Hatsu Basho Day 15: Senshuraku

So the final day of Sumo has finally arrived.  With more than half of the pack in their cars driving home for most of the day, it was good to sit down watch some sumo and enjoy this beverage kindly given to me by a distinguished gentlemen from South Africa.  Now some people may say that the rains are blessed in Africa among other things, but perhaps it was only this fine drink.  

I usually like to start my reports with more of an anecdote. However, within the next few days a distinguished gentlemen from the US and I will be co-writing this basho’s wrap up.  There I will proceed to write my mediocre opinions about this basho.  So, with out any more delay I will go fetch myself a coffee and get this thing started.

Shotenro vs. Kotokasuga: Well for a the first bout of the last day, it was a rather mediocre bout.  Shotenro goes in and forces Kotokasuga upright.  From this point he arm thrusts Koto and couple times and Koto is out of the ring.  Shotenro dominated this bout, however the disappointing thing about it was not the actually bout itself.  It was the Shotenro lunged off balance intot he crowd after winning his bout.  Shotenro may have gotten a point…..though I think we know who got the last laugh.

Wakakoyu vs. Hakuba: I love to see Henkaba go down.  And this bout was especially nice to watch.  Wakakoyu from the beginning did not allow Henka to do anything.  Waka kept Henkaba standing up by constantly thrusting up.  Henkaba just couldnt keep with it. Done

Miyabiyama vs. Kimurayama: I think if we added Yamamotoyama into this bout there’d be a bit of a Yama party going on. Think about it: all the pushing, thrusting, grabbing, tossing mixed in with all that meat.  I don’t know what else won’t excite this guy on a snowed in Monday afternoon.  And I haven’t even started talking about the bout.  But I might as well have described it.  Miyabiyama wins this bout with a ton of thrusting….wasn’t such an interesting match.

Koryu vs. Wakanosato: Lets see whether this distinguished gentlemen from Tohoku can represent Northern Japan.  And he does.  At the start they both seemed to go for the neck grab…probably trying to keep one another from getting any lower.  Waka then grabs the mawashi.  Koryu tried to fight back by also grabbing the mawashi (well, technically anything he can get his hands on) and shifts his body lower.  At this point Koryu is a little outstretched by this I mean that his upper body is more or less parallel to the ground while his lower half is still perpendicular.  Waka notices and pushes him to the floor.  Nice win for Waka (and Kachikoshi)

Takamisakari vs. Sokokurai: I enjoy watching Takamisakari’s bouts.  Really, though this bout was not anything special at all.  All theatrics aside. Sokokurai lunges fast and Taka couldn’t stop the Soko-train. Kachikoshi for the Chinese.

Kokkai vs. Tokitenku: I feel bad for Kokkai.  He has had a pretty bad year and from the looks of it he’ll be in Juryo next time perhaps.  Kokkai starts by leading into the tachiai with his shoulder.  The guy is trying at least… afterwards he leads with a few arm thrusts to phase what he can of Toki.  But, Toki doesn’t have any of it.  He tries several ways to taken Kokkai down but has a hard time trying to find that sweet spot.  Hopefully, he has a better time finding it with his women.  Finally, he gets both arms under Kokkai’s shoulders and while lifting takes Kokkai out of the ring.

Kitataiki vs. Mokonami: I don’t think there was any doubt to who was going to win this bout from the start.  Kita thrusts head first and stays low.  Continuing to push forward, Kitataiki almost pushes Moko out with a two handed thrust, but Moko recovers.  They resume to bearhug for a bit in the center and Kita then proceeds to leg trip Moko for the win.

Tochinonada vs. Tosayukata: To be honest this bout was looking more like Tochinonada’s than Tosa’s.  Tochi was very aggressive in the beginning.  But, Tosa got his grip and fended off the attacks.  When he saw an opening, Tosa acted and pushed him down.

Takekaze vs. Toyohibiki: This was a pretty straight forward bout.  I got to give Take some props for reading this one well.  Toyo at the start lunges toward Take relatively fast and low.  Take sees these and kind of jumps back and pushes Toyo down. Kachikoshi for Take….. at least one Kaze is doing well.

Kyokutenho vs. Toyozakura:  Pretty weak performance from Toyozakura.  Toyo pulls out arm thrusts to stop and distance himself from Kyoku.  This only phased Kyoku for a second if that and continues with his momentum forward.  After this Toyo doesn’t really even fight back and gets pushed out.

Okinoumi vs. Tokusegawa: I was actually looking forward to this bout.  Both guys have been pretty solid in this basho, and have been gaining respect from this guy.  Anyways, I was hoping that Okinoumi would get this one however, that was not the case.   Oki was definitely the more agressive out of the two of them though.  At the tachiai Oki was a little bit higher than Toku.  Toku quickly got a grip and quickly lost it trying to fend Oki off.  Toku then shifts to a lower stance and forces Oki to go down as well. At this point Oki tries to pull and in that split second Toku takes advantage to push Oki down.

Shimotori vs. Yoshikaze: Even though the ranks are vastly different both of these guys have terrible scores.  What can I say I’d like to see Yoshikaze have a score comparable to his last basho, but thats not the case, eh?  I guess he couldn’t handle the bigger boys.  Well that being said he at least won this bout.  Yoshi rushed in at the tachiai and just rolled with the momentum pushing Shimo back constantly. If Shimo tried to get away, Yoshi moved appropiately and kept the pressure on.  Eventyually Shimo gets pushed down near the ring by Yoshi.

Tochinoshin vs. Aran: At the start of this bout, the tow foreigners quickly interlock into bearhugs.  This basically to me translates into find your grip and wait for the opening.  And that is what happens. Tochinoshin takes the intiative and tries a few times to lift Aran by the mawashi. But fails.  He then tries a sideways takedown, but again to no avail. So it seems like its back to the waiting game.  Now its Aran’s turn to try the lift out.  Amazingly on one of the attempts Aran did, Tochinoshin counter-lifts Aran out of the ring.  Great timing and strength for Tochi.

Asasekiryu vs. Aminishiki: They charge at each other, and Aminishiki keeps the pressure on while Asa falls back a bit.  Trying to recover, Asa gets to a point where they interlock and Aminishiki swings Asa around by the shoulders.  This allows Asa to lose his balance and Aminishiki forces him tot he edge of the ring.  In desperation Asa tries to throw Aminishiki down and forces both fighters to do a cartwheel type move.  Asa’s head hits the floor a split second too late whihc gives the match to Aminishiki.

Toyonoshima vs. Tamawashi: Even though by the end of the match the crowd was going wild….i wasn’t too impressed.  I mean good job to Toyonoshima for getting his kachikoshi. But, at one point in the match they were literally not touching in a ready position.  Tamawashi basically just kept pushing Toyo away from the beginning.  After the stalemate, Toyo gets quickly inside and forces Tama back.  Tama seems to slip and fall down.

Hamasho vs. Kakuryu:  Nice round by Hamasho.  He charges into the tachiai and is constantly aggressive.  Hamasho keeps trying to stay low and lift upwards.  He gets Kakuryu to the edge and lifts him out using the mawashi with the classic pelvic thrust.

Tochiozan vs. Gagamaru: Nothing too special about this bout.  Tochiozan keeps it low and arm thrusts up toward Gaga.  Gaga is always at a higher stance and only switches when its a little too late.   Tochi eventually pushes him out.

Goeido vs. Kotoshogiku: A little bit anti-climatic.  Kotoshogiku rushes in. Goeido takes it in the chest and leads to the side.  As he does this Goeido pushes Koto’s head down and Koto is done.

Kisenosato vs. Harumafuji: Kisenosato had Haruma and a half.  Kise took Haruma’s charge square in the chest.  It seemed that Haruma was a little slow to recover from the charge.  Seeing this Kisenosato pushes him off balance and capitalizes to force Haruma out.  A good display of Kise looking like a champ.

Kotooshu vs. Baruto: It was pretty exciting to watch, however they both seemed either out-stretched or a little high.  Maybe a little bit of both.  Kotooshu looked as if he was trying to force Baruto off balance by pulling up on the mawashi.  And Baruto was trying to stay alive.  Anyways, Baruto falls over and gives the win to Kotooshu.

Hakuho vs. Kaio: I think we all know that Kaio is going to lose against Hakuho.  But, it looked like Kaio gave Hakuho a little “trouble.” Most of the match was arm thrusting.  Hakuho tried to just simply push him out.  During the middle of the bout Hakuho changed his strategy and gets a inside grip and its over.

All thats left is the wrap up!
de Gama out..

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