10. Aki Basho 2011

Aki Basho 2011

Shonichi

Welcome to the Aki Basho 2011. Despite the mess of a year we’ve had, I think there’s a lot to look forward to this basho. As you’ll discover Aki Shonichi (day 1) did not disappoint.

Takanoyama vs. Kokkai
The newbie from the Czech Republic faced off against Makuuchi returner Kokkai. Kokkai returns after lackluster bashos in Juryo at 5-10 and 8-7 last basho. Takanoyama is the lightest rikishi in Makuuchi currently. Beanpole attempted an arm grab at the tachi-ai but the Georgian easily brushed the lightweight and pushed him out the ring.

Daido vs. Shotenro
Shotenro jumps the gun on the tachi-ai. The two men reset. Shotenro’s tachi-ai was too low and Dido easily slams him into dohyo.

Tosayutaka vs. Tamaasuka
I know Tosayutaka will likely never go beyond his previous best of M1 in the rankings, but I sure like his spirit out there. I was a bit worried that we’d never see him again after the wild sumo Kotooshu displayed the day he injured the guy. Anyways, glad he’s back. After watching this match though, I am concerned his knee is still in rough shape. This was all Tamaasuka but Tosa is able to pull out a slap down victory.

Aminishiki vs. Gagamaru
Aminishiki looks better than last basho but I think his days are numbered. Today Sneaky withstood Lady Gaga’s thrusts and was able to twist the Georgian Goliath to the dohyo for the victory.

Kitataiki vs. Kyokutenho
Great veteran move by the Mongolian. The first match was all Kitataiki which appeared to be a solid and fast yorikiri victory. Upon looking at the replay however it was clear that Kyokutenho had caught his balance on the straw bales just long enough so that both men stepped out at the same time. A rematch was called and Kyokutenho henkaed out of the way of Kitataiki’s faster tachi-ai and managed to easily push the man from Tokyo out of the ring. Kita was clearly pissed at himself for the loss today. Dude looks better than last basho though so hopefully it translates into better sumo to come.

Masunoyama vs. Toyohibiki
New big man Masunoyama runs over Toyohibiki. I liked what I saw here. Kid is legit.

Tochinowaka vs. Kaisei
Tochinowaka caught the Brazilian standing far too tall. An easy yoritaoshi for Tochinowaka. Both these kids have some talent.

Fujiazama vs. Wakakoyu
Damn Fujiazama walks all over Wakakoyu for an easy yorikiri win.

Takayasu vs. Goeido
Four young guys in a row walk on the dohyo and completely dominate. The advantages of ridding the banzuke of some members are the last four winners including Takayasu. Certainly there are other rikishi who are bringing things down a bit but these guys are making some statements. The young’n slaps former Japan hopeful Goeido via oshitaoshi.

Tochinoshin vs. Miyabiyama
Miyabi had a decent tachi-ai but dude is going to struggle this high up the banzuke. Tochinoshin gets a hold of the mawashi and easily takes Jaba out.

Kakuryu vs. Takekaze
Kakuryu needs a win over Hakuho and eleven wins total to earn the Ozeki rank. Today he faced Takekaze of Akita. Slipper Kaze tends to pull out all the stops to get his wins these days. Kakuryu showed great pose here by calmly keeping Moriyoshi’s son in front of him for an oshidashi win.

Kisenosato vs. Yoshikaze
Kisenosato needs so make somethings happen this basho. He needs to stop losing to jokers like Kaze #2. Kise stays patient here and does just that. Announcers are saying if he gets 14 he has a chance at Ozeki. That would make for a great tournament, but I will believe it when I see it.

Kotoshogiku vs. Wakanosato
Two men man up here in the center of the dohyo. Neither guy could move the other until Giku threw one of the last of our friends from Aomori to the ground. Kotoshogiku needs about 12 wins this basho to have a shot at the Ozeki rank.

Okinoumi vs. Kotooshu
If you read the comments, you’ll note that I have said on more than one ocassion that I think Okinoumi is greatly improved since his return after the baseball betting scandal. Tachi-ai and general quickness. Don faced off against Kotooshu today: a man he has never lost to. Today was more of the same. Oki keeps Oshu off the belt and when the Ozeki forced the issue Don just moved out of the way. Oshu goes flying off the dohyo. Nice win for Okinoumi.

Homasho vs. Baruto
Homasho stayed tight as the two rikishi tsuparied the hell out of each other. Baruto went for a pull down but had zero follow through. Homasho stays on his feet and powers the Ozeki out of the ring.

Harumafuji vs. Toyonoshima
Bout of the day without a doubt! Tachi-ai leaves Toyonoshima with a stiff nodowa from the Ozeki. Toyo somehow withstands it however and gains a solid grip. At this point Haruma looked to be completely at the disadvantage. Ama continued to work to get a better position but Toyo wouldn’t give it up. At this point Harumafuji pulled a throw move unlike any I have ever seen. He literally did a front flip to pull it off, but the Ozeki’s hand looked to have touched the ground even though the gumbai award him the victory. A mono-ii was called and after a review of the video Takanohana Oyakata declared that Toyonoshima’s top knot (mage) had touched the dohyo prior to Haruma’s hand. Ozeki on a mission, Harumafuji wins a close call via kakenage.

Hakuho vs. Aran
Alan is a tough & strong SOB, but Hakuho is still a ridiculously awesome Yokozuna. I hope the yokozuna wins this basho in fact. Today he got a solid grip on Alan’s mawashi, picked up the Russian, and ran him out of the dohyo in seconds.

Great first day of sumo. Lot’s of stories worth following. Who are you cheering for? Let us know in the comments?

It’s not February yet but no matter, Valentine has got all the sumo lovin’ action you can handle tomorrow.

Day 2

Sumo fans, cigar connoisseurs, and voyeurs of all sizes! Virgil Valentine with you today to recap the highlights of Day 2, Autumn Basho, in the year of the sumo gods, 2011. Sumo is back, and with Kaio gone, three frisky Sekiwake fighting for promotion to Ozeki, and Harumafuji following up a Nagoya yusho, it’s bound to be an eventful basho.

Starting downstairs to check in with our old friend from Aomori, the ailing J7W Takamisakari took on J8W Kimikaze in a first between the two. Ringo drove forward at the tachiai leading Kimi to the bales, but when Kimi attempted to go deeper for a grip on Ringo’s belt, the blind one felt his way into a slap-down win. Pair of ones for Takamisakari in Juryo.

M16W Kimurayama vs. M15W Takanoyama met for the second time. Last time they met it was six years ago in Makushita, with Takanoyama victorious. Taka chose a straight-up tachiai matching with Kimmy on impact. The Czech tried to fight straightforward on the mawashi with a man 75kg heavier, but in a bout without any agility or trickery Kimmy was able to simply drive forward despite the featherweight’s iron grip. Kimmy is 2-0 while the Czech awaits earning his first win in Makuuchi. Better to rethink the game plan tomorrow, or extend that perfect record.

And the Sumo Association has come up with a satisfaction survey for the fans. Everyday this basho, spectators will be given a list of all sekitori, and they can indicate their satisfaction with the sekitori’s performance on a scale from “1” to “5.” Yesterday, #1 in the survey results was Homasho. Possibly this was due to his defeat of Baruto, but more likely it’s because he bows really nicely (if you’ve never been to Japan, that shit matters more than anything else).

Next, M8E Kaisei vs. 20-year-old freshman Makuuchi M9E Masunoyama: Masu shifted left after an initially straight-on tachiai, and Kaisei was simply leaning too far forward. Masu merely aided the Brazilian down to the clay. Masu is 2-0 while Kaisei is a mirror-image 0-2.

M4E Tochinoshin and M4W Tokitenku are 3-3 head-to-head, but the two haven’t battled in over a year. Today, Toki turned to the left at the tachiai and executed an easy thrust-down on the Georgian who was a bit out of control from the start. Call it a henka if you’d like. Both men with a pair of ones.

S1E Kotoshogiku vs. M2W Yoshikaze, 8-2 in the Geek’s favor: Yoshi attacked without the Geek putting his right fist down. Both rikishi paused expecting a redo, but neither the gyoji nor any judge stopped the match. The Geek was first to notice the fat lady ain’t sung yet, and carried on with a dead-fish force out win. The Geek advances to 2-0 while Java Chip Frappuccino falls to 0-2. Fans weren’t happy and mata should have been called as it was 1) clear the Geek wasn’t even close to putting his fist down, and 2) both rikishi thought it was a false start.  A poor (lack of) showing by the gyoji and judges in this one.

S2E Kakuryu had fists right on the shikiri-sen in his bout against veteran M2E Wakanosato. From the tachiai Kak took the lead and drove forward, but he let up as he attempted to gain Waka’s belt. This gave Waka the chance to pull down on Kak’s head and moving back, got a grip on the back of Kak’s belt and swung the Mongol out. Wakanosato isn’t called the barometer for nothing, and despite his age, he does his job of keeping the younins honest. Kak will need a near-perfect finish to get his promotion to Ozeki this time. Both men with a pair of ones.

M3E Takekaze vs. S1W Kisenosato, history 10-4 in Kissy’s favor: nothing to report really. Ross Mihara called it “paddy cake,” though I for one prefer this bout of paddy cake. Start with a bitch slap by Kissy, who drove forward, and thrust out the butterball. Kissy advances to 2-0 while Takekaze is 0-2.

OE Harumafuji vs. M1W Okinoumi. These two split a pair of bouts in their past, one for Oki in May, and one for Haruma in July. Haruma owned Oki at the tachiai with a unrelenting shove to the face leading the handsome devil upright, but Oki moved back adding some elbow-room and Haruma adjusted accordingly with bursts of two-armed thrusts. Haruma moved in close at the bales in attempt to force out the opponent, but the tall, dark and handsome one used the leverage of his high heels on the tawara to twist down Harumafuji. Thrust down win for Oki who advances to 2-0 while Haruma falls to 1-1 and realistically out of contention for Yokozuna promotion.

KE Toyonoshima vs. OW Kotooshu: head-to-head is 13-9 in Oshu’s favor, and Oshu has also won the last six meetings. The Bulgarian attempted to stay low at the tachiai, but when the two broke apart he stood back up and Toyo moved right into his chest, gaining a deep inside left-hand grip on his belt and the inside position. Oshu was the one who launched a throw hoping to use his height advantage for an over-arm throw, but Toyo stayed up long enough so Oshu’s head was down first, and the two rikishis’ bodies rolled right upon Oshu’s head. Toyo’s bout ended much like it did yesterday, but with a less skilled ozeki, he gets the win today. Toyo is 1-1 while Oshu is 0-2.

KW Aran vs. OW Baruto, with a 3-2 history in Bart’s favor. The two came in chest-to-chest at the tachiai, with arms low. Both secured grips, with Baruto at a more advantageous position: Bart was right-hand outside, Aran left-hand in, and Bart’s left locking up Aran right. Baruto uses this grip and his strength to literally sway Aran out of the ring. It was called an overarm throw, but was really a swing dance technique. Bart evens out at 1-1 while Aran falls to 0-2.

YE Hakuho vs. M1E Homasho: perfect 10-0 in the Dai-Yokozuna’s favor. Hakuho got a strong right-hand inside grip right upon contact and Homasho was able to hold up any backwards movement until he chose to release his outside grip and reach for inside. In this instant, Hakuho drove forward for an easy win. Yokozuna looking good at 2-0 while Homasho stands at 1-1.

So, we have Haruma falling to a rank-and-filer, Kakuryu falling to an old-timer, and Kotoshogiku winning a gimmie. Not looking good for the promotions this basho.

Say, how many Irishmen does it take to report on day 3? Not sure, but the Celtic Tiger Connolly will give his best shot…then, he’ll write the sumo report.

Day 3

Kokkai vs. Kimurayama
The first makuuchi fight of the day was between two M16 fighters with a perfect score after two days. Kimmy stepped slightly to his right at the tachi-ai looking for an advantage. It worked and Kokkai was off balance and Kimura was facing the side of Kokkai but somehow didn’t capitalise on the situation. Horrible sumo followed, Kokkai should have lost at least 3 times, but then he managed to pull Kimura to the ground, with little objection. Not a great start to the day.

Hochiyama vs. Takanoyama
I like Takanoyama. He has some good skill and technique. Unfortunately he has no reason to have the work “yama” in his shikona because he has no weight. He weighs in at only 98kgs.
After a slapping exchange at the tachi-ai the Hooch just shoved forwards and drove Taka NO yamas back and out.

Yoshiazuma vs. Daido
Yoshiazuma side stepped at the tachi-ai and got his arm under Daido’s armpit and swung him around and down. Yoshiazuma’s first ever makuuchi win, via henka. Is that a good way to start? No. No, it is not.

Shotenro vs. Asasekiryu
Shotenro started well, keeping Asa far away from his belt. He kept pushing but after a slight slip he gave his belt to Asa, who pulled of a great twisting overarm throw.

Aminishiki vs. Tamaasuka
Aminishiki and his bandy leg find themselves down at M12 this basho. A bit high in my opinion, I’d be happier with him down around J12.
Ami-chan started strong today though, and Tamaa had aabsolutely no answer bar putting his hands on the lady’s shoulders and backing out.

Tosayutaka vs. Gagamaru
Tosayutaka took a logical step to the side as the Gaga train was heading for hin at the tachi-ai. Gaga recovered, barely, and used one foreceful push to throw Tosa half way backwards across the dohyo. When they enguaged again, Gaga drove forward to the bales. Tosa tried an escape manoeuvre that didn’t work. Both men now on 2-1.

Masanoyama vs. Kitataiki
Kitataiki worked fast today. After an initial head-butt Kita found himself over Masa with a great grip on the back of his belt. And an easy pull down ensued.

Kyokutenho vs. Toyohibiki
Kyokutenho’s was looking for his 37 birthday win today. And his wasn’t disappointed as after a hard impact from Hibi he got a good right hand outside grip, slipped to the side and pulled Hibi down.

Kaisei vs. Sagatsukasa
Today was the first fight between these two rikishi today. So far the hairy Brazilian would really like to trim… things up. Not so much saga from Saga today as the Brazilian, straight back from the beauty salon, used shear force to push Sagatsukasa back and, with the romance of a rapist, spun him around and manhandled him out of the ring.

Tamawashi vs. Tochinowaka.
Tochi pushed Tama back to the straw, but with Tama’s foot firmly on the bales he was going no farther. Tochi tried to raise Tama up, he tried and tried, for about 10 seconds or so. He failed and was then very tired. Tama easily then slipped to the side slightly and very easily pushed the tired Tochinowaka to the dirt.

Takuyasu vs. Wakakoyu
Takuyasu is very hairy for a Japanese wrestler. Wakakoyu came off the tachi-ai today with two hands directed at Taku’s face. He pushed the Ibarakian up and then slipped to his left and dropped him to the dirt. An easy win for Waka.

Fujiazuma vs. Goeido
Goeido was lucky enough to get a win from the lower ranked Fujiazuma today. From the initial contact Goeido was back peddling and trying to slap down Fuji. He got lucky and Fuji slipped over the bales, but Goeido has really got to start asserting himself, and employ forward moving sumo.

Miyabiyama vs. Tokitenku
Tokitenku had a plan today. From the tach-ai he wanted to soccer kick Miyabi’s right leg from under him (a move that should be used against Aminishiki). Miyabi also had a plan, the same one he always has, fush into the face of his opponent and then slap them down. Neither plan worked! Miyabi had Tokitenku heading backwards, but at the bales Toki slipped to the side and the bigger beast fell with a flop.

Takekaze vs. Tochinoshin
Take employed an honest tachai-ai today. Tochi got a good outer left grip and Kaze instead of taking a right grip on the much taller rikishi and going chest to chest, he kept his hand on the Georgians chest. In the meantime Tochi had acquired his right grip and lifted the Autumn Rice Sprout out over the straw.

Toyonoshima vs. Kisenosato
Kissy showed us a glimpse of the strength in his left arm as he completely pushed Toyo off balance with a great left trust. From there he easily pushed back the flexible Toyo back to the rings end. Good stuff from Kissy who has been fighting well so far this basho.

Kotoshogiku vs. Aran
Aran came in to today after having his ass handed to him by both Hakuho on day 1 and Baruto on day 2. He had a nice tachi-ai and prevented Kotoshogiku from initially getting his desired grip. They traded belt grips and as Aran wound up for a belt throw attempt Kotoshogiku sensed it coming and adjusted his balance to counter as his moved in for his gaburi-yori special. Aran is still learning, and he has lots of strength. He’ll get it right at some stage.

Kakuryu vs. Tochiozan
Kak started well today, but the fight turned into handbags. After a few slaps Kak went for a pull down, but Tochi was expecting it and lunged forward and into attack mode. Both girls moved back to the center of the ring, and exchanged more slaps. But you could see Kak was either not fired up enough, or he was somehow running out of steam. Wither way Tochiozan was fired up, and had plenty in reserve to move in for the kill, and put an end to Kak’s dream of ozeki promotion.

Yoshikaze vs. Baruto
Baruto came in too high from the tachi-ai, possibly intending to just pick up the Gummy Bear and lift him out. But Yoshi was bouncing here and there, and everywhere, and Baruto found himself with his arm around his Yoshi’s neck. With about 10 more bounce, turns, and Barutos belt coming undone, Bart was on the edge and Yoshi was able to yorikiri!?!? Baruto out of the ring. That should give him confidence heading into tomorrows clash with Kotooshu.

Harumafuji vs. Wakanosato
Harumafuji did today what he should do every day. He was of his line and had his opponent moving backwards before any defensive move could be employed. He won this one in less than 2 seconds.

Homasho vs. Kotooshu
Homasho had every reason to be optimistic coming into this fight today. Kotooshu had so far lost to Okinoumi and Toyonoshima(a disastrous start!) . Homasho also had won the last 3 times these guys have met. After not getting a grip at the tachi-ai, due to Homasho neutralising his charge the two separated. Kotooshu waited for Homasho to attack, and tried a pull down. This completely failed and now Kotooshu was moving back, Homasho almost slipped, but he did enough to push Kotooshu outside the ring, and hand him his 3rd loss in as many days.

Hakuho vs. Okinoumi
Our final bout of the day had some promise. Oki came into today after beating 2 ozeki in the last 2 days (fair enough one was Kotooshu, but it’s enough to give him confidence). But Hakuho looked a lot more confident. Well before the tachi-ai he did!! The yokozuna found himself quite high and Okinoumi had a window of opportunity and pushed Hakuho back. Oki even got a double hand inside grip and just as he thought he had a real chance, Hakuho pulled off an amazing left arm overhead throw. Great winning move, after a not so great tachi-ai from the yokozuna.

Bertrum will bounce your balls tomorrow.

Day 4

A good evening to you good Gentleman! Day for of the Aki basho 2011. And what an interesting start. So many hopes for this basho on who may get Yokozuna, Ozeki or Sekiwake all being crushed by some pretty mediocre and in some cases surprising Sumo. Following on from the Irishman, I commemorate this basho with an Irish coffee. However, I link yesterday with tomorrow by using a Bourbon. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Tosayutaka vs. Hochiyama – Hochiyama wins by a boring Yorikiri

Kimurayama vs. Shotenro – oshidshi for Shoto to get a 1-3. Will he keep this streak? Interesting thing about Shotenro, married kyokutenho’s sister. AND because of this, he will never face him in a bout! Point worth noting perhaps? Shame because it could have been a good feud!

Kokkai vs. Tamaasuka. Kokkai yoritaoshi win. 4 – 0

Gotta say, at this point I’m not too impressed by the sumo being played. Very clean and straight wins here. Nothing worth any comment I assure you.

Aminishiki vs. Daido. Aminishiki not looking so good with that leg! He started a bit too high, and Daido quickly capitalises with a kotenage

Takayonama vs. Asasekiryu. Taka looking very slim here. Only weighing 98 kilo’s might I add. Taka looking sharp and agile, almost like a lizard. But like a lizard, he just doesn’t have the weight to pack behind his punches. Taka on 0-4 and an interesting okurihikiotoshi! A rare move, but if you are gunna see it, it’s in this bout!

Yoshiazuma vs. Gagamaru. Gaga is getting big! The weight working for him here, to take a push out oshidashi. 3-1 for the Georgian.

Tamawashi vs. Kyokutenho. Another boring Yorikiri by kyokutenho. There was a moment I thought it might swing around, but Tama failed to push on this, where despite the slight hesitation, kyokutenho could push again.

Kitataikai vs. Sagatsukasa. Wow, after a false start. A few humping actions from Saga, but he didn’t have the strength against kita. A top heavy push from kita sees Saga pulling some ballet move, holding on with with one leg. Oshidashi putting kita 3-1.

Fujiazuma vs. Kaisei. Yorikiri by Kaisei – pretty standard diesel power going on there.

Masunoyama vs. Tochinowaka. Masu decided to sit this one out, hurting his ankle off the tachiai – couln’t make it out, needed a wheel chair to take him away! Oshitaoshi win for tochinowaka.

Miyabiyama vs. Toyohibiki. Any mans game from the start, except miyabi manages to step aside and throw toyo off balance. 0-4 los for him.

news break came in about Microsoft – what this has to do with sumo is beyond me. Could they not wait until after the fights? Bit off putting. Apple all the way.

ok second half finally…

Tochinoshin vs. Wakakoyu. A stare down to build tension.. wow! For a second, tochi noshin looked like he was gunna go slap down style, almost touching the dohyo! However, he reovered to get a push out oshidashi! Nicely done I have to say, that’s professionalism if I ever did see – being able to turn it around!

Takayasu vs. Tokitenku. A lot of pushing and thrusting with a sneaky outside sweep by tokitenku, nicely played by thinking outside the box! Susoharai win putting him 3-1.

Goeido vs. Tochizan. Not much to comment on, Goiedo forced out by yorikiri

Kakuryu vs. Toyonoshima. A stalemate developed here off the tachiai. High pushing resulting in a mawashi grab by both – really just for a breather. But from here, kaku had it. A long fierce bout in all. Oshitaoshi putting kaku on 2-2

Aran vs. Kisenosato. Aran didn’t really seem like he was in the game. He was all over the place, not really landing any push. Kisenosato gets this! 4-0 tsukidashi

Kotoshogiku vs. Takekaze. kotenage win for koto. Koto just kept trying for this, locking up take’s arm in a way that stopped him trying for the mawashi. 4-0 win, but take not not looking so good on 0-4.

Yoshikaze vs. Kotooshu. Koto just over powers yoshikaze. 1-3 for koto. He needs to do a lot more to stay in the game. And a lot more like this.

Okinoumi vs. Baruto. Baruto’s game, oshidashi. Straight up!

Harumafuji vs. Homasho. Wow! Homo got a great armlock, thwarting Harumafuji against his battle technique on the mawashi– best bout in the day, just because it went against expectation! Harumafuji on a second loss here. No yaocho going on here I feel! Homo on 3-1.

Hakuho vs. Wakanosato. Was this even a bout? Over in a blink, yorikiri. A disappointing end compared to the last bout, but fair play. Hakuho 4-0.

Well that’s the end of day 4. Not a very interesting day. I would say two bouts stand out! The one with the Czech, just because he is gutsy and tried, and of course the fal of harumafuji – which was surprising to say the least.

Creswell is gunna give you one tomorrow – You lucky bastards!

Day 5

Let me just ask, who the hell was the English side commentator for Day 4. He was terrible. He miscalled a bunch of stuff, was misnaming body parts, and kept saying “it looks serious, it looks really serious” whenever someone went down. I could do a better job than that. (hint hint NHK, I am currently a free agent.) Anyway, on to day 5.

Daido v Hochiyama – There was a false start, afterward both ended up with a decent enough grip on the belt, but Dumbo had the momentum. Hochi broke Dumbo’s grip, but it changed nothing. Oshidashi for Ears McGhee. 3-2, 2-3

Tosayutaka v Shotenro – I am not sure what Tosayutaka was thinking here. He moved to the side after the tachiai, which Tenro saw coming. Low position, and momentum mean a lot in a sumo bout as proven here by Tenro. 2-3 a piece.

Takanoyama v Tamaasuka – Taka ALMOST had this one. The smaller man was able to keep low and inside on the tachiai, and push Oscar to the bales. Taka swung Oscar around and attempted an armbar throw followed by a leg sweep, which looked good, but Oscar rallied and drove Taka to the bales. Taka tried an inside leg trip, but Oscar blocked it with his knee, and closed the deal. 0-5, 2-3

Yoshiazuma v Kokkai – Kokkai was too cocky going into this one and over-stretched a bit. Yoshi had one of the quickest uwatenages I’ve ever seen. 2-3, 4-1

Kimurayama v Asasekiryu – One of these guys was going to go for the henka slapdown… and today it wasw Asa. 2-3, 4-1

Kitataiki v Aminishiki – after a pair of matas, Sneaky came in with a strong charge, with Taiki locking up Sneaky’s arm at the bales, almost getting a thrust down at the process. Taiki regained some ground, and made a drive, breaking Ami’s grip, and his own. Taiki then drove Ami back on his bad knee for the win. Both guys hanging in 4-1, 3-2.

Gagamaru v Kyokutenho – Tenho fought valiantly, but this one was all Gaga all the time, in the expected style. Both looking good at 4-1.

Masunoyama is out due to ligament damage in his bout yesterday (one of the commentator’s mistakes, as it was clearly his left ankle not his right) so Tamawashi got the fusen victory. 2-3 each.

Kaisei v Toyohibiki – Beeker swung left after the tachiai going for the slap-down, which only served to anger Bruce Banner. Easy push out for the Hulk. As Kaisei stepped off the dohyo and down the hana michi all i could think of was this. 3-2,0-5

Sagatsukasa v Tochinowaka – henka-ish behavior from tiny Saga at the tachiai, which kind of fizzled. The little guy kept the pressure up, not allowing a grip by the larger man and trying to lock up his arms. Saga saw his chance and pulled a nice ipponzeoi (one armed shoulder throw) for the win. 2-3 3-2. For video go here and skip to 2:30

Miyabiyama v Fujiazuma – Pretty equal tachiai, Yabbers slipped to the side and pulled down, in the normal style. 3-2, 1-4.

Wakakoyu v Tokitenku – Wakakoyu took a page out of the book of Miyabiyama, only this bout was ruled hatakikomi. Neither bout was ruled interesting 2-3, 3-2.

Tochinoshin v Goeido -Kool-eid(o) had the upper hand from the tachiai with a hand firmly wedged in Noshin’s pit. Noshin grabbed a migiyotsu grip, but Oh YEAH!’s position was better, he went for the tsuridashi, but it was ruled yorikiri for Children’s beverage. 3-2 each.

Takayasu v Tochiozan – Takayasu opened up with some decent tsuppari, which was repelled. He went back in, hoping for a grip, which Ozan ended up with. Yasu went for a desperation kubinage, but Ozan’s head slipped out. Embarrassing okuritaoshi loss for Super Savings. 2-3, 4-1.

Kotoshogiku v Homasho – Homey set up way far back from the shikiri, and Geek right on the line. Homey shifted slightly to the right at the tachiai, which (because he was so far back) was spotted by the Geeku. All it took was a slight course correction from the Geek to get a side impact on Homey, sending him to the ground. Oshitaoshi brings the Geek to 5-0, Cigar Shop at a respectable 3-2 (those 3 are all ozeki.)

Kakuryu v Aran – Aran tried for an otsuke (arm block), but gave up at the first whiff of a belt grip. This allowed migiyotsu for both wrestlers. Kak went makikae for morozaahi, but Aran did not capitalize, so Kak got it, but didn’t capitalize, so Aran broke it, and didn’t capitalize, so Kak got morozashi again, Aran broke it again, due to lack of capitalization. In the end, Kakuryu muscled Aran out at the bales with a hidariyotsu yorikiri (but it looked like a tsuridashi.) 3-2, 0-5.

Okinoumi v Kisenosato – Kissy had better position at the start and turned into a nice hidari yotsu, Oki managed his own hidariyotsu, with both fighting desperately for the right hand on the outside of the belt. The first to the belt with the right was Kissy, and that sealed the deal. 2-3, 5-0. That’s Kise’s best start in over a year, ending up with a 9-6 that time, and landing a 13-2 with the same start 2 years ago.

Harumafuji v Takekaze – What does everyone expect from Takekaze? Push, push, pull, or a henka slapdown.It was the prior today, and Harry looked very un-ozeki-like today. 2-3, 1-4. Harumafuji is not happy, having thoroughly ruined his chances at tsunatori in just 5 days, and all against rank and filers.

Wakanosato v Kotooshu – The old timer took everything Oshu had at the tachiai and looked hungry for more. The ol’ barometer refused to let Oshu get any kind of grip and kept him moving and overstretched, then closed it out with a sukuinage. Oshu looks like T-R-A-S-H. 2-3, 1-4.

Toyonoshima v Baruto – Toyo got a left hand inside from the get-go, and caused Baby Huey to stretch his huge right limb over the top to get the back of the mawashi. Baby Huey began the march to the bales. Toyo spun around under the bulk, and pulled a sukuinage. To me it looked like Bart’s arm hit the ground first. But the Gyoji went to Bart. Monoii was called. They said Toyonoshima’s left foot was out first. In reviewing the tape, I thought a torinaoshi(re-do) should have been called. From my angle it was impossible to see Toyo’s hell going down first. So Bart got the win… well… Toyo got the loss. Like Murray Johnson said “you wouldn’t put it in the DVD of how to win a bout.” 1-4, 3-2. Only Ozeki to win today.

Hakuho y Yõshikaze – Well, I wanted to tell DeGama that both Kaze bros won today, if nothing else, so that something would make Bertrum’s seating arrangement a little more pointy. But, even though Yoshi had a good tachiai and decent follow up. “Good” and “decent” aren’t up to snuff. Hak’s right hand slap was all it took. 5-0, 1-4.

Again, Murray Johnson might be right… we might need Kotoshogiku to save this tournament, who knows, maybe even Kisenosato will come out of nowhere. If he gets 15 that will be 33.

Valentine’s new album “Day 6” drops tomorrow.

Day 6

Day 6, and we’re starting to see already the storylines post-senshuraku. Harumafuji has tossed out, shelved, or is purposefully evading his promotion to Yokozuna. Kotoshogiku is on track to Ozeki. Same with Kisenosato, albeit following the Geek. Kakryu has forgone that plan for now. Takamisakari is getting comfortable with a Juryo salary, and Hakuho has worked out of his Nagoya funk.

Starting with a few bouts of interest downstairs in Juryo.

J11W Chiyoarashi (4-1) vs. J7W Takamisakari (2-3): Ringo got his paws right into Arashi’s armpits and raised up his opponents arms out of reach. Maintaining the shoulders of his opponent up, Ringo slipped to the side and weaseled right into a Burt Reynolds (or is that a Ned Beatty?), easily leading the junior out of the ring, rear push-out win and Ringo calls it even with a 3-3.

J3E Myogiryu (4-1) vs. J6E Aoiyama (3-0-2): the only time they met was last basho in July, and Myogiryu won that time (in fact he took the Juryo Yusho in July). This time the large Bulgarian didn’t hunker down enough to keep low with Myogiryu, who had great low center of gravity and deashi, simply driving on his much larger opponent and sending the Bulgarian out, push-out win. Myogiryu is looking more and more Makuuchi material, while Bulgarian Aoiyama is 3-1-2, the last “2” because he sat out the first two days of the basho (but really those count as losses in the books, so might as well be 3-3). Overall, I expect to see both of these men in Makuuchi sooner than later.

Up to the top division, we start with M15W Takanoyama (0-5) vs. M14W Shotenro (2-3): the two have met only once, back in September 2006 in Makushita, with Shotenro winning that one. The tachiai was somewhat of a henka by The Mongol (Sho), but the Czech (Taka) got the inside position with his arms in Shotenro’s pits, but Sho easily pressed forward on the featherweight. With the Czech squirming around and his heels on the rice bales, Sho was swayed a bit to the side and his right foot inadvertently stepped out of the ring before Taka’s left heel graced the janome. The jedi had a discussion on it, and in the slo-mo video I really thought this calls for a refill on my Four Roses single-barrel 100 proof, and a rematch, but the judges felt sorry for the lanky one and awarded him with the win—or more appropriately, awarding Shotenro the loss by a careless step-out. And with his first win in Makuuchi, Taka got the obligatory invite to the NHK interview booth. Kind of pitiful they want comments on a win like that, but his Japanese is rocking. Takanoyama is on a roll at 1-5.

M11E Kitataiki (4-1) vs. M12W Asasekiryu (4-1): the two bonked heads in the tachiai, and AsaNOTshoryu got a deep left inside grip, but Kttk simply pushed upward on the Mongol’s right breast and drove the him back. Kitataiki with a force-out win, 5-1. Asasekiryu falls to 4-2.

M11W Gagamaru (4-1) vs. Sagatsukasa (2-3): Gaga managed to stay low in the tachiai and advanced on the short one like an angry buffalo with long armed thrusts. Four two-armed thrusts, and Comb-Over was out. Gaga looks like he’ll stick around in Makuuchi with a 5-1. Sagats is 2-4.

M8E Kaisei (3-2) vs. M10E Tamawashi (2-3): head-to-head, Kaisei leads 1-0 with a win in July. This time, Tamahawk stepped to the left taking away Kaisei’s momentum in the tachiai. The Mongol tried for a left-hand outside belt grip, but quickly abandoned that plan and went with oshi-zumo to drive Kaisei, push-out win for Tamawashi and both men settle for a pair of threes in the records.

M1E Homasho (3-2) vs. S1W Kisenosato (5-0): eight times meeting, 5-3 in Homie’s favor, but Kissy has won the last four. Tachiai – harite by Kissy as they came in, and neither rikishi went for a belt grip but Kissy had absolutely no resistance in driving forward on the Cigar Store Indian, who forgot to bring his game today. Kissy advances to 6-0, and looking prime this basho. Homasho falls to a pretty damn respectable 3-3…wins to Baruto, Kotooshu, Harumafuji: losses to Hakuho, Kotoshogiku, and Kisenosato—should tell you something right there.

S1E Kotoshogiku (5-0) vs. KE Toyonoshima (1-4): these two go back to high school sumo days in fact, but since entering sumo their record is 19-9, in the Geek’s favor. At the tachiai, both came in low looking for belt grips. Musta vasolined ‘em belts cos no one got that, but once Geek was comfortable with the arm hold he had, he advanced on Toyo and led him out of the ring. The Geek advances to 6-0 and clearly on pace for that ozeki pay check in November. Toyo falls to 1-5.

S2E Kakuryu (3-2) vs. M1W Okinoumi (2-3): good tachiai from the Kak with strong thrusts, but Oki found a way in between and with his head in the Kak’s chest simply moved forward and taking the Kak downwards, frontal crush-out. Kak is not going to be an Ozeki in November. Both men settle with pairs of threes.

M2E Wakanosato (2-3) vs. OW Baruto (3-2): head-to-head, 6-1 in Bart’s favor. Today, Baruto showed Gagamaru and everyone else how two-arm thrust are to be done. Thrust one: Waka’s face, and Waka fell back to the bales. Trust two: Waka’s shoulder, and Waka slipped to the side, still on the bales but losing balance. Thrust three: Waka’s chest, and Waka was well out of the Kanto Plain. Bart wins, thrust out victory, and advances to 4-2, while Waka is a 2-4.

OE Harumafuji (2-3) vs. KW Aran (0-5): they locked horns at the tachiai with Haruma right-hand inside and left-hand outside, Aran only a right-hand inside but wanting that left-hand outside. Waiting, regrouping, then Haruma carefully charged not allowing Aran that left-hand outside. Haruma drove Aran to the bales and from there downward, frontal crush-out win for the Ozeki. Haruma is even at 3-3 while Aran is perfect at 0-6.

M3W Tochiozan (4-1) vs. OW Kotooshu (1-4): history goes 6-5 in Kotooshu’s favor, but Tochiozan has won the last two. At the tachiai, tall Oshu stood too high, reaching for a deep outside which did him no good. Ozan lifted up Oshu’s right shoulder and opened the Bulgarian’s chest. From there Ozan buried into his chest and drove forward. Textbook sumo from Ozan which I would normally commend, but these days how can you lose to Oshu? If you think about it, his tachiai was completely amateur. Tall guy stands up too high, reaches for the back of his opponent’s belt thinking he can lift his opponent out. We see Oshu and Bart lose this way time and time again. Pitiful sumo from this Eurozeki, who’s at 1-5 and still has the three Sekiwake and the Yokozuna ahead on his schedule.

YE Hakuho (5-0) vs. M3E Takekaze (1-4): 10-1 between these two…yes, that’s right, Takekaze won to Hakuho back in July 2004. Very strong tachiai from both and of course, the impact set Take back, and with just a few follow-up shoves, the Yokozuna had the Akitan out, push out win. Hakuho with six solid wins. Takekaze at 1-5.

So goes day six, friends and foes. It seemed he had just left the building, but Creswell will be back to lick it all up tomorrow.

Day 7

Let’s begin today with a midway glance down into Juryo, shall we? 5-1 Hokutokuni won a furious bout against 5-1 Kyokushuho to retain his share of the lead (now 6-1). Takamisakari squeaked out a win over Satoyama to keep both rikishi at 4-3, so he’s till got a *chance* to make it up to makuuchi. Aoiyama kicked the crap out of Masuraumi, to go to 4-3, but those 2 kyujo days are gonna come back to bite him in the ass, methinks. Myogiryu had a great bout against Sotairyu, which ended with Sotairyu leaving in a wheelchair. That’ll keep Giryu at 6-1, Tairyu at 4-3 with possible kyujo (Sotairyu heard a popping sound in his left thigh…bad news). Lastly, Matsutani had a nice win over Tsurugidake. So to me, the contenders look like Myogiryu, Hokutokuni, Matsutani, Kyokushuho, and possibly Aoiyama (if he can get a win against Giryu.) Now I’ll move on to Makuuchi.

Takarafuji v Kimurayama – Shakala-fuji, we’ll all remember, had a disastrous basho in Makuuchi back in Nagoya. And Kimurayama, we’ll all remember, is a douche-bag. That being said, Takarafuji kept the pressure on, got the left hand inside and got the oshi win right after Kimura started panicking. Mirror image scores with Shakala at 5-2.

Kokkai v Shotenro – Kokkai has been bringing the Georgian thunder this basho and given Shotenro’s performance, one would believe there is no thunder in Mongolia. Sloppy footwork by Kokkai got Shotenro inside, and drove Kok to the bales. A throw and counter throw ensued. It was unclear which dumb-ass’ hand hit the dohyo first (but it was Kokkai), So Mihogaseki-oyakata decided they get a mulligan and we had a do-over. Shitty henka hatakikomi by Kokkai… by the look on Kokkai’s face, no one was happy with that sumo.

Hochiyama v Tamaasuka – Tama-Oscar reminds me of Grover, or any muppet with huge eyebrows. I bring this up because this bout reminded me of muppets cheering for something… you know, how their arms just kind of flap around. Thats what Oscar did, but Hochi deflected it and took him from behind.

Yoshiazuma v Takanoyama – Takanoyama has had a tendency to stand up too fast at the tachiai this basho. I really hope he can fix it. AND HE DID…kind of. Nice well-placed tsuppari from the tachiai, trading it for a migiyotsu. He was fighting, but Yoshi was using his bulk to move toward the bales hoping for a yorikiri. Taka took his a chance and went for an uwatenage, topping it off with the little leg trip for the kakenage, and picked up a kancho(kensho) for his trouble. The crowd is REALLY behind Takanoyama, the real question is can Okinoumi really compete against those chiseled features? Ladies’ Love Cool Takanoyama at 2-5, Yoshi at 3-4.

Daido v Asasekiryu – after a mata both men got migiyotsu, but Asa seemed to have the advantage, swinging Daido around to the right. Asa went for the shitatenage, but Daido resisted. Asa went for the throw 2 or 3 more times, Daiso resisting each attempt and trying to keep Asa’s left arm off the belt, whilst Asa tries to keep Daido off the front of his belt. After a final attempt Daido nailed Asa with a kotenage whilst backing away. 5-2, 4-3.

Aminishiki v Tosayutaka – both men with compromised knees, Sneaky’s from age, and Tosa’s from an injury from last basho. Aminishiki went immediately for a nodowa, then pulled down the poor little gorilla. 5-2, 3-4.

Tamawashi – Gagamaru – Gaga has been quite convincing recently. I think he’s found his spot on the banzuke for his skill level. Any higher and he just gets out-classed. Tamawashi runs hot and cold, today was cold. A lackluster tachiai gave advantage Gaga. 3-4, 6-1.

Kitataiki v Toyohibiki – Beeker still hasn’t gotten into a good rhythm since he came back from his baseball betting punishment. Taiki was doing well, but still needs to become a bit more solid before he attempts the meatgrinder again. Beeker brought the speed today at the tachiai and knocked Taiki right out of the game, denying him any forward motion. Taiki saying “fuck hinkaku, I’m visually disappointed.” 5-2,2-5

Kaisei v Kyokutenho – Tenho slipped to the side after the impact slipped into a nice belt grip and walked Kaisei out easy peasy….Mongolianeasy… Brazilianeasy… hmmmm gaijineasy. 3-4, 5-2

Fujiazuma v Sagatsukasa – the little guy went right in against Fuji avoiding as many thrusts as possible, pushing, pulling, and moving around, not letting the slower Fujiazuma lock in. Just a few shifts and a pull down spell another win for the little guy. 1-6, 3-4.

Takayasu v Tochinowaka – Did you hear that Takayasu… Murray Johnson said “I’m a bit of a fan of this guy, and he’s let me down the first few days.”… make it one more. Good tsuppari offense from Taka, but at the bales he got too close and was thrust down by the bigger man. For shame Takayasu… poor little Murray Johnson…2-5, 5-2.

Miyabiyama v Goeido – Eido did his best to deflect Miyabi’s thousand hand slap, Yabbers went for the pull down and Eido slipped under, put head to chest, and drove out the ex-ozeki. 4-3, 5-2.

Wakakoyu v Tochiozan – Credit due to Wakakoyu for putting up a good fight, but it looked like Tochiozan didn’t miss a step. Good deashi by the former ozeki candidate. 2-5, 6-1.

Wakanosato v Tokitenku – Waka in fast keeping Tenku’s hands of the front of the belt. Moving him back, Tenku bounces of the bales, Waka goes for the arm bar, taking tenku to the bales again. Tenku got underneath, spun the old timer around and flung him down with an uwatenage. Good turn around at the bales by Tenku. 2-5, 4-3.

Homasho v Aran – This was looking really good for Homasho, his defensive style was keeping Aran’s attack at bay. The only problem is that Homasho didn’t make more aggressive of an offensive move when Aran stumbled a bit. He made a forward push, but at the edge Aran threw Homasho with a kotenage, but what’s that!? Aran’s left foot was out of the dohyo. Win for Homasho. The bulge in Briton-Meyer’s pants just keeps getting bigger.

Kakuryu v Kisenosato – Seems like Kakuryu’s ozeki run is officially on hiatus, but Kise seems to be building his own…again. The tachiai certainly belonged to Kakuryu but at the bales Kise got his right hand under Kak’s armpit and with a beautiful shove knocked Kakuryu all the way across the dohyo and out, even added a bit of a dameoshi. Nice bout from Kise, who stays undefeated. 3-4 for fishface.

Kotoshogiku v Okinoumi – that was a pretty good tachiai from Don Juan, but that was good, textbook stuff from the Geek, gabburi-yori style. Even a little bit of confidence and bravado from the usually taciturn Geek, looking a bit more ozeki-like, than normal. Undefeated Geek, and Don Juan is at 3-4, but a good 3-4.

Tochinoshin gets the walkover win over Kotooshu. Oshu went kyujo with an injured career… I mean… elbow? Another Kadoban for No-go-oshu. 4-3 for Noshin.

Dear mom, You remember when I lost to Kaio by falling underneath him and got robbed of a win. It happened again, except this time it was against Sloth from the goonies. Love, Takekaze. 1-6 for Kaze, Baruto at 5*-2.

Harumafuji v Yoshikaze – the erratic movements of Yoshikaze lead to another hatakikomi loss for Harumafuji. I appologize.. that makes it sound like Yoshikaze didn’t see that Harumafuji was WAY overstretched on that charge. both at 3-4, and a nice big one for DeGama.

Hakuho v Toyonoshima – props to Toyo for getting th ozeki moving backwards, but equal tisk tisk to Toyo for being too far forward. Easy won for the yokozuna

So thats Hakuho, Kotoshogiku, and Kisenosato on top with 7 wins. Tochiozan and Gagamaru with 6 wins. Watch your eyes and hair, you got Daly comin at you tomorrow.

Nakabi (Day 8)

Wow a lot has changed since my Shonichi report. The young guns, save Tochinowaka have fallen off, or worse, performed some really crappy sumo, henka and all. Homie and Don Juan have both cooled off a bit but still have a good shot at the Komusubi rank if they get their eight. Kakuryu and Harumafuji seem to have backed off their promotion runs, and by some miracle from above Kisenosato appears to have the focus to make a run at Ozeki. Day seven had him at 7-0. In Juryo surprisingly, Aoiyama has returned to from injury leave after the first two days to begin fighting again. I am sure it’s happen before but it’s the first time I recall someone doing that: he’s at 4-2-2. Finally, we also found former Dai-Yokozuna Asashoryu, a favorite among the S & S crew, on twitter, and are proudly following his updates as he attempts to become a successful business man.

All that said some things this basho have been pretty damn consistent. Kotoshogiku continues to make a solid run for Ozeki promotion and as long as hug’n’chug doesn’t drop some easy ones during week two he should have a decent shot. He was 7-0 after day 7.

Despite last basho, Hakuho is still in the driver’s seat this basho. Going in today he’s 7-0 and the favorite far and away. I am certain he still has many years of great sumo ahead of him and will continue to refer to him as the Dai-Yokozuna as I think the last couple of losses have more to do with saving sumo in Japan than any loss of skill on the part of the humble champion. Oh yeah, Takamisakari is 4-4 after a loss today and may or may not struggle to make it back to Makuuchi. Let us know what you think. Enough with the introduction, I am Josef Daly, and this is your Aki Basho Nakabi Report.

Tosayutaka vs Takanoyama
Takanoyama had won his last two bouts: one by luck and the other by a nice kakenage. Weighing less 100 kgs and generally being seen as an underdog this basho has brought the newbie a ton of support from the crowd. Today he faced off against Tosayutaka. Quick tachi-ai and a solid grip gives Takanoyama his second legit win, putting both rikishi at 3-5 at the halfway mark.

Hochiyama vs Shotenro
Shotenro has looked awful this basho, partly due what appears to be a knee injury while newcomer, Who’s Your Mama has basically beaten guys who will likely not be in Makuuchi for long. Shotenro decided to show a bit more spirit and restrain today. After a fury of tsupari the Mongol attempted a quick pull down, followed by gaining a solid inside grip. From there Show Ten forced Who’s Your Mama to the bales and made sure he didn’t step out like he did against Takanoyama on Day 6. Shotenro is 3-5 while Hochiyama is 4-4.

Kimurayama vs Tamaasuka
Kimurayama henkas for an easy win over Tamaasuka. I won’t mind when these guys are gone from this division.

Kitataiki vs Kokkai
I’ve enjoyed watching both of these rikishi make a bit of a comeback this basho. Going into today both men were 5-2. Coke gets the caffeinated jump start at the tachi-ai and had Taiki reeling to the bails. Tokyo’s son recovered and brought the bout back to the center of the dohyo. From there both rikishi had a classic one-hand grip. After a moment Kita maneuvered a great frontal crush out win sending both rikishi crashing off the dohyo. Kita wins, but after the fall his nose was bleeding all over the place.

Daido vs Gagamaru
I’ve never cared for Dido’s music or his sumo. Just can’t imagine this guy collaborating with Eminem or hitting those falsettos. Going into today dude was 5-2. Gaga was 6-1 just one behind the leaders and showing some powerful sumo. Gentleman Gaga continues to play to his power and literally pushes Dido into the crowd.

Tamawashi vs Yoshiazuma
Yoshiazuma hasn’t been around long enough for me to form an opinion of him but today’s henka was like an awkward first impression, especially since Tamawashi was able to recover even though he literally almost ran off the dohyo. Tama gained control but lost it at the bales when Yoshi turned Mawashi for an uwatenage win.

Fujiazuma vs Tochinowaka
As I mentioned in the intro, the young guns to the division appeared to be looking great after day one but only Tochinowaka has really continued on that track. Today Fujiazuma and Tochinowaka faced off in a great tsupari battle. Tochinowaka over powers the shorter Azuma for a quick oshidashi win.

Takayasu vs Toyohibiki
Good stuff from Takayasu today after a bit of awful sumo. Toyo had the advantage in the tsupari but Takayasu recovered nicely at the bales and was able to send Toyohibiki flying off the dohyo. Kid moves to 3-5 while Toyo falls to 2-6.

Kaisei vs Wakakoyu
I’ve enjoyed watching Kaisei progress since I first saw him fight in Makushita. Today our favorite Brazilian rikishi slips up by leaning a little too far forward giving Wakakoyu and easy hikiotoshi win.

Toyonoshima vs Homasho
It’s been a surprisingly good first week for the M1 rikishi Homasho & Okinoumi. Today Homasho methodically moved Toyonoshima out of the ring via oshidashi. Homie sits at 5-3 while Komusubi Toyonoshima drops to 1-7.

Okinoumi vs Aran
At 0-7 I saw this one coming. Aran jumps a henka and drops Okinoumi like he was hot (which he was for an M1 rikishi). Oki drops to 3-5 while Alan disgracefully picks up his first win of the basho.

Kotoshogiku vs Kakuryu
Both rikishi had a chance at Ozeki promotion this basho but only Kotoshogiku has really been able to pull out enough wins thus far to have a shot. Today however Kakuryu was able to wrap up fellow Sekiwake and win via a skillful yorikiri. Kakuryu moves to 4-4 while Kotoshogiku drops one to move to 7-1. As long as hug’n’chug can recover from this loss and not drop any to maegashira rikishi his run will still be in tact.

Miyabiyama vs Kisenosato
Kise is on a roll. Yesterday’s win over Kakuryu was enough for me believe that he is the only other guy in the division right now that could give Hakuho a run for this basho. If you didn’t see yesterday’s bout go here. Today he easily beats Old Man Yama and moves to 8-0. Can his focus last the rest of the basho? For sumo’s own sake let’s hope so!

Harumafuji vs Tokitenku
I think the majority of us at S & S are in agreement that Harumafuji has probably saved his sumo career by not making this Yokozuna run a reality. Valentine will likely speak to this after the basho is over. Today Haruma get’s back to 500 with an athletic uwatedashinage win.

Baruto vs Tochinoshin
Ozeki are really irrelevant when they get their asses kicked by likes of Yoshikaze and other rikishi who have no business beating them. It really made me wonder why the hell Baruto can’t bring the fire to a lot of his matches. Today Tochinoshin and Baruto faced off. The two men from Eastern Europe lifted eachother off the dohyo a few time and finally Baruto forced the Georgian off the dohyo. Now it looked to me like Baruto’s hand hit the ground before Tochinoshin’s body did, but the dead body rule might have been in effect so who knows. Creswell? Valentine? Any idea? Baruto is the only Ozeki with a winning record at 5-2, but unless a miracle occurs he is completely out of the yusho race. Noshin drops to 4-4 at M4.

Hakuho vs Tochiozan
Tochiozan is either Tigger or Eeyore when he arrives at a basho. This basho he’s been pretty damn engaged in the bouts and was 6-1 going into his bout against the undefeated Dai-Yokozuna. Hakuho’s sumo was picture perfect today as he walks Ozan out of the ring as though it was deashi practice. Yorikiri win and one step closer to the yusho.

Leaders

Hakuho 8-0
Kisenosato 8-0
Kotoshogiku 7-1
Gagmaru 7-1

Hope you enjoyed this ultraviolet Nakabi Report; Creswell gotcha for all of Day 9.

Day 9

We begin the second half of the Aki basho with one rikishi leading the pack in juryo after today’s bouts, Myogiryu with 8-1, and closely followed by Matsutani and Hokutokuni at 7-2, our old buddy Takamisakari is hanging in at 4-5. In Makuuchi only two rikishi are undefeated before today’s action. Kisenosato and Hakuho. Gagamaru and Kotoshogiku are both at 7-1. Both Kakuryu and Harumafuji have screwed up their promotion hopes early on in the tournament, Kotooshu has dropped out, his oyokata citing non-sumo-like behavior, and Baruto is just kind of there. On to day 9 bouts, the resplendent Ross Mihara was on the English side.

Tosayutaka v Kimurayama – Tosayutaka was not on his stuff today, and Kimurayama got a pretty easy oshidashi win with little to no resistance. 3-6, 4-5.

Kokkai v Asasekiryu – This rivalry favors Asa 8-5. Asa was constantly searching for a grip, but Kokkai kept moving and kept Asa off the belt by slapping, thursting, and moving. Keeping low and moving forward, Kokkai was deflectged by Asa and almost caught off balance, then regained and went for the slapdown win, while on the retreat. 6-3, 4-5.

Aminishiki v Shotenro – Ineffective henka by Shotenro, which turned into advantage for the Sneak, who couldn’t force the younger-man out. Several slap-down attempts by by both parties achieved nothing, but the momentum was in Tenro’s favor. Finally Sneaky forced Tenro down, but backed out before Tenro hit the clay. 6-3, 4-5.

Takanoyama v Gagamaru – 100 kilogram weight advantage for Gaga in this matchup, but Takanoyama has the speed, and technique advantages here. Taka henkaed to the left and tried to grab Gaga’s arm for a tottari, but missed. Takanoyama was left exposed and too high, and Gaga made short work of the rest of the bout. Kachikoshi for Gaga. 3-6, 8-1.

Kitaitaiki v Hochiyama – decent tachiai, after which Hochiyama drove back Taiki with some tsuppari, Kitataiki, ganbare-ing through the barrage to score a hand inside and a hand on the belly of Hochi, which lead to a yorikiri. 7-2, 4-5.

Daido v Kyokutenho – pretty neat mawashi/deashi work by Makuuchi’s oldest wrestler, 37 year-old Kyokutenho, despite a good beltgip on Daido’s part. 5-4, 7-2.

Yoshiazuma v Sagatsukasa – Yoshiazuma has over 30cm on Sagatsukasa. Henka by the little man, Saga slapped away any of Yoshi’s attempts at tsuppari, got behind him and called it a day, knocking Yoshi into the 3rd row. both at 4-5.

Tamaasuka v Toyohibiki – neither men doing well this basho, both at 2-6. Both men with Right hand inside, left hand out at the tachiai, but Beeker owned this one. Oscar didn’t move one step forward. 2-7, 3-6.

Fujiazuma v Tamawashi – both men are pusher-thrusters. Fuji circled back slapping and pulling as he backed away, unfortunately one of those pulls was on the mage of Tamawashi, so although Tama went out first he gets the win. That hansoku loss hands Fujiazuma his makekoshi and leaves Tama at 4-5.

Takayasu v Kaisei – first meeting for these two in makuuchi, but their record in juryo and below stands at one win a piece. Neither of these two giving a stellar performance this outing. Takayasu moved from tsuppari right into a maemitsu pulling the big lunk down with a shitatehineri (underhand twistdown). 4-5, 3-6.

Ross Mihara took time out of the broadcast at this point to give a nice little shout out to his buddies in Australia, in his words “boozing” at a restaurant. Where’s our love Ross? Where’s our love? You show us some love on NHK, and we’ll make sure you’ve got a nice smoke and a nice bottle of single malt for senshuraku.

Tochinowaka v Goeido – nice charge from Tochinowaka, moving right in locking up Goeido’s left arm and moving him back to the tawara. Goeido slips around and reversed the advantage, getting Waka on the bales. Waka slowly moving his way forward, desperately fighting for a good grip, Goeido with a migiyotsu, Tochi now only with a right hand outside. Tochi had Kool-edio bak on the bales, Eido once again pivoting away, this time to the left. Then to the right, trying to catch Waka off-balance. Finally moving back and to the right, abandoning the left hand grip and finishing things off with a sukuinage. Great bout. 6-3, 7-2.

Miyabiyama v Wakakoyu – Koyu coming in with good tsuppari and an easy pull down, not even letting Miyabiyama get going. both at 4-5.

Takekaze v Tochiozan – 6-6 history for these two. Takekaze style win; move to the side after the tachiai + hand pulldown. 2-7, 6-3.

Homasho v Yoshikaze – This bout will decide who needs a new pair of trousers; Briton-Meyer, or DeGama. 6-4 in favor of Homey. Homasho came in low and looked to be caught of guard by Yoshi, Homey managed to regain balance, grad the left wrist of Yoshi, and get his right arm under Yoshi’s right armpit, giving him a solid advantage. Homasho waited patiently, defending aginst the erratic motions, then pushed for the bales and a moist spot on Briton-Meyer’s chair. 6-3, 4-5. Lo siento, DeGama.

Wakanosato v Aran – No respect for the aged here. As Ross said, its the 2nd straight win, if you want to call it that, for Aran. I can understand, not condone, but understand, a henka to break a losing streak, but 2 in a row is just bad taste.

Toyonoshima v Okinoumi – Upper makuuchi and komusubi are tough ranks for Toyonoshima. Okinoumi however, seems to be just getting better at this rank, which is what one would hope. Toyonoshim had Okinoumi’s lefft arm lock up and used that to stand him up, then thrust him down with a hand on the ribcage. 2-7, 3-6.

Kotoshogiku v Tokitenku – Geek still needs 5 more wins to get his promotion, but with Kisenosato, Baruto, Harumafuji, and Hakuho still on the list he can’t afford to screw up. Today was a big test as Tenku has a 16-3 record against the Geek. Although their last meeting was over a year ago. Perfect double armlock for the Geek and a quick Kimedashi gives him his kachikoshi, and keeps his promotion hopes alive. His real test starts tomorrow with Kisenosato. 4-5 for Tokitenku.

Kisenosato v Baruto – Kise only has 3 wins over Baruto. Immediate beltgrip for both parties. Baruto with a right hand in left hand out, Kise with the opposite. Kise goes for a bit of gabburi, but quickly abandons the idea. Kise struggles for position, but is standing himself up a bit too much. Kise went for what looked like a good uwatenage, but was unable to follow through. He took advantage of the balance advantage, drove forward hoping to yorikiri, but couldn’t get Bart over the bales. Baruto pivoted to the side and decided the bout with a lucky uwatenage. Kise owned the bout, but just wasn’t able to finish it off. 7-2, 8-1. There went Kise’s hopes for an undefeated yusho and ozeki promotion (not like those chances were real or anything.)

Harumafuji v Kakuryu – The past 4 meetings these two have traded wins, and if that can be trusted, than Kakuryu should win today. Kakuryu managed to get in a bit lower than Harumafuji, but both men got a belt grip out of it, with Harumafuji getting the advantage as far as the grips went with his left hand inside. While driving forward Harry threw in a nice sotogake (outside leg trip) to clench the win and get over .500. 5-4, 4-5.

Hakuho v Tochinoshin – up till recently I would have said that Tochinoshin had a good chance here. He was getting more and more solid, and moving up in the ranks. But recently his sumo is in a bit of a slump, at least as far as the top of the banzuke goes. He just can’t get into the groove up in joii/sanyaku. Hakuho immediately with his right hand inside, Tochinoshin with his left on the outside. Hakuho spun Noshin around, got a maemitsu grip and drove him out in a textbook fashoin. Great style and form by the Yokozuna, who now is the sole leader at 9-0, Tochinoshin at 4-5.

That’s all from me for this basho. Connolly will be here to stroke your shillelagh tomorrow.

Day 10

Today I realised that I may in fact be turning Japanese. On my day off today, I found myself at work!
Luckily I was able to get off early, and I was also able to leave school early today :p But when I got home I was less than impressed. NHK was providing extensive coverage today on Typhoon Roke, the region’s 15th storm of the season, which is currently wreaking havoc on southern parts of Japan. And it’s heading north as you read these words.

Yoshiazuma (4-5) vs. Tamaasuka (2-7)
Yoshi moved slightly to his right to get the advantage over Tamaasuka. And followed up with some good yorikiri, but as Tama was going out he fell backwards and the kimarite was named a yoritaoshi.

Aminishiki (6-3) vs. Hochiyama (4-5)
After a clean tachi-ai these two individuals found themselves both at the straw, both attempting throws. Both men appeared to step out at the same time, but no moni-ii was called. The snake got the win.

Tosayutaka (3-6) vs. Asasekiryu (4-5)
Asa got the better tachi-ai start but found himself over stretched and in a somewhat awkward position. Tosa didn’t have the best grip either and a stalemate proceeded for about a minute. Occasional throw/forceout attempts were made, but none were convincing. Eventually after both men had almost run out of steam, Asa found some reserve power and forced Tosa out.

Kitataiki (7-2) vs. Kimurayama (4-5)
I noticed that Kimuraya likes to blink like Tochiozan at the tachi-ai too. Kitataiki doesn’t, he is more focused on neutralising his opponent and concentrate on forward moving sumo. Pretty easy fo him today ad he secured his KK.

Tamawashi (4-5) vs. Takanoyama (3-6)
Tamawashi took his sweet time to put his hands down at the tachi-ai, and when he finally did Takanoyama was more than ready. Taka pushed Tama back and then attempted a tsuppari attack. It didn’t have much power however so Tama drive him to the straw. But Taka-ain’t-no-mountain just stepped to the side and watched the bigger man fall down and out.

Kaisei (3-6) vs. Shotenro (4-5)
The Brazilian was greeted by a strong tachi-ai from Shotenro that pushed him back a few feet. But when he realised the fight was on he pushed Sho back, and avoided 2 or 3 slap down attempts, but was caught off guard as Sho launched a nice uwatedashinage.

Fujiazuma (1-8) vs. Kyokutenho (7-2)
Fujiazuma kept Kyokutenho away from his belt as long as possible with some tsuppari. Kyokutenho eventually found a way in though, but was probably a little surprised when he found himself being forced back buy a guy who only managed to win one of his last 9 fights. And with that Fuji doubled his win count!

And this is where NHK started the coverage on sumo today.

Takayasu (4-5) vs. Sagatsukasa (4-5)
After the tachi-ai Takayasu tries a pull down that didn’t work, so he tried another pull down that also didn’t work. Saga used that opening to get a double inside grip and then it was just a matter of time for him to work Taka out via yorikiri.

Miyabiyama (4-5) vs. Tochinowaka (6-3)
Miyabiya tried what he always tries, but Tochi was ready and when Miyabi mistimed his pull down Tochi was on the ball. He rushed in and yorikiried his way to victory.

Gagamaru (8-1) vs. Goeido (7-2)
I was expecting Goeido to try something at the tachi-ai today. So far this tournament all the wresters who took Gaga head on, lost. And as Goeido isn’t the biggest guy out there it would only make sense for him to take Gaga from an angle.
I was wrong however, and Goeido went in fast toi get the front of Gaga’s belt. And Gaga went for Geoido’s face. Goeido pulled as hard as he could on the belt, and Gaga force choked Goeido as hard as he could. It looked like Goeido’s head was going to pop off!! But things settled and Goeido had a nice grip, he went for a leg trip but Gaga also had a great neck grip and used that to throw Goeido down. Great, great win for Gaga today! That makes 8 straight wins for the Georgian.

Wakanosato (2-7) vs. Takekaze (2-7)
Take moved back as soon as they enguaged after the tachi-ai today going for a slap down, as he always does. Wakanosato kept moving forward after Take who was circling around the ring, relentlessly making slap down attempts. After circumnavigating the entire ring, Waka finally make a mistake and was dropped to the dirt.

Yoshikaze (4-5) vs. Okinoumi (3-6)
Yoshikaze hit fast today and then tried to get around Oki to push him down. But he didn’t manage to get all the way around him, and Oki had time to recover. When he did he was able to wrap up Yoshi and drive him back and out.

All the cameras now focused on Kotoshogiku and Kisenosato. On the split screen Kotoshogiku looked much more composed and ready to win.

Toyonoshima (2-7) vs. Aran (2-7)
Aran tried a force out, Toyo slipped to the side and then drove Aran out. It wasn’t a good fight.

Kakuryu (4-5) vs. Homasho (6-3)
Homasho stayed back from the lines at the start again today. He got a good start, and found himself under Kak trying to push him upright. But the Kak released pressure for a second, and with excellent footwork switched his footing and went for a arm throw. The throw didn’t work, but it did totally upset Homasho, who now had the Kak’s hands on his shoulders. Homasho completely off balance kept moving forward towards his opponent, who was quickly moving back, continuing to slap him down. With a slight seperation, Homasho stedied himself and got migiyotsu position. He went for the force out, but Kak was able to withstand the assault, by slipping to the side and counter throwing Homasho. Kakuryu then tippy-toed backwards along the straw bales as Homasho legs swung left and right and finally he hit the ground. The gyoji signalled that Homasho won, but a momo-ii was called but as the replays clearly showed Kak did not step out over the bales. And the win was given to Kakuryu. A very interesting fight indeed.

Kotoshoogiku (8-1) vs. Kisenosato (8-1)
The highlight bout of the day!! 22-11 was the record between these guys before today. Both men really wanting the win today.
Kotoshogiku was prepared well today. He came in fast at the tachi-ai and drove Kisenosato back to the bales and out without even getting a grip on the red belt. Kisenosato did pretty much nothing to stop Koto today. Anti-climatic! Koto moves to 9-1 and will face Tochiozan tomorrow.

Harumafuji (5-4) vs. Tochinoshin (4-5)
A nasty, nasty henka from Harry today left both men completely reversed positions. Harry slapped Tochin in the face and then went in attacking. He took Tochi wack to the bales, and wen to finish hin off. The Georgian didn’t give up easily though and attempted a throw. Unfortunately his heel slipped over the straw during the throw. And Harry landed on top of the Yokozuna, actually his foot almost kicked the yokozuna in the face!

Tochiozan (6-3) vs. Baruto (7-2)
Baruto simply ran forward today, grabbed Tochiozan and kept running. Super easy win for him today. Baruto faces M11 Gagamaru tomorrow. That will be an interesting one for sure!

Hakuho (9-0) vs. Tokitenku (4-5)
This would have been a HUGE upset if Tokitenku won today. HUGE!
But let’s not waste too much time on hypothetical situations. Tokitenku prolonged his time on the dohyo today as he used his leg to prevent the Yokozuna from throwing him to the dirt. Instead Hakuho moved forward and forced Toki out over the straw.

I think Hakuho might be starting a new run for himself, it’s only 10 so far but I’m pretty sure he’ll win this basho at 15-0. Unless Kotoshogiku can cause a huge upset.

Samuél will steal your hearts tomorrow.
As for me, I’m off to buy a kite.

Day 11

Well, its that time again for some Latino flavor into the Sumo world. Prior to this I was fresh from playing around with the kids so they could at one point read what I say about this Japanese sport. Unfortunately since there is currently a typhoon coming I couldn’t even do that that properly. Regardless lets just dive right into this two day extravaganza with de Gama as your wet suit.

Yoshiazuma vs. Shotenro:
Some times I wonder why I bother reporting on some of these early bouts. However, you got to start somewhere, right? So at tachiai Shotenro comes out fast. Yoshi, in what I can only say is a disgrace to the rikishi who name he semi-shares, acts like the dinosaur and gets ridden all the way out. A win for the Mongolian.

Hochiyama vs. Asasekiryu:
True to his nature… the Mongolian henkas for the win. Looks like the typhoons hitting Aomori a bit early.

Aminishiki vs. Kimurayama:
The Sneek is looking weak despite the almost kachikoshi score. I feel like he wants to win, but he also being a bit cautious. I mean if you see the amount of wrapping on his leg I don’t have to be a doctor to say it’s screwed. Anyways, Sneeky rushes in to Kimura. Quickly, Kimura throws him off balance and scurries to the side and uses Sneeky’s momentum against him. Kimura victory!

Tamawashi vs. Kokkai:
Aggressive bout between the two. Kokkai goes in first and gets fended off pretty quickly by Tama. This signals two both of them to start a series of E. Honda-like pushes while trancing about the ring. Eventually, Kokkai pulls out and as he does that pushes Kimura down. Congrats on Kokkai’s kachikoshi.

Kitataiki vs. Tochinowada:
Kitataiki dominated this match. He went in fast and Tochi seems hell-bent on find a certain grip. So as Tochi was trying to find something, Kitataiki drove him back and out. Simple and effective.

Kyokutenho vs. Goeido:
You’d think that Goeido would be doing a little better in the lower ranks in Makuuchi, but he isn’t. It’ll be interesting to see whether Kyoku can beat him or not. And interesting it was! Definitely the most interesting bout of the day thus far….. not that thats saying much. So at first Goeido quickly gets a grip on the mawashi. Kyoku does as well but is a bit higher. Regardless he drives Goeido back, but loses the edge as Goeido lifts him while swapping positions. So now Kyoku is at the edge of the ring with Goeido trying to hip thrust his way out. As Goeido trys to lift Kyoku out of the ring, Kyoku leans forward putting weight on an overstretched Goeido. This causes Goeido to lean to the side and allow Kyouku to escape what seemed near death. They crab leg all the way to the other side of the ring and Kyoku carries him out for an epic win.

Tochinoshin vs. Takayasu:
I’ve never seen a man squirm so much in my life. In my defense I also never seen a man get ass raped but such is life. Tochinoshin basically had the match won in the first second but with all the squirming that Takayasu pulled Noshin really couldn’t do it straight away. Long story short…. After almost letting the fish slip away, Noshin firmly grabs onto it and throws it out.

Takekaze vs. Tokitenku:
Oh, how my pride has fallen. It seems like the earthquake shook a little too much off of Mt. Moriyoshi. Oh, Brother Kaze I think your pride fell off the mountain and had the wind carry it into my hands. Take starts with a strong rush forward only to back out to the side and slap into opponent down. Some say I would be pitching my tent at this very moment…maybe for a little sit down session with Bertrum. Sumo like that would make anyone abandon the notion.

Homasho vs. Okinoumi:
But speaking of semis that are bound to go limp, Briton-Meyer must be not too happy that his two boys are squaring off together. Though I feel that if Okinoumi loses he went feel so terrible. Just a hunch. …. Wow, did it not look good for Homasho. Okinoumi did his best to put the pressure on Homasho and push him back. He even pushed Homasho back to the rope, but Homasho while being pushed back mind you gets a chance to turn the tide. He seemed to turn his body and thrust the poor guy down. Homasho wins.

Yoshikaze vs. Aran:
After the last Kaze disappointed I wasn’t expecting too much from this one. But, it was reassuring to see that Yoshi was wanting the win badly. And by wanting the win I definitely mean over and over again Yoshi tried to get in and around Aran. All Aran could do was slap the guy away or retreat. After many failed entries, Yoshi changed his strategy and thrusted the Russian down. The tent is ready boys lets go camping!

Kotoshogiku vs. Tochiozan
Tochiozan rushed in for the grip and the Geek locked his arms. But that was no matter, Ozan just kept pushing and eventually the Geek gave way. Second loss for the guy.

Gagamaru vs. Baruto
What happens when two fat foreign fuckers meet in the arena of sumo? Apparently the lower rank wins. Both are a bit high and Baruto seems to place all his strength in pushing the Lady’s neck out. Ga Ga goes in and tries for something lower and gets a break. He pushes Bart around and thrusts him out of the ring … ass last.

Harumafuji vs. Kisenosato:
Much like a previous match except that it was Kisenosato doing the squirming and Haruma with the grip. Once Kisenosato seemed to realize all the squirming doesn’t produce a solid grip, he changes up, stumbles, and realizes his face is on the ground.

Hakuho vs. Kakuryu:
Well, Kakuryu almost won the match. He went in fast and applied that pressure. He sent Haks back to the edge and the ring and even had one of Hak’s feet in the air. But, Hakuho turns that around to force Kakuryu down before he falls.

Anyways, its about midnight…. Haven’t really down much of anything but work and sumo, so I’m going to head to bed and basically come back where I left off.

Day 2 of de Gama coming soon to a blog near you…

Day 12

I was hoping that this second day would be a bit better than my coverage for the previous day, however the feed was bad/slow… so I got to work with 90 minutes of sumo condensed into 5.31 minutes. Well, here goes.

Daido vs. Kimurayama: They rush at each other but Daido applies the pressure and puts Kimura on the run. Daido wins.

Yoshiazuma vs. Hochiyama: A very un eventful bout to say the least. They both engage in the classic bear hug session and dance around the ring. Eventually Hochi gets Yoshi close enough to the edge to take the guy out.

Tamawashi vs. Tosayutaka: From the video that I have it seemed like somehow Tamawashi got around Tosa and forced him to the other side of the ring. Then Tama kept the momentum going to force Tosa out of the ring.

Takanoyama vs. Kyokutenho: With all 4 secs of the bout I can’t say for sure but Taka goes in gets the grip, and pushes Kyoku to the edge. As he is touching the ring Kyoku pulls a desperate attempt to force Taka down at the last second with a body twist…. And succeeds.

Shotenro vs. Toyohibiki: Nothing to it really. Shotenro man-handles Toyo before, during and maybe after the bout.

Kokkai vs. Tochinowada: A really weak performance by Kokkai, especially that his score is relatively decent. Both rikishi go in at the tachiai and Kokkai tries to apply the pressure. However, he fails miserable and Tochi forces him to the edge and out.

Takayasu vs. Aminishiki: Compared to yesterday the Sneek is looking a lot better. It was a simple and quick bout. The Sneek meets Yasu at the tachiai and capitalizes on Yasu’s weak ness and sends him to the crowd.

Kitataiki vs. Wakakoyu: They come in a tachiai. Wakakoyu a bit higher than Kita. They prance about the ring a little bit. But, Waka seems to have control of the bout until they prance a bit too close to his side and the ring. Kita then puts it into 5th gear for the yorikiri.

Kaisei vs. Tochinoshin: Kaisei looking like a Japanese rikishi at first: slapping his way to victory. However Noshin quick gets a grip on the mawashi and puts him out.

Wakanosato vs. Okinoumi: At first it seemed like Waka had it making Oki lose ground at the bear hug. But somehow Oki turns in around by switching positions. Which subsequently leads to another dose of bear hugging. Eventually Oki tries to throw him down but fails. So he just forces him out. Oki wins.

Toyonoshima vs. Yoshikaze: After dance around the ring for a little bit they both get a grip. Yoshi is trying almost too hard to get the guy down and completely fails. I think it was on his third attempt that Toyo just tosses him to the floor. Its at this point where I would make a semi-homoerotic joke about not being able to get it up at Yoshi’s performance or later tonight this guy will by sleeping in the Englishman’s tent, but I really can’t be bothered.

Takekaze vs. Aran: Not surprising that Takekaze almost attempts a henka, however Aran had the guys number. Aran gives the guy a little hikiotoshi.

Kotoshogiku vs. Gagamaru: Probably the bout I was most looking forward to. But it was very anti-climatic. GaGa goes in and hit the wall that is the Geek. Then the Geek pushes the lady out.

Kakuryu vs. Baruto: Wow… Baruto goes in fast while Kakuryu henkas and pushes Bart down.

Hakuho vs. Kisenosato: Probably the match of the day here guys. I really don’t do the explanation justice but here goes. They both come in at the tachiai trying to take some grip. Trying to prevent the other from getting one, they squirm about the ring. I think at this point Hakuho tries to pull something however Kise locks Haks arm up. Hak tries to evacuate and Kise throws him down. Nice one Kise.

Anyways, sorry about the concise report… but like I said I only had 5 minutes of feed and am a bit hungover. Time to buy a paella and some olives.

Day 13

The 13th day.

Sounds like it should be a movie like; “The 13th warrior”, or “13 assassins”. The taifun has moved on up to Hokkaido and left lazy old Akita glistening under the sun on a crisp Autumn day. Now I’ve set the scene, I’ve lit me ciggie and got a full mug of coffee, bout time I set ya up with the Sumo.

Yoshiazuma vs. Tosayutaka
Not so interesting, yorikiri win by Tosa

Kokkai vs. Kyokutenho. An early left-hand inside grip from Kokkai seals the deal from the get go. Belly thrusting that classic yorikiri

Tamawashi vs. Hochiyama. Pneumatic shove by Tamawashi, quick bout Tsukitaoshi.

Tamaasuka vs. Sagatsukasa. Nice drive by Tamasuka, yorikiri.

Side note here, very quick bouts thusfar on the 13th day. Nothing really worth commenting on. Moving on to the Czech…

Kaisei vs. Takanoyama. Wow! Double inside grip by th Czech, and foot sweep just takes Kaisei out! Crowd went wild and loving it. I think the Czech has what it takes to be in Makuuchi, despite the 8 losses he has. Certainly got the athletics and mind to be in it. Just not the weight…

Daido vs. Tochinowaka. Shoulder barge yorikiri against Daido, overpowering daido.

Kimurayama vs. wakakoyu. There it is! The long struggle I have been waiting for today – and no, I aint talking about taking a dump! Both giants pushed at each other with Waka going more for the throat. He was losing though and tried to regain some territory by shoulder barging kimura. However, this shift in technique throws him off and he dances around the ring. A little too nimble he was as he loses his footing and trips. tsukite

Takayusa vs. Shotenro. A thrusting game from the tachiai. But shotenro had the momento and was slightly lower, giving him the ability to drive up. Kachikoshi well done. Oshidashi.

Asasekiryu vs. Goeido. Nice, Asa trying to put on a uwatenage, but Goeido holds on and turns it into a shitanage. Any man could of hit the dirt first, but fortunately Goeido gets it as Asa put his hand down first.

Miyabiyama vs. Aminishiki. Miyabiyama almost manages a slap down there. But really he was dominating in this round, Aminishiki give him his credit due, tried to stay in the game and recovers quite well. But Miyabiyama was on full throttle and oshidashi’s him out the edge.

Tochinoshin vs. Toyohibiki. A nice mawashi battle here, with Toyo on an outside grip. Both were boucing here, trying to lift each other out, but tochinoshin turns it 180 and sneaks a yorikiri on it.

Wakanosato vs. Fujiyzuma. E-Honda style slaps and pushes by Fuji, Oshidashi’s him. Pretty straight forward.

Tochiozan vs Okinoumi. Tochi was too high off the tachiai, and Oki pushes him. Tochi trying to sidestep to the left, but hends up getting pushed out the ring. yorikiri

Homasho vs. Kitataiki. Each man here, trying to get the mawashi, but held up in an arm lock. Homasho did well to resist kitataiki’s stronger attempts. Good D. No real advantages made here by aither man, but it seems to me that Homasho just got fed up and though, fuck it! Out of know where he just gives a heavy prod onto the chests. Kita really wasn’t expecting this and goes out.

Tokitenku vs. Aran. Both guys on the same grip here, one outside, one inside. And stalemate. Toki tries to lift, but fails. Back to Stalemate. Aran manages to lift him, ad toki attempts a leg sweep but fails. Gradually, oh so gradually, Aran lifts him to the and over. Diesel power. Long bout, but not that interesting yorikiri.

Toyonoshima vs. Takekaze. Very strong hit from Takekaze. I though he was gunna get it. But, it turns out he prematurely shoots his load, and Toyo flips into the attack, take pretty much runs backwards out the ring.

Kakuryu vs. Yoshikaze. Kakuryu was a little high, but the height advantage keeps yoshikaze on the back foot. Yoshitaoshi win by kakuryu. In the great words of the announcer he is DONE!

Gagamaru vs. Kisenosato. Great heavy charge by Lady Gaga, but he remains way too high and off balance. Kisenosato, struggling to push that weight backwards, but gets there in the end. Kise looking sharp on 10-3

Harumafuji vs. Baruto. Baruto starts off high here, but with a longer reach, manages to get left, inside grip. And again with an outside right hand. Baruto goes to lift, and Haruma tries to turn this around, but Baru digs and pushes him out. Haru certainly tried, but Great manoeuvre by Baruto

Hakuho vs. Kotoshogiku. WOW!!! Koto had his hands on Hakuho’s nuts and just kept on humping him out the ring. Just like a puppy showing his affection to his master. Finishes it off with a stare down on the Yokozuna. Both of them tied now on 11-2. Koto looking good for Ozeki Promotion. I’m rooting for him tomorrow and really excited to watch it. Which is just as well considering I’m giving it to you again!

Have a good day, a great night sleep, and I’ll see you bright and early.

L. Bertrum

Day 14

Good morrow to ye all!

I just woke up, put on the kettle for a bew and am sat here now eating some grapes. I must start with an apology I’m afraid to say. The first 3 bouts don’t appear to be on the feed. So I can only write the results. However, there are a lot of hopes and dreams in todays part of the basho, particularly with kotoshogiku’s prospects for Ozeki promotion. Without further adieus, let me help prolong that morning glory with the reports of Day 14.

Tosayutaja vs. Sadonofuji
Sado gets it Oshidashi

Tsurugidake vs. Tamaasuka
Tamasuka wins Tsukiotoshi

Aminishiki vs. Asasekiryu
Aminishiki gets a Hatakikomi win

Tamawashi vs. Kimurayama
thought this was meant to be Sumo? Instead it looked more like a bull fight! Tamawashi charged from the Tachiai, but didn’t seem to have no breaks – and ran out the ring. Okuridashi

Yoshiazuma vs. Kyokutenho
Well, all bets were on Kyokutenho. Yoshiazuma however, came off the Tachiai and got a good inside grip on Kyokutenho. Despite the excitement, the veteran still manages to get his yorikiri by greater strength.

Daido vs. Sagatsukasa
Great work there by Saga, and it was over in a blink of an eye. The two warriors charge off the tachiai, but Saga (slightly henka-ing) manages to aim successfully daido’s arm and grap it to slam him down with a tottari.

Fujiazuma vs. Takanoyama
Well, wasn’t too impressed with Taka’s bout today! He tried going chest to chest from the start. Not really the best thing considering the size of the opponenent. Fuji managed to keep just slapping and pushing him back – and out sadly. Takanoyama may possibly head back to Jusho.

Shotenro vs. Tochinowaka

Shotenro went straight for the neck, which though failed, Shotenro kept pretty sharp, and the pressure on. He switched his hands to press the chest for a nice oshidashi.

Takayasu vs. Hochiyama
Hochi hits harder off the Tachiai, but Taka went in lower. He Manages to slap and push Hochi to the edge… but not over. Hochi recovers and gains some ground, but Taka changes tactic (something tochinowaka shoulda done earlier) and grabs the mawashi. With clear signs ofアンビリーバボー on the face of Hochiyama, Taka throws him down with a Shitadashinage. Nice one son! Both now on 5-9.
Kitataiki vs. Goeido
Interesting bout. Kita has never beaten Goeido before, and to stay in the Yusho race, this is exactly what he has to do. But, though I’m not a big fan of Goeido, he is going alright this basho. Goeido went in high, and kitataiki had a mawashi grip, but an awkward outside left hand. He tried to get the right hand to grip. Goeido twice tried to flip him, and after the second attempt looses his grip altogether. Kitataiki should have done something here to capitalise, but as Kita pushes, Goedio pushes him down to his knees with a hatakikomi. You could see the disappointment and tears on kita’s face. Shame.

Toyohibiki vs. Tokitenku
Toki hits too high, and Toyohibiki just drives him out oshidashi.

Wakanosato vs. Kaisei
A high henka by Kaisei, and waka went in low and up under the arms. Yorikiri.

Kokkai vs. Yoshikaze
Gosh! After a false start, Yoshikaze tried to play Kokkai at his game, with some arm thrusts. The bigger man manages to reach over the top and grab the back of the mawashi. He tries to throw yoshikaze round the side, but yoshikaze sneakily gets a gip on kokkai’s thigh which results in him landing on his back by watashikomi.

Homasho vs. Gagamaru
Gaga slow to get his engine going in this bout. He managed to keep Homasho at arms length, but really needed to pump with his legs to have Homasho on the back foot. Eventually he does this and tries for a throw down, but Homasho recovers and gets in low to drive gaga to the edge, and out. With a yoritaoshi.

Takekaze vs. Okinoumi
A long, tense battle of wits before the bout even began. But Okinoumi, gave a heavy drive forward and Takekaze was off balance, and couldn’t recover. Take not looking good at all, and oki wins with an Oshidashi.

Toyonoshima vs. Wakakoyu
Came in with a good thrust and grip around the throat of Toyo. Lingered here a little too long, but remembers not to kill him. Toyonoshima gets in low and drives waka back, up and under. Another Oshidashi.

Miyabiyama vs. Aran
A weak Tachiai from Miyabiyama and Aran puts his hands on his head, and forces him down between his legs. Hatakikomi.

Kakuryu vs, Tochinoshin
Kaku ryu gets in low and had a good grip on the mawashi. Deep and hard drives forces tochinoshin out of the ring… and slams right on top of kotoshogiku!!! Kotoshogiku gets up looking in a little pain.. Hope this doesn’t hamper his chances against haruma!
Yoriotaoshi win by kakuryu
Tochiozan vs. Kisenosato
Kisenosato’s bout from the start. He was in control with the thrusts, grabs the belt. Shakes Tochi around like a rag doll to keep him off balance. And then oshidashi’s him.

Harumafuji vs. Kotoshogiku
Haruma looked terrible! He went in to high, almost jumped in the air (granted assistance there by kotoshogiku pulling up on the belt), and Kotoshogiku just dominates him! A yorikiri and a new Ozeki!? Koto takes Baruto tomorrow.

Hakuho vs. Baruto
Baruto got the better tachiai, bu faled to secure a grip. Eventually worked a left hand inside, and tries to lift the yokozuna. But fails, Hakuho digs his toes into the dirt and holds. A slight stalemate, and Hakuho manages to steal the inside grip with his right hand (forcing baruto to not have two outside grips). Then it was hakuho’s turn to lift the ozeki… but he fais! Another stalemate, and a makikai attempt by baruto to secure a a better grip. He succeeds but its not the best of grips. Baruto drives, but achieves little. Baruto drives and lifts up the Yokozuna clear off the ground. But as he lands, he swings Baruto around. Another rest break here. Then in a blink of an eye, Baruto goes down by Uwatedashinage. I couldn’t quite see on the camera angle how this was achieved (it looked like he just crunched Bart in the nuts if I’m honest) but there you go. A rare long bout with Hakuho that at several moments could have been any mans! Great Sumo!

So there we have it! A lot of Oshidashi’s today, but all in all some very interesting bouts been played! Looking forward to the result tomorrow – of course in particular reference to Kotoshogiku! Have a good one friends, and the good ol’ cheeky Valentine will see you through tomorrow!

L. Bertrum

Senshuraku

David Shapiro (aka Woody Allen) quote of the day—“The Yokozuna winning every yusho is very undemocratic.” But Dr. Shapiro, wouldn’t Hakuho sharing the wealth with others be more socialist?

Greetings sumo folks!

When this basho began just over two weeks ago, we had Harumafuji vying for yokozuna promotion, and Kakuryu, Kotoshogiku, and Kisenosato all vying for an ozeki promotion. One of these four men has succeeded, and another is on track to do so in November. The fact is both of these men are reviving the popularity of sumo, but not without the help of our generous, democratic Dai-yokozuna.

Starting with some fun ones in Juryo, my focus was on unknown J14W Hitenryu (4-10) vs J7W Takamisakari (6-8): Ringo wanted a left-hand outside grip, and was willing to go deep for it, but in doing so put a target on his chest for Hitenryu to drive right into. It doesn’t matter, because 5-10 won’t keep Hitenryu from falling out of sekitorihood. Ringo finished with 6-9, and will be around in Juryo, albeit a lower ranking.

Another fun one down-stairs…J6E Aoiyama (9-3-2) vs J13W Hokutokuni (10-4): Aoi was too high at the tachiai but was able to trust on Hokutokuni, then with a deep left-hand grip he crushed down on the opponent who was all twisted up, trying to avoid Aoi from going Ned Beatty on him. Though Aoi was the one with a technique as they went down, the Jedi talked it over and concluded they needed a rematch on this one. I was watching this on the stream so there wasn’t a slow-mo replay, but it seemed clear to me Aoi got this win. Nevertheless, round two and again, Aoi was too high at the tachiai, and back pedaling to make bad worse, but Hokutokuni was blazing out of control and Aoi managed a pull-down to improve to 10-3-2. This record will put him in good contention to join Makuuchi, if not be on top in Juryo in Kyushu. Hokutokuni also finishes with a respectable 10-5.

A fun bout on Senshuraku is when both rikishi are 7-7. We had one those bouts in J4E Bushuyama (7-7) vs J8E Sadanoumi (7-7): a soft tachiai with Sadan moving left, but Boobs moved in with morozashi and drove Sadan to the bales, and it took a fair but of humping, but finally got Sadan over and down, and the boy was so injured from the fall he had to leave the ring in a wheelchair. How’s that for an injury on the last day of a tournament? Boobs finishes at 8-7 and can move up from his 4th rank, while Sadanoumi, at 7-8, has a month and a half to recover from his new injury.

J3E Myogiryu (12-2) vs J12W Kotoyuki (9-5): Kotoyuki stalled like an old tractor with false tachiais. Finally, it was Myogiryu’s turn to play tractor and he ploughed right through Kotoyuki. Easy push out win for the back-to-back Juryo champion. Myogiryu finishes Juryo at 13-2. Sumo warlords…get that man in Makuuchi!

And up we go to the big leagues, but barley as quite a few Juryo boys were invited to the big show for Senshuraku. In the first bout of the division, J3W Tenkaiho (7-7) took on M16W Kimurayama (7-7). I normally wouldn’t give a fart for Kimurayama’s bouts but here we have two rikishi who have never met, both 7-7, one on the brink of promotion to Makuuchi, the other on the brink of demotion to Juryo. Things started with a slow tachiai, but the Tenk charged well, then Kimmy took lead in this ballroom dance, forcing the Tenk back. Once at the bales, the Tenk spun around out of danger and pushed Kimurayama out. Kimmy finishes 7-8, and will be back to Juryo in November, while Tenkaiho (8-7) might have the chance to replace Kimmy in the big leagues.

J2W Tsurugidake (7-7) vs M15W Takanoyama (5-9): head-to-head, the Czech leads 6-1, but you wouldn’t know it by today’s sumo. From the tachiai Taka tried out a harite, which was ridiculous coming from him. Tsurugidake just buried the Czechman in the clay. Tsurugi goes to 8-7 and has a shot for the big leagues in November. Takanoyama finishes 5-10, and will be heading back to Juryo. He’s got a lot of work to do before he shows his white ass in Makuuchi again.

M16E Kokkai (9-5) is back doing relatively well after a two-basho sojourn in Juryo. Today he faced wily M12E Aminishiki (9-5). Both men like right-hand inside belt battles, but this time from the tachiai Brutus went with a bitch slap. It didn’t faze Sneaky, who stayed low and was keeping Brutus’s hands off his belt. With Brutus getting nowhere in his belt pursuit, Sneaky drove forward with an easy push out win. Sneaky finishes 10-5 while Brutus finishes with 9-6.

Ain’t M10W Kyokutenho (10-4) something? I love how this old school Mongol has been whippin’ boys who were in diapers back when he joined sumo, and it’s real, not ‘the Kaio way.’ Today, he took on M6W Wakakoyu (6-8), no spring chicken, but a good decade younger than the senior Mongol. At the tachiai, Waka tried to keep Kyoku off his belt with a thrusting attack, but it eventually failed and Kyoku got a left inside, and with Waka squirming around to keep from the edge, Kyoku chose his victory downwards rather than outwards, and wins over-arm throw. Kyokutenho finishes at a great 11-4 which should have earned him a fighting spirit prize. Wakakoyu calls it 6-9 for Aki Basho.

M11W Gagamaru (10-4) vs M3W Tochiozan (7-7), with a head-to-head 2-0 in O’s favor. Gaga remained low at the tachiai and let O come right into him. Upon contact, Gentleman Gaga drove forward with a right-paw on the throat and a left-paw on the armpit, keeping O out of reach of his belt. Easy out. Great win for Gaga who finishes with a well-done 11-4, and his first Fighting Spirit Prize. Tochiozan finishes with 7-8, makekoshi determined on final day.

It’s wampaku-zumo…or it’s M3E Takekaze (4-10) vs M9W Sagatsukasa (6-8), or it could just be an elementary schoolyard spat? Sagats was lower from the tachiai and had Take moving backwards around the ring. Controlling the bout and with Take in retreat, Sagats tried a beltless arm throw but his arm slipped amidst the blood, sweat, and tears, and Sagats was spun around. With that, Take finished him off easy, push out win. Take finishes with 5-10, Sagats with 6-9.

M8E Kaisei (3-11) vs M2W Yoshikaze (6-8): Kaisei leads with good thrusts at the tachiai, keeping Yoshi dead-center. When opportunity knocks, he locked up Yoshi morozashi, and drove forward gaining a nice force-out win. Very nice showing from Kaisei on the final day of a largely terrible basho for the Brazilian. Kaisei is in a lot of pain and it showed after the bout was over, making faces like an old man easing into the onsen. The Brazilian finishes with 4-11 while Yoshikaze finishes with 6-9.

M12W Asasekiryu (7-7) vs M1W Okinoumi (7-7): Sexy came too low at the tachai and nothing henka about it, but all Oki had to do was pull down because Sexy just leaned into Oki’s hands. Oki finishes a nice 8-7 from M1, and might make it into sanyaku in November depending on what happens there with the current sanyaku. Sexy falls to 7-8.

M1E Homasho (9-5) vs M7W Tochinowaka (9-5): Tochinowaka, with the better tachiai, drove forward on the cigar store Indian, but Homie remembered he can do offense now too, and drove Nowaka back with two-armed blows. Cigar Store Homie then moved in morozashi to finish off Tochinowaka, force-out win. Homasho is sanyaku bound with a swell 10-5, and Tochinowaka will move upwards, but remain in rank-and-filedum with 9-6.

M4E Tochinoshin (7-7) vs KW Aran (5-9): YAOCHO, it tis called. Desperation on the final day. A right-hand inside position is what’s preferred by both men, and at the tachiai they both got it right away. Tochi (the Georgian) tries a fun lift of Aran (the Russian). It wasn’t crowd-awing sort of lift, but did the job for a lift-out win. Tochi gets his kachikoshi, 8-7, in an easy win against a friend with approximately equal strength and skill in a farce of a bout. Aran falls to 5-10, but is 5-10 so different from 6-9 when falling out of sanyaku? All this in front of the eyes of the current prime minister and bottom-feeder, Mr. Noda.

KE Toyonoshima (7-7) vs M11E Kitataiki (10-4): tachiai, and Kttk runs like an out-of-control wind-up toy, handing over his inside chest to little Toyo from first contact. Toyo wins a ‘strange’ one with a frontal crush-out win. Toyo is 8-7, Kitataiki is 10-5. Interesting two 7-7 rikishi get suspicious wins in a row.

Didn’t happen a third time. S2E Kakuryu (8-6) vs M5E Miyabiyama (7-7): Miyabi goes right into some pulls, but it was no test for the Kak who stayed on his opponent and easily escorted his opponent out with a force-out win. The Kak advances to 9-6 and keeps an Ozeki promotion alive (yes, it’s still mathematically possible with 14 wins in Fukuoka), while Miyabi falls to 7-8, but a decent showing from Miyabi this basho, all things considered.

Koreyori Sanyaku – it’s been a long time since all three bouts after this are relevant to the yusho race. It is the way Senshuraku should be.

M5W Goeido (10-4) vs S1W Kisenosato (11-3): Kissy leads the head-to-head with a healthy 7-1. This time, Kissy slipped ever so slightly to the left at the tachiai, getting a solid handle of Goeido’s upper back with his left-hand. With Goeido leaning forward and somewhat off center of Kissy, he used arm strength and tossed Goeido down with a powerful, one armed push-down win. Kissy finishes with 12-3, an Outstanding Performance prize, and with 11 wins or better in Kyushu, he’ll be an Ozeki by 2012. Goeido falls to 10-5 and evidenced from this bout, not even in the same league as Kissy.

S1E Kotoshogiku (12-2) vs OW Baruto (9-5): head-to-head is a pair of tens. Things started today with a harite by Bart and right-hand outside grip, but Geek tried out his hug-and-chug® on Bart in front of mom, dad, a photograph of grampa, and God, but it honestly did nothing to penetrate the Estonian iron curtain. When the time was right, Bart executed an awesome over-arm throw which sent the Geek to the feet of the head judge. Bart finishes an ozeki-expected 10-5; Geek finishes 12-3, but wins an Outstanding Performance prize, Technique prize, and a promotion to Ozeki.

And lastly the musubi-no-ichiban, YE Hakuho (12-2) vs OE Harumafuji (8-6). Head-to-head is in Hak’s favor 21-10, dating back to March 2004, but really these two go back to mid-90s in junior bökh tournaments in Ulan Bator. This is also the final bout for the 35th Kimura Shonosuke who appeared to be near tears through the entire pre-bout rituals. At the tachiai Hakuko drove Haruma to the edge while Haru tried to break the Yokozuna’s balance. Hak tried to drive Haru out but Haru dug in and made that plan too much trouble for Hakuho, so the Yokozuna resorted to an amazing over-arm throw which effectively turned Harumafuji into a human windmill. Haru fully spun in the air around Hak’s arm, and landed squarely on his ass. With that Hakuho goes 13-2 and picks up his 20th yusho. A well earned one, and an achievement he shares with only five other men. Haruma falls to a good-nuff 8-7, and were we really considering this guy a yokozuna contender?

And there ‘tis! Yusho decided in final three bouts of Senshuraku, and mostly in the final bout. Overall a good day of sumo to finish the Autumn Basho.

The basho is over, but not our analysis. I’ll be back with you soon with the Top 10 rankings for Aki, and one Silly Ole Bastard named Briton-Meyer will top it off with the Post Basho Wrap-Up. Until then my friends.

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