🌐 Location: Murayama, Yamagata
The Jungyo keeps moving up north, and we are deeply in Tohoku at this point.Continue reading
The basho is over, and this is our ultimate Natsu 2019 lower division report. The lower division schedule is a little lighter on senshuraku, and we have fewer bouts today.
In Jonokuchi, we wish the giant from Miyagino beya, Toma, farewell and success in losing some weight by the Nagoya basho. Here is his final bout with Yabugasaki. Both are 4-2, Toma is attacking from the left.
Toma extends his balance to 5-2, and we will see him somewhere around Jonidan 60-70-ish in Nagoya.
In Jonidan, we move forward in time to watch the yusho playoff (which takes place at the end of Juryo matches). Tochikamiyama on the left is facing Okinohama on the right, and he is more than a little nervous.
The TV announcer expected a monoii, but apparently, Okinohama was flying while Tochikamiyama still had two feet inside the ring. Tochikamiyama bravely fights the smile that floats to his face, as he wins the yusho.
Next up, in Sandanme, we have Tamakongo (left) facing Kotoozutsu on the right. Or rather, this footage starts when Tamakongo has his bout to us. Tamakongo, if you recall, is Tamawashi’s lone heya-mate. The two are 5-1:
He is now 6-1, and all the rikishi in Kataonami beya have had a wonderfully large kachi-koshi this basho, it turns out.
The more serious Sandanme contest is between Shiraishi and Hokutokawa. Again we move forward in time, as this is a yusho decider. Shiraishi is set to become Tamanoi beya’s next star. Shiraishi attacks from the right:
Shiraishi is completely unfazed by the large crowd gathered for prime time. The Sandanme yusho is his, reminding us of one Oyanagi, who achievede the same in his first basho – nowadays called Yutakayama. Definitely one to watch for Nagoya as well.
Going up to Makushita, we can’t do without the back-flipping Tomisakae from Isegahama beya. He is matched with Takemasa, and both are 4-2. Tomisakae is coming from the left…
…and going straight to the right. Trust Tomisakae, though, to convert a Kotoyuki-style roll into a lithe cartwheel.
Well, maybe not exactly lithe.
Another bout in the 4-2 bracket that was relegated to senshuraku is our friend Kototebakari, facing Ryusei. In this case the video angle is such that Ryusei is with his back to us and Kototebakari attacking from the opposite direction.
Kototebakari was in a bit of danger there for a second, but manages an almost Hakuho-like stop and change of direction, for the win.
Finally, Here is a cynical, yucky bout at the bottom of Juryo. Seiro (right) is 7-7 and needs his kachi koshi to survive in Juryo. Ryuko is 5-1, but at Ms4e, with four kachi-koshi rikishi ranked above him, he needs that Juryo spot to be vacated and his own score to improve, to pass the “hell/heaven” line. This is how he does it:
Kesho mawashi are usually donated by fans. And I know only one man who is a real fan of the Henka. Andy, care to donate a kesho mawashi to Ryuko?
Today I’m trying to catch up on two days of lower division action. Let’s start with day 11, May 22.Continue reading
Today’s post merges our daily “Ones To Watch” with my erratic video coverage of the lower divisions. Enjoy!
None of our “Ones to watch” or “Ones to be flattened by” featured today in Jonokuchi, so we skip right to Jonidan. Satonofuji, the legendary bow twirler, won his first day, but then suffered three consecutive losses. Can he still salvage a kachi-koshi? The road there goes through Kotomanabe (the “nabe” in that name is actually the same as in “chanko-nabe”, a pot!)
Two years older than Aminishiki, Satonofuji is still sumo-worthy.
Next we have Wakaichiro’s bout, which Andy captured for us. Wakaichiro faces Takataisho, who is known as the tsukebito who survived Takanoiwa.
Nice work! Our man from Texas may yet get that kachi-koshi!
The following footage is not recommended to the feint-of-heart. Kasugaryu, our current yumi-tori performer from the wonderful photo at the top, faces Tanakayama, and not only loses, but dislocates his knee.
The most bizarre scene follows, wherein Kasugaryu, with an expression that says more “not again!” than “ow!”, resets his own knee, then limps over to make his bow.
When Bruce pointed out this strange occurrence this morning on my Twitter feed, I was sure by the end of the day we will see Satonofuji or Shohoryu covering for the bow man in the closing ceremony, but no:
What is this man made of? 😨
On we go to the less bizarre parts of Sandanme, and we have our “One To Watch”, Shoji from Musashigawa beya, facing Sumanoumi:
Nice survival at the edge there. Shoji is now 3-2 and closer to a kachi-koshi.
Finally, the main match of interest in Sandanme today has been that of former Ozeki Terunofuji vs. Fujitaisei of Fujishima beya.
Angry, or rather, exasperated yori-kiri it is. In the previous bout he said he made a mistake in thinking his opponent stepped outside when he didn’t. This time he made damn well sure.
We start at the bottom, with the official American One To Watch, Musashikuni. He is facing Genkaiho from Otake beya (Same “ho” as in “Hakuho” and “Enho” – there are lots of these).
Genkaiho tries an arm lock there, but Musashikuni’s determination and better strength determine the result. Musashikuni maintains his chance of a kachi-koshi.
What’s up with Akua/Aqua then? He is facing Kaisho:
Aaaand… he is kachi-koshi within the blink of an eye, setting Kaisho gently on the floor by going backwards in a big arc.
Let’s take a peek at Isegahama’s back-flipping Tomisakae. He is faced with Ryusei, both are 3-1, and one of them will be kachi-koshi after this bout:
Alas, it is not our back-flipping hyperactive Tomisakae. Ryusei is kachi-koshi, and Tomisakae will have to look for his in the next bout.
Wakatakamoto faced Kizenryu today. At 1-3 he was with his back to the wall in his attempt to keep up with his little brothers (sorry, only partial footage here):
Although Wakatakamoto is the one who breaks the stalemate, Kizenryu is the one who takes advantage of his movement for a kotenage. The eldest Onami is make-koshi.
Our final match of the day is between Kototebakari and Kotokuzan. Note that Kotokuzan is not one of the Sadogatake Kotos (or he wouldn’t be facing Kototebakari) – it’s actually Kōtokuzan, from Arashio beya, who was hoping to become Sekitori before his oyakata retires.
This marks Kotokuzan’s third loss, and he needs to win out to avoid increasing his distance from the Heaven/Hell line at the top of Makushita. Kototebakari is now in a more comfortable position, though of course, at his level, he would have liked to be 5-0 rather than 3-2. Wouldn’t we all.
In Jonidan, Wakaichiro returns to the dohyo to face Nakai. Hopefully, he can complete his kachi-koshi this day!
Amakaze is to face the sandanme-tsukedashi, Shiraishi, in what could be a very challenging match for both of them. Shiraishi is a strong up-and-comer, Amakaze has sekitori experience and newfound confidence. The winner stays in the yusho race, the loser… doesn’t.
Terunofuji ascends the dohyo again. Now that he has ensured his kachi-koshi, he will want to increase his winning margin to 5-1 against Asadaimon from Takazago beya.
Roga will want to achieve his kachi-koshi vs. Aratora from Isenoumi beya.
Naya is going to have a very fierce match tomorrow vs. Takanofuji (former Takayoshitoshi) who is very determined to regain his sekitori status and keep up with his “little” twin brother Takagenji. Both wrestlers are in the yusho race, and this is going to be deadly.
Hoshoryu is facing Fujiazuma, hoping not to give himself a make-koshi as a birthday present. Yes, Hoshoryu is 20 years old as of today, which in Japan is the age of majority. Many happy returns! Both wrestlers are 2-3 and this is going to be a killer bout.
Ichiyamamoto is going to face Kotokamatani. The winner of this match is kachi-koshi, and Ichiyamamoto will fiercely try to get his kachi-koshi now to be able to extend it enough to skip over the head of his rival on his way to sekitori-land.
Wakamotoharu gets to face Kizenryu, who gave his older brother his make-koshi today. The loser of this bout is make-koshi, and Wakamotoharu will want to avoid that like the plague, avenge his brother and regain his own sekitori status.
Nary a dull moment on day 11! Onwards and upwards!