Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of Osaka. Welcome, readers, to Sumo & Stogies day 1 coverage of the Haru basho. Today my substitute for the sub-par English commentary is Blue Mitchell’s I’ll close my eyes, worth a listen and a half check it out here, that’s some soulful shit. We’ll jump right into the hornet’s nest, as Mr. Daly has generously caught us up on the progress of Mr.s Osunaarshi and Endo.
First up to bat today… wait a second… I’m not sure how, but the fact that Wakanosato is competing surprised me a bit, I was sure I read somewhere that he would be kyujo. Either way he has a resounding yorikiri win over Oiwata to cleanse the stain from hatsu.
Makuuchi newcomer Sotairyu took on Daido (who, becuase of his large ears, will be henceforth referred to as Dumbo) in his first bout as a makuuchi rikishi. Not Sotairyus best stuff, a bit of tsuppari before he was taken back and off balance by the elephant in the room.
The Saga of tsukasa and Chiyonokuni started of with a deliciously awful henka by the shorter man, coupled with an ineffective hatakikomi. The little tike pressed the issue on the underbalanced Chiyo and won by oshidashi. Boo.
Tochinowaka was taken back at the tachiai by Sadanofiuji’s thrusts, but also by his own mistake of standing straight up, after a short lived attempt to regain some ground he was pushed out of the ring just like John Bell Hood got booted from Atlanta by Sherman.
A very nice tachiai by Masunoyama against Shit-tenro. I’m not a fan off the push push pull school of sumo, but it worked for the lungless wonder today.
Straight up tachiai between Akita’s boy: Takekaze and Jokoryu. After realizing he was out matched Take tried for some lateral motion paired with a kubinage, but Jokoryu was having none of that nonsense. He neutralized the lateral motion, got behind the little guy and Burt Reynolds-ed him out of the ring.
Last basho’s toast of hiramaku, Takarafuji, squared off against Tamawashi today. Tama came in thrusting, Taka met him got nothing and flanked to the right, tried again, got nothing and flanked to the right. Got nothing and flanked to the right getting around Tama and pushing him out. Reminds me of Grant’s strategy against Lee in the Old Dominion.
Got Lt.DeGama on my mind for this next one. Yoshikaze blasted Fujiazuma back at the tachiai, but Fuji regained his ground and make short work of the man from Oita. Maybe Yoshi should spend less time watching baseball and more time sheddin’ his skills.
Dai-veteran Kyokutenho, despite having lower position on Bulgarian Aoiyama was unable to capitalize, and Aoiyama impressively muscled the old-timer out by a clean oshidashi.
Okinoumi y Toyohibiki. Beeker definitely had the advantage from the start, with a strong tachiai and good forward motion, but Don Juan was more than capable and turned forward pressure into a nice, clean uwatenage.
Great initial contact between Gagamaru and Kitataiki, with a resounding thud. Both rikishi bandied for postion for a few moments, but, surprisingly, momentum was in Taiki’s favor and he was able to work my fair lady out with a double hand outside yorikiri.
Awkward tachi between Aran and Kaisei. After that hiccup, both men locked up with identical migiyotsu hidari uwate grips. Aran drove for the bales, but Kaisei stemmed the tide. Aran went for a hatakikomi, forfeiting his grip. It failed, he regained his grip, rinse, repeat. It failed again. Grip regained Aran’s second push for the bales was successful.
After two matas, both Shohozan’s fault, the golden mawashi deployed some textbook tsuppari on Toyonoshima. Mostly unphased, the stout fellow pushed forward and caught the younger man at an awkward angled and got a near-Burt Reynolds yorikiri.
Ikoi looked pretty good at the tachiai with Baruto, wokring the next ozeki back to the bales. I will say this, Bart is looking a lot more mobile this basho. Bart worked Icky around the dohyo and tossed his not-so-sorry ass to the clay. It was touch and go for a second though.
Daly already got this one between Goeido and Tokitenku. U.S. Grant had once said that because he was tone deaf he “only recognized two songs; one is yankee doodle, and the other isn’t”, Tokitenku has got two kimarite; one is ketaguri, the other isn’t.
Myogiryu put up a good bit of fight against recently de-engaged Kotoshogiku. However as the seconds ticked by, Yogi couldn’t make hide nor hair of his grip on the Geek’s belt. The Geek worked around the Yogi and we got to see another near-Burt Reynolds.
Ever heard of Pickett’s charge? Well, today Chiyotairyu was Gen. George Pickett. The Kak push-pulled his way to a W. Talk a bout a taste of your own medicine.
Takayasu’s tsuppari held up well against Kotooshu, but once it became a belt battle, oshu brought his superior weight, height, strength, and experience to bear, securing the win.
Its rare that I like a Kisenosato tachiai, and equally rare that I don’t like a Tochinoshin tachiai. Lets just say today was a rare bout. Kise had all the momentum and used it well, before the Georgian had a change to secure a grip.
Maybe Hakuho was as thrown off as I was by him being on the west side of the dohyo, because the Sneak certainly gave him a run for his money with a slight sideways slip after contact. Haks won’t get fooled again.
Harumafuji and Tochiozan gave us another nice thud at the tachiai, but balance and speed were the issues here, and with both in spades Harry moved to the side and easily pulled down the over-enthusiastic Ozan.
Thats all for shonichi. Tune in tomorrow for a whisky review from yours truly and a day 2 report from Sumo & Stogies own Yankee-ass Rock of Chickamauga: Gen. Dick Montana. God save the union!