Another year and another Nagoya basho. I find it fitting that I fell ill yesterday to heat exhaustion as Nagoya happens to be the literally hottest basho of the year. Two litters of water, three ice packs, a sports drink, and five hours of rest later, I am finally feeling human enough to write about all the shonichi action. Speaking hot, it appears the crowds are lining up to see if Kisenosato can hang on for a Yokozuna promotion. If it happens, I’d imagine that would ignite at least a bit more interest in a sport we all love. Be sure to stay hydrated with a cool drink and we’ll be sure to keep the sumo action heading your way all basho long! Now let’s get to the good stuff.
Oosunaarashi had his debut bout in Juryo today against his cousin, by name, Oniarashi. After an awkward tachi-ai by Boody, Oni was able to get two hands on the belt, and it appeared to be Oni’s bout to win. Mr. Sandstorm however out powered and out maneuvered Oniarashi, breaking his grip and driving him out for the yorikiri win! Another interesting fact, dude is 43-6-1 since joining sumo!
I tend to think there are still a fair number of guys in Juryo who got here due to all the scandals. With guys like Oosunaarashi and Endo joining the ranks, I foresee their climb to the next level to be a fairly quick one as many of these gentlemen won’t survive much longer with new and better talent making their way up the clogged pipe that is the makushita march to sekitoridom.
Sokokurai returns after beating down The Man to get back into the Kyokai. Today however Tokushoryu got the man from China’s Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region with a wicked arm bar, turned him around, and oshidashied Sokokurai for his first lost in the last thirteen basho that he’s been out of the game for allegedly cheating.
If you are fighting Masunoyama, by now you better well know that if you can hang on for the first five or six seconds of the bout, you’ll have a heck of a lot better chance of beating this gigantic cat. Jokoryu held our half lunged hero back after three force out attempts and then drove Masunoyama to the bales busted out an uwatenage throw to win the bout. Jokoryu moves to 1-0. I predict he’ll have a much stronger basho at this rank than he did at M7 last basho.
Some strong thrusts from Kotoyuki but Tamawashi too enjoys himself a good pusher thruster bout and easily turns the tides on the Snowflake for the oshidashi win.
Tochinoshin and Kaisei have both been in a bit of a free fall the last five our so basho. They’ve only managed to get their eight plus wins one time out of the last five basho. Both men drove in gaining the two handed grip on the mawashi but Kaisei was much lower than his counterpart from The Democratic Republic of Georgia. Kaisei moves to 1-0 while Noshin is 2-14 in his last 16 bouts.
Ikio is becoming a favorite of mine. You know the guy is going to bring the genki each bout and the dude ain’t afraid (He beat, Chiyotairyu, Aoiyama, Gagamaru, and Kaisei to name a few last basho. Great tachi-ai today from Toyonoshima and Ikio, with Toyo gaining a bit of an upper hand driving The Go Gitt’r back. Ikio slapped Toyo off balance and in attempt to regain his balance, Toyo appeared to jump back from the bales. Too quick and awkward however was the jump and Ikio was all over him for the easy oshitaoshi win.
Another two of my favorite rikishi faced off on Day One in Chiyotairyu and Myogiryu. Ever since Chiyo started moving forward about halfway through last basho the guy has looked impressive. Myogiryu is usually on his game as well so what’s not to like. Chiyotairyu got low and was looking to drive Yogi back. Yogi however saw an easy route to the picnic basket and simply slapped Tairyu’s head and his hands hit the ground. I thought that was that, but upon review they disqualified Yogi for pulling on Chiyo’s rather newly grown mage. Chiyo leads the what I would imagine will become quite the legendary rivalry at 2 bouts to one.
Kotooshu out muscles Lord Gaga, but man I wish the olderzeki would be a bit more under control. A flying Gagamaru into the fans seats could seriously hurt someone. Bulgaria gains its first win of the basho while the Democratic Republic of Georgia looks to day two to pick up win number one.
Tochiozan gets the win over Kakuryu who didn’t look into the bout. On a separate note, I felt like there should have been a hand raised to talk this one over as it appeared to me that Ozan hit the ground first. Either Kakuryu is a bigger headcase than I think he is or he is totally fine being an Ozeki and hanging onto his rank.
Kotoshogiku got the jump on Takayasu and drove him to the bales and out very quickly. The judges checked with each other on this one, unlike the prior bout to make sure they got it right. They agreed with the Gyoji that he Takayasu hit the ground first and Kotoshogiku picked up a deserving first win.
The tension hit a hit point today as the crowd began clapping in unison for when the closest hope for a Japanese Yokozuna in years, Kisenosato, stepped into the dohyo! Takekaze looked to me to be trying to get the early jump on Kisenosato. It caused him to have two false starts. The third time however they got in sync and Kisenosato kept the wily veteran off his mawashi and methodically worked Take out of the ring. Kisenosato keeps his cool and his head to move to 1-0. Kisenosato needs thirteen more wins to be considered for the Yokozuna promotion but like Creswell, I’d like to seem him win every bout if they are going to consider him for the top job in sumo.
Great tachi-a- for Shohozan and Yokozuna Harumafuji today. Shohozan got a bit of nodowa going, but Haruma got a couple harite in there after the initial tachi-ai. Shortly thereafter Haruma gained the left hand outside grip and easily pulled out the uwatedashinage win. Yokozuna moves to 1-0.
Hakuho wasted no time working Tokitenku out of the ring. Both men went flying. Hakuho took out one of the ringside judges and a small women in a kimono. Unlike a few other rikishi today, Hakuho waited in the crowd for a moment to make sure the women was ok before returning to the dohyo to accept his cash gift for winning his shonichi bout. Dude is a class act and my favorite to win this hot and humid basho.
Stay cool dear readers and if you are looking for excellent insights on the day two action, look no farther, and worry no more, daddy’s gotcha tomorrow.