Aloha kakou, sumo fans! I just got back from rain Hilo, Hawaii! I was there for my buddy’s baby’s 1st birthday (Happy Birthday, Phoenix!). I hadn’t seen my buddy in years, and had forgotten just how country Hilo really is! I live in Kahaluu, Oahu, and even I think Hilo is country: 50 shops make up “Downtown”, everybody knows everybody, and the place is crawling with hippies who are either sitting and smoking pakalolo, or marching in protest of something (this past weekend they were trying to get Monsanto Farms out of Hawaii). Also, I couldn’t get over the coqui frogs! Literally, there may be more of these little bastards there than there are unemployed people! For an idea of how it happened to become this way in the last 10 years, watch the Simpsons, episode “Bart vs. Australia”, where Bart gets his pet frog past customs and multiplies explosively.
Oh, is this the sumo blog? On to business! As we all know, Hakuho wins it again, Harumafuji looking like it’s his first basho as yokozuna all over again, and Baruto managed to get his kachikoshi yesterday to begin his slow and painful journey back up to his ozeki rank.
J4 Homarefuji vs. M15 Sotairyu – Homarefuji, peeking up from Juryo, makes short work of Sotairyu, oshidashi, ensuring the two will meet next basho back in Juryo.
M14 Chiyonokuni vs. J2 Daikiho – an entertaining bout: head bonk, shoving match, a whole lot of ballroom spinning, and Chiyo trashes his dance partner with an arm throw off the dohyo. Chiyo with an uwatenage win to 7-7.
M10 Takarafuji vs. M15 Daido – Takarafuji with a textbook yorikiri win for his 10th of the tournament.
M11 Jokoryu vs. M9 Yoshikaze – I don’t know too many more rikishi that fight with the energy of Yoshikaze, and still lose. After a lot of struggling, yorikiri win puts Joko at 9-5.
M8 Aoiyama vs. M9 Fujiazuma – Fujiazuma hits the Bulgarian wall and is pushed back and out, easy oshidashi. Aoi at 9-5, Fuji already with his own Kachi.
M16 Oiwato vs. M8 Kyokutenho – Oiwato chages and tries for the morozashi two hands in. Kyokutenho him and picks him up by his arms (Mr. Miyagi would be proud!), nicely placing Oiwato on the other side of the bales. Kimedashi puts Tenho at 7 wins, and Oiwato back into Juryo.
M12 Masunoyama vs. M7 Toyohibiki – The Beak making a strong showing with a tsupari attack only to fall victim to the sand and salt. A slip of the foot delivers Hibiki his makekokoshi (Masu already got his), hatakikomi.
M6 Gagamaru vs. M16 Wakanosato – Tachiai + one shove = Gagamaru in, Waka out. Our fair lady with a whopping 5 wins, and Waka holding on to his Makuuchi seat by the skin of his teeth.
M5 Aran vs. M13 Sadonofuji – The Russian Ruski tries to pull a fast one, side stepping at the tachiai, but Sado keeps his feet under him, barely. Sado bounces back, puts his head down, and bulls Alan out, oshidashi. Sado picks up his Kachikoshi!
M12 Shotenro vs. M5 Kaisei – Shoten hits the wall and stands him up with a hand to the throat. Once the Brazillian is on his heels, it’s an easy walk out, yorikiri gives Shoten his 7th win, and Kaisei is 11th… loss.
M4 Toyonoshima vs. M11 Takekaze – Home Team, taking his time at the tachiai as always, keeps his rival at bay with well-placed tsupari thrusts. Take muscles Toyo back to the bails and out, oshidashi, for his Kachikoshi. Izo Izo Akita!
M3 Tokitenku vs. M10 Tamawashi – A quick tachiai and the two lean on each other for a while before realizing the stale mate, neither with a grip. Toki tries a slap down, but King Tama reads it like a book, slapping away the slap and driving Toki back to the bales. Toki manages to bounce the two back to the center. The two separate just in time for King Tama to avoid the inevitable kick to the shins, but Toki catches a wrist, yanks Tama forward, and re-applies his the slap-down he missed earlier. A fun-to-watch hatakikomi win in the fight to be the biggest loser in the makekoshi bracket.
M1 Takayasu vs. M2 Myogiru – If you blinked, you missed it. Miyogiru wraps Takayasu up at the tachia and walks him out, yorikiri. Myogiru gains his Kachi.
M3 Ikioi vs. M1 Tochinoshi – Noshin dominates with a good tachiai and bullying Ikioi around the ring. Ikioi plays defensively, keeping his balance and waiting for his opening. Just as Noshin pushes Ikioi to the bails, Ikioi turns and yanks down on the belt, shitatenage, robbing Noshin of a promotion. Both gents with their makekoshi.
K Tochiozan vs. M6 Kitataiki – Kitataiki comes in quick, but with his dead down. Ozan plays defensively, keeping his feet under him, and pushes down on the back of Kitataiki’s head. It’s only a matter of time before the easy hatakikomi. Both gents at 9 wins.
S Goeido vs. M7 Okinoumi – Once Goeido latches on at the tachiai, Okinoumi has little chance. Goeido with an easy walk out to 9-5, Oki at 10-4.
K Aminishiki vs. S Baruto – The two wrap up at the tachiai, and Baruto really shows the extent of his injuries being outmuscled and maneuvered by The Sneak. Baruto is walked out, yorikiri, but will return to his Sekiwake post next tournament.
M4 Shohozan vs. O Kotoshogiku – Shohozan, despite wearing gold, doesn’t stand a chance. The Geek grabs on, takes Shoho for a walk around the ring and out, yorikiri. The Geek makes his Kachikoshi!
Y Harumafuji vs. O Kisenosato – It’s like déjà vu from two basho ago. Haruma gets shoved around and falls in flaming fashion IN the ring in under 5 seconds, oshitaoshi. Haruma looking on his way to match his 9-6 record from his first basho as yokozuna… unless of course he beats an undefeated Hakuho tomorrow… which is more likely?..
O Kakuryu vs. Y Hakuho – An exciting bout as the two mongols wrap AFTER The Hak slaps The Kak across the face (they had different gestures of camaraderie on that side of the world). The Hak tries to end it quickely with a shitatenage belt throw, but The Kak keeps his feet where most wouldn’t. The Kak spin-moves his way out of The Hak’s unbreakable grip, and resets for another valiant charge. The Hak sets the trap, slaps The Kak one more time to make sure he feels the love, then shoots both arms high under the arms of his brother, lifting the Mongol to his tippy-toes. You can see the defeat set in long before The Hak walks The Kak out, yorikiri. The Hak keeps a perfect record as he rides the rest of the tournament out.
Try to seem surprised on the final day of Spring, coming soon!
A Hui Hou!