Hatsu Basho 2013: Day 4

A recent torn muscle has made living alone in inaka a little more difficult than usual. Never mind usual activities like walking around increasing in difficulty, my current issue is with shovelling snow, particularly the kind that lodges on the roof of my, “technically”, 2 storey house. I’m much happier dicing with death and clearing that damn thing myself than paying the ¥20,000 or ¥30,000 that the local guy wants to charge me!

But I know you are here to read about other men dicing with death; Baruto and Harumafuji come to mind… So let’s have a look and see what happened in the Ryogoku Kokugikan today on Day 4. We actually have quite a few good lineups!

Tochinowaka vs. Sagatsukasa
The much smaller Sagatsukasa stepped to his side, grabbed Tochi’s arm and tried to pull him down. Tochi was wise to him though, and kept his feet in check. Saga kept moving, and trying to slap the tall guy down. But it wasn’t long before Tochi wrapped him up and drove him back and out. Tochi moves to 4-0.

Shotenro vs. Takarafuji
A solid tachi-ai drove Taka back slightly and gave him the opportunity to slip slightly to the side. As Shotenro was following him around, Taka kept moving laterally. As Shotenro squared back up and looked set to drive Taka back, he slipped and was left of the dirt holding onto Taka’s leg.

Daido vs. Miyabiyama
Miyabiyama is thinking of his hottie wife a little too much recently, in fairness I don’t blame the guy, she’s a cutie! Today he was driven back to the bales, tried to evade a little, and then was dropped forward. That guy needs to retire already, although he said he ain’t gonna. Oh well, at least I won’t have to report on him next basho 🙂

Sadanofuji vs. Tamaasuka
Sada came out with two hands forcing Tama’s head back. Tama was holding his ground though. But as Sada’s was pushing laterally on Tama’s face, his hand slipped off while his legs were out of position, and he fell in a heap. Interestingly the second slip of the day, after only 4 fights!

Kotoyuki vs. Tamawashi
Before this fight I remembered the song Who let the Dogs Out? I then realised that Kotoyuki’s call before stepping into the ring is exactly the same as the “woof”s in that song! Listen for it tomorrow! Anyway Kotoyuki came in very fast, but and drove Tama upwards. But a beautifully timed sidewards push knocked Koto completely off balance, and he found himself being destroyed!

Kitataiki vs. Asahisho
A confusing bout between two men wearing identical belts! Asahisho came in nice and low, driving Kita back. He should have continued driving though, as when he switched to try pull him down he gave the advantage to Kitataiki. Kita got a solid left hand grip and twisted Asa down with a beautiful kotehineri or armlocking twist down. Kitataiki moves to a perfect 4-0.

Tokitenku vs. Wakanosato
The older Wakanosato drove hard into the Mongolian driving him back some. But Toki had a descent frontal grip, which was also blocking Waka’s left arm from doing anything at all. So Waka switched his arm out, and immediately Toki took some initiative. Both men locked up for a lonnnng time. You know Toki tried a leg trip in there somewhere, but eventually won when his elder tired. Fight time 1:25! That was Tokitenku’s first win of 2013.

Fujiazuma vs. Chiyotairyu
At the tachi-ai a bolt of lightening shot out of Chiyo’s arse, as his bolted forward. Keeping his eyes firmly on Fujiazuma he raised him up and fiercely pushed him back. I think Fuji didn’t know what hit him! Great, great stuff from Chiyo who moves to 3-1.

Takayasu vs. Okinoumi
After the initial charge, Takayasu tried to circle around. Oki was following him around in circles, but got dizzy on the second time around and started to go down. So Oki drove forward as best he could, but Taka was able to stay in the ring just long enough to get the win.

Takekaze vs. Masunoyama
Take came straight in to Massu who uprighted him and drove him back slightly. Take reversed and tried to shift to the side while pulling him down. Take succeeded in getting around no-lungs and got a grip on the back of his belt. Masu sensed the trouble he was in, so spun around quickly and enguaged again. This time Masu had more power in his push and it sent the wee Akitan aver the edge.

Tochinoshin vs. Yoshikaze
Yoshikaze has speed, and boy does he like to use it. Unfortunately he doesn’t have power. So although he kept lower than Tochinoshin, and kept moving around making things awkward, once Tochi got a grip on he belt, he was neutralised and he could drive him out to pick up his 4th win.

Gagamaru vs. Aoiyama
Gaga got both his legs… wait they were arms… around Aoiyama to keep him from slipping to the side. Gaga put Aoiyama’s head into his bosom, and man handled him over the edge.

Toyohibiki vs. Aran
Aran hit Toyohibiki hard in the face with his right hand, as he got his left in his armpit. Aran kept forcing Toyo upwards until he felt a little too much resistance. He then slapped Toyo down to the dirt. Aran picks up his first win, while Toyohibiki is sill winless.

Ikioi vs. Kaisei
Kaisei got a solid left hand grip at the tachi-ai, pulled Ikky in close and drove him back. At the edge Ikky tried to throw the Brazilian, but it was too little too late.

Tochiozan vs. Shohozan
Shohozan was awful today, awful. On about 4 diffeent occasions he had one of his feet waist high off the dohyo, which is a complete no-no! You gotta keep your feet on the dohyo at basically all times for optimum balance. However, he somehow managed to get Tochiozan, a guy who has beaten 2 ozeki thus far, into an armbar and forced him out. I’m a bit confused, to be honest. He was awful, but I guess he had enough heart?

Kotooshu vs. Myogiryu
Is there anyone other than Kotooshu’s mom who doesn’t want him to be demoted from ozeki sooner than Baruto? He came in to today with a perfect 4-0 winning record against the much more skilled Myogiryu, who I’m sure realises that it’s time to break that streak. At the tachi-ai Myogiryu aimed to upright the ozeki, but at the same time keep well back from him. As the ozeki leaned back into him Myogi pulled on the back of Kotooshu’s head, 4 or 5 times, and eventually for him to topple. Both men now at 2-2.

Aminishiki vs. Kakuryu
Some people call Aminishiki the Giant Killer. I, do not! He does have a 13-9 winning record over this recently promoted ozeki. Kakuryu was not himself today. As the Snake tried a pull down, followed by a push up, followed by a pull down, the ozeki’s arms were all over the place. Another push up, followed by a pull down saw the Kak fall in a heap. No ozeki sumo from the ozeki today.

Kisenosato vs. Baruto
Baruto was truly awful against Goeido yesterday, my hope for this fight is that he will dominate the ozeki as he has done in the past. Baruto holds an impressive 19-5 winning record! Both men turned up for todays bout. Baruto looked to get a solid left hand grip from the tach-ai. But the ozeki wasn’t plan in on going down easily. Baruto attempted the throw and Kissy blocked it well. Then Baruto looks in trouble, but with attempted throws he kept himself alive. Then at the edge both men threw each other, and hit the ground together. The gyouji pointed to Baruto but the head judge disagreed. But after the mono-ii Kissy arm was confirmed to have touched down first. Great win for Baruto, unfortunately only his 2nd.

Goeido vs. Kotoshogiku
Oh this is a big fight today! A win over a current ozeki would do his confidence the world of good, as he seems to be becoming somewhat consistent. Goeido used his left arm to get a frontal grip on the ozeki, and disable his right for a moment. Goeido then got a slight arm lock on the ozeki, but Kotoshogiku switched his grip. I though it was all over for Goeido as the ozeki got into his ideal position. Then as the ozeki went to drive forward, Goeido slipped to the side and dropped him with amazing speed. It was amazing. I was amazed. Both men now at 3-1. And all 4 ozeki with losses today.

Hakuho vs. Toyonoshima
I do believe it was just last May that Toyonoshima managed to squeeze out a win from the dai-yokozuna. Well after a surprise loss to Myogiryu yesterday, I’m sure he will be much more focused today. Toyo prevented the the Hake from getting a descent grip the the start, and kept his arms moving, making the yokozuna work. Well, work he did, and although he didn’t exactly wrap up the slippery Toyonoshima he did overpower him and in the end won quite easily.

Kyokutenho vs. Harumafuji
Kyokutenho has a 6-15 losing record against the obviously struggling yokozuna. No doubt when Harumafuji stopped the blood flowing from his face after his close win over Toyonooshima, he would have realised that he really needs to pull his thumb out of his arse and start to act like a yokozuna! He was wearing a big bandage on his face today, I imagine he got himself quite a nice scar from yesterday that we’ll see on his face for quite a time to come. Anyway, today he showed off his inspiring speed, but slipping slightly as he hit, and his knee came dangerously, dangerously close to hitting the dohyo. We are talking millimetres away! But he continued and got a left arm inside right arm outside, and with a perfectly positioned left leg threw Kyokutenho around/over his leg to set himself up for a force out.

Now that it’s nice and dark, cold and icy, I’m gonna save myself some money.

Creswell will be with ye tomorrow.

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