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mikawa last won the day on June 20 2016

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  1. Basho Talk Hatsu 2018 (SPOILERS)

    Five Yokozuna losses already, and we're not yet a third of the way in, incredible. However, with how well Kakuryu's been performing so far, the Yusho may yet go to a Yokozuna.
  2. TBS Documentary - Vanished Prodigy

    So Kanazawa Sorato is actually a young Takanohana in disguise? Many thanks for sharing the post, it was nice to see that Kato was able to return to sumo and achieve the success that his potential deserved. Interesting that they chose Kashiwa Junior Sumo Club as the venue for the re-enactment of the bout between young Kato and young Hanada. Even more interesting was when Hanada's mum commented "is that really a primary school kid?" when Kato appeared on the dohyo, when in fact his actor, Sakamoto Hirokazu, is actually in his final year at junior high school. It also confirmed that Sakamoto Hirokazu was indeed a member of Kashiwa when they became national club champions a month after the program.
  3. Tokyo Broadcasting System Television have an ongoing series called "Vanished Prodigy" (消えた天才), which features sporting prodigies who, for one reason or another, failed to fulfil the potentials that they had when they were young. One of the prodigies that was featured on their program from 3rd January was Hata Mitsuhide (秦 光秀), a 3-time national champion in sumo during his primary school days, and an opponent whom Wakanohana III, back then, just couldn't beat. As sporting prospects, both Hata and Hanada (Wakanohana) joined Nakano Junior High School, but instead of joining the sumo club at their school, Hata decided to join the judo club. A couple of years later, Hata became a national middle school champion in judo, beating future world champion Nakamura Yoshio in the final. When asked about why he decided to join the judo club at middle school instead of the sumo club, Hata revealed that he didn't actually have an interest in sumo (but won three national championships anyway). During high School, Hanada chose to enter Ozumo to be protect his younger brother (Takanohana), while Hata aimed to win a medal at the Olympics someday. However, at the end of his first year at University, Hata injured his meniscus, and wasn't able to recover from that. For the next few years, his life reached a new low, even comtemplating killing himself, until, at the age of 22, he saw his childhood rival Wakanohana winning his first Makuuchi Yusho. This helped him realise that it's okay to retire from judo and find another job to do, as long as you work hard on it. Hata is now a TV personality in Nagano, and is doing very well at it. Here's a video of the program, Hata's documentary starts from 1:11:21: And here's a photo of the program being produced, with the club members of Tachikawa Renseikan Sumo Dojo:
  4. We'll find out once the new academic year begins in Japan, so that's from April onwards
  5. Happy new year everyone! As we now reach the end of another year of amateur sumo, let's take a look back at some of the highlights of the year, and see who has impressed the most in each category. College Rikishi of the Year There are a number of contenders for the college rikishi of the year, such as Nakashima Nozomi, this year's Student Yokozuna, who also came second at the Towada Tournament; and Kizaki Shinnosuke, who won the Kariya Tournament, and was runner-up at 2 other events (he was also semi-finalist at this year's All Japan Amateur Championships). However, I feel that the most consistent performance was by Toyo's Terasawa Itsuki, who won both the Kanazawa and the Usa Tournaments, and has also reached the latter stages of at least two other events. In addition, Terasawa has been a key figure in Toyo's continued dominance of the team competitions. College Club of the Year Toyo University, the same as last year. What can you say? Toyo are winners of the Uwajima Tournament, the Kanazawa Tournament, and the Towada Tournament. On top of all that, they have also been finalist at the Usa Tournament and semi-finalist at the Kariya Tournament. Toyo have dominated the team events for a second year running, and with the strength and depth that they have, who's to say that they won't continue this trend in 2018? As a sidenote, look out for Toyo's Shiroyama Seira. He's only in his second year at university, and is already coming close to winning a number of different tournaments. High School Rikishi of the Year This surely has to go to Naya Konosuke, grandson of the late Dai-Yokozuna Taiho. He's been impressive all year long, a direct result of a change in his eating habits, and topped that off by winning the Kokutai in October. Not only that, Naya also won the Kochi tournament and finished runner-up at the Usa Tournament, which will certainly give him confidence when he enters Ozumo next year. High School Club of the Year As much as I would like to award this to Kumamoto's Buntoku High School or Niigata's Kaiyo High School, Saitama Sakae High School are once again worthy winners in this category. They are winners at the Kanazawa and Kochi Tournaments, and won the Kokutai to boot (and they were semi-finalist in two other tournaments as well). It would be interesting to see how well they perform next year following two of their key members, Naya Konosuke and Tebakari Toshiki, deciding to turn pro, but I'm sure they'll still be there or thereabouts regardless. Middle School Rikishi of the Year Goes to the big and powerful Mukainakano Shingo. He blazed through the competition at the Middle School Student Championships, and was unlucky not to win the Middle School Championships as well. Although he was ultimately denied the title of Middle School Yokozuna, Mukainakano has undoubtedly been the best middle school rikishi this year. Grade 6 Rikishi of the Year 2017 has been an interesting year for Grade 6, with Ote Kira winning the Hakuho Cup, Tasaki Masami winning the Wanpaku Tournament, and Ichikizaki Daisuke winning the Primary School Championships. However, the one most deserving of this award goes to Katsushika Shiratori Sumo Club's Aino Shogo. Although he wasn't able to win anything this year, he did finish runner-up on two occasions - one was a good bout but a narrow defeat against Tasaki at Wanpaku, and the other was after he had disposed of 3 contenders on his way to the final of the Primary School Championships (Ote Kira, Tasaki Masami and the 2-time Wanpaku Yokozuna Yamashita Shosuke). It's true that he didn't win anything, but he did enough to lay claim to being the best rikishi in his year group this year. Grade 5 Rikishi of the Year This has to go to this year's Primary School Yokozuna, Nishijima Yura. Although he didn't do well at this year's Wanpaku Tournament (getting knocked out by the eventual winner, Fukuhara Joichiro, who incidentally beat Nishijima in last year's Wanpaku as well, both times after getting a morozashi grip), he did win the Hakuho Cup for a fourth successive time, which was courtesy of yet another narrow victory over his eternal rival, Nakanishi Kaishin. His bout in the final of the Primary School Championships against the defending champion Nishide Daiki had to go to a mono-ii, but it was enough to give him the win, his first time in the competition. This is an intriguing year group, as no one truly stands out amongst all the different styles of sumo that are present. Grade 4 Rikishi of the Year The one and only Kodama Hayato. I've been praising this kid for a couple of years now, even going as far as saying that he's my favourite Wanpaku rikishi of all time. He won the Hakuho Cup for the second time running at the start of this year, and became Wanpaku Yokozuna at the first time of asking. An unlucky loss in the final of the Primary School Championships meant that he couldn't complete the "grand slam" this year, but there's no doubt that he stands heads and shoulders above every other rikishi in his year group. Sumo Club / Dojo of the Year Goes to (officially) the number one club in the country this year, Kashiwa Junior Sumo Club. They have produced many talented rikishi over the years, including the aforementioned Tebakari Toshiki and Nishijima Yura, and won this year's National Club Championships for the first time in the competition's history. The Kanazawa brothers of Kinboshi Sumo Club must have been very sad to leave their friends in Aomori, but they were very lucky that by moving down to Chiba, they were able to become members of Kashiwa Junior Sumo Club, and with it, Kanazawa Sorato became a national champion in sumo, a mere two years after taking up the sport.
  6. Banzuke for Hatsu 2018

    So Mitakeumi needs 16 wins to reach Ozeki? Seriously though, the new guys are really starting to make their mark on lower sanyaku, they now occupy 2 komusubi and a sekiwake spot, and on top of that, maegashira east 1 as well
  7. Merry Christmas everyone! On this special day, I would like to tell the story of a very special rivalry in amateur sumo in recent years. Normally, when a rivalry between two athletes form, it is only part of a bigger story. They may be very big rivals of each other, but there are always others who are equally as good, and equally as successful competing for the same titles. When Brady and Manning were breaking down defenses, Drew Brees was doing the same thing; when Federer and Nadal were cleaning up the Grand Slam titles, Djokovic and del Potro were able to break their dominance. However, there is this rivalry which told the story of an entire year group, where such is their dominance, that ALL the tournaments that occurred were won by one or the other (well, NEARLY all, but we'll get to that later). This is the story of Narita Rikido (成田 力道) of Aomori, and Uchida Kyota (内田 京汰) of Shizuoka; of oshi-zumo vs strategic sumo. The story starts off with the 3rd Hakuho Cup in 2013, when Uchida Kyota announced himself onto the amateur sumo stage by winning the Grade 2 competition, his first national title. (from 16:14) One year later, Uchida would follow this up by winning the Grade 3 competition at the 4th Hakuho Cup in 2014, his second major title in a row. (from 17:45) Perhaps his greatest achievement in Grade 3 however, was qualifying for the finals of the 26th National Primary School Championships, in the Grade 4 or lower category. This meant that not only was Uchida the best in his year group at that time, he was also able to go toe to toe with opponents who were a year older than him. Alas, he could only get as far as the last 16, as pushed out by Grade 4's Nishika Haruto. After beating Uchida Kyota, Haruto's opponent in the quarter-finals was also a Grade 3, someone called Narita Rikido. This time however, it was Narita who came out on top, and he would go on to finish runner-up amongst all those Grade 4s. It was sort of a coming out party for Narita Rikido, and suddenly, we have someone good enough to challenge Uchida Kyota. Grade 3 was also the time when Narita Rikido won the 8th Chinju-no-mori Kids Sumo Tournament, which is a national competition that's hosted by the various shrines around Japan. This was Narita's first national title, and suddenly, Uchida Kyota no longer had everything go his way. Their rivalry officially started when they were in Grade 4, as both of them wanted to win the Wanpaku Tournament. As it happens, they faced each other in the semi-finals, and Uchida would lose only his second bout in national competitions (from 34:11). Narita would go on to become Wanpaku Yokozuna, defeating Sugawara Haruka in the final. Later that year, in the 27th National Primary School Championships, the two of them met in the Grade 4 final, where they produced one of the best bouts in their entire rivalry. It was a strategical masterclass from Uchida Kyota, and that gave him his first win over Narita Rikido, and also the title of Primary School Yokozuna. Onto the 5th Hakuho Cup, where Uchida Kyota won the Grade 4 competition, his 3rd straight victory in as many attempts. However, half a year later, he would once again face Narita Rikido in the semi-finals of the Wanpaku Tournament, and he would once again fall short. Narita, as was suggested by his dad, charged head-first during the tachi-ai, which caught Uchida off guard. This was enough to give Narita the advantage, which he later turned into a win. Narita Rikido would go on to win his second straight Wanpaku title. Although Narita got the upper hand in both of their meetings so far in the Wanpaku Tournament, the reverse was true for the National Primary School Championships, as they met in the final for the second year in a row. Uchida found a way to win the bout, and retained his title of Primary School Yokozuna. (from 3:27) As they prepared for another possible meeting in the 6th Hakuho Cup in 2016, Sosorufu, a kid from Mongolia, decided to crash the party, and make a name for himself. Sosorufu faced Narita Rikido in the Grade 5 final, and showed us how Mongolians did sumo. During their long rivalry, this was the ONLY national tournament in their year group that wasn't won by either Narita Rikido or Uchida Kyota, quite the achievement by the kid from Mongolian. (from 5:02) It was a regretful loss for Narita Rikido, but he soon put that behind him as he retained his title in the 9th National Chinju-no-mori Kids Sumo Tournament in April 2016. Grade 6 was their final chance to win the Wanpaku Tournament, and it was my first visit to the Kokugikan Stadium, as part of my trip to Japan last year. Narita and Uchida were in separate halves of the draw, so I was hoping to see them meet in the final, as that would be a great bout to watch. As it happened, they did indeed meet in the final, and produced the most exciting bout of their entire rivalry. Both of them were so nervous that they had to restart their bout THREE times. Uchida Kyota kept his distance throughout the bout, not allowing Narita to get to his bet, and though he was pushed back a number of times by Narita, he always kept his ground. When the chance came, Uchida charged low and firmly grabbed Narita's belt, eventually pushing him out of the dohyo. The title of Wanpaku Yokozuna was Narita's for two years running, but this time, it went to Uchida. (from 0:29) Although Narita relinquished the Wanpaku title to Uchida that year, he would go on to win his first ever National Primary School Championships (where the defending champion was, you guessed it, Uchida Kyota), as well as his first ever Hakuho Cup. So although the two of them shared all the available Wanpaku Yokozuna and Primary School Yokozuna titles between them. neither of them was able to win both in the same academic year. Their most recent meeting came in the 13th National Club Championships, as Narita and Uchida took their battle to the team event. Narita's Nakadomari Dojo and Uchida's Yaizu Junior Sumo Club faced each other in the semi-finals, and so Narita vs Uchida would always be a key bout in the best-of-5 match. This was what happened. (from 4:15) The two of them have now entered Middle School, where Uchida is studying at Yaizu Toyoda Junior High School, while Narita Rikido has moved to Tottori, presumably so that he could join the famous Tottori Johoku High School in a few years' time. Although he is still a Grade 1 student at Middle School, Narita has already represented Tottori at the National Middle School Student Championships earlier this year, helping his team to finish in the top 4. They are expected to continue their rivalry in the summer of 2019, when they will both be aiming for the title of Middle School Yokozuna. Here's a list of ALL the tournaments during their rivalry, from when Uchida Kyota won his first Hakuho Cup back in Grade 2. You can see just how dominant the two of them have been over the past few years. Grade 2 Hakuho Cup: Uchida (winner) Grade 3 National Primary School Championships: Narita (runner-up, in the Grade 4 or lower competition) Hakuho Cup: Uchida (winner) Chinju-no-mori Kids Sumo Tournament: Narita (winner) Grade 4 Wanpaku Tournament: Narita (winner), Uchida (semi-finals) National Primary School Championships: Uchida (winner), Narita (runner-up) Hakuho Cup: Uchida (winner), Narita (semi-finals) Grade 5 Wanpaku Tournament: Narita (winner), Uchida (semi-finals) National Primary School Championships: Uchida (winner), Narita (runner-up) Hakuho Cup: Narita (runner-up) Chinju-no-mori Kids Sumo Tournament: Narita (winner) Grade 6 Wanpaku Tournament: Uchida (winner), Narita (runner-up) National Primary School Championships: Narita (winner) Hakuho Cup: Narita (winner) They have also made appearances in TV shows. Narita Rikido was featured in the Kinboshi Sumo Club series, while Uchida Kyota was selected to participate in a series of bouts between Takatoriki and some super middle schoolers. Such was the legacy of their rivalry, that a photo of their bout in the final of the Wanpaku Tournament in Grade 6 is now the permanent featured photo on Wanpaku's official website, http://www.wanpaku.or.jp. They've sure left their mark in amateur sumo.
  8. 第30回全日本小学生相撲選優勝大会 This tournament took place inside the Kokugikan Stadium last Sunday, just before the All Japan Amateur Sumo Championships. The winners gain the title of Primary School Yokozuna. Grade 4 or Lower Winner - Kuraoka Yuta (倉岡 優太, Kumamoto) Runner-Up - Kodama Ha (児玉 颯飛, Tokyo) Semi-Finals - Yamashita Masakiyo (山下 正清, Kagoshima) Semi-Finals - Nishimura Kazuma ( 西村 和真, Kyoto) Grade 5 Winner - Nishijima Yura (西島 悠来, Chiba) Runner-Up - Nishide Daiki (西出 大毅, Wakayama) Semi-Finals - Usuda Tetsuro (臼田 哲朗, Aichi) Semi-Finals - Kamihara Keiki (上原 煌貴, Ishikawa) Grade 6 Winner - Ichikizaki Daisuke (市来崎 大祐, Kagoshima) Runner-Up - Aino Shogo ( 相野 祥吾, Chiba) Semi-Finals - Suzuki Masane (鈴木 真実, Shizuoka) Semi-Finals - Yamashita Shosuke (山下 昇介, Kagoshima) Videos Grade 4 or Lower Grade 5 Grade 6 Comments The grade 4 or lower competition was expected to be the next chapter in the Kodama-Mashiko rivalry, but it turned out that Mashiko Takuya was absent from the tournament, possibly due to injury. That meant Kodama Hayato was the clear favourite, despite being drawn into the more difficult half. Kodama didn't disappoint, as he powered his way into the final, where he faced Kumamoto's Kuraoka, whom Kodama beat on his way to the Wanpaku title this summer. The bigger Kuraoka knows all about Kodama's superior strength, so he decided that hatakikomi would be the better way to go about the bout, and that worked like a treat. This was only Kodama's second loss this year in all competitions (incidentally, both losses came in this competition), but it was enough to make Kuraoka a Yokozuna, exactly 2 years after his Uto City compatriot Kawazoe Fuma managed the same feat. For Kodama, he is still the best rikishi in his year group, and will be targeting a 3-peat in the Hakuho Cup in a couple of months' time. In the grade 5 competition, Kashiwa Junior Sumo Club's Nishijima Yura (Kanazawa Sorato's kohai) avenged his semi-final loss to Nishide Daiki this time last year by narrowly beating him in this year's final. This was Nishijima's first Yokozuna title, though he does have 4 consecutive Hakuho Cups to his name. Nishide Daiki, who is last year's Primary School Yokozuna, did very well in the final after giving away the morozashi, and very nearly forced a torinaoshi. Meanwhile, it should be mentioned that Nakanishi Kaishin's bouts are always so interesting to watch. He doesn't usually win his bouts the easy way, but always shows a plethra of techniques. Nakanishi is on the right hand side at 11:09. The grade 6 competition went pretty much as expected, with the big names doing what they do best, though it was a surprise to see Ichikizaki Daisuke winning his second Primary School Championships, as he has gradually faded away from the spotlight over the past couple of years. One reason for this could be that those who pose the biggest threat to Ichikizaki, such as Wanpaku Yokozunae Yamashita Shosuke and Tasaki Masami, as well as this year's Hakuho Cup winner Ote Kira, were all knocked out of the tournament by Katsushika's Aino Shogo, who in turn no longer had enough strength left to counter that uwatenage in the final. It was interesting to see Yamashita Shosuke face Sakamoto Shoma again, in their first bout as well, considering that they contested the Wanpaku final for two years running, with Sakamoto Shoma once again getting thrown to the ground. The aforementioned Ote Kira is reminiscent of his club senpai Honda Gotaro, in the sense that both of them should be top 5 rikishi in their year group, but always seem to lose bouts which they perhaps should be winning (at least Ote Kira has a national championship to his name). Elsewhere, Kinboshi Sumo Club's Munakata Seiren has improved a lot since his appearance in the show, he's probably a top 10 rikishi in his year group at this point.
  9. 2017 All-Japan Amateur Championship

    Here are videos of the tournament: Preliminaries, Round 1 Preliminaries, Round 2 Preliminaries, Round 3 Last 37 and Last 32 Last 16 - Final
  10. It should be, others who have the same single-kanji given name as him are all Nozomis.
  11. 2017 All-Japan Amateur Championship

    Kurokawa's results in the preliminaries were WWL, Haga's were LWW, so this confirms that the Haga-Kurokawa result was in error. So that makes 2 Hayatos finishing runner-up in a national tournament yesterday, Miwa here and Kodama elsewhere.
  12. 2017 All-Japan Amateur Championship

    This site has the full names for the top 8 rikishi. They are: Winner - Saigo Tomohiro (西郷 智博, Tottori Prefectural Office) Runner-Up - Miwa Hayato (三輪 隼人, Niigata Prefecture) Semi-Finals - Kizaki Shinnosuke (木﨑 伸之助, Nihon University) Semi-Finals - Furukawa Takahiro (古川 貴博, Nihon University) Quarter-Finals - Murayama Taiyo (村山 大洋, Niigata Prefecture) Quarter-Finals - Kurokawa Soichiro (黒川 宗一郎, Aisin Light Metals) Quarter-Finals - Nishikata Wataru (西方 航, Tochigi Prefecture) Quarter-Finals - Yoshida Keisuke (吉田 圭佑, Aisin Seiki)
  13. Basho Talk Kyushu 2017 (SPOILERS)

    40th Yusho, wow! Does anyone know how many of those 40 Yushos were won before senshuraku?
  14. Hakuho may have thought that it was a matta because of Yoshikaze's delayed start at the tachi-ai, but that doesn't excuse him from what happened afterwards. That was just, awkward
  15. Basho Talk Kyushu 2017 (SPOILERS)

    That was a back-and-forth bout (literally) between Mitakeumi and Onosho, feel like Onosho's missing a bit of luck this basho with the way some of his bouts went.