Aloha to all you sumo fans, especially those with a cravin’ for good smokes. This is Chalmers reporting from sunny Hawaii to watch and report on my first basho since leaving snowy Akita. I was reading Mike Wesemann’s comment on Ichiro, Japan’s chosen one, as he approaches a milestone. I agree that Sumo is hurting for a Japanese hero to emerge, to bring new life to the sport and lead their people back to their roots.
But I don’t see that happening any time soon with Team Mongol creeping up to take yet another record away from Team Japan. Yes, the match to watch today, at least by Kokonoe Oyakata, formerly known as Chiyonofuji. Chiyonofuji, aka “the Wolf” and one of the Yokozuna greats of the 20th Century, has his record of 53 consecutive wins at steak as Hakuho, the great Mongol in the ring, stood at 52 wins at the start of the day. This record, set 22 years ago, is second only to Futabiyama’s 69 wins, set 73 years ago. Hakuho, now 25 years old and still well in his prime, will be eligible to take the top spot in the record books mid-basho in Fukuoka. Go Hakuho!!!
The day starts of with our Juryo rep Toyohibiki, surfacing from Juryo after getting the boot from Maegashira after Nagoya. Biki gets a break today fighting old-timer Tosanoumi, who is only in Makuuchi by Biki’s stupidity (among others). Biki tires out the old man, then slaps down to finish, picking up his first win of the tournament.
Lady Gaga, in the 3rd, does his darndest to sway the judges in his favor after a monoii with Tamawashi. Good looks and bedroom eyes fail as he is sent back to the line, out of breath from his efforts with the judges, Gaga gives it up to King Tama, oshidashi.
Kakizoe, showing he still has it against Team Korea, picks up his 3rd win, tsukiotoshi.
Team Akita ate extra kiritampo nabe to pick up a slap down win over rookie, Kyokunankai. 4-2 for Team Akita, Keppare!!!
Team China, making waves in his (and the countries) first appearance in Makuuchi, gets the right-inside grip and muscles out Shimotori for a 3rd win.
Whenever Yoshikaze gets low enough in Maegashira, he makes a run at jyuyusho as he appears to be doing this basho, picking up a hard-fought win against G.W. for a 6-0, hikiotoshi.
Kokkai putting up a poor attempt at an arm throw falls victim to the same arm throw himself. Sukuinage win for Kotokasuga and Kokkai’s second loss.
Robocop put up a good fight bulling over Henkaba, but Henka pulls a last second desperation grab at the mawashi as he falls out. Takamisakari steps out for his 4th loss this tournament, never seeing it.
The Sneak sneaks by Kitataiki for a 4th win, with what looked like an unfinished Kakenage leg hook, but was judged as a yorikiri??. Sneaky.
The Cigar Chief dominates the today’s powwow, looking like the true bear-fighter against Tokusegawa. Staying away from a belt contest, Chief muscles his way to his first win, yorikiri.
Wakanosato maintains his perfect record this tournament as he forgets everything he learned at Sumo school and stands up at the Tachiai: fail. Kakuryu picks up an easy 3rd win.
The King looking strong as he graciously extends Tokitenku’s perfect no-win record, and continues to show that he belongs in his new Sekiwake seat, hard earned after 3 kachikoshi of the last 4 tournaments this year. Toki get’s oshidashi-ed like a noob as Elvis cruises to 5-1.
Harumafuji, yet to have a real opponent, gives his favorite throat-shove to Kyokutenho, who decides to make things interesting by holding on to Haruma on the way down. Haruma headbutts a fan on his way to 5-1, oshidashi.
Tochinoshin, hoping to make the meat grinder by November, gives no handouts this tournament. Kaio doesn’t get the senior citizen discount today as Noshin tires him out before walking the old man back to his seat, yorikiri. Tochinoshin now at 4-2.
Bart looking a bit clumsy on the tachiai as he almost falls backwards to Alan. But Bart makes up for it with a tsuppari barrage and a dameoshi for shits and giggles. Bart picks up number 5.
The Blink continues to struggle at his 12th (non-consecutive) Komusubi appearance. Kotooshu bulls Blinky over and give’s him the ‘ol hug-n-chug, done better only by the Geek. Oshu in a good position at 6-0. Juyusho, anybody?
And last but not least, how ‘bout that Hakuho? Hakuho making a run at history, ties 53 bout winning streak set by Chiyonofuji twenty-two years ago, and second only to Futabiyama’s 69. The Geek puts up his best effort, but the Hak capitalizes on the Geek’s reckless excitement, and not able to catch the Geek as he runs past and out. Hatakikomi win puts Hakuho at 6-0, and 53 straight wins. Tomorrow we will see if Hakuho gains the second best consecutive-win record!