battle and won. Boring technique? Not at all. Oshidashi’s the boring one.

Let’s Meet Chiganoura Beya


Over on Twitter, Chiganoura-oyakata, pictured here in his traveling salesman days, had the brilliant idea to introduce all of his deshi and the staff of his stable. OK, let’s get going, we don’t want to keep him waiting any longer. Chop, chop!

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