“What’s up doc?” Rabbit references aside, S & S would like to welcome you to 2011 or Hesei 23, which ever you prefer. The Hastu Basho is here. Thanks in part to Valentine’s excellent post below no doubt (Top Ten Reasons to Love Sumo), the Kokugikan was sold out today. If day one was any indicator, this looks to be a great year of sumo ahead.
Let’s start off with Okinoumi facing off against Mokonami. The most noticeable change in this bout was Okinoumi’s speed at the tachi-ai. Pretty Boy looks like a completely different rikishi than say, his first Makuuchi tournament last year. Breaks Moko’s grip and drives him out of the dohyo for a yoritaoshi victory!
People may have forgotten but a while back Shotenro beat Hakuho in a match where the Yokozuna slipped up. Anyways, Shotenro makes Hakuba look insignificant today: strong tsukidashi. The White Horse continues his fall back to reality now that the entire Makuuchi is aware of the little guy’s game. Shotenro moves to 1-0.
Miyabiyama faced “Not so Waka” no Sato
Thought for sure we would see Jaba slapping down the Aomori native but the opposite happened. Good day for the much smaller team Aomori (Bushu and Iwaki: you will be missed).
Takamisakari wins over Tokitenku. That being said, I have to give props to Toki. Guy had what looked like no chance of winning that bout once Robocop got the backside of his mawashi but he “almost” turn things around. Takamisakari adds one more win for team Aomori.
Kitataiki had Tosayutaka today on day one. Kita drives the Kochi native right out of the ring and Asashoryus him off of the dohyo for good measure. Opps, if you prefer the more formal explanation: I mean Kitataiki Chiyonofujis him off of the dohyo for good measure. A subtle but important lesson, in politeness, eh?
Gaga gobbles up Takekaze: Kotoshogiku style. The Georgian looks to be in fine form. Excited to see what he brings this basho.
Tamawashi and Homasho faced off to see who would be deemed the best pusher thruster of the day. After some mighty pushes by both rikishi Tamawashi turns to the tables with a nice slap down victory.
The next bout that was interesting was Harumafuji’s return bout against Tochinoshin. The Ozeki looks to have recovered well enough. He patiently outlasts Tochinoshin for the yorikiri win.
Big-O took on Aminishiki, his arch-nemesis. Clearly a little shaken by this bout the Ozkei looked completely out of control. Likely because he was completely out of control. Good news for the Bulgarian however was that he managed not to fall before the Aomori native and won his bout!
Baruto took on the crafty Toyonoshima. Bart looked to be a little eager to get this bout over with. Sloppily pushing and leaning to far forward against the smaller Toyonoshima. The M1 rikishi was able to grab the Estonian’s arm for a nice hikiotoshi victory. Great start for Toyonoshima. It will be interesting to see how Baruto responds tomorrow against always agile Kakuryu.
Kaio vs. Tochiozan
Not much to report here (that will be a surprise that is). Another “slip” by a younger rikishi to give the Ozeki a win on day one.
Hakuho made quick work of Kakuryu with an oshidashi win for the Yokozuna. Mark it 14 in a row for the Yokozuna from Mongolia! Who will break this win streak?!
Don’t ask me!
Bertrum might have an opinion however: he’s got your back for Day 2.