The day dawns on Kanagawa. People gather in for some sumo.
Abi and Tsurugisho are still off the torikumi, but Tsurugisho participates in the fansa part of the event.
I suppose it’s a rarity for both sides: there aren’t many black kids in Japan, and I’m sure the kid hasn’t seen many people Tsurugisho’s size, either.
Kagayaki lifted some weights. I mean, lifted the weight of Shonannoumi.
Shonannoumi is a local boy, but I don’t think this activity was exactly front and center.
Hakuho, as usual, was at the foot of the dohyo, exercising:
And Kisenosato… was doing his “dance”:
Tochinoshin, being Tochinoshin, was on the dohyo, giving some love to Shodai:
I’m not sure the kawaigari was Shodai’s biggest torture this day, though. Here is a very suspicious game some of the rikishi invented. Do rock-paper-scissors. The loser gets one of his nipples busted. Serious ouch. The first victim is Yutakayama.
First, I would think this is the last game Kagayaki would want to get involved in. Second, from the way they arrange a barrier of rikishi when they do the deed, I think they know they are over the line.
Next victim is Shodai:
Now Yutakayama is doing the barrier thing – but that doesn’t stop him from signing an autograph while Shodai learns the meaning of pain.
In the next exchange, Yutakayama has a very worried face and very defensive stance. I wonder how many of those he lost. But this time, the head criminal, Tamawashi, is the one who loses. And he doesn’t take that very well.
Eventually, though, he straightens up and growls at Shodai: “Do it. Do it already!”, and Yutakayama turns around and guards the scene.
Mmm… I wouldn’t recommend showing any of this to your kindergarten kids. They may get ideas.
Rikishi abuse didn’t end at the dohyo-iri, though. Here is Ryuden pinning Arikawa to the wall. The other day I thought that Arikawa was Shohozan’s tsukebito, but as it turns out, he is Kisenosato’s. Hence the white gloves.
This must be right after or right before Kisenosato’s dohyo-iri. Ryuden is already in his fighting mawashi as his torikumi was the second. Kagayaki seems to be still in his kesho-mawashi (he is Kisenosato’s tachimochi).
The only bout I have is this rather low-quality video of Onosho vs. Shohozan.
The first time I watched it I thought I was watching a bit of shokkiri. Only after the announcer calls the kimarite and says it’s Onosho’s win that I became somewhat convinced that this was an actual match.
Anyway, it was really hard to peel Terutsuyoshi off Enho’s skin that entire day. Someone with an evil sense of humor decided to pit them against each other in the torikumi of the day. Terutsuyoshi won. And yes, he continued to hover around Enho even after they showered.
But we are still on the subject of kyujo. Tsurugisho continued off the torikumi (though still staying with the Jungyo), and Abi is also not in the wrestling list – although he did participate in the fan service:
Aminishiki – not kyujo – was also giving autographs, though he looks very tired.
Inside the main hall, Shohozan was utilizing TRX to maintain his pythons:
This was followed by the Shokkiri (and yes, apparently they are alternating between the same two pairs of performers as in the previous Jungyo). Then came the Juryo dohyo-iri. With all the absences, this looked positively sad:
Many cheers for Aminishiki – who waves. It’s the Jungyo, after all.
Then there was taiko demonstration (only part is shown):
This was followed by the Juryo torikumi. Today, Nakazono was allowed to rest a bit, and Chiyoarashi joined the Juryo bouts instead, sporting an oicho for the first time in a long while (he last had an official one in 2013!):
This is, of course, because he is a local Chiba boy.
Daishoho tried to pull the old salt-in-the-ladle trick on Daiamami.
Many rikishi hail from Saitama, among them Hokutofuji, Daieisho, and Abi – but would you believe that the only decent photo I could find of Abi from this day is this one?
Twitter says he was very busy giving autographs. I guess people were busy handing in shikishi to sign, and forgot to take photos…
Hokutofuji received the attention of Tochinoshin, who gave him Butsukari.
Tochinoshin, reports say, went all the way with butsukari and did this 38 times (not all of them with Hokutofuji). I’m going to assume this means he got pushed 38 times, because I don’t really think any human being would withstand 38 full butsukari sessions, even as the receiving chest.
Daieisho, in the mean time, didn’t seem to get much limelight – just kept hanging with Takakeisho.
Of course, these are just fan shots. It could be that all three of the locals were engaged by the high rankers, as is usual for local boys, but for some reason, neither the NSK Twitter has been active nor have the local fans at Saitama recorded any of that.
Here is Kakuryu with his rubber strap:
That’s actually one of the best shots I’ve seen of him in a while. Kisenosato was also practicing off-dohyo, but I have to admit that… I’m not sure what I’m seeing here…
I’ve already seen short videos of him doing this on several occasions. What is that? The fans call it “The Kise Dance”. Is Kisenosato considering exotic dancing as a second career?
Goofiness mostly concentrated around the dohyo-iri. For example, in the Juryo dohyo-iri, Wakatakakage was picking at Terutsuyoshi. But I must say the Isegahama pixie seemed to actually enjoy the attention:
In the Makuuchi dohyo-iri, Tamawashi was looking for fun. In the past couple of days his trick has been to just stop dead and cause Mitakeumi to bump into him. Mitakeumi seems to be on the alert now, so disappointed Tamawashi starts pestering Ikioi instead:
The Yokozuna’s tsukebito are on the alert at the hana-michi to take the sword, clean the kesho-mawashi and whatnot. And one of them has the glasses, for an exchange that looks like a relay race, only the baton is passed to the arriving runner instead of the other way around.
In less happy news, Tsurugisho seems to be injured or ill, and was abruptly taken off the torikumi. Daishoho replaced him vs. Gagamaru (meaning Daishoho had two bouts this day):
At some point that same Daishoho took some time to relax together with Tobizaru… in the guest seats. I don’t think the spectators minded too much, though:
Further up the banzuke, here is the sanyaku-soroi-bumi (well, one side of it, anyway):
Hakuho seems to have gotten over his rather embarrassing match yesterday:
This picture, by the way, given that the last three bouts were Mitakeumi-Tochinoshin, Kisenosato-Goeido, Kakuryu-Hakuho, tells you that Tochinoshin lost. Otherwise there would be no need for the Yokozuna who wrestles last to hand the chikara-mizu to anybody.
Oops. Shikimori Kandayu – who is to be promoted to Shikimori Inosuke after the Kyushu basho – loses his footing there. He then keeps a good distance from the still skirmishing Ozeki and Yokozuna.
Too bad the video doesn’t continue, because Goeido, again, is on Hakuho’s side, meaning there would be no kachi-nokori, and we would be treated to Hakuho’s tsukebito handing him the chikara-mizu with a bare shoulder. I wonder if Kasugaryu is qualified to do that, given that he is wearing a (kesho) mawashi anyway, and is on his way to the dohyo anyway for the yumi-tori ceremony.
Following which, everybody went home, and the dohyo was dismantled:
But I will not leave you without a Tobizaru for the day – accompanied by Yago, because I am still not sure all of you can recognize the man with the chin. Or is it the chin with the man?
The sekitori and their tsukebito eased into the Jungyo, starting the rounds in Tokyo. This time, at the Ota ward, close to Kawasaki.
That is, the sekitori eased into it. The tsukebito are a different story:
They have to do all the fetching and carrying – here showing the akeni, packed into protective tarp.
Wait, whose Akeni is this?
The name on this package is “Oyanagi”. Actually, it’s Yutakayama’s Akeni. They simply didn’t replace the name on the canvas bag when they gave him his shikona – which happened when he was already a sekitori. Generally, it’s best to avoid changing shikona when the rikishi is already sekitori – it means that his kesho mawashi and akeni become obsolete.
Here is someone who has been sekitori for a long time. Very long time.
Poor Aminishiki always gets to celebrate his birthday in Jungyo. He did get an early surprise party from his loved ones, but the day itself is always spent away from home. Aminishiki noted that with post-basho events, Jungyo, and Kyushu basho, it won’t be until after Fuyu Jungyo is over – ending December 22 – that he will get his much yearned-for “Family time”.
So let’s turn to the Jungyo event itself. Here we see the sekitori coming to greet Kisenosato, one by one. This Jungyo started with all Yokozuna present and in working order, so they had a lot of greeting to do.
But unusually, the focus of attention wasn’t Kisenosato. The focus of attention in this event was Takakeisho, although he is not a local boy. The reason for this is the Takanohana beya dissolution. Of the three sekitori coming from that heya, Takakeisho is the only one participating in the Jungyo. Many people cheered him on. But not just spectators, it seems! Here is a piece of the TV coverage of the event.
First, the commentators focus on the fact that Takakeisho is still wearing a Takanohana yukata. That’s actually something I didn’t think was too surprising. Naya wears a Taiho yukata frequently. Hoshoryu goes around in an Asashoryu yukata. And they are still in the strict part of the banzuke. Why shouldn’t Takakeisho, a san-yaku sekitori, wear whatever yukata he pleases?
Further forward, moving through showing his participation in keiko and the fans showing him a lot of attention and asking for autographs, and talking about keiko and stuff, they show him greeting Hakuho in the morning. Hakuho usually all but ignores the sekitori who come to greet him – except his particular friends like Tamawashi etc. – but this time he stopped, turned around, and held on to Takakeisho’s arm in an encouraging fashion.
The news piece ends showing the first item that sold out in the memorabilia stands: “Gambare, Takakeisho” towels.
The event schedule went on as usual regardless of the Taka-no-drama, though. Here we have the Shokkiri routine for this Jungyo.
The Shokkiri team from the previous Jungyo contines into this basho – Ebisumaru and Shobushi. In the previous basho they alternated with another pair, so I’ll check tomorrow if they alternate this time as well.
Due to the many absences from Juryo, no less than three Makushita wrestlers were thrown into the Juryo torikumi to thicken it up. Jokoryu faced Ms8E Nakazono. Azumaryu faced the newly promoted Gokushindo, and Gagamaru, who is going to say goodbye to his sekitori status in the next basho, faced the man replacing him – Tomokaze.
I ran into only one photo from the Juryo bouts – Terutsuyoshi vs. Tsurugisho – and boy, I’m dying to know who won and by what kimarite, exactly.
Here is Hakuho’s dohyo-iri. Due to Ishiura’s absence, his dew-gatherer is Daieisho. This state of affairs is likely to remain so until at least Hatsu basho, as Ishiura will not be in Makuuchi in Kyushu.
Here are Chiyotairyu and Daieisho awaiting their Torikumi. This is a boring time for rikishi, so they are playing a game – one rikishi has to guess how many thumbs the other rikishi will put up. This game is actually more interesting when played with more than two rikishi, because then the answer is not just zero, one, or two.
Of the bouts themselves, I have Takakeisho vs. Ikioi. Notice the announcement for Takakeisho: “Hyogo-ken, Ashiya-shi shusshin, Chiganoura beya”.
Let’s proceed with the past two days, which were full of events in the lower divisions. You have already seen Ura and Wakaichiro. Here are some others.
Tsukahara has won the Jonokuchi and the Jonidan yusho when he started out in Hatsu 2018 (Mae-zumo in 2017). But he got a little stuck in his next two basho. He is going for the Sandanme Yusho this time. In this bout he faces Seigo from Shikoroyama beya:
He also had a bout on day 7, and is currently 4-0.
Now we turn to the princes. First, the Duke of Tatsunami, Hoshoryu. Here facing Sasakiyama. At this point both are 2-0. Note that the torikumi committee regularly matches people with the same record – this helps separate the wheat from the chaff quickly and efficiently.
Sasakiyama returned after a long kyujo and went 6-1 in Jonidan and 7-0 in Sandanme (Jun-Yusho, with Kagamio winning the yusho).
Sasakiyama is not happy. But at least that kotenage left him in one piece.
The next is the Prince of Otake, scion of Taiho (and Takatoriki). He is already 1-1 at this point, and faces Sakigake with the same score.
Bad mistake there, and he finds himself facing outwards, and is respectfully led out. Serious setback, two losses in a row for a man with so many hopes pinned on him. If he doesn’t get a kachi-koshi, it’s back to Sandanme, as he is at the very bottom of Makushita.
I am not going to go through the entire Juryo, but I want you to watch two special bouts. The first is a mixed bout. Toyonoshima in Makushita is scheduled for a Juryo match. So he gets to wear an oicho-mage and throw some salt, which he hasn’t done for a while. It’s a bit unusual to be scheduled for the fourth time in six days, but hey, if he wants to be a sekitori, he has to be able to wrestle every day, right?
He is matched with Jokoryu – a former Sekiwake against a former komusubi. One striving to return to sekitori status, one just now having achieved that.
Since Toyonoshima is at Makushita #1, if he wins this bout, he is kachi-koshi and virtually ensures his return to Juryo for Kyushu.
With both falling about the same time, there is, of course a monoii. And a torinaoshi. Toyonoshima is full of fire. The second time around ends in a hearty uwatenage. Toyonoshima returns to Juryo.
The next interesting day 6 bout is not quite as emotional, but still brilliant. Enho – who else – meets Tokushoryu.
Enho goes for the Hakuho slap-and-grab. The grab doesn’t quite work, but Enho is unfazed. He finds Tokushoryu’s mae-mitsu, and at the same time secures a hold on Tokushoryu’s mawashi knot. The kimarite is shitatenage. But if you look at the replays, you’ll see that enho actually throws him with both arms – he needs a lot of leverage on that hefty guy. With this, Enho is level again, 3-3. His game is much improved over his first Juryo visit.
Oh, and there was something very odd going on in the Day 6 Juryo dohyo-iri. Take a look:
Three wrestlers are missing from the dohyo-iri, and come running in just in time to delay Aminishiki, who looks rather outraged. Perhaps because one of the delinquents is his own ototo-deshi (member of the same heya who joined at a later date) – Terutsuyoshi, accompanied by Tsurugisho and Daishoho. I’m pretty sure Aminishiki had a little talk with Terutsuyoshi after that.
The gyoji-announcer, however, smoothly adds the names of the three late joiners without pause.
Interestingly, despite being late for the dohyo-iri, Terutsuyoshi’s tsukebito (Midorifuji, in the top picture) seems to have retained all of his teeth. I guess there are ways of dealing with one’s own tardiness without spilling the blood of one’s subordinates.
(Yeah, I am referring to the Bakayoshitoshi incident).
Anyway, here is the day 6 full Juryo digest for your pleasure:
How can we pass up a Hattorizakura bout? Here vs. Kogitora:
In the previous basho it seemed that Hattorizakura has made a step forward, and started working on his staying power. Alas, this basho none of that seems to have remained. His stablemaster promised him a new shikona should he make kachi-koshi. I guess he likes “Hattorizakura”.
Let’s look at another Jonokuchi bout for a change. Here is one of the new recruits for Naruto beya, Oju, vs. Toya. Oju’s first basho in Jonokuchi has been a disaster, but take a look at this bout:
Oju looks pretty drained after the bout, but still goes over to try and help his opponent up (which Toya refuses). So he is a nice guy. But besides that, it was a good bout, and he kept his stance lower than his opponent and used his opening. He is now 2-2.
Tsushida, who was the Jonokuchi yusho winner in Nagoya, suffered a setback on day 6. So probably no Jonidan yusho. But can he come back? Here he is faced with Sakabayashi. Again, the torikumi masters match wrestlers with the same score:
So maybe no yusho, but Tsushida is still going strong.
Now, on day 1 I said Satonofuji looked tired and spent, and speculated that he may retire soon. But in fact he is having a lovely basho. And, oh, feast your eyes on this bout vs. Chiyotaiko:
In my opinion, that tachiai should have been a matta. But it wasn’t called, and Satonofuji finds himself in an awkward position. But if you think that the 41-years-old Isegahama man just accidentally came up with a clever kimarite, think again. This Izori is his 15th. The man has 36 distinct kimarite under his belt.
I still follow Torakio, but the man is starting to have a really disastrous basho, despite not being seriously injured this time. Take a look at this match vs. Yokoe. Both 1-2 coming into this match:
A lot of effort, but the Musashigawa man manages to unbalance the Bulgarian and Torakio is 1-3, very close to a make-koshi, and it’s not nakabi, yet!
At the bottom, the struggling Naya meets Shosei. Both 1-2 coming into the match. Shosei is a veteran and Makushita regular.
Naya recovers from his two losses and is now 2-2.
Now here is a familiar face we haven’t seen in a while. Yet another one trying to make a return to sekitori status, Chiyootori. Here he faces Koba from Kise beya, both 2-1 coming into this match.
Despite that huge brace on his leg, Chiyootori seems full of genki. Bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce until the tachiai, and a yorikiri soon after. Chiyootori is now 3-1, and at Makushita 25, still has a way to go before he can start throwing salt again.
Finally, here is Sokokurai, who wants the yusho very badly, facing Gokushindo, who wants it quite as much (and there are other people in Makushita aiming for it):
This kind of bout is the reason why they invented tsuppari. Guys, stop circling around and tring to find an opening that doesn’t exist. Show some initiative. Sokokurai is very careful, tries not to expose himself in any way. This could go on forever, but Sokokurai makes the first mistake and loses his chance of a yusho.
Chiyonoumi is having a real hard time this basho. His tsuppari attack is effective at first, but still, Hakuyozan is bigger and not easily moved by mere thrusts, and it’s the Kokonoe man who finds himself outside.
Akua with his back to the wall. His bouts in the past few days are very fierce, even desparate. Tokushoryu is the winner and Akua is 2-5.
Mitoryu started the basho strong, but weakened a bit as the days passed. Azumaryu wants to find his way back up.
Jokoryu manages to turn Tobizaru around, but the monkey somehow gets back around and they both fall outside. There is a monoii, but the decision holds – Jokoryu “nokotteori” – he still has a leg inside.
Enho tries to get inside, doesn’t find a way, but Seiro – back from kyujo – can’t unbalance the little pixie. Eventually, Enho achieves a straight oshi-dashi. This is the first time he manages two consecutive wins in Juryo.
Gagamaru lifts Tsurugisho easily over the bales.
Takekaze slams into Shimanoumi, but that doesn’t seem to impress his opponent much. He is soon sent out.
Terutsuyoshi – half henka, gets inside Hidenoumi’s belly, and sends him out. 5-2 for the Isegahama pixie.
Wakatakakage suffers a serious weight disadvantage in his bout with Takagenji. That was one fierce oshidashi.
Kotoeko requires some time before he succeeds in forcing Chiyonoo out.
Nice battle between Yago and Daishoho, which goes back and forth between the two. Daishoho tries a hatakikomi, but is driven out before Yago finds himself on his knees.
Akiseyama once again switches mawashi color to stop his losing streak. Alas, this time it doesn’t work. Meisei somehow manages to keep in the black, while Akiseyama is 1-6.
Kyokushuho doesn’t leave any opening for Uncle Sumo’s wiles. Aminishiki flies to the fourth row before the fans finish their first “Aminishiki” shout. Two consecutive losses for the Isegahama veteran, and he is now 4-3.
Finally, once again, Arawashi grabs the mawashi and throws at the edge. Daiamami is down before Arawashi’s legs leave ground.
Juryo is crazy this basho. It seems the level is very very even. No one is 7-0. No one is even 6-1. And there are four men with 5-2:
If Terutsuyoshi, the pixie with the sodium fixation, who only secured his kachi-koshi in the previos basho in the last day, is in the Yusho arasoi in this one, then as far as Juryo is concerned, we are in a Wacky Aki.