It’s always funny when Japanese people who speak no English try to translate stuff into English for you. Take yesterday afternoon as the perfect example. I was looking out the classroom window when I spotted a small animal on the far side of the baseball field, maybe about 300 meters away. My brain filed through all the animals it was used to seeing on a regular basis and returned 3 suggestions to me; a tanuki, a fox, or a squirrel. Due to the distance I was unable to identify which one it was, so I asked my teacher. He too was unable to identify the animal. About an hour later I asked the Kyoto sensei what it was, and his reply was “anaguma”. Having never heard this word before I politely replied, “huh?” He quickly translated it to English for me (kindof) “Bear, bear!” was his response. Ah! It’s a bear cub, I thought! Bears are common in these parts, so I thought wow, cool that’s the first wild bear I have ever seen. Alas, to those of you who speak more Japanese than I you will know that although the “guma” part of this word is represented by the kanji for bear, it has infinitely nothing to do with a bear.
Before the day got under way today we had 7 wrestlers fighting for their kachi-kochi or 8th win, and we had 6 guys trying to prevent make-koshi the 8th loss. And with one yokozuna who hasn’t dropped a bout surly that makes at least 16 wrestlers who were going to give it their all today!
Takarafuji vs. Tochinonada
Taka who made the trip up from Juryo today was fighting for his KK while Tochi was trying to prevent having his nads clipped for another day… At the tachi-ai Tochi cant’t get a grip, but Taka can. Taka’s right hand reaches to the back of his own mawashi, pulls out a snips and stealthily snips and pushes. A fraction of a second later no nads is down on his knees and officially has No Nads. Ouch!
Takayasu vs. Tochinowaka
A similar situation in the second fight of the day today with Juryo’s Takayasu on 7 wins fighting whack-off with 7 losses. Taka was all about commitment today and forgot to focus on his control. He overextended himself multiple times before Tochi capitalized and threw Taka to the dirt.
Takamisakari vs. Wakakoyu
During the 3rd fight we finally had 2 makuuchi wrestlers meet. Excitement again as the clown tried to put off his inevitable MK, while Wakakoyu fought for his KK. This was only going to go one way in my mind. After Taka mating call we things were under way. And Waka got a nice paw on Taka’s face and forcefully pushed the clown out. As expected!
Gagamaru vs. Shotenro
Lady Gaga needed to take down one of the few men who beat Hakuho last year to prevent his MK, and guaranteed drop from his M14 position. Show tried for the classic push then pull move, but the Lady knew it was coming and was happy to take the boy over the edge.
Kyokutenho vs. Kimurayama
Kimuramura (the horny one!) needed to get his leg over Kyoku today to guarantee his rise in the ranks. But Kyokutenho had other plans. From the tachi-ai he went straight into yotsu-zumo and Muramura found himself backed up with blue balls and more importantly, outside the ring.
Toyohibiki vs. Takekaze
Takekaze, our hometown version of Scrappy Cornelius Doo came into today with 6 wins and 6 losses, just like his opponent. The advantage however was that Scrappy had an 8 tier advantage over Lowyohibiki. The little dog went for a nastly jumping henka, making contact with Toyo’s neck. The 2 then found themselves in reversed positions, and with a miss from Toyo, Take got around the back and tenderly escorted Toyo out.
Okinoumi vs. Tamawashi
The Ball-Eagle had it all to fight for today against Okinoumi. With a lot of hands being used today the Eagle tried to get his hand on the back of Oki’s head and pull him down, but Oki reacted well and used The Eagles backward motion against him adding a few easy pushes. Not such a baller move by the Eagle who will have to perch on a lower branch next basho.
Kitataiki vs. Wakanosato
The North fella has been discovering how incredibly over ranked his was at M3 this basho. Coming in to today he only had 3 wins so the older Wakanosato may have felt pretty confident beforehand. They had a false start with Kita going early, and it looked very much like he was planning on trying a slap down. But they restarted and Waka locked up Kita and took him to the bales. Kita held on for a bit, but he never showed any real chance of recovery.
Homasho vs. Tochiozan
Why is it that any time I put Homasho on my fantasy team he SUCKS?? His inability to win in sumo almost annoys me more than his always stupid looking bow! Anyway between these two guys they managed to win a pathetic 4 out of 24 fights! Does anyone even care who won!?! Let’s just say I will NEVER pick Homasho on ANY fantasy team EVER again!
Goeido vs. Yoshikaze
This time Yoshikaze was trying to avoid MK. Before the fight I thought he hadn’t a chance against Goeido. Turns out to be an accurate assumption. Yoshikaze tried to be as slippery as a seal today, but Goeido managed to package him up nicely and set him out without even breaking a sweat.
Kakuryu vs. Kaisei
Kaisei is obviously doing great for his first time in the top division. So well in fact that he is now being fed to the big dogs. Coming in to today, from M16, he has only lost to Tochinoshin and Goeido! But on the other side of the ring stood Kakuryu who had only lost to two Ozeki and the Yokozuna! Still fancy your chances Kaisei?? He surly did fancy his chances, and put in a great performance. The fight went on for much longer than expected, and Kaisei even had the Kak heading for the bales on 2 occasions. But bith a nice flick of his hips the Kak twisted Kaisei to his knees. Great stuff from Kaisei, he is obviously still learning, but he should have a nice long career ahead of him!
Kotoshogiku vs. Kisenosato
Kisenosato, who recently lost to Homasho?!?!, came in with a pitiful 6-6 today against the much stronger Kotoshogiku. Kise tried to prevent Koto from getting his favourite grip and the almost unstoppable hug and chug. But Kise is not on form this tourney and he allowed Koto get a good right hand, and after many failed attempts at countering he was driven out for his 7th loss. He faces Kaio tomorrow.
Baruto vs. Tochinoshin
I was really looking forward to this fight! It’s nice to see 2 Europeans fighting each other, and both came in with 10 wins and only 2 losses each. Tochi took a somewhat cheap step to the left at the start, trying to get an easy grip on the Ozeki’s belt. He succeeded and then made sure kept ass as far away from Baruto as physically possible. This prevented Bart from getting a hand on Tochi’s belt. After a short stalemate Tochi went for a leg trip but sacrificed his belt in the process. I thought it was all over as Bart was left with a good inside grip but then Tochi keeping the pressure on went for another leg trip, which Bart quickly recovered from and went for a neck throw of his own. But somehow Tochi countered with a great uwatenagi and the two fell together, but Tochi did enough to have Bart heading for the ground first, and he fell pretty hard too. Great stuff from Tochi, well, after a sneaky half henka start.
Hakuho vs. Harumafuji
I always love the way these two always have a nice quick start, and today was no different. Harumafuji used his right arm to push the Hak and then slapped with his left. This separated the two for a split second, and when the reengaged Harry got a left hand grip on Hakuho’s belt, and very smartly wasted no time. He slipped around to Hakuho’s right hand side while maintain a left hand grip and keeping his right hand on the Yokozuna’s right shoulder, preventing Hakuho from squaring up. Harry then jolted the left hand grip he had, and charged straight into the Yokozuna’s side. Hakuho was in serious trouble at the point. He tried to spin around in the opposite direction, but Harumafuji was kept the pressure on, and charged forwards. Hakuho was on the bales and had nowhere to go but out! The fight lasted only 5 seconds, but the speed of these two wrestlers was amazing to watch. Harumafuji was on form today! Amazing!
This has made things very interesting. Hakuho having now lost a fight, has to refocus himself in the next 24 hours before he faces Baruto who now, in my eyes, has a much stronger chance of taking the Yokozuna. He’s surly kicking himself for losing to Tochinoshin now!
Ok so as things look now:
1 loss: Hakuho
2 losses: Tochinoshin
3 losses: Baruto, Kakuryu, Kaisei, Tosayutaka
Daly will take care of business tomorrow as the rest of us christen the Connolly residence and search for more badgers.