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Everything posted by mikawa

  1. mikawa

    Haru 2024 discussion (results)

    Wow, a Yusho 110 years in the making. When he was limping slightly yesterday I was worried this might not happen, but very happy for him that it did. Congratulations Takerufuji!
  2. mikawa

    Amazumo program videos

    A new sumo restaurant called "Ochiizumi Beya" opened earlier this month in Izumisano City, south of Osaka. Ex-Kumago (used to be Asashoryu's tsukibito) and ex-Joyuriki are among former wrestlers who perform keiko for diners here. Entrance fee is 8,000 Yen. Sumo experience fee is 3,500 Yen for adults and 500 Yen for children under 12 (reservation needed). The Takasago-beya style Chanko-nabe is 4,000 Yen (or 8,000 Yen for the high grade version). The Yokozuna jug beer is 2,000 Yen (equivalent to about 10 cups).
  3. mikawa

    14th Hakuho cup 2024

    Tournament Report The Kokugikan was packed with people today, with over 1100 representatives from 161 teams (13 from overseas). Add to that the presence of many Ozumo rikishi and multiple camera crews, and the result was that you needed Nick Chubb levels of dodging to weave your way around the arena. One thing that surprised me was that everyone had cardboards for rikishi's autographs. 4th Grade - This year group has developed into a straight shootout between Gifu's Shoi Oshima and Shizuoka's Hyuga Iwakami. Whoever wins their matchup goes on to win the whole thing, and this time, it was Hyuga who came out on top with a nice throw. The two of them may be fierce rivals on the dohyo, they are actually good friends off it. Shoi actually likes Hyuga's chomage hairstyle so much that he got one for himself as well. 5th Grade - No one can stop Komatsuryu Dojo's Ryuga Umematsu. End of story. And speaking of grand slams in sumo, that's his own grand slam completed for this school year, having won the wanpaku, elementary school championships, and now the Hakuho Cup. He also won both of the club tournaments with his dojo. 6th Grade - Aomori's Yuya Okayama and Akita's Haruki Sasaki came into this tournament having faced each other four times in national finals: last year's Hakuho Cup and all three elementary school championships. Yuya won all four times. Naturally, they faced each other again in the final today, and both of them threw each other to the ground. The gyoji pointed in Haruki's direction. He has finally beaten his rival at the fifth time of asking. Pure joy, pure elation. But wait! A shimpan raised his hand. We have a mono-ii folks! After a long discussion, the gyoji's decision was........................ affirmed, and with that, Yuya loses in a national final for only the second time ever (the other time as five years ago, in 1st Grade). Honestly, this story sounds remarkably similar to the rivalry between Masakatsu Yamamoto (Kiyonoumi) and Fumiya Utetsu (Onosho). Middle School - Speaking of rivalries, the crowd today clearly wanted Rinnosuke Toyoda and Konosuke Shigemura to resume their rivalry on the national stage, but Rinnosuke was defeated in the Round of 16, and Konosuke in the quarter-finals. Once that happened, it was looking like middle school yokozuna Aiki Tamiya (Kotomitsuki junior) would take it, but he too couldn't go all the way, losing to Yuki Ibata in the final. Team Competition - This event at the Hakuho Cup is turning into a real rivalry between Tokyo's Komatsuryu Dojo and Chiba's Kashiwa Junior Sumo Club. Two years ago, Shurato Hirano captained Komatsuryu to a 3-2 win in the final against Kashiwa, winning the decisive fifth bout. Last year, Kashiwa got their own back by beating Komatsuryu in the semi-finals, and going on to win the final as well. Today, lo and behold, these two teams once again faced off in the Hakuho Cup final. Komatsuryu raced into a 2-0 leading (including a fusensho), but up next for Kashiwa was once national finalist and thrice national semi-finalist Natsuhi Onuki. His opponent? Shurato's younger brother, the young Enho, Juito Hirano. Sure, Juito was no slouch, he's twice reached a national quarter-final, but almost everyone expected the much bigger Natsuhi to be too much for him to handle. Juito, however, had other ideas. He produced one of the most beautiful ashitori leg pulls I've ever seen to win it for Komatsuryu. He was also awarded the Gino-sho for his outstanding techniques throughout the day. Please check it out:
  4. mikawa

    14th Hakuho cup 2024

    There’s a HUGE crowd following Onosato everywhere he goes lol. They’re blocking the corridors asking for signatures and photos
  5. A Promise to a Friend Location - Irumashi Sports Park, Iruma, Saitama Keiko - Mondays (18:00 - 20:00), Wednesdays (18:00 - 20:00), Saturdays (14:00 - 16:00), Sundays (9:00 - 11:00) "To my best friend Nishizawa - please, I leave everything to you now." Saito and Nishizawa Masao (西澤 正夫) are best friends from kindergarten all the way through to college. Both of them are sad to see the lack of opportunities kids in Iruma have to practise sumo, and so, they decided to take it upon themselves to develop grassroots sumo in Iruma. That was 1998, and the start of Iruma Junior Sumo Club (入間少年相撲クラブ). However, just when things were starting up, Saito was diagnosed with leukemia, and passed away not long after. Before he died, Saito wrote a letter to Nishizawa, passing on his dreams and ambitions to his best friend, and hoping that Nishizawa would make sumo popular again in Iruma. 20 years on, as the result of his best friend's hardwork and dedication, Saito will not be disappointed: Number of participants at the Iruma Wanpaku Qualifiers in 1996 - 68 Number of participants at the Iruma Wanpaku Qualifiers in 2010 - 1067 The number's increased by more than 15 times in just 20 years! As a contrast, the total number of participants in the Wanpaku Tournament nationally has fallen from 70,000 down to 40,000 during the same period. Nishizawa's achievements don't stop there. In March 2015, a team consisting of Onozawa Ayato (斧澤 亜矢斗, front left), Suzuki Hayato (鈴木 覇都, front right), Yoshino Issei (吉野 一颯, front center), Konno Kanato (今野 哉翔, back right) and Kamiyama Ryuichi (神山 龍一, back left) were triumphant in the 11th National Club Championships, making Iruma Junior Sumo Club officially the best club in Japan: Here's a video of their final match against Fuji Wanpaku Sumo Club, Mochizuki Masaya's team: Even more incredibly, a few months later in October 2015, Iruma Junior Sumo Club would go on to successfully defend their title in the 12th National Club Championships, with a team made up of Samejima Hikaru (鮫島 輝, front right), Onozawa Ayato (斧澤 亜矢斗, front left), Kobayashi Arashi (小林 嵐, back center), Yoshino Issei (吉野 一颯, back right) and Kamiyama Ryuichi (神山 龍一, back left): Their opponents in the final, Mitaka Sumo Club, made a remarkable run to get that far, but in the end Iruma won 3-2 (their only losses were to Kodama Hayato and Hanafusa Kai), becoming the first ever club to win this tournament back-to-back, something that not even the great Tsugaru Sumo Club teams of 2011 - 2013 were able to do. Here's a video of the final: Apart from winning back-to-back National Club Championships, Iruma Junior Sumo Club can also claim to have won back-to-back Middle School Championships, as the 44th Middle School Yokozuna Tsukahara Takaaki (塚原 隆明) and the 45th Middle School Yokozuna Kamiyama Ryuichi (神山 龍一) are both former club members: And on top of all that, with Iruma Junior Sumo Club having also won the team competition at the 3rd Hakuho Cup in 2013, we can safely say that Nishizawa Masao has done a job his best friend would have been proud of.
  6. mikawa

    72nd All Japan sumo championships 2023

    Thought I'd do a medal table for the All Japan winners and their teams. The numbers are how many wins, runner-ups and semi-finals they have (I tried using html codes to make a table, but that didn't work). Incidentally, Shun Ikeda's win this year was the first time ever that a wrestler representing Kanazawa Gakuin University finished in the Top 4. Rikishi Medal Table 1. Seiichi Taira (Hyogo): 4-1-1 2. Hidetoshi Tanaka (Nichidai -> Tokyo): 3-4-2 3. Norihiro Nomi (Wakayama): 3-3-1 4. Yutaka Nunome (Tokyo): 3-0-0 5. Keiji Tamiya / Kotomitsuki (Tottori Johoku -> Nichidai): 2-1-1 Team Medal Table 1. Nichidai: 14-12-19 2. Tokyo: 9-12-22 3. Hyogo: 5-3-8 4. Nittaidai: 5-2-7 5. Kindai: 4-2-6
  7. mikawa

    Local Sumo Customs

    Otoi Sumo in Ehime returns for the first time in 4 years. How far can father-of-2 Jun Hyodo and his Farmers & Friends A Team (Noyu A) go in the competition?
  8. mikawa

    Shikoroyama Oyakata (Former Terao)

    Rest in Peace!
  9. mikawa

    72nd All Japan sumo championships 2023

    3,000 Yen entry fee (3,500 for a reserved seat) plus another 1,000 Yen for the tournament program was definitely well worth it to watch a full day's worth of sumo. Seeing various rikishi and oyakata (including Miyagino and Naruto) around the arena was the icing on the cake. Bukhchuluun was very impressive throughout the tournament, and pulled off a great move to beat Kusano in the semis. I honestly thought with that great position he'd got himself into in the final that Bukhchuluun would win it, but Ikeda did really well to turn the position around with a kotenage. The star of the entire event has to be 35-year old Yuki Usuki. The Tokyo University of Agriculture veteran rolled back the years to make it to the last 8, only losing to the eventual winner. The cheering was loudest when he won (together with high schooler Nishide). Meanwhile, the Primary School Championships went exactly the way you'd expect. Yuya Okayama (Grade 6) and Ryuga Umemats (Grade 5) were totally unstoppable, while Grade 4 was a repeat of the Wanpaku final between Shoi Oshima (whom the announcer kept calling "Shosei") and Hyuga Iwagami. This time it was Hyuga who came out on top. Haruki Sasaki, who had previously lost to Yuya in the Hakuho Cup final this year, still couldn't come up with anything effective. He was crying long after the final was over. I asked Mr Sagawa after the tournament about whether there were livestreams of the other high school and college events, and whether there are results from them. He mentioned the Nihon Sumo Renmei homepage and a magazine that you can apply for?
  10. mikawa

    72nd All Japan sumo championships 2023

    About time as well lol. His younger brother won a national championship years ago.
  11. mikawa

    101st Interhigh 2023

    Looks like two of the Saitama Sakae team members are actually from Saitama, interesting.
  12. mikawa

    38th national wampaku tournament 2023

    Ex-Aminishiki and ex-Kotoshogiku were both at the Kokugikan today (amongst others), and it's my first time seeing the Mayor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, in person. She delivered a speech at the start of the awards presentation.
  13. mikawa

    38th national wampaku tournament 2023

    Comments At this level, body size does tend to play a big part in deciding how bouts go, which is why we had subjects of Ymir titans like Masakatsu Yamamoto (Kiyonoumi) and Tsuguto Toma (Toma) winning this tournament three years in a row. Today however, we had two come along at the same time (Shoi Oshima and Ryuga Uematsu). Whilst Shoi was an unknown package, I had already seen Ryuga during that training session at Komatsuryu Dojo last year, and it seems that he has made huge strides since then (it's Komatsuryu, so that's normal). I spent the entire tournament wondering if anyone could match those two. Some nearly did, but ultimately the Three Friends of Winter, well, at least two of them (plum = ume, pine = matsu), were on their side today, so they take home the championship. Looking at their sumo, Taiga Shimizu was the only winner from today whose sumo was balanced enough to make it at junior high school level and above. So like @Katooshu said, not exactly the most inspiring set of winners. However, despite that, it was indeed a very fun tournament to watch, the highlight of which has GOT to be the Ukrainians. Whilst Mykola Hladkykh was one and gone, Makar Yupatkin's three wins made him a fan favorite that's for sure. At first everyone was applauding him out of respect, but each time he won a bout, the cheering became louder and louder. By the time he ascended the dohyo for his round of 16 bout, the crowd were roaring him on. He wasn't the only rikishi who set the Kokugikan alight today. The way 5th Grader Kaisei Iso somehow managed to keep his defenses up and stay in the match, despite spending such a long time at the edge of the ring, had everyone rupturing into thunderous applause. Another 5th Grader, Asahi Katagiri, had the crowd going wild as though they had drunk a truckload of nama biiru raw beer with his quick moves against a much larger opponent. Oh, and how can we forget about that bout between 4th Graders Hayata Ueda and Aito Komatsu, which required TWO mono-ii discussions and TWO tori-naoshi redos to finally decide a winner. I was sitting upstairs for most of today, but went and sat with Team Tachikawa for the latter stages downstairs on the masu seats (I still can't get used to sitting on them). A side-effect of this is that for the first time, I could see myself in the YouTube livestream (quite strange actually). They were cheering (very loudly I might add) not just for other rikishi from Tokyo, but everyone from the Kanto region. Even though some rikishi were from other prefectures like Saitama, Kanagawa, Chiba and Ibaraki, they seem to know them already (and quite well) because of the many local tournaments that are held each year. All in all, just like the Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival (shita kara miru ka? yoko kara miru ka?) finally making a return on Saturday evening, it was great to have the Wanpaku Tournament allow spectators into the arena again. Things are back to normal now.
  14. mikawa

    38th national wampaku tournament 2023

    Full Results Grade 4 Winner - Shoi Oshima (大嶋 将生), Gifu Runner-Up - Hyuga Iwakami (岩上 毘優雅), Shizuoka Semi-Finals - Shuta Obata (小畑 秀太), Kumamoto Semi-Finals - Kenshiro Yamada (山田 健志朗), NIigata Quarter-Finals - Yushi Masuda (増田 結士), Osaka Quarter-Finals - Ieru Komatsu (小松 癒), Chiba Quarter-Finals - Kosuke Yamaji (山路 弘祐), Kanagawa Quarter-Finals - Rento Sasahara (笹原 蓮斗), Chiba Grade 5 Winner - Ryuga Umematsu (梅松 琉牙), Tokyo Runner-Up - Hiroto Yokoe (横江 寛翔), Miyagi Semi-Finals - Itsuki Nagata (永田 逸樹), Yamaguchi Semi-Finals - Shimon Shimomura (下村 士門), Aomori Quarter-Finals - Yamato Iwamoto (岩本 大和), Hyogo Quarter-Finals - Sotaro Abe (阿部 聡太郎), Osaka Quarter-Finals - Haruma Tarumoto (樽本 遥真), Hiroshima Quarter-Finals - Hiroto Inuzuka (犬塚 大翔), Shizuoka Grade 6 Winner - Taiga Shimizu (清水 泰我), Ibaraki Runner-Up - Mahiro Yamashiro (山城 真優), Okinawa Semi-Finals - Temujin Chirugun (チルグン テムジン), Mongolia Semi-Finals - Natsuhi Onuki (大貫 夏陽), Chiba Quarter-Finals - Daigo Ise (伊勢 大悟), Ehime Quarter-Finals - Konosuke Kishida (岸田 幸之輔), Osaka Quarter-Finals - Rinta Kato (加藤 倫太), Ishikawa Quarter-Finals - Shotaro Takeshima (竹嶋 章太朗), Osaka Team Winner - Team Ibaraki A Runner-Up - Team Tokyo Select Third - Team Osaka A
  15. mikawa

    Amazumo program videos

    The YouTube channel Paparapys, along with two comedian brothers named Tosa, join Toyota Motor Corporation Sumo Club in Aichi Prefecture for a training session. They also have a 3v3 team match against select members.
  16. mikawa

    Ichinojo intai

    Surprised to hear this, but wish him all the best after his retirement. He will now forever hold a winning record against Ochiai
  17. Sibling Yokozuna Location - Ashikita Regional Community Center (芦北町地域交流センター), Ashikita, Kumamoto Keiko - Tuesdays to Sundays (from 6pm) A new club by amateur sumo standards (founded in 2001), JKA Treasure Club are located in a sporting complex within the town of Ashikita, where other sports like swimming, kendo, golf, tennis and bowling are also practised. They are coached by Honda Takanori (本田 貴紀), who was a club-mate of Endo back at Nihon University. They are probably the second best sumo club in Kumamoto (behind multiple-time Hakuho Cup champions Uto Junior Sumo Club). Known for their strictness and hard work (very few sumo clubs below high school level have keiko six days a week), JKA Treasure Club came to everyone's attention when their were featured on Guru Nai (ぐるナイ) 's "Kinboshi Sumo Club" series, with whom a joint keiko session was held. JKA Treasure Club's most distinguishing feature is that they have a 120-step staircase just outside their building, which they use for their unique workout - the "120-step dash". During this workout, club members have to run all the way from the bottom of this staircase to the top, and they have to do this non-stop. "It is painful" they have commented, "I don't really like it". However, tough training leads to strong bodies, and no one in the club is stronger than the Yamashita brothers, Shosuke and Masakiyo, both of whom are national champions. They are the first, and so far only, sibling Yokozuna in Wanpaku Tournament history. We'll talk about each of them in depth during the "Class of 2021" and Class of 2023" posts, but for now, here's a video of the time when the Yamashita siblings were interviewed by Kagoshima's Izumi TV: With not one but TWO national champions in their ranks, JKA Treasure Club went into the team competition at last year's 10th Hakuho Cup with high hopes of bringing home the team title. Below is the video of their semi-final match against Shizuoka's Yaizu Junior Sumo Club, with JKA Treasure Club on the left: The final beckons, where they face Terada Dojo from Iwate Prefecture. JKA Treasure Club are on the right: Despite this result, it was a great tournament for JKA Treasure Club, and they will surely produce more and more talented and strong wrestlers in the future.
  18. Introducing 5th Grader Haru Yamaguchi, a three-sport phenom. He goes to the sumo club after school for a 2-hour training session, and then immediately goes through the door for badminton training. And on top of all that, he also plays baseball as well! How he has the stamina to keep up with all three for the past five years I have no idea, but runner-up at last year's Wanpaku Tournament definitely shows that he has a talent for sumo. Roronoa Zoro would be proud.
  19. Found a documentary on YouTube about the daily life of the coach and members of Kaiyo High School Sumo Club in Niigata. Kaiyo High School is one of the traditional powerhouses in high school sumo, and are 8-time national champions. The 4-part documentary focuses on the club's coach, Tomi Tetsuya, and his wife, as they prepare the club members for the Kanazawa Tournament.in May of this year. Their team is captained by former Middle School Yokozuna Nakamura Taiki, and members include grade 3 Miya Yuta and grade 2 Fukasawa Seiya.
  20. mikawa

    Haru 2023 discussion (results)

    Congrats to Kiribayama. One thing from Moti's highlight videos from this basho that stood out was that there were so many "Never Met" and "Never Before Met" each day. We're truly into a new era of Ozumo!
  21. mikawa

    New recruits Natsu 2023

    Nakamura vs Ochiai, ex-Kisenosato vs ex-Hakuho. This rivalry should be good!
  22. mikawa

    Haru 2023 discussion (results)

    So many times Takayasu seems to start well and then sooner or later his sumo depreciates (takai -> yasui). Cursed by his shikona perhaps?
  23. mikawa

    13th Hakuho cup

    The Hakuho Cup Experience In another step towards returning to normality, this year's Hakuho Cup allowed spectators inside the Kokugikan Stadium, where they could view the action from the upper floor (although half of that floor was sealed off). The masu seats on the lower floor were exclusively reserved for participants and their parents and coaches. According to the event pamphlet, 920 wrestlers from 122 teams attended the event. With Hakuho being as influential as he is, many oyakatas and ozumo rikishi were also at the tournament, including the likes of Naruto-oyakata and Enho. Ochiai, fresh from his debut and Yusho, was also present. I spent the day with the crew from Tachikawa Renseikan Sumo Dojo, soaking in the atmosphere and cheering the club members on. Team Tachikawa reached the quarter-finals, which was a fantastic result, where they proceeded to get dismantled by Team Mongolia (the 4th bout in that match was a truly heroic effort from Keijiro Miyazaki). One of the highlights of the day was various conversations with Muti Palu's parents. We talked about a lot of things, including life in Japan, life in Australia, life in sumo, and how sumo is seen and portrayed outside Japan. Today was both Keijiro Miyazaki and Ifu Sasaki's final tournaments for Tachikawa Renseikan, so it was great (and sad) meeting the dad of Chikara Sasaki (the "sumo wrestler's son") for one last time. I can now confirm with 100% certainty that Chikara Sasaki's dad is indeed a former Ozumo rikishi, he went by the name of Komachikara. The sumo database shows his full shikona as "Komachikara Shunko", which he confirmed wasn't correct. It should be "Komachikara Harumitsu". Tournament Comments Grade 4 - This year group was a bit of a free-for-all today, as Team Mongolia's Khash-Erdene Tsolmon faced Komatsuryu Dojo's Ryuga Umematsu in a battle of the heavyweights. The bout itself was very exciting, with Khash-Erdene hanging on for dear life in a belt battle at the edge. Grade 5 - Aomori's very own colossal titan Yuya Okayama came into this tournament as the defending Hakuho Cup champion as well as the current Primary School Yokozuna. Grade 6 - Kagoshima's Soshin Sugama came into this tournament having won last year's Wanpaku Tournament AND Primary School Championships. He was only one tournament away from achieving a Grand Slam for the past year. Middle School - The Kashiwa duo of 3rd year Hayato Kodama and 2nd year Rinnosuke Toyoda came into this tournament with all guns blazing. Team Competition - Last year's two finalists Komatsuryu Dojo and Kashiwa Junior Sumo Club both fielded very strong teams again this year. The vocal support from the parents of these two clubs were also the loudest by far.
  24. mikawa

    New recruits Hatsu 2023

    Arashi Kobayashi from Iruma Junior Sumo Club, which makes him Daieisho and Hokutofuji's kohai.
  25. mikawa

    71st All Japan sumo championships

    Ouch, he was so so close to sekitorihood