The day 14 Aki Basho action has arrived. By its arrival, I mean in written form by yours truly. And by yours truly, I mean some average guy willing to put himself out there and write about a sport that he has grown to love over the last three years. The half foreign, half Japanese and half Juryo basho has been a fun one to watch, but it has been clear that the competition has been down. With guys like Takekaze and Yoshikaze being the only guys left with a chance to hold off the great Hakuho, you know the things are a bit watered down this fall. One Ozeki is still working for their eighth win today. Yep, Kaio. I wonder if he’ll get his win? Actually, I don’t wonder because I think we all can guess what will happen. This guy is Mr. 8-6, eh.
Shimotori had a joke of a match against Tamawashi. The Mongol leaning far too forward at the tachi-ai was easy pickins for the Frozen Bird from Niigata. Shimotori, not surprisingly picks up his eight wins.
Kimurayama reminds me of the red head in the movie, Dead Poet’s Society. He’s in the club but no one really seems to like him. In the movie, the red head kid blames the cool English teacher and cool English teacher gets fired. I guess a sumo equivalent might be a consistent regiment of henka. Today Kimi (how’s that for a nickname?) faced off against Kakizoe. Regardless of the fact that Kakizoe “Oh no you didn’t” slapped Kimuraryama in the face multiple times (with authority), the bigger Kimi took him on straight from the tachi-ai and walked Mr. Spark Plug right out of the ring with relative ease.
Gaga toed the line against fellow Georgian (as in Republic of Georgia, not the state), Kokkai. Twas The Round One who easily wins this bout by yorikiri. Gaga moves to 9-5 with a chance at ten wins tomorrow against the ever sneaky, Hakuba.
Kitataiki man handles Toyozukura today for an oshidashi win. Kitataiki moves to 9-5.
Asasekiryu gets a nice left hand grip at the tachi-ai against Tochinonada. The match ended with my new favorite Mongolian rikishi throwing Tochi for a belt-less arm throw (that was oddly judged to be an utwatenage). Tochi, no nada eight wins today (get it? Think about it for a second!) and instead will have to wait until tomorrow to try to get his.
Mathematically still possible Yusho hopeful Yoshikaze faced the bigger Kotoshogiku. The Geku got in fast at the tachi-ai and got under Kaze’s armpits quickly to pull off the oshidashi.
Wow, Sokokurai showed his strength today against Kyokutenho. It looked as though the Chaufer was going to lift him out, simple as that. Not so! Sokokurai comes back and lifts the bigger Mongol right out of the dohyo! Good stuff, Sokokurai lives to see another day at seven in seven! Good luck tomorrow, eh!
Takekaze was then the final guy left to potentially challenge Hakuho (haha). Today he fought well against Tochinoshin. The 22 year old had a terrible tachi-ai and it looked like the veteran Kaze was going to take it with a deep mawashi grip. There was a pause in the action however, and the other Georgian (from the Republic, remember?) got his left-hand grip and threw the Akita native to the ground. With that loss, Hakuho has won his forth Yusho in a row, and has potentially won his four zensho Yusho (undefeated Yusho).
Aminishiki henkaed his way to his eighth win over Kakuryu. Not impressive, of course, but Kakuryu needs to be ready for that sneaky crap.
Tochiozan continues to roll with his tenth win over Henkuba. Yorikiri style. Impressive basho for the best Japanese hope (right now) for Japan’s next Ozeki. Ten wins at sekiwake gives him a starting point at least. It will be fun to see if the same guys shows up at Kyushu. I for one, hopes the same guy does show up.
Kisenosato loses in what appeared to me to be a legitimate bout against Kaio. We’ll see you in Kyushu old friend.
Final bout Kotooshu vs. The Dai Yokozuna!
Hakuho has won something like the last seven bouts against the Bulgarian. With no Yusho pressure, you knew that the Yokozuna would be putting the pressure on anyways (that’s how he rolls!). Hakuho seriously crushes Kotooshu at the tachi-ai but Big-O held on at the bails, his foot hanging off just above the sand. The Bulgarian fought back to the center of the dohyo and looked to have thrown the Yokozuna but Hakuho tenaciously held on and forced the Oshu out of the ring. With this yorikiri win, the Yokozuna has one last match against Harumafuji. If he wins tomorrow he’ll have 62 straight wins. Only seven wins from tying the all-time wins record in Kyushu. History is now. I will be shocked if I ever see another touch what Hakuho is doing right now in sumo.
What will you remember about this Yokozuna? What do(did) you think of Chalmers and Crestwell’s debate this week? Check it out here if you haven’t read it yet!
Saddle up dear reader! Valentine taking you through to Senshuraku!