The young Mongolian rikishi are getting to be fan favorites among females both Japanese and gaijin. According to the chatter on the ladies' blogs, they are more svelte and "better-looking" than the local products. And, out of all the Mongolian "hunks," the two vying as top "ikemen" (lookers) are shin-juryo Hakuba and Gakutoh-san's choice, Daiyubu.
Daiyubu, last basho, changed his shikona from Daiyuchi. He has been futzing around makushita for the last three years and needed to change his luck. "I went to the oyakata and asked for the change. The character 'chi' has to do with dirt," he explained. "On the other hand, the characters 'yu' and 'bu' connote strength in battle."
Another reason for his recent upsurge is his weight gain. "I have trouble eating a lot [at one sitting]," he said. "However, after Nagoya, Tamarikido-zeki told me to eat more frequently in that case. As a result, I gained 8 or 9 kg and am at 122 (circa October). Now, I don't get pushed around as much."
There is an interesting story about Daiyubu. Under juryo, there is no tossing of the salt
unless it is needed to stretch out the time before the main events. Daiyubu, apparently, has never lost on occasions when he has purified the dohyo. In Aki Basho, with salt on hand, he won his sixth bout against Sakaigawa's formidable Fukunaga, who was a peewee yokozuna as well as world junior champion. As Fukunaga tried to force him out, Daiyubu managed to counter with an utchari.
"I had broken my left wrist in Nagoya but it's a lot better," he said. "They tell me to keep my head low, hit hard and press forward." He must be doing something right, since he followed the 6 wins in Aki with 5 more in Kyushu. Now, he is up to makushita 8. Once he is in juryo, he will be able to toss salt everyday day of the basho.