Nagoya Basho 2012 Nakabi

Hey sumo fans, it’s your northernmost northern correspondent, Christian Harper filling in on the sumo report. Sorry for the delay on this one. As everyone else participated in the debauched revels of Sendai, I braved the humidity in Nagoya for the basho. I’d like to tell you that I maintained my composure, but I somehow found myself sticky in a small box with three other people. I tried to regulate my body temperature with cool malted hops, but my notes may have been smudged with sweat anyway, so forgive me if I miss a few details. Valentine told me that I’d be warm down there, and damned if he wasn’t right. I guess he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to moist people.Let’s get right to it.

Takanoyama (1-6) threw down some skillful waza against Hochiyama (1-6), who apparently tried to gain face control off the tachiai. Taka remained unfazed as he grabbed Hochi’s hands and pulled him hard enough to pass most of his bulk by. The scrappy Czech was able to get behind Hochi from there and shove for the rear push out.Kitataiki (5-2)was getting some good shoving on Ikioi (4-3), and it looked like he was in good position to force the smaller wrestler off the dohyo. But Iki managed to get an arm in under an armpit, and with a little footwork threw Thick Northern Lumber out for the beltless sukuinage just before tumbling to the clay himself.

Takarafuji (2-5) and Masunoyama (5-2) circled each other, slapping for all they were worth before Taka gained belt control for the yorikiri.

Miyabiyama (3-4) and Tamawashi (1-7) also had a slapfight initially, until Tama slapped a little too vigorously. The Graceful Mountain lived up to his name by using his considerable girth to redirect Tama’s schoolgirl swat to shove him down and out for the tsukiotoshi.

Yoshikaze (3-4) had the first henka of the upper divisions, pulling Sadanofuji (3-4) down to the clay to even up his record to 4-4. Sada’s chances for a kachikoshi are looking slim at 3-5.

Chiyotairyu (6-1) is looking fly this basho with his proto-topknot, but being fashionable wasn’t enough to secure him the win against Kaisei (6-1). The Brazilian eventually manages to take a left overhand belt control and shove Chiyo out, improving his record to 7-1 while Mutton Chops drops to 6-2.

Homasho (5-2) relived his high school days by coming too early. After the reset, he looked for belt control against Toyohibiki (4-3), but Toyo had good positioning and refused to allow a grip. Homes eventually found some hand positioning on the mawashi and had Toyo on the bales, but Toyo fought back and forced the Ho out with a yorikiri.

Tokitenku (4-3) gets a grip before Aran (5-2) can, but after Aran gets a left overhand control he tries to pick Toki off the ground. Toki is having none of it and goes for his own lift before driving the Russian against the bales. Aran displays amazing toe strength as he hangs on, forcing Toki to reposition himself before he can shove the Russian out, putting both rikishi at 5-3.

The official call was yorikiri, but Gagamaru (4-3) didn’t touch Tochinoshin‘s (5-2) mawashi as he plowed straight through his fellow Georgian, red-facedly belly bumping him out of the ring. The Lady puts up another win to become 5-3.

Takekaze (3-4) evens up his record to 4-4 with a henka against Shotenro (5-2), who stays at 5 wins.

Shohozan (1-6) starts the match with only one win, but Takayasu (0-7) manages to maintain his perfect losing streak. He thrust his hands in Shoho’s face, but Shoho grabbed Taka’s mawashi and drove him all the way across the dohyo for the yorikiri, improving slightly to 2-6.

Neither Aoiyama (1-6) or Kyokutenho (0-7) looked for the mawashi off the tachiai, preferring to give each other chest massages instead. After the foreplay is over, Kyoku reaches down to fumble around for Ao’s belt, but apparently gets too excited, lurching forward and putting his knee down. He keeps his 0-8 record like Takayasu. Green Mountain goes up to 2-6.

Wakakoyu (2-5) betrays his nervousness, false starting against ozeki Kisenosato (5-2). They each take turns strangling the other before Kissey gets a right overhand grip on Waka’s mawashi and yorikiris him past the bales. Waka stays at 2 wins while the Kiss goes up to 6-2.

China and Honshu’s respective hats collide as the Mongolian Kakuryu (5-2) takes on the Aomorian Aminishiki (2-5). After a solid tachiai, everyone’s friend Ami drives the Kak back, but with a skillful sidestep the Crane Dragon shucks Ami to his left, throwing him down to the clay with a tsukiotoshi. Kak sits pretty with a 6-2 record, while Ami mirrors that with 2-6.

Kotooshu (6-1) staggers Okinoumi (0-7) back off the tachiai and takes a left overarm mawashi grip, but Oki answers back with his own right arm grip. After a struggle for control, Oki gets a drive going, maintaining his grip on the back of the ozeki’s belt all the way out of the ring for his surprise first win of the tournament. After the upset, Koto ends up at 6-2.

Harumafuji (7-0) pleases the crowd during the pre-match, crouching so low that his belly hangs only inches from the dirt. After the tachiai, he thrusts Toyonoshima (1-6) back with a neck grip, driving him so far that his subsequent oshidashi push out victory was almost a loss. Fortunately, Toyo puts a foot outside the ring before Haruma hits the clay himself, allowing the Mongolian to retain his undefeated streak. Toyo’s big leap off the dohyo couldn’t save him, and he falls to 1-7. Other than the yokozuna, Haruma is the only rikishi with no losses this tournament.

Baruto (7-0) struggles to find his favored two-handed over-the-back belt grip against komusubi Myogiryu (4-3). Myogi keeps Bart’s right arm trapped and uses a combination of his head and body positioning to keep Bart at bay, leaving the big Estonian only a weak overhand grip on Myogi’s right armpit. As Bart circles for control, he finally finds his double grip, but Myogi has already moved inside and low to control Bart first. Bart tries to lift his smaller opponent as he’s driven against the bales, but despite his huffing and puffing gets shoved out yorikiri-style. Myogi continues his 3-day win streak to rise to 5-3, while Bart picks up his first loss.

Kotoshogiku (6-1) and Goeido (4-3) quickly find respective right and left hand belt grips, and they have a fight for control before the Geek uses hand and hip to yorikiri the sekiwake. The Geek still stands at his single loss, while the man from Osaka drops to 4-4.

Tochiozan (1-6) stops Hakuho‘s (7-0) initial charge, and blocks the yokozuna from attaining a belt grip on one side. After a pause, Hakuho thrusts forward and Tochi counters, throwing the Mongolian to the clay with a beltless sukinage, but unfortunately for him Hak’s drive had already forced his rear foot past the bales. A solid bit of sumo, but Tochi needed another 30 centimeters of ring space. Hakuho’s yorikiri means he stands unbeaten, while Tochi still has a single win.

I hope everyone who wasn’t watching the match ringside was sitting next to a fan or AC. My Daiso sensu just didn’t cut it. Stay frosty, all.

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