04. Nagoya Basho 2010 July

名古屋場所初日 – Day 1

Well, the Nagoya Basho is under way.  Personally I think that the NSK shot themselves in the foot over this gambling thing.  Sumo’s audience is already small enough, but because of the inability of the NSK to act quickly and appropriately enough the only people who will be able to enjoy this basho will be the people who have the time and money to go to the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.  Instead of dealing with the problem, they chose two guys to take the bullet (probably due to the fact that they couldn’t afford to lose as many Japanese rikishi as were involved) and thus NHK actually carried out their threat to not broadcast.  So now everyone who can’t make it to Aichi is stuck watching the crappy feed (perhaps something NSK should have beefed up before the basho started) if they have a computer to watch it on.  Speaking of the crappy feed… 
Lots of things were yelled at a lot of rikishi throughout shonichi, but due to the crappiness of the NHK live feed, i couldn’t really make out what they were… so for the sake of making this interesting lets just say that not all of it was nice.  In addition to this your humble reviewers will only have one go at watching each bout with not very good resolution, so forgive us if things are not quite as detailed as usual.
We started off with Hakuho giving back the emperors cup.  Unfortunately it looks like no on will receive it this go ’round.  Which stinks for someone like Baruto (who is the only other person I can see picking up a yusho… ok MAYBE Harumafuji, but that would be even more unlikely than Baruto.)
Lets get underway with bout no.1.  At the tachiai Shotenro made an attempt to get inside on Kotogasuga, who was up from juryo for the day, but his attempt was neutralized.  Yorikiri.  Hokutoriki showed the stuff he used to by blasting Tamaasuka out, no contest… so for one day i will refrain from calling him “Jokutoriki”.  G.W. Bushuyama didn’t look so great yesterday as Mongolian Tamawashi got inside quick and after grabbing onto Bush’s ample fat rolls for a few seconds he spun the Musashigawa beya man around in a kotenage. The Mongolian was a bit too anxious though, as the kotenage only brought Bush to the edge.  A final push (that looked more like an excuse to cop a feel) gave him the oshidashi.
Homasho managed to survive Kimurayama’s normal henka-hatakomi nonsense, Kimura was already on the run so Homey was able to get inside and turn fatty around to start a conga line that led to a nice okuridashi for the cigar store indian.  Gagamaru came in a bit low against fellow Georgian Kokkai and received a hatakikomi for his efforts.  I don’t think anyone saw that coming.  Hometown boy Takekaze started with a kind of henka-ish move to the right either at or slightly after the tachi-ai,  I’ll give Takekaze credit, he managed to get both hands inside and had Takamisakari on the run, but Robocop is not easy to beat on the bales, despite being stood up a bit and in an awkward position, Robocop pulled out a Hikiotoshi win.  Easy day at the office for Mokonami.  Text book yorikiri over Tosayutaka.  Kakizoe looked great for the first 3/4 of his bout against Shimotori, but Zoe’s eagerness lead to a last-minute turn around and oshitaoshi from the Bird.
Yoshikaze tried a henka against Tokusegawa, but he seemed to read it like a dime store porno, a rather painful looking yoritaoshi gives the win to Tokusegawa.  Kakuryu should be able to make a killing at this rank, and he showed some smart, patient sumo today against veteran Wakanosato, but i would have liked to see it end sooner.  Kak started with a right hand outside and Wak soon answered with a left hand inside.  There was some spinning around and a couple of Hakkiyoi calls but the Kak pulled off a decent enough yorikiri.  Kitataiki came in way too low against Tokitenku and got a couple of handfuls of clay for his efforts.  Kyokutenho looked pretty good today against Kotoshogiku.  The veteran Mongol got a left hand inside and did a great job keeping the Geek from getting morozashi, thus preventing the humping.  Good looking win for the sad man.
In only the 5th bout in which two Japanese rikishi went head to head.  Sekiwake (and top of the Japanese Rikishi pile) Kisenosato went in hard against former sekiwake Aminishiki.  After the tachiai the Kid got a vicious nodowa that got the Sneak moving back.  Some good deashi by the youngster provided him with a nice looking oshitaoshi.  Kaio made short work of an unbalanced Aran, and (despite Asasekiryu getting a solid grip) Kotooshu dosie-doed with a Mongol for a while before clinching the yorikiri.  Tochiozan has looked pretty decent the past few basho, and here is the proof, he went straight in full power against Harumaufji and managed to catch him off balance.  Ozan had Harry on the run using and used his weight advantage and momentum to work the ozeki out.  Early loss for Harumafuji means now he can only (realistically) act as a spoiler. 
(horribly over-ranked)Hakuba gave as straight a tachiai as you’ll get out of him, but Baruto was ready and what followed looked like something that would happen to a 15-year-old kid wearing glasses and fraggle rock footie pajamas if he wandered into a highschool rugby team’s locker room.
Hakuho vs. shin-komusubi Tochinoshin.  Looks like Hakuho is back to his standard colored mawashi.  I kind of wish he would have stuck with the gold, but whatever.  Down to the match… I like Tochinoshin, he decimated the ozekis last basho, and i was hoping for a little bit more fight then we saw in the immediate uwatenage that followed the tachiai.  Hakuho is one step closer to a consecutive win streak, and another zensho yusho.
Shima will pick up the pieces for tomorrow.

二日 – Day 2

Shiima here with Day 2 of the Nagoya Less-Than-Grand Sumo Tournament!  Get your bets in and don’t get caught!
Tamaasuka vs Sagatsukasa  A solid Tachiai from this year’s comb-over beauty contest winner, but Saga was unable to back it up with anything, gets turned around and the boot, okuridashi.
Shotenro vs Hokutoriki  With the quality of the live internet feed, it was as if Hokutoriki never touched Shotenro.  Shotenro thought he saw someone he knew in the 3rd row and decided to shake hands with them before the match was over.  Hokutoriki helped, oshidashi.
Bushuyama vs Kimurayama  The two Yamas going up and up with a shoving match like it was recess in the school yard.  Kimu, not deserving it, gets bullied all the way out in true G.W. ‘merican style.  Yorikiri
Tamawashi vs Kokkai  Nice Tachiai from the bulldog to get a grip on the mawashi, and then bull over the Mongolian.  Yoriatoshi
Homasho vs Takamisakari  Cigar shop keeps Robocop off his belt to an easy walk out, yorikiri.
Gagamaru vs Tosayukata Day two of his Makuuchi debut, Lady Gaga overpowers Tosa at the Tachiai, but falls victim to some fancy footwork by Tosa on the bails.  Lady Gaga takes a spill in the sand, tsukiotoshi.
Takekaze vs Kakizoe  My two man-crushes go head to head here on day two.  Team Akita looking like he didn’t want to be there, as usual, and the Kak busy swatting bugs on his legs.  The Kak got hit hard at the tachiai and almost bounces out.  Showing signs of life, Team Akita pursues the Kak and pushes him out of the ring… then keeps pushing the Kak into the second row to make sure, the Kak never having taken a single step forward.  Oshidashi V for Team Akita!  Keppare!
Mokonami vs Yoshikaze Mokonami pulling sneaky double-pump when putting his hands down for the tachiai to confuse/pissoff Yoshi, a technique patented by our very own Virgil Valentine.  The Yosh never leaving the ground at the tachiai gets bitched to the sand, hikiotoshi, also patented by Valentine.
Shimotori vs Tokusegawa The two wrap up with Right hand in grips and Shimo outlasts Toku to walk the huffing and puffing Mongol out for his second win, yorikiri.
Wakanosato vs Kitataiki  Kitataiki able to take Waka to the bails before Waka does a nice turn and throws Kita off the dohyo, sukuinage.
Kakuryu vs Tokitenku Team Mongolia makes short work of the other Team Mongolia, the win going to the prettier of the two.  The frog gets his second win, Yorikiri.
Kisenosato vs Kyokutenho  The Blink remains solid as he manhandles the heavenly Mongol.  Team Mongolia falls victim to poor ring vision and steps himself out.  The Blink yorikiris to his second win.
Aminishiki vs Kotoshogiku The Geek still paying off his gambling debts gets morozashied and owned by The Sneak, yorikiri.
Baruto vs Aran  Bart getting ahead of himself gives a pre-tachiai good-game hug to Alan, and then the win as well.  Alan slaps away the double-hand chin thrust and bitches Bart off the dohyo, henkaed like a bitch.
Asasekiryu vs Kaio Old Man Kaio showing that he still has it as he left hand ins the Mongol and scores one more for Team Japan, yorikiri.
Kotooshu vs Hakuba Henkaba wearing a sock in honor of Miflubbyyama, who couldn’t be here today after falling ill in the recent outbreak of stupidity.  Henkaba living up to his name tries to weasel one out of the Osh, but gets wrapped up in a bad position.  The Osh lays out his sneaky friend with a slow motion Sukuinage.
Tochinoshin vs Harumafuji  Harumafuji with a lightning fast tachiai surprises the Georgian who backpedals.  Haramafuji spears Tochinoshin like it was tryouts and makes the team, yorikiri (looked like oshidashi to me)
Hakuho vs Tochiozan  Elvis jumps the gun as Hakuho calmly watches, not amused.  Hakuho makes short work of Elvis as he gets his right hand grip and muscles Elvis out.  Yoriki to put Team Mongol another win closer to another zensho.
Creswell comin’ at ya with tomorrows report!

三日 – Day 3

Has there ever been a day 3 Yusho?  No?  Well I’m gonna call this one now.

Tuesday’s bouts were a mix that ran the bland gamut from decent to utter BS.  Lets begin at the beginning and end at the end shall we?

First off in Juryo we had one or two noteworthy bouts.  First Matsutani (now in his 2nd basho in Juryo) pulled a relatively rare, and impressive looking uchimuso for the win over Kyokunankai.  Noteworthy for a different reason was Yamamotoyama v. Wakatenro.  After the tachiai Wakatenro shifted to the side (as everyone does when facing the Failure-pile) and jumped so far back that he came close to the tawara, thank God that YamaX2 just kept chugging forward and only needed the slightest tap by Waka to drive him out.  Gorgeous sumo buy two equally gorgeous men.  (Wakatenro, Masatsukasa, and Kasugao lead with 3 wins in Juryo. ) Now on to Makuuchi.

Sokokurai – Ethnic Mongolian from China (technically Inner Mongolia), 9 straight kachikoshi, up for the day from Juryo.
Hokutoriki – From Tochigi, 3 straight makekoshi.  I would have favored Sokokurai in this bout, but Hokutoriki does pretty well this far down the banzuke, as he displayed today getting his 3rd straight victory in a quick efficient fashion.

Tamaasuka and Kimurayama exchanged pushes and shoves like schoolyard bullies, but Kimura managed to get behind Asuka and got the pushout win on his 29th birthday, how cute.

Homasho, as usual, gave a rather soft defensive tachiai and it looked like Shotenro had the advantage, but one of his thrusts went a bit wild and allowed Homey to get a right hand inside. The Tobacconist was patient and got a nice morozashi, effectively breaking Tenro’s grip and gabburi-ed his way to his 3rd straight victory.

At the tachiai Takamisakari was desperately searching for a maemitsu grip, but Bushuyama was determined to keep him out, so determined in fact that in the flurry of his defensive slaps and shoves he didn’t notice that Twitchy had backed him out for the oshidashi.

Takekaze showed some decent enough dohyo kan yesterday during his battle with Mongol Tamawashi.  There was lots of pushing and thrusting (as one would expect with two pusher-thrusters), but Takekaze was able to pull the oshidashi by spinning at the tawara.  One more for team Akita.

Another slap fight broke out between Kokkai and Tosayutaka.  It was a few seconds of shoving while both rikishi looked for an in, Kokkai got tired of waiting and slapped down Tosa.  3 straight for the Kok.

Gagamaru came to work today ready to fuck shit up, and Mokonami obliged.  At the tachiai, the Gentleman got one hand in the armpit and one on the throat and ran the Tan sensation down like a locomotive.  1st makuuchi win for Gaga.

It really looked like Shimotori was gonna pull 3 straight out of the bag yesterday, but Yoshikaze managed to stay low and use Shimotori’s deep outside lefthand grip to stretch him out and throw him off balance.  The mini-gambler picks up his first win of the tournament and Bird drops to 2-1.

Yet again, Kakizoe had a rikishi on the run (this time Tokusegawa), but yet again, it got turned about once the feet hit the bales.  Uwatedashinage for Tokusegawa.  Zoe remains winless.  Tokusegawa at 2-1.

After a clean tachiai, Kakuryu slipped to the side of Kitataiki and went for a slapdown, it didn’t work, but it threw the Tokyo native off enough for Kakuryu to get behind and pull of the oshitaoshi.  Another embarassing loss by Kitataiki.  Kakuryu is 3-0 and showing some smart sumo.  I expect he’ll slip out of his 2 basho long losing funk, especially this far down the banzuke.  Perhaps another Ginosho for Frog face.

Wakanosato and Tokitenku locked up right at the tachiai.  Waka had a right hand inside but wanted the matching morozashi set, but his attempt was thwarted, which allowed Tenku a left hand outside.  After some of Tenku’s trademarked “ineffective leg waza” the veteran was tired enough for Tenku to make a push for the bales.  That takes Tenku to 2-1, vice versa for Wak.

Again, Henkaba’s taichiai shenanigans were seen from a mile away.  Aminishiki was a bit low, but followed the faux-Komusubi on his jump to the right and got a quick oshidashi.  2-1 for the sneak, big fat goose egg for the Henka-queen.

Kisenosato v. Tochinoshin.  This looked like it would be a good bout.  Both guys give it their all (one reason why they are both among my favorite rikishi.)  At the tachiai the Kid tried to stay low and push Noshin upright, but a lapse in concentration allowed Noshin to get a strong left hand inside.  The kid tried to break the grip, but it was too late.  Noshin picks up his first win, and the Kid moves down to 2-1.

Kyokutenho definitely got the better of the tachiai against Harumafuji, but the ozeki managed to halt the charge and secure a migiyotsu with the left hand outsidegrip as well, while Kyoku only had the right inside.  Kyokutenho tried to finagle his left hand in for morozashi, but Harumafuji read it and went for the kill, unfortunately Kyokutenho was able to use his weight to stop the attack, and turned the momentum around for a yorikiri over the ozeki.  Tenho at 2-1.  A paltry 1-2 for Haruma.

Tochiozan has looked great so far.  He’s really bringing the thunder at his tachiais and it’s paying off.  He had a nice low tachiai against Baruto and immediately scored a right hand inside.  Bart went for the armlock throw, but Ozan was able to keep up and turn the armlock into morozashi and at the same time catching Baruto off balance.  That’s a nice clean Yorikiri bringing Ozan to 2-1 and killing the last vestiges of a yusho race by knocking Bart back to 1-2.

Here’s all you need to know for the Kaio Kotoshogiku match.  Henka, Morozashi, Gabburi, Yorikiri. Kaio now at 2-1, Geeku gets his first win.

Aran had a decent tachiai against Kotooshu.  The Rusky came in low and hard and got migiyotsu and drove the Ozeki back, but Oshu absorbed enough of the tachiai to get his own migiyotsu.  The Bulgarian used his grip plus some good deashi and his larger frame to walk Alan straight out.

Asasekiryu tried something drastic at the tachiai.  This was no mere henka, this was a leap to the left in order to get to Hakuho’s right side and neutralize Hakuho’s killer left uwate.  Unfortunately for Asa II, Hakuho is really fucking quick (for all intense and purposes henka-proof) and got the hidari yotsu anyway.  Asa tried to break the grip and get in himself, which failed, then right at the bales he tried to trip up the Yokozuna’s legs, but again to no avail.  That’s 35 consecutive wins for the Dai-Yokozuna.  That ties him with Asashoryu, but he’s still behind the leader (Futabayama – 69 consecutive wins) by 34 bouts, but the way Hakuho is fighting and the way everyone else is losing, I don’t see that being an impossible goal.

That brings team Japan to 27 wins, Team Mongol to 16, and Team Euro to 10 wins.

Tomorrow: You, Shiima, Sumo, bliss

四日 – Day 4

Shiima here with the days winnings, and losings, having never gotten caught!  Me, one, NSK, nothin!
Bushuyama vs Masatsukasa  Today’s juryo rep, Masatsukasa, taking on our very own G.W. , who takes it hard on the tachiai.  Masa stays low, head down, and keeps forward movement, despite the salt-trap G.W. laid in the way.  Masa climbs out of the salt-trap to Oshidashi his way to his 4th victory.
Tamawashi vs Shotero  Shoten getting the jump on Tama at the tachia, getting over the line before Tama had a chance to get off the ground.  Shoten stands Tama up, perfectly executes a slap down, and sends Tama running out of the ring, Okuridashi.
Homasho vs Tamaasuka.  Cigar Shop showing some power as the two grapple for who stays and who goes.  Cigar Shop lifts Asuka up and out of the powwow, and himself to a 4-0 record!
Gagamaru vs Hokutoriki.  Lady Gaga bringing his A-game as he makes very short work of Toriki.  Lady Gaga takes one step of the tachiai, another to put Toriki on the bales, and one more to bring him up to 2-2.  Things looking promising for this up and coming!
Kimurayama vs Kokkai.  Two scrubs going head to head, and one bitch just bitches the other.  Nothing straight about the way these two fight.  A henka, some slaps, then the slap down, Hikiotoshi.  One of them won somewhere in between all that bitching…
Mokonami vs Takamisakari.  Moko managing to get Robocop in his toes, right hand in yorikiri sends Robocop down to 2-2.  Robocop continues to struggle as usual, but is still the best that NSK has got going for them.  He puts fans in the stands and wins in other rikishi’s pockets.
Takekaze vs Tosayutaka.  Akita Komachi showed some fire in the beginning with a barrage of tsupari, but falls to the lack of knowledge that majority of techniques require grabbing the belt.  Akita Komachi falls to 2-2, yorikiri.
Wakanosato vs Kakizoe.  Kakizoe continues to show a lack of speed, muscle, technique, or any sign that he has had formal training in this sport.  Waka gets a hold of the kicking and screaming baby, and ushers him out, yorikiri.
Kakuryu vs Shimotori.  Stilts gives the Kak more a little more trouble than some, but not much.  The Kak gets his right hand in deep, and the rest is history.  Yorikiri.
Yoshikaze vs Kitataiki.  Kita, doing his swimming routine before the match, outplays Yoshi on the belt, yorikiri.
Tokusegawa vs Tokitenku.  Team Mongol cannibalizing themselves with a longer-than-life match, maybe the longest of the day.  The heavenly clock wakes up and walks out Toku for a yorikiri win to move up to 3-1.
Kyokutenho vs Tochinoshin  The Heart of Georgia not showing it today as he continues to suffer in his new seat at West Komusui.  After bouncing back from a blatant henka, Tochi gets outplayed by Team Mongol.  Yorikiri sends Tochinoshin down to 1-3.
Kisenosato vs Hakuba.  Glad to see the meat grinder making good with the other Komusubi poser.  Henkaba gets bulldozed by The Blink, Oshidashi with Dameoshi sprinkles!  The Blink at 3-1.
Kotooshu vs Aminishiki.  The Osh and The Sneak!  The Osh continues his quest for vengeance and vanquishes yet another foe in his path.  The Sneak giving up half way makes an easy walk out for The Osh.  Yorikiri to 4-0!  Osh!
Kotoshogiku vs Harumafuji.  The Ozeki gets owned by The Geek today.  Harumafuji still struggling, especially with wrestlers with a lower tachiai than his own.  The Geek controlled the whole match getting a solid grip early on, and never letting go has Haruma struggled for any kind of hope.  Outlook does not look good for the Ozeki as he falls 1-3, yoritaoshi.
Baruto vs Asasekiryu.  Team Estonia gives a hundred bitchslaps to Team Mongol before wrapping up.  The Red Dragon tries a hopeless sukuinage and spins out of control.  Bart seizes the chance and knees Team Mongol in the ass and out.  He is even nice enough to reach down to the sand and Good-Game Ass-slaps said ass.  Bart gives Asasekiryu his 4th loss of the tournament.
Tochiozan vs Kaio.  Old Man Kaio still got the tricks up his sleeves as he slaps down The King at the Tachia… with his head!  Elvis didn’t move on the initial slap down, but soon met his end as Kaio smashed his head down onto the back of his head to put The King in the sand.  Old Man Kaio, hikiotoshi to 3-1.
Hakuho vs Aran.  The Hak having trouble with this fish as Alan goes on the defensive after a great tachiai, even getting pushed back behind his own line.  Alan scrambling a bit to get a solid grip.  Alan puts up a great fight, lifting the Yokozuna up and out, only to find that he was already standing outside when he did it.  Certainly the best match of the day.
The most laughable match going to Henkaba getting sent in to the 3rd row by Kisenosato, the best part of that being that he was already out when Kise sent him there!
The Matagi in the Yama on top of it for Day 5 of the Nagoya Less-than-Grand Sumo Tournament!  Stay tuned!


五日 – Day 5

While I have your attention, while I’m communicating to a group larger than 60% capacity at the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, I have one very short message I must get out there.  I’m not going to explain it because that’s boring.  I’m not going to elaborate because I’ll lose you.  Short message based on reflections of anecdotal experience.  My message is this;

Akita police: may you burn in a hell worse than the pathetic lives you live now.  Fuck you all.

Day 5 Action in the Speak-Easy Basho.

Just curious, I flipped on NHK to see what they’ve got going instead of sumo.  What did we have?  Some guy with a fish-shaped hat and squealing high-pitched voice scrambling an ostrich egg.  That was followed by the old unfailing Japanese gag; man dressed like a woman and singing an enka tune.  I’m so glad I don’t pay NHK.

Yet, via a grainy video downloaded on the ole pc, I found some big naked breasts, body hair, and a good deal of grunting, fondling, facial action, and humping…and I was pleased…but I never did find any recorded sumo action, so the 22 minute NHK Digest at 6:30 is all I had.

Today, our boy Sasakiyama from Odate fell for the first time ever in regulation sumo, losing by pull-down to someone we don’t care about in sandanme.  Sasakiyama is 2-1.

Homasho vs. Hokutoriki – Homasho henka-ed on the no-kozuna.  Tasteless, indeed, but in reality Homie has been henka-ed so much, perhaps he was just returning an old favor.  Homie stands at 5-0 and good shape for some sort of cigar shop consolation prize if he keeps the wins a-coming.  No-kuzuna is 3-2.

Shotenro vs. Kokkai – Perhaps concerned for Homie and his image, Kokkai tried an even worse henka which failed at first because it was weak, but it still worked out with sweaty bodies slipping and awkward footing so that Shotenro could never re-gather his balance.  Bluto 4-1, Shotenro 1-4, and still without a nickname.

Gagamaru vs. Kimurayama – It seems Gaga, the Koo-Aid Guy just isn’t ready for makuuchi.  He’s a slow learner.  They guy was in makushita for nearly three years before becoming a sekitori, but his five year career has seen a very steady advance up the ranks, and he’s only 23 years old, so we’ll have to hold out for him…”Ooooooooh, Yeeeeeaaaah!”  Today, he had a slow tachiai, and Kim thought about henka-ing, but didn’t really need to.  With a step to the left after initial contact, the Kool-Aid Guy went flying out on his own accord…no henka needed…”Oooooooh, Noooooooo!”  Gaga 2-3: Kimur 3-2.

Takamisakari vs. Tokusegawa – The long-faced Mongol worked in a quick migiyotsu, but almost lost the bout with Ringo out-powering him back to the rice bales.  From the edge, the Mongol bounced off the bales and used that aforementioned maneuver to work Ringo backwards and out.  Ringo 2-3: Lone Horse 3:2.

Wakanosato vs. Takekaze – The pride of Akita came in low at the tachai as if he had a choice to, but it actually worked well to get an inside advantage on the pride of Aomori.  Once he had Waka off balance, Take turned to the side just enough to utilize Sato’s forward momentum and shove the Aomorian out.  Nice win by Little Moriyoshi, who’s at 3-2.  Wakanosato is at 2-3 after the first period of play.

Kakuryu vs. Kakizoe – Double Kaks cumming at each other!  Mongol-Kak exploded with some good jōi-worthy thrusts and kept his stability while forging ahead.  Easy, really, as he never let J-Kak get inside, or any forward movement (otherwise known as the Kak-block).  J-Kak 0-5: M-Kak 5-0.

Just about right now, I’m sure Ross Mihara, Murray Johnson, and Hiro Morita are on some beautiful beach, obviously not in Japan, each sipping on margaritas and puffing on double-coronas (Morita, a chocolate cigar).

Hakuba vs. Aran – A good tachiai from Hakuba, which in truth just means he actually charged.  Erin didn’t move at the tachai, obviously to avoid the forthcoming henka.  Hakuba used his momentum and speed to lock up Erin and out, yorikiri-style.  Mongol pony is 1-4: Rasputin is also 1-4.

Kisenosato vs. Kotoshogiku – Rivals, and both at sekiwake.  Geek moved forward decisively winning the tachiai, but Kissy worked in a slap down on his opponent who had his head down just a wee bit too far.  Slap-down win.  Kissy at 4-1: Geek at 2-3.

Tochinoshin vs. Kaio – Tochi went straight for the belt of his opponent but never did get it.  Methuselah got Tochi’s first, and quickly maneuvered a pulling over-arm throw.  The Georgian, at komusubi, is going through the meat-grinder in week one, and sits at 1-4: Methuselah 4-1.

Kotooshu vs. Tochiozan – Nice work by Oshu!  Oshu moved quickly, never allowing Ozan an inside grip by continually moving his arms and advancing forward.  Good stuff from Oshu, reminiscent of the Oshu in Natsu 2008, that one rare basho where he got his shit together and yusho-ed.  Oshu 5-0: Ozan 2-3.

Asasekiryu vs. Harumafuji –Great bout between two Mongols who carry heavy toolboxes.  Haru started off with the nodowa (a bit of forced-Mongol throat singing), then once Sexy was moving back, Haruma went to the belt…inside grip, kept low so that his own belt is away from Sexy, and while on attack grabbed his opponent’s arm and led him out.  Nice Ama-style sumo from Haruma, who needs to get back in the game while sitting at 2-3.  Sexy is perfect at 0-5.

Baruto vs. Kyokutenho –Bart came off with a nice, fast tachiai, but the two soon locked up with the one-socked Mongol having the grip advantage with both hands on Bart’s belt, and Bart having only a single-hand grip.  During a frozen stalemate, Bart hastily slipped the free hand in to get a inside grip, neutralizing One-sock’s grip advantage and using his weight and strength to work his opponent’s chest up and pushed him out.  Bart is 3-2: One-sock is 3-2.

Hakuho vs. Aminishiki – Straight-up tachiai from both and after offering a few blows just to keep Sneaky off balance and his eyes wide shut, Hak went straight to his favorite left-hand outside grip with the right hand working Sneaky’s head low so that he could easily pull off a textbook uwatenage and pick up his 37th straight win to 40% empty seats in Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium and 0% NHK viewership.  Sneaky is 2-3: Hak is…well, take a guess.

General Patten Creswell is on command tomorrow.

六日 – Day 6

Due to complications with the means through which I view sumo I was only able to watch the bouts starting at Wakanosato Yoshikaze.  So you’ll only get commentary for those bouts.  Here is a list of the lower Maegashira wins/loses

Tamawashi Sagatsukasa*
Shotenro Kimurayama*
Gagamaru Tamaasuka*
*Takekaze Bushuyama
Hokutoriki Takamisakari*
*Homasho Tosayutaka
*Shimotori  Kokkai

Now on to the commentary.

Wak opened up with a nice little harite and got right in on Yoshikaze, and thats all she wrote.  Yosh tried to get some pushing going, then tried to move around a bit, but Waks superior grip and years of experience won the day.  Nice little win for the old guy.

Mokonami certainly got the better of the tachiai against Kakuryu, and had the technician moving backward. The separated and that allowed fishface to get migiyotsu.  Shitatenage and 6 straight wins for Kakuryu.

Tokusegawa got morozashi from the get go on Kitataiki and walked him to the bales, at the edge Kita tried for a desperation kubinage or uchari or something but it only ended up looking ridiculous. 4-2 for mongolia 2-4 for tokyo

Kakizoe tried to copy Tokusegawa by immediately getting morozashi on Tokitenku the little guy tossed the Clock into the shimpan with a satisfying thud.  Sparky picks up his first win.

Next up was my boy Kisenosato and Asa II.  Despite being a bit high on the tachiai Kise got a strong hidari yotsu with a migi uwate chaser and made an inspired push to the tawara.  For a second sexy flirted with some forward motion, but it wasn’t meant to be.  Yorikiri with Asa never even crossing the shikirisen. We need to see Kise post wins like this ALL the time, 10 wins isn’t out of the question yet. 5-1 for Kise, 0-6 for Sexy.

The Geeku was all over Tochiozan on the tachiai, but some swift movement, a step to the side at the tawara and a hearty slap upon the ample buttocks of the Geek sent him sprawling.  Sideburns is batting at .500 while the geek is stranded at 2-4.

Both Tochinoshin and Baruto jumped straigh up at the tachiai the grappled for a bit and when Bart was ready he pulled a really nice uwatenage on the shin Komusubi.  Bart moves to 4 wins, Noshin gots only 1.

Kaio’s and Aminishiki locked up at the tachiai until Sneaky remembered he was supposed to fall for the hatakikomi and went down… looked fi$hy.

Kotooshu didn’t look as passive as he has of late during his bout, especially after Kyokutenho broke the Bulgarians favorite migiyotsu grip and got morozashi.  Oshu changed to a double uwate and was able to use his size and strength to force the Sock up and out.

Harumafuji and Arans bout looked more like capoera than sumo.  I tried to cout the number of hatakikomi attmepts… at least 6 by Aran alone, Harumafuji did a nice little spin before his hand hit the clay.  This leave both gaijin at 2-4 (maybe we’ll see Harumafuji go kyujo this basho)

It’s hard to consider what happened between Hakuho and Hakuba sumo.. it looked more like Hakuho taking the garbage out.  38 straight for the Daiyokozuna.

Someone will report tomorrow… i think

七日 – Day 7

A jolly good afternoon to you fellows with day 7 of the Basho!
Koryu vs Shotenro  Seems like these two “bosom buddies” get along real well, as they were pressed hard against each other. A short grapple  and a whisper of “I love you” by Koryu mustn’t of been well believed, as Shotenro sends Koryu flying with a nice Yorikiri.

Tamawashi vs kimurayama  If Koryu and Shotenro started with the boobs, Old Tama and Kimura decided to start with a kiss. Couple of E-honda style slaps turned into a little foxtrot dance around the ring. After the k-yama was feeling a little dazed, Tamawashi bends him down for the kiss, but he’s a little sly and turns that one into a nice kubihineri.

Tamaasuka vs Takamisakari  A very quick fight, Old Taka was on fine form and obviously ate his weetabix that morning! Had no trouble pushing tama out in an Okuridashi fashion!

Takekaze vs Hokutoriki  Though Takekaze started this bout true to his name, seems like he did nothing but kick up a sand storm. Hokutoriki sends him out with an Oshidashi leaving the two on 4-3

Mokonami vs Bushuyama Seems like these two guys enjoyed a bit of a tickle tango for the most part of the bout, that is until Bushuyama decides to throw out a Sukuinage.

Gagamaru vs kakizoe – Ladygaga decided that this stage wasn’t big enough for the both of them, and pushes kakizoe straight out for a tsukidashi

shimotori vs homasho  Homasho is certainly looking hot in this basho, an oshitaoshi sends the shimo flying out head over heels in love! Homasho nicely stands on a 7-0.

Wakanosato vs kokkai   Kokkai tried his hardest to enjoy smokin Wakanosato’s stogie with his Sumo, and though he even got down on his knee, Wakanosato was having none of it. Smoking Kokai with hatakikomi leaving the two on 4-3

Kakuryu vs tosayutaka  these two homo’s got off to a wedge war – I think they were both wanting to give each other one of those yorikiri’s! Kakkryu though got the upper hand by  yorikirin’ the tossa’s nuggets outta the stage – ouch! Kakuryu is also shaping up this tourney with a 7-0 stand.

Aran vs Yoshikaze  If i’m honest, I think there was a bit of gerrymandering going on here. Yoshikaze didn’t put up any effort at all, and just gave The man from Aran (there is actually an Island called Aran in Ireland – but I think owen can tell you more about that) his hatakikomi.

Tochiozan vs Tokusegawa  Tochiozan was out for blood and went straight for this guy’s throat, yorikiriing his ass outta that ring. Leaving this two on 4-3

Hakuba vs tochinoshin  Give Hakuba his dues, he tottari’d Tochinoshin in quick side step. 

Asasekiryu vs kotoshogiku  These two started the bout handsomely with a waltz around the ring. though, Kotoshogiku proved to be no gentleman, trying to force old asa down to smoke his Gigante! . Disgruntled at his re-buff, he just gives the asa a yorikiri instead.

kitataikai vs harumafuji   At first, kitatakai tried to fillibuster the Ozeki outta there, but unfortunately, the ozeki tricked the kita. After riverdancing his way around kita in a blink, kitataikai awakes to find himself yorikiri’d.

Baruto vs Aminishiki Though baruto started off in good form, trying to suffocate aminishiki between his breasts, Aminishiki manages to use this play to advantage and oshidashi baruto well outta there, landing on top of the Ozeki kaio – much to his delight!

Tokitenku vs kaio  A quick shoulder barge knocks the Ozeki to the floor with a hikiotoshi. Leaving the two on 5-2.

Kotooshu vs kisenosato  Kisenosato tried to prove his worth against the european, but Kotoshu launches a tackle seen more on the rugby field. Having all is weight and momentum under the arms of kisenosato, there’s only one thing for it. he’s Yaritaoshi’d and leaving the Kotooshu handsomely on a 7-0 win!

Hakuho vs kyokutenho  In good ols hakuho form, he truffle shuffled Kyokutenho with a awatenage, leaving the Hakuho also on a 7-0 win.

on that note, I’m not sure who’s bringing us tomorrows report. but on that note, I’m off to go and get an ice-cream!

Leon Bertrum

中日 – Day 8

Another day, another basho my friends.  Lads, hou’s aw wi ye?

Early on, marbled Takekaze went to battle against Homasho, the Hungarian soldier.  No dice for Kaze as in battle, Homasho slipped to the side like Francisco Romero.  It was the same win I had against a Singaporean in a much more dramatic match July 2008.

At the far end of the bantzuke, we had undefeated Kotoshu and a wee Kakuryu (also undefeated.)  I like the European for his je ne sais quoi, plus he reminds me of Shogoro Yano from the Kurosawa motion picture Sanshiro Sugata.  From the tachai, Kakuryu was on Kotoshu like stink on a monkey.  It was similar to the match I had in July 2008 against a Singaporean, but our match was much longer.  Kakuryu remains undefeated and Kotoshu gets his first loss.

What are those stiff dangling accoutrement that sumos wear?  I bet it serves the same purpose as the tare in kendo.

Hakoho’s shiai against Tokutenku is as lopsided as the Kamakura forces attack on the Imperial Hojo clan in the Genko War.  But Tokutenku put up a battle where both sumos crested over the line, off the dojo, and they called the win for Hakuho.  I don’t know so much about modern sumo, but this was a great match!  However, my match against a Singaporean in July 2008 had a lot more endurance.

I enjoyed it, lads.


九日 – Day 9

A few months ago, I was sniffing around some very old photographs at the wife’s family home and came across some starling evident.  It appears Sumo & Stogies is a long running tradition which long predates the current incarnation.  As the photo evidence proves, stogies were a lot more difficult to access in those days, but sumo was sure as hell a lot easier to access, no-thanks to NHK.

             My commentary starts where I want it to, and I chose from Gagamaru (4-4) vs. Shotenro (2-6).  Sir Gaga started off with a decent, low tachiai, but from there got a hidariyotsu and just seemed to lean onto his opponent, rather than charging, like he was trying to hold up the Leaning Tower of Shotenro.  Shotenro solved this conundrum by pulling a well-timed belt-less arm throw with a pivot of the feet.  Gaga who falls to 4-5, yet better than Sho at 3-6…I guess.

             Tamawashi (3-5) and Takamisakari (5-3) started their tachiai with the timing waaaaaay off to the Mongol’s advantage, but I suppose the stand-in judges didn’t see it or didn’t care because the bout went on with Tamahawk going straight for Ringo’s adam’s apple.  As always, Ringo made out like a blind man at an orgy and felt his way around so that he could get a left-hand of Tamahawk’s belt and charge his opponent somewhat off-centered.  Johnny Appleseed get’s the dubya with a push down, and is now 6-3 and inspecting the ceiling for anti-social elements. 

             Takekaze (4-4) vs. Kimurayama (4-4): Take went and charged well at the tachiai, but the problem was that Kim wasn’t there, a la henka.  Called a thrust down, but really just shitty sumo by Kim.  4-5 & 5-4. 

             Does S&S call for a cigar store Indian?  It seems an element we’ve always needed.  I’ll talk it over with the Council.  Kachikoshed Homasho (8-0) took on Mongol Mokonami (5-3).  Homie, peyote still in hand, was not even close to ready at the tachiai when Moko charged.  It didn’t seem to matter, though, because Homie immediately got a left inside grip and just pressed forward on his opponent with an easy win displaying a rare amount of aggression and a shove in the chest at the end.  Homie’s at 9-0, but not in any yusho race.

             In attempt to fool the public into believing their ties with the yakuza are over, the NSK has been putting up signs and making announcements that members of “anti-social organizations” (read: yakuza) are not allowed on the premises of the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.  Well of course they’re not on the premises this basho…without the NHK feed, how would they show their bosses in prison that they’ve got prime seating?

             Hakuba (2-6) vs. Asasekiryu (0-8) I only report on this one because I love watching Hakuba lose, but given that Sexy is winless, asking for a Hakuba loss might have been a tall order?  Anyway You Want It, Henkuba didn’t henka this time, which was threw Sexy off because he didn’t charge at the tachai.  Once contact was made, Sexy got an easy deep left-hand grip and under-arm throw is all she wrote between these two Mongols.  I’ve never been so glad to see Sexy win—a first for him this basho.  Make-believe Komusubi Henkuba is now 2-7.

             Kotoshogiku (3-5) immediately locked up with Kitataiki (2-6) at the tachiai and started his hug-n-chug® from monozashi, but once the Geek got his opponent on the bales, Kitataiki took advantage of Geek’s lack of a grip on the belt and swiftly wiggled out of the losing position, and without a grip or momentum, Geek was taken out, yorikiri.

             Kisenosato (6-2) vs. Aran (4-4): Kissy did a harite right at the tachai which was his first move, and a move which opened up his defeat, because it opened him up.  Rosuke started with a nodowa (deep-throat action), then straight into Kissy’s chest to keep him upright and moving back.  Rosuke win, yorikiri, respectable 5-4.  Kissy will likely stay at the precious east sekiwake, but no run for Ozeki from this basho (6-3), and that’s the last we’ll see of J-rikishi today shy of drawing retirement pension.

             God, the breaks between bouts are getting longer and longer without hearing Mihara quips, Johnson’s insights, or Morita’s jabber!  On top of that, consider the number of makuuchi bouts has dropped from 21 in a normal basho to 18 this basho, and that means we’ve got a good 6 minutes between each bout without anything to fill the gaps.

              Kotooshu (7-1) vs. Tochinoshin (2-6): Henka to the left by Oshin.  Oshu’s charge was so hard that there was no recovering from this one, which Oshin finished with a push out.  He knew it was wrong, “but if Hakuba is doing it…”  Desperate, tasteless, disappointing, and all around shitty.  But enough about the NSK, eh?  The bout kind of sums up a lot.  KotoOhShit falls to 7-2 and the yusho race is a vague dream.  TochiOhShine is 3-6.

             Tokitenku (5-3) vs. Harumafuji (4-4): seems there’s no compatriot love between these two who chose to glare each other down for a while and initiate their synchronized tachiai well before the gyoji called it time to.  Nice intensity shown from both, but the bout itself was rather lopsided with Haruma getting an easy win by going straight for the belt at the tachai while Toki resorted to slaps.  Once Haruma had the belt, it was a fast out-you-go and the hurting ozeki improves to 5-4 with Toki sharing that same record.

             Baruto (5-3) vs. Kaio (6-2) the first ozeki duel this basho featured the oldest and newest.  Bart started off with a long-armed thrust, then a pull down which didn’t work but it did lead Kaio to charge into Bart’s chest.  The two locked up chest to chest—a position clearly in Bart’s favor as no one can take Bart down chest to chest except Hakuho.  Yorikiri win for Bart, and both men at 6-3. 

             If there is one thing which should keep this basho interesting, that’s Hakuho’s abiding winning streak.  He’s at 40, a feat only four men have achieved.…and in what sadly may be the best bout of the basho, we have two undefeated Mongols going head to head: Hakuho (40-0) vs. Kakuryu (8-0).  From the tachiai, the Kak really came out the shoot with an aggressive and fast approach, starting with slaps from the sides.  Hak stayed focused on remaining in Kak’s inside and getting his lethal left-hand outside grip.  Once he did, he came in close on the Kak who was still squirming up a storm, and used his free right-hand to pick at Kak’s leg while using his own chest to keep the Kak’s body upward.  Kak was in really good form here and shouldn’t be ashamed, but clearly out of his league.  Hak is at 41-0.

              Given the likely scenario that Hakuho continues his winning streak, he will tie the great yokozuna Taiho on Friday, with 45 wins.  That means at Sumo & Stogies on Saturday, we may very well see Hakuho surpass Taiho and stand alone with the third longest winning streak in sumo history!

The man with a face for blogging, Shiima will be with you tomorrow.

十日 – Day 10

Picking up where the Sumotalk recaps picked up (thank you, btw), here is your Day 10 Makuuchi Throwdowns.

Mokonami vs Tokusegawa – A good bout between the two Mongols, both with a right hand in grip.  Tokusegawa executes a perfect belt pull down with the inside hand as he spins out of the way, Shitatenage.  You can see he does that inside-the-knee tap with the free hand that Asa used to do effortlessly.  Still a mystery how that works. Tokusegawa 2 away from his Kachi.

Kakizoe vs Kitataiki – Kakizoe opening with his favorite head butt heard round the arena, but follows up with nothing as usual.  Kitataiki eventually catching a flailing arm to Kotenage Kakizoe into his makekoshi.

Kyokutenho vs Aminishiki – Team Mongol getting on top of The Sneak, the Sneak not looking at anything but his own crotch the whole match.  An uncomfortable Yorikiri-loss for the Sneak.

Hakuba vs Tochiozan – Elvis owning the fake Komusubi, Oshdashiing Henkaba into the Yakuza Seats.  An early, and well-deserved makekoshi for Henkaba on his way down the ranks to where he should have been this whole tournament.

Asasekiryu vs Tochinoshin – Team Mongol having won his Makekoshi already, looks to hand out similar favors by putting Team Georgia one closer to his own Make.  A pathetic performance for the other Komusubi as he struggles in the Grinder.

Aran vs Kotoshogiku – The Geek not his perky self this tournament as he never takes a step forward until he was ready to step back in and bow to the victor.  Aran making his way to his Kachikoshi is at 6-4, yorikiri.

Baruto vs Tokitenku – Baruto doing so-so so far as he slides past Team Mongol.  A nicely timed uwatenage throw down puts the Mongol in the sand and Bart one away from a Kachikoshi.

Kotooshu vs Kaio – Kotooshu catching a break as he is paired up with old man Kaio for his Kachikoshi match.  Last tournament seeing the Osh give Kaio his 1000th career victory, the Osh was reborn after knee surgery and was not about give another favor.  The Osh gets his Kach, and Old Man Kaio at 6-4, uwatenage off the Dohyo.

Kakuryu vs Harumafuji – After Haruma snags the belt off of the pattycake tachiai, The Kak almost gets away from his Mongol comrade with a quick spin.  Haruma stays on target as he slaps out the Kaks leg from under him and drilling him into the ground, Shitatehineri.  The first I’ve seen yet.  Haruma two away, and the Kak already getting his.

Hakuho vs Kisenosato – The Blink giving the Hak more trouble than most, as he is without a doubt Hakuho’s only real opponent.  After a solid tachiai and a hundred tsupari later, Hakuho able to sucker Kise in close enough to wrap up.  Hakuho wasting no time uses Kise’s forward movement, sneaks a leg between Kise’s, lifts Kise’s inner leg off the dohyo with his own as he thows Kise down the ground and off the dohyo.  I think Hakuho knew that this would be his toughest match.  Even waited for the win to set in as it dawned on him how close he was to not getting it at all.  Waits for Kise to peel himself off the ground and get back on the dohyo before him.  A true Gent, indeed.  Hakuho now at 42 straight wins and still going.  I foresee some long lived records being broken very soon…

十一日 – Day 11

Well things are not looking good for the Nihon Sumo Kyokai (Japan Sumo Association) these days. People are feed up with the corruption, lies, and now, the lack of live coverage puts the final mark on this whole mess. That mark being firmly placed on the faces of the fans of the sport. Before I jump in, to the day 11 action, I want to throw this idea out to the Nihon Sumo Kyokai, it’s a letter. You can find it in the post below this one.

Alright here we go Day 11 Action:

First off, Kaio took a hard fall yesterday and was pretty slow to get up. He will be out for the rest of the basho. That being decided, he’ll be on Ozeki suspension watch in Tokyo this September.

I’ve been watching as much of Sokokurai as I can these last four or five basho, but today certainly wasn’t a day to be proud about. Sokokurai beats Shotenro quick henka/slap down. We’ll likely see him up in the Makuchi Division next September.

Bushy faced off with the Hokutoriki. The Aomori native brushed off Hokutoriki’s nodowa attempts and got all up his biznass for a decisive force out win.

Akita’s only Makuchi son faced off against Gagamaru. It was a pretty decent match, I’d say. Takekaze is one tricky dude. Unconventionally going for a mawashi throw down against the biggest Georgian! Lady Gaga wasn’t having it though. After several failed attempts Gagamaru finally wins by force out.

Anyone else disappointed by Tamawashi’s start to this basho? Luckily after an extremely poor start Tamawashi kept the dream alive by bulldozing Kakizoe right out of the dohyo. The Mongolian moves to 5-6.

Next bout that caught my fancy was Kakuryu (8-2) and Homasho (10-0). It was all Homasho at the taichi but Kakuryu showed why he’s much better than his current rank. Back-pedaling Kakuryu pulls off an amazing sukuinage.

Tochiozan continues to impress taking down Aminishiki who missed on his Henka attempt.

Strong men Aran and Tochinoshin went yotsu ala yotsu and tried to pick each other up out of the ring. It looked like The good Shin Doctor had this one wrapped up but Aran turn the tables on the lift out in the last moment to pick up the win, quite literally.

Kitataikai pulls a sweet pivot to even the score vs. Hakuba. Wrapped him up and that was that. From now on I think I will call Hakuba the former Komusubi, Hakuba.

The best match of the day was easily Ozeki Baruto vs. Kisenosato. The Kid put in a good fight working through Baruto’s tsupari. Baruto pulls out the win nonetheless however. The Kid moves to 6-5 but I think most people would agree he’s looking much better this basho.

Kotooshu got slapped down by Tokitenku.

Hakuho slapped Kotoshogiku to the side and locked him up for the throw. The Dai Yokozuna moves to 43 wins in a row.

History is knocking. Samuél de Gama is set to answer the metaphorical day 12 door tomorrow.

十二日 – Day 12

Ok. Heres the report for Day 12 of the Basho.  Its my first time so be gentle.
Tamaasuka vs. Sokokurai:  So it looks like good ole Tama here wanted a bit of Juryo action on this bout.  He seemed pretty ready with all those bandages around his stomach, and for the most part he seemed like he was in control.  However after dancing around the ring, Sokokurai over took him at the edge of the ring with a shitatedashinage.
Sagatsukasa vs. Shotenro:  Again another pairing between divisions.  Pretty happy about the result of this match.  At the start Saga gave a little lame sidestep mixed with some grab action, but Shotenro quickly got out of it to slap the guy down. 
Hokutoriki vs. Kimurayama: For some reason I find the name Kimurayama weird.  You’d think that the guy would come up with something other than sticking a yama at the end.  Anyways, the bout can more or less be likened to two boys playing grab ass in the shower.  Running around the ring slapping each other to get the advantage.  Finally, the Yamster was pushed out.  The best part of the match was Hokutoriki actually grabbing the ass-end of Kimurayama’s mawashi after winning. Nice.
Gagamaru vs. Tamawashi: I was really hoping that Gaga was going to pull through on this one.  Perhaps I got a thing for large round guys. Maybe.  The most disappointing thing was that Gaga almost got him in the end.  I guess he realized, “I’m done,” then collapsed to his opponent.  Regardless, Tamawashi was a trooper.
Takamisakari vs. Tosayutaka: Well speaking of troopers, Takamisakari still up to his good ole crowd pleasing chants.  The crowd was pretty excited during the entire match.  The Taks was pretty much in control and took out Tosa with a yorikiri. Crowd goes wild. Taka smiles. Done.
Shimotori vs. Mokonami:  Nothing much to say about this one.  It was pretty unexciting.  They slam into each other, try to get their grip, then hug for a bit.  Moko pushes. Shimo gives in and finds himself outside the ring.  I’d like to re-mention the shower grab ass  metaphor, but this time it had a little more passion and less running around.
Kokkai vs. Kakizoe: Thus far it bout had probably the second most vocal cheering losing only to Takamisakari.  And Kakizoe needed all those cheers and more with that losing record. Kakizoe dive straight into Kokkai head first.  Kokkai just swats him down with a fly on his refrigerator.  Poor Guy.  Kakizoe racks up his 10th loss.
Bushuyama vs. Yoshikaze: Currently I’m debating which looks more weird, America’s G.W. or Sumo’s.  He’s got some fat you can hold a sausage with.  Anyways the bout starts with a very eager Bushu thrusting away to get some Yoshi meat.  All Yoshi does is twist his body sideways and uses the very eager Bushu’s own momentum to throw him out.  Uwatenage.
Takekaze vs. Tokusegawa: I don’t think I have ever rooted for Takekaze and had him win.  Today is no different.  Maybe Akita should just stick to Rice and Sake. Seems like they can wrap their heads around those ideas. Tokusegawa achieves his 7th win. Actually, Takekaze took Tokusegawa out, however a monoii the match was given to Toku.  Better luck next time buddy.
Aran vs. Wakanosato: So I was at a drinking party last night for my school, and one of the old men said that Wakanosato was his favorite.  So today I was excited to see if Wakanosato could live up to this guy’s talk.  Lets just say he didn’t.  Aran rocked him straight out of the win.  He racks up his 8th win.  Good job.
Tochiozan vs. Kakuryu: For some reason I also end up rooting for Kakuryu.  So it is finally nice to see him with a good record.  That being said, he loses this one.  Tochiozan forcefully pushes him out of the ring.
Tokitenku vs. Asasekiryu:  Not too interesting of a match.  A lot of hugging and attempts at a take down.  Tokitenku changes it up a bit and lifts him out of the ring. He nabs his 7th win.
Hakuba vs. Kyokutenho: I do not like Hakuba.  But, he wasn’t sneaky this time around.  Dare I say a relatively solid performance. Some hugging with a lift out.  Hakuba picks up his 3rd win.
A breeze through the top, cos I have trouble in English:
Aminishiki vs. Tochinoshin:  Aminishiki (6-6)
Kotooshu vs. Homasho: Kotooshu (9-3)
Kisenosato vs. Harumafuji: Harumafuji (8-4)
Baruto vs. Kotoshogiku: Geek (4-8)
Hakuho vs. Kitataiki: Haks (12-0)

十三日 – Day 13

Two milestones occurred in sumo today.  Firstly, for the first time ever more foreign-born rikishi fought in makuuchi than Japanese rikishi.  This was brought on by the fact that yesterday Aminishiki dropped out with injury, after Kaio, and of course, brought on by several men sitting out for gambling—none of which foreign-born.  A few days ago in the first week, a survey found that 60 percent of sumo fans at the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium thought this suspension punishment will do nothing to break the bond between NSK and the yakuza.  Perhaps the only way to break that bond is more foreign rikishi? 

Aaw, you know…just a thought, but really, I for one don’t care what passport rikishi hold or in which country were they born.  In all honesty, I as a fan only want to see good bouts and a great competition to the end.  Given the difficulties and commitment required to enter sumo for foreigners, coupled with their various backgrounds in wrestling and training, foreign rikishi generally are a joy to watch and guys namely like Harumafuji, Tokitenku, oh and of course Asashoryu have pulled off maneuvers rarely to never seen before.  Many fans tend to think of sumo as a team sport and there’s team Japanese rikishi and team foreign-born rikishi.  Though it’s obvious Hakuho and Harumafuji have traded favors from time to time, this is almost completely not true.  Sumo will truly reach a milestone the day people stop worrying about the “next Japanese yokozuna” and the sport being “overrun by foreign-born rikishi.” 

Oh, right…and the other milestone.  The Great Hakuho tied the consecutive-wins record with the Great Taiho.  Quite the incredible feat and the NSK might want to extend a special “thank you” to the only rikishi who’s been doing his part to keep sumo competitive.  We always complain about Hakuho being “boring,” when really, he’s just the only guy who wants to win.  He was never, ever boring in the ring when he was fighting Asashoryu, because there you had the only two rikishi wanting it all and willing to fight to the end for it all.

Not many bouts in the top division this basho, and even fewer of interest.  First on my lineup, Takekaze (5-7) vs. Tamaasuka (4-8), not because of interest, but Akita-brother obligation, yet it turned out to be one of the best bouts of the day.  Takkz locked up on Tmsk, getting him a bit awkwardly upright when suddenly, he threw in a sneaky little school-yard Jack the Tripper leg trip called the susoharai (rear footsweep).  Way to pull off an obscure move!  It we had Johnson or Mihara on hand, we’d be able to know how long it’s been since that was pulled off, but as written on the Japanese National Expression, “it can’t be helped.”  Matagi brother is 6-7 and need of winning out.

Gagamaru (5-7) vs. Yoshikaze (3-9).  Yoshi certainly had his Jolt coffee today.  Fast at the tachiai, and BlahBlahmaru was nowhere.  Yoshi working in a quick left-hand on the belt to move in close, then arm up and in the Georgian’s armpit to work out a belt-less arm throw in.  Gaga makekoshis, but can still keep save out of juryo if he picks up another win or two.

Hakuba (3-9) vs. Kotoshogiku (4-8).  You know, on second thought let’s leave Henkaba up in sanyaku.  I can’t get enough of watching him lose!  Today was a rare henka-less day from Henkaba.  As well established common knowledge, Henkaba had nothing behind his charge and the Geek showed him what straight-up sumo is like, with a little man love on top: Geek hugged-n-chugged the undignified Mongol out of the ring for his first double-digit loss (here’s to two more!).

Kisenosato (6-6) vs. Homasho (10-2).  The cigar store Indian is the last thing standing between Hakuho and the Emperor’s Cup…oh, wait…there are two untruths in that statement.  Nevertheless, it started with a nice tachiai with Kissy actually the one who got a step ahead of the initial charge, but Homie got his hands on Kissy’s boobs and pressed ‘em straight back and out of the ring with no answer from Kissy.  It looked more like a butsukari-geiko session than a true bout.  Homie is at 11-2 but tomorrow he’ll be out of the mathematical yusho race as well.

BaRRUUUto (8-4) vs. Harumafuji (8-4).  From the tachiai, a harite from Bart and Haruma’s thrust separated the two, then a harite from Bart and again, Haruma’s thrust separated the two, and a third time the same as it seemed Bart didn’t want to get too close and caught up with a foot in Haruma’s tool box.  Upon next contact, Haruma launched an arm bar which swang the giant out of the ring using trajectory motion, though disappointingly it was only called as a rear push out.  Both have kachikoshi and at the complacency rank, so who cares what their records are?  They don’t any more.

And where history was made, Hakuho (44-0) vs. Kotooshu (9-3).  Right before the tachiai, Hakuho actually paused and had to slice the air and stand back up.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Dai-yokozuna have to do this.  Once his nerves were calmed, he took control right at the tachiai getting his left hand outside grip and swinging Oshu around.  With a left hand outside and a free right, Hak kept edging in on Oshu, who was scrambling for space to back up in the ring and keep Hak away.  At one point Haku got a leg in while Oshu was backpedaling and tripped up Oshu enough to get him off balance for a second and used the chance to throw an over-arm throw.

And there you have it.  Hakuho is 45-0, and tied with Taiho.  Congratulations, and despite the complaints, sumo would be complete shit without Hakuho right now. 

It all makes you wander what Creswell will have to say tomorrow.

十四日 – Day 14 

dear diary,

I’m missing a few pieces of last night.  I remember watching some sumo while enjoying a Montecristo #2 and enjoying a nice selection of scotch.  Things got hazy, i remember some betting and a certain S&S commentator drinking an unspeakable amount of Spiritus, then said S&S commentator spending the next 10 minutes painting the toilet bowl.

I woke up in a hot nasty room in my underwear and my phone was missing, as was a good portion of my money… and my ass hurt.  My mouth tasted like a combination of peat smoke, Cohiba tobacco, and rubber.  I left the room and was met by the musty bouquet of 6 or 7 sweaty men who had been drinking, smoking, and puking all night.  Good basho gentlemen, now down to the sumo (or what i remember of it.)

The two sad sacks at the bottom of the pile met up and Tamaasuka eeked out the win over Shotenro via yorikiri.  Is it me or are these guys just not that fun to watch…  Bushuyama titilated the audience by yorikiri-ing has-been Tamanoshima.  G.W. staves off makekoshi for one more day.  Kotokasuga picked up his KK with a fairly stinky hatakikomi, and handed Tamawashi a well deserved makekoshi, the Mawashi has had some decent bouts this basho, but like my old music teacher used to say “ice cream on top of shit is still shit.”

Kimurayama also beat off (ha ha) makekoshi for one more day with an oshidashi win over Koryu.  Two things happened when our local boy Takekaze connected with Kokkai at the tachi-ai. 1. Kokkai really wanted his KK  2. Kitaakita came in too low and 3. Kokkai stepped to the side and got an easy hatakikomi.  That’s our Makekaze, always makes us proud.

Lady GaGa also came in pretty low and off balance against Takamisakari, who neatly hikiotoshied to add some icing on his KK cake.  As usual Kakizoe was a bit off balance when he came in against Hokutoriki (who i thought would win).  However, Zoe kept it moving and awkwardly moved Jokutoriki out by oshidashi…3 wins…whoppee.

Tosayutaka got in and tied up Wakanosato early, and slowly got a clean force out.  This was a short bout, and in short bouts Wakanosato can do really well in this kind of sumo, so good job Tosa.  Both now have their KK.  I didn’t think Homasho stood a chance against Tokusegawa.  His tachiai was soft and defensive (as usual), but he did seem to take control for a few seconds, but it was all for naught as Toku regained balance and got a good grip.  End of story.  Good job though Homasho  11-3 is a lot more than I expected.

To tell you the truth I really expected Kakuryu to take Aran.  The Kak is really streaky, if he’s won a few he ‘s more likely to win than if he’s coming off a defeat.  However, Aran is a big guy and was able to muscle fishface out.  Both gents at 10-4, looks like Aran might bust into sanyaku this basho.  Tochiozan has been looking pretty good this basho.  The improvements in is tachiai are immediately visible in the quality of wins he’s been getting.  As was the case today.  Kyokutenho is never an easy guy to beat, but Ozan stayed centered and managed a yorikiri to pick up his KK. I look forward to seeing him at sekiwake.

Asasekiryu picked up a paltry 4th win over countryman Mokonami today.  What happened to Asa this basho?  He looked great and had a lot of fire in his sumo last time, but something was certainly lacking this go around.  Mokonami has a last chance at KK tomorrow.

I love seeing Hakuba lose.  I finally understand why the NSK put him in komusubi.  To watch him get his ass handed to him, and is was…by M9 Shimotori, standard yorikiri.  Both guys are moving down in the ranks for September.  Tochinoshin was having none of Yoshikaze’s jittery antics.  The big Georgian pulled an embarassing tsuridashi and walked Yoshi halfway across the ring like he was tucking him in to a bed of medioctrity… Yoshi didn’t seem to mind.

I knew Kisenosato was going to take the win over Kitataiki, Taiki’s sumo has been to hesitant and stiff this basho, and the Kid is too hotblooded and hungry for wins to be ripped apart by someone with lazy technique.  Yorikiri, and one step closer to KK.

Tokitenku always has some tricks up his sleeve.  Kotoshogiku always has some gabburi up his sleeve.  Toki knew to not let the Geek get a solid grip with both hands.  Smart sumo by Toki, he picks up his KK, and Geek’s bad situation gets worse to the tune of 5-9

Kotooshu has looked halfway decent this basho.  Given not as firey as he needs to be if he’s gonna yusho any time soon, but I saw some Ozeki sumo.  Can’t really say the same of Baruto, he’s looked kind of sloppy and his win count shows it.  A clean yorikiri for Oshu taking him to 10-4, while Baruto stagnates at 8-6.

We all agreed for this last bout that Harumafuji would never deny Hakuho something like getting his 46th consecutive win.  That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t put on a show.  It was a good show though.  They locked up at the tachiai and took turns exchanging pushes, inevitably as death and taxes Hakuho worked the ozeki back and pulled what I called a sukinage, but Valentine said was uwatenage.  Since we were watching the NSK live feed, and there was a lot of noise there was no way to check.  Right after that the afore mentioned S&S commentator (who had won the days betting) was about to celebrate to the tune of 96% alcohol.  All of us being rather soused we let it slide, but my steel trap memory is not so easily avoided.  Hear that Valentine… sukuinage.

46 win for Hakuho, that beats Taiho.  Next up for the dai-yokozuna is Chiyonofuji’s 53, and give what his slate will look like for the first 8 days of September I don’t see that being a problem.

Senshuraku might be reported, if a certain S&S commentator has recovered from his date with the Spiritus by then.

千秋楽 – Day 15

The final day of a basho everyone has already forgotten brings no surprises.  A day of wins and losses that culminate in Hakuho continuing his winning streak and getting yet another basho under his belt.

Shotenro beats out Tamanoshima with a yorikiri.

Tamaasuka loses to Koyru with a nother yorikiri.

Kotokasuga loses to Hokutoriki by sukuinage, which gives Hokutoriki a winning record for the tournament and gives him a prayer of staying in Makuuchi.

Gagamaru finishes a rough tournament with three wins less than he needed for a kachikoshi.  On the fifteenth day, he loses by yorikiri.

Tamawashi faces off against Tosayutaka.  Tamawashi is two bouts off from getting his kachikoshi at the beginning of the bout, but he manages to push Tosayutaka out of the ring with an oshidashi.  The win leaves him with only 7 wins and a makekoshi.

Mokonami faces Akita local Takekaze and Akita local Takekaze finishes off a rough tournament with a makekoshi and a loss by yorikiri.

Kimurayama gets his kachikoshi by tsukiotoshi as he faces Kakizoe, who ends the tournament with 3 wins.  Better luck to Kakizoe in the next basho.

Shimotori wins by yorikiri against the beloved Takamisakari, but it is not enough to push Shimotori into a kachikoshi.  Takamisakari, despite his loss on the final day, ends the tournament with a kachikoshi.

Kokkai, his kachikoshi safe all the same, loses to Yoshikaze by oshidashi.

Aran and Homasho go at it and Aran wins against Homasho via oshitaoshi.  The two end the tournament with identical records.

Kyokutenho and Asasekiryu go at it and Kyokutenho wins by yorikiri.

Tochiozan and Tokitenku face off and Tochiozan wins by yorikiri.

Kitataiki faces Tochinoshin and Tochinoshin wins by yorikiri.

Hakuba wins by uwatenage after facing off against Tokusegawa.

Wakanosato and Kotoshogiku square off and Wakanosato wins by katasukashi.

Kisenosato loses by tsukiotoshi to Kakuryu.

Kotooshu loses to Harumafuji by oshidashi.

Hakuho loses to Baruto by uwatenage.  Just kidding.  The big man Baruto was thrown down by the the Mongolian on a winning streak.  Hakuho wins by uwatenage.

This poor excuse for a sumo report is the last one for Sean O Briton-Meyer, who has moved out of his house and is about to head off for a land where sumo is only done in blow up suits at birthday parties.

Luckily for your readers, the hardcore commentators remain.  I look forward to staying in touch with the Sumo world through your words, fellows.  All the best to you, you silly old bastards.

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