We have 7 new sekitori all ready to kick some ass (or at least try to) for Nagoya. Some new faces, some you might recognize. A few we have referenced here before, and a few most of you have never heard of. I also can’t help bragging that this is my second “on the bubble rikishi” to make it to juryo. The former being Takarafuji (soon to be makuuchi). Most of these guys have been waiting too long to get the sekitori nod, and although I think that these yaocho forced retirements and dismissals were scatalogical at best, I’m glad to see cats like Hakuba, Kasugao, Kotokasuga, Kyokunankai, and Chiyohakuho get the boot to make room for these guys. Here we go. (I tried to find entertaining pictures for all these guys but some were tough… it’s always easier to find them for the new Makuuchi guys.)
First up is Aoiyama. Daniel Ivanov from Bulgaria, 25 years old (in June) and member of Tagonoura-beya. 190cm 157.6kg. In his first 5 basho he only had 1 loss and a makushita yusho from Ms48e, but once he made it to upper makushita he ran into some heavier hitters, and needed to reevaluate. He seems to have hit a stride though with a record of 17-11 in his past 4 basho in makushita. his 5-2 finish from Ms1e brings him up to juryo. Can work either in pushing or on the belt and can pull a nage if needed. No one really seems to have his number, and he doesn’t seem overly weak against any specific types, so Nagoya will be interesting. Here we see Aoiyama…holding a cake…..
Takanoyama or Pavel Bojar as his mammy calls ‘im. 28 years old rom Prague, Czech Republic 187cm 101kg, Naruto beya. Some of you might remember him as Kisenosato’s tsukebito, but no longer. 35 of his 57 career basho have been in makushita with a 125/115 record in the division. He’s one of those guys that has buckets of strength and skill, but with his light weight he has trouble with the heavier gentlemen. This guy has a judo background and is a regular waza-depaato, using 39 kimarite over his career. His bashos are always a mixed bag often with him never repeating a kimarite. I’m interested to see how the guy will do with bigger opponants and 15 bouts per tournament. His 5-2 will be good enough for a decent spot in juryo. Here we see Takanoyama bird hunting.
Arawashi- Where else would you be from with a name like Dulgoun Erhebayar. Another member to add to the Mongol horde. 24 years old, 185.5cm 119.8kg, Hanakago-beya. Defintely a yotsuzumo customer. Being somewhat smaller he does have problems with the bigger guys, especially when they are pusher thrusters. I wouldn’t say there is anything spectacular about him. his record is pretty consistant at 4-3. My bet is that he’ll be a upper makushita mainstay bouncing up to juryo every once in a while. Should be at the bottom of the pile with a 3-4 makekoshi promotion.
Kaonishiki – We’ve been praying for more sideburns, something more like Takamiyama, and the gods smile on us with Kaonishiki. Not only in the form of facial hair, but the dude is from Akita However this may not last, too bad. 32 years old, joined sumo in 2001. 178.5 cm 149.6 kg Azumaseki-beya, Takamisakari’s old tsukebito. The only yusho we’ve seen out of old Ambrose here was his first jonokuchi basho back in Nagoya 2001, and a 6-1 makushita playoff in Nagoya 2009 that he lost to Fukao (now Akiseyama). Nagoya 10 year charm? Maybe a juryo yusho? Probably not. He’s not very diverse, mostly pushing and basic belt moves, and he’s not overly good at either, not to mention that he doesn’t have overly decent records against the current contenders. But 6 out of the last 7 basho have been kachikoshi However I do enjoy watching the guy fight because, much like his sempai, Robocop, he gives each bout energy and enthusiasm. Here we also see Kaonishiki holding… a cake… and here we see him next to what looks like a large carrot.
Tenkaiho (Minami) – Ever wonder who moto-Yamamotoyama, Yamamoto Ryuichi, bequeathed all his biomass to? This guy certainly got some of it. Moto-Minami is a big boy at 182.6 cm 185 kg, 26 years old (Onoe-beya) and likes yotsu zumo, using his bulk to try and force opponants out of the ring. Nothing spectacular to report apart from a 5-way play off last Kyushu that Myogiryu ended up winning and a sandname yusho. Solid fighter though. Don’t think he’ll stick around long enough to warrant the shikona change, but we’ll see.
Chiyonokuni – Another wolf pup. Since Chiyohakuho got the boot for cheating Kokonoe-beya was without a sekitori. I think this guy might prove to be a bit more promising. 182 cm 125.7 kg turning 21 in July, from Mie-ken. He also was involved in that 5-way in Kyushu where Myogiryu came out on top. He had the mid-makushita slump when he broke into the division after his 6-1, and 4-3 start. But since then has recovered well with 6-1, 5-2, and 5-2. He looks decent when he fights and I look forward to seeing what he can do. Sorry, best I could do was his publicity photo.
Hitenryu (Mochimaru) from Fukuoka. Tatsunami-beya 26 years old 188.5 cm 149.5 kg. Again no yusho to speak of, one makushita playoff back in Nagoya 2008. More of an all around rikishi. He has a consistant record, but consistant on a makushita level. However, since he is decent on the belt, but bigger he does well against the smaller lighter built guys like Takanoyama and Tochitsubasa. He seems to rarely get more than two kachikoshi in a row back in 2004-5 he linked 7 kachikoshi after dropping from makushita the first time. but since the most in a row he’s gotten has been 3 on 2 seperate occasions. being 26 and having been in sumo for 11 years, it seems like mid-high makushita might be a plateau for this guy. Here we see Hitenryu uncomfortably holding a little doggie.
I only have a bit to say about the other re-promotees:
Kakizoe (3-4) – the poor little guy. He had a good run, but he’s 32 and has had 8 straight makekoshis. As much as I like the guy, I just don’t see him hanging in that much longer. The guy is a sparkplug, and always puts heaps of energy into his bouts, but his movement, and his overall energy level have been down recently. Here we see Zoe preparing for a dream-date with Chalmers.
Kanbayashi (4-3) – This’ll be his 4th trip up to juryo, and he never lasts more than a few basho. Out of 8 basho in Juryo he squeaked out an 8-7 twice. His scores in makushita are pretty good, so maybe he just needs to get used to the 15 day workload, and with the current load of makushita mainstays, maybe it’ll work out this time. Gettin up there in age though at 30. Not sure however. He could go either way. Here we see Kanbayashi going the other way with a young boy.
Matsutani (7-0) – This guy I think can make it. He got screwed his first time up in Juryo with an injury causing him to miss 2 basho that bounced him back down to Makushita, but 2 straight 7-0 yushos tell me he’s ready to get it on. Here we see Matsutani in an interview for his makushita yusho looking quite…confused
Sotairyu (6-1) – been doing pretty good lately. Again, good all around wrestler, could do alright in the division. However, if you wanna see something fishy, look at his only basho in juryo so far. Notice the only wins he had were against guys who got the boot for yaocho. Of course a few yaocho rikishi beat him too. Could be nothing…could be… Sorry, only stock photo available.
Myogiryu (4-3) – This guy has been talked about since his days at the Nippon Sport Science University. He was in juryo within 4 basho of his Makushita tsukedashi debut. However, he suffered a severe injury 2 bouts into his juryo debut and went kyujo for that and the subsequent 3 basho, sinking to sandanme. But daddy is back, and in the 4 basho since returning he’s not failed to get kachikoshi. He went 7-0 in sandanme with a yusho playoff and picked up the makushita yusho back in kyushu. I hear talk of this guy having sanyaku potential. His pushing/thrusting game is good enough, it’s rare for him to work the belt or to throw, but he can. His record stands at 44-15-33. At 24 years old, he still has a chance, but those 7 months off really set him back.
Hamanishiki (6-1) – The grandpa of the bunch at 34 years old. He flirted with Makuuchi, going as high as 11e in 2002, but hasn’t made it higher than juryo 4 since. Likes his hidariyotsu, and from his pose here, has a bit a’ the Captain in him. Not much staying power me thinks.
In other news Hakuho and Takekaze were photographed on the street in a “less-reputable” neighborhood in Tokyo….get this…. wearing pants and “embracing” a young girl. Here we have a typical Japanese press overreaction to a foreigner’s actions. Hakuho flat out admitted that it was “a friend of his student sister”. Here is the series of photos. Notice Hakuho’s arms, notice their location throughout, yet in the last frame notice what is going on to him from behind that he is stoically ignoring. Ok he wore pants, against the rules. Fair enough, but let’s be serious here.