The Japanese Sumo Association has announced a date for former Takekaze’s danpatsushiki at Kokugikan. For those who will still be around Tokyo for the week after Hatsu basho, which runs through Jan 27, the retirement event would be a great way to see some more action. There will likely be hanazumo and shokkiri, and sumo culture demonstrations that are more familiar scenes in Jungyo tours rather than hon basho.
The ceremony will culminate in the hair cutting for the former Sekiwake. For Takekaze this will surely have participation from former Oguruma stablemates Yoshikaze and Yago, and likely contemporary Yokozuna or two.
After day 8’s cornucopia of lower division action, day 9 is a leaner beast, with a handful of matches, many with great interest. Wakaichiro battles in the elite group of undefeated Jonidan rikishi, and Wakamotoharu visits Juryo to measure for his hoped-for sekitori promotion in March.
Wakaichiro vs Hokutoo – With his kachi-koshi already secure, Wakaichiro enters an elite group of 13 rikishi with 4-0 records to sort out who gets a shot at the Jonidan yusho. First stop is 26 year sumo veteran Hokutoo from Hakkaku heya. They met once before in September, with Wakaichiro beating him.
Kenho vs Yoshimura – Kenho is winless, and looking to be in poor physical form. With an 0-4 start, the question is how far down the banzuke he will drop for Osaka. His opponent, the much smaller Yoshimura, is suffering through an 0-4 record as well. This may be a chance for Kenho to pick up a much needed win.
Torakio vs Dewaazuma – The Naruto heya rikishi starts day 9 with a 2-2 record. He has fought Dewaazuma twice before, with them splitting the series 1-1. By all counts, this is an even match, and may make for some good sumo.
Musashikuni vs Chiyoarashi – Musashikuni is 1-3, but battled through his physical difficulties for a much need win on day 8. His day 9 match is against Kokonoe heya’s Chiyoarashi, who won their only prior match. Chiyoarashi is a former Juryo man, who was injured in 2013, and has thus far not returned to higher rank.
Midorifuji vs Kitaharima – A 2-2 bracket match features Midorifuji’s second bout with former Maegashira 15 Kitaharima. Midorifuji took their prior match at Kyushu 2018.
Wakamotoharu vs Takekaze – With a 4-0 score in the top ranks of Makushita, Wakamotoharu has a solid chance of getting promoted to Juryo for Osaka, and joining his brother Wakatakakage. But day 9 he faces the ur-veteran Takekaze to test his mettle.
In this event we get back to Fukuoka, but this is in fact the last event in Kyushu for this Jungyo. The next stop is far-away Okinawa, and then the rikishi go back to Tokyo, rest a while and finish with three additional days near home in the Kanto area.
Although Kotoshogiku is one of the Fukuoka locals, sadly, he is off the torikumi for the day, and Yutakayama also continues without participating in the bouts.
So lets start our day with handshakes. Here is Aminishiki, alongside his poor, freezing tsukebito, Terumichi:
It’s not that Aminishiki is better dressed than him. I guess it’s having grown in cold Aomori.
Around the walls we have practicing rikishi. Enho is doing his stretches:
…and signing autographs while he’s at it. But he is not the only stretchy rikishi. Here we have Kyonosato, who shows us that despite having a bigger chin than Chiyomaru and beer-storage flaps, he can do the splits like a pro:
Not impressed? How about this?
By the way, he is still being subjected to “Wiggle the Wattle”:
And not just by his brother (Narutaki).
For a 22 years old, he has the patience of a saint!
Along another wall, some low-rankers are doing the rikishi version of the Locomotion:
Mitoryu and Ichinojo are having a chat. Ichinojo wants to demonstrate one of his colt-tossing moves. Mitoryu will have none of that:
Rikishi around the passages and walls are, of course, fansa magnets. Especially when asked to pose with a cute kid (sorry for censoring the cute):
Even kids want to lay their hands on the pixie!
But this kid is not just a pixie fan. Apparently, he gets along with Americans, too:
Love the kid’s shirt!
The NSK even has an official kiddie photo-op:
But I feel it’s a poor replacement to the old “kiddie sumo” that used to be the highlight of the Jungyo day. At least the kiddie photo-op allows girls equal access to the rikishi.
At the dohyo, Wakatakakage decides to do some push-ups. Apparently, Mitoryu decides the load is too light:
A serious-faced Enho grabs a ladle of water. What is he going to do with it?
Ah, of course. Greet the Yokozuna:
When the greetings are over, the Yokozuna can practice away from the dohyo:
On the dohyo, we have practice bouts between Hakuyozan Takekaze, then Hakuyozan and Jokoryu:
Kagayaki seems to have enjoyed his practice with Onosho.
Maybe because he got to experience how it feels to be flat-chested for a few seconds there. Onosho completely eliminated his boob there! Not an easy task!
Then there was some sanban between Tochinoshin and Shodai:
And some butsukari between Takayasu and Hokutofuji, and Nishikigi and Aoiyama:
In fact, that is not just butsukari between Takayasu and Hokutofuji. It’s full-fledged kawaigari. Lots of dirt:
And lots of suffering:
Takayasu is no gentler than Hakuho, but well, Hakuho seems to enjoy it more:
If you’re wondering, the victim (“This will make him even stronger!”) today is Tochinoshin.
One thing Tochinoshin doesn’t lack is stamina. In fact, the Yokozuna ends up looking more tired than he is. But in any case, I’m sure it will motivate the Georgian to try for a rope. After all, nobody gives Kawaigari to a Yokozuna. Not even a dai-Yokozuna.
Time for the Juryo dohyo-iri. And here, too, fans were asking for autographs. Wakatakakage wants to sign Terutsuyoshi while he’s at it:
Terutsuyoshi was known as a “Yanki” – a delinquent – when he was in school. So it’s no surprise he react with a prompt wedgie:
That same Terutsuyoshi, though, goes and buries his head in Hidenoumi’s chest.
Hidenoumi looks like he is considering a MeToo protest against the Isegahama homunculus.
The actual dohyo-iri ends up as a photo-op as well:
Imagine them doing that in honbasho…
In the Juryo bouts, Terutsuyoshi ends up frustrated after losing to Ishiura:
And Enho has no trouble showing Chiyonoumi the way off the dohyo:
I guess not enough weight-lifting, Chiyonoumi. Maybe instead of lifting Chiyomaru you should try Ichinojo!
I don’t really have any Makuuchi bout footage. But here is an awesome nodowa for you:
That’s Takanosho vs. Onosho. Twitter folks report that this was a stormy bout. Takanosho won it and was rather breathless as he stepped – with some kensho – off the dohyo.
Also, there was apparently something very funny about Shohozan’s bout:
Or maybe it’s the amount of kensho he finds amusing?
Between practice and dohyo-iri, Hakuho got himself photographed with his heya’s tokoyama.
The reason Tokohachi got this commemorative photo with the Yokozuna in his full regalia is that this is his last Fuyu Jungyo. He is supposed to retire next year.
I think when he shows this to his grandkids they won’t believe it’s the real Hakuho he was standing next to. “No, grandpa, that’s just one of those panels they put up everywhere there is a sumo event!”
Now, it’s time for our pin-up rikishi, but I had a hard time making a decision today! Lots of fans were in Kitakyushu and took pictures of gorgeous rikishi. Whom would you choose?
Asanoyama lovingly looking at the camera Takarafuji borrowed from a fan to take his picture? Or maybe…
Tough-looking Wakatakakage recovering from the wedgie incident? How about…
…the more mature-looking Tamawashi? He has been on his best behavior while in Fukuoka! But then, there is…
…Myogiryu going for a fashion statement and a manly pose. Meanwhile…
Tobizaru is outraged by the idea that he lost his exclusive hold on the pin-up position this Jungyo in general, and in this post in particular!
However, I think he’ll have a hard competition in Abi here:
Because apparently Abi is not just about shiko! He can also throw a nice handful of salt! (Though both Yobidashi seem a little critical of it. Maybe because they have to sweep the damn stuff all the time).
I leave it to the readers to decide which one is the most worthy of the pin-up section. Though I think we can fill up a whole calendar with these guys!
Note: there will not be a post tomorrow. I hope I’ll be able to catch up during the weekend.