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Everything posted by mikawa

  1. Was too slow to get a photo of Takayasu when he exited the Kokugikan, but got this instead:
  2. mikawa

    New recruits Natsu 2022

    All of the shindeshi who went up onto the dohyo today:
  3. They have a lottery draw after the bouts, today’s was done by ex-Kotoyuki
  4. Some kids were shouting “Abi, ganbare!” over and over and over again (despite rules forbidding any shouting). Abi went on to get pushed out quickly……
  5. Huge gasps when Terutsuyoshi grabbed a huge handful of salt and loud claps when he threw them into the ring (and even louder claps when he won)
  6. They bring in much larger cushions for the Makuuchi wrestlers to sit on, never noticed that before
  7. The crowd here in the Kokugikan clapped loudly when Wakatakamoto came on, but were disappointed when he got clapped (excuse the pun)
  8. mikawa

    2022 Collegiate Sumo

    Apparently he really is injured
  9. mikawa

    2022 Collegiate Sumo

    With his younger brother Ryoma coming in, it's almost like Takuma never left......
  10. mikawa

    Amazumo program videos

    Instead of Raizo "Asashoryu Impersonator" Taniyama, I think I might call him Raizo "the Demon" Taniyama from now on, seeing that he's comparing himself to Hattori Hanzo......
  11. It's now time for the final banzuke in our "Amateur Sumo Banzuke" series for 2019. Every year, there are 10 national level tournaments on the college sumo calendar, some of which also feature wrestlers from other walks of life (such as corporate sumo). The red numbers next to each rikishi denote which year group they are in. Without further ado, let's get started! This banzuke takes into account the following tournaments: 36th All Japan College Sumo Uwajima Tournament 59th All Japan College Sumo Usa Tournament 29th All Japan College & Society Sumo Kyushu Tournament 57th All Japan College & Corporate Sumo Wakayama Tournament 9th All Japan College Sumo Kanazawa Tournament 54th All Japan College Sumo Towada Tournament 67th All Japan College & Corporate Sumo Kariya Tournament 74th Kokutai (Senior Division) 97th National Student Championships 68th All Japan Amateur Championships But before that, here are the top 10 Universities of the past year, based on their results in the team competitions: 1 - Nippon Sport Science University (日本体育大学), Tokyo 2 - Toyo University (東洋大学), Tokyo 3 - Nihon University (日本大学), Tokyo 4 - Chuo University (中央大学), Tokyo 5 - Kindai University (近畿大学), Osaka 6 - Tokyo University of Agriculture (東京農業大学), Tokyo 7 - Takushoku University (拓殖大学), Tokyo 8 - Doshisha University (同志社大学), Kyoto 9 - Kyushu Institute of Information Sciences (九州情報大学), Fukuoka 10 - Meiji University (明治大学), Tokyo Comments Last year turned out to be a three-horse race for the title of best college sumo club in Japan, with only a whisker separating Nippon Sport Science University, Toyo University and Nihon University. In fact, those three teams were level on points going into the final two team events (Kariya and National Student). Winning the Kariya Tournament ultimately proved to be the difference for Nippon Sport Science University as they only just pipped their two challengers to top spot Whilst NSSU were impressive in the best-of-5 matches, they were almost unbeatable in the best-of-3s. Usually they would just race to a 2-0 win because of how good their first two members are (you'll see just how good they are when I publish the banzuke tomorrow). Even during the off chance that one of them gets taken down, their final member Ishizaki Takuma would just step in and finish what they started. This was precisely what happened when they faced Wakayama Prefectural Office in the final of the Kariya Tournament. It was such an important win for them as it gave them enough separation for them to ensure the #1 spot. NSSU are in the blue mawashi: Toyo University were the best college sumo team for the past two years running. A major reason for this was their effective recruiting of high school talents. Another reason was that they were led by the best college rikishi for both 2017 and 2018. That man, Shiroyama Seira, was set to lead them to a third win in a row when, after just three tournaments, he suddenly went AWOL (more on that tomorrow). Just imagine, Toyo University were able to secure second spot without their club captain, what would they have been capable of if they had Seira for the entire year? The year started slowly for Nihon University, NSSU's biggest rivals, as they could only manage a quarter-final finish in the first two tournaments. However, they gradually got better and better as the year went on and won three of the last four tournaments. They were even able to secure key victories against the super strong NSSU team, mainly thanks to one of their members, Yersin Baltagulov (all credits to John Gunning for the spelling), figuring out NSSU's virtually unbeatable Nakamura Taiki. Speaking of, here's when Nihon University faced Nippon Sport Science University (blue mawashi) in the semi-finals of the National Student Championships. One of the best college team matches of the year for sure.
  12. Thanks to Coach Hirano, I went to the Taito Riverside Sports Center in Tokyo earlier today to watch a training session at Komatsuryu Dojo (John Gunning's club), the recently crowned Hakuho Cup team champions. Their keiko on Saturdays starts at 1:30pm. Because it was their first training session of the new school year, once they are all warmed up, Ryudai "Strategic Genius" Yoshioka was introduced as Komatsuryu Dojo's team captain for the upcoming year. Everyone gathered around him, and they bowed in all directions. As Komatsuryu Dojo is situated up the river from the Kokugikan, they get visits from Ozumo wrestlers from time to time. In fact, most of their coaches are actually retired rikishi / oyakata. Ten points if you can recognize which former Makuuchi wrestler was there today? Unlike many other clubs, where they save butsukari-geiko (pushing practise) until last, Komatsuryu actually started off their training with this part. That took us to about 2:30pm, when practise bouts started. These are done in a winner-stays-on format, but instead of the winner choosing their next opponent, Komatsuryu actually have a queueing system to determine who's next up. Half an hour for the youngest wrestlers in the club, one entire hour for the older elementary school wrestlers (Grades 4-6), and then half an hour for the middle schoolers. Because Komatsuryu only have one dohyo, the wrestlers would do various muscle training around the room when it's not their turn. There are all sorts of equipment around the room to help them do this. There's a water bag, a couple of tires, some dumbbells, and even a couple of Mjölnir (everyone there is worthy lol). This is the third club where I've watched keiko, and I have to say, the training bouts at Komatsuryu are so much more intense. I mean, there were multiple instances today where blood was drawn. Their wrestlers also displayed a wider skillset, with all sorts of moves being attempted and executed. Look who's here? If it isn't "Japan's 10-year-old sumo champion" (according to Reuters' video), and recent Hakuho Cup winner, Kyuta Kumagai? However, I was much more impressed by the left-most boy, Ikko Taira. He is the son of Coach Taira (Komatsuryu's head coach), and is very good at lateral movement during his bouts. He uses this talent to set up all sorts of different techniques, such as throws and trips. Like father like son eh? (The one in the black mawashi is their new team captain, Ryudai Yoshioka) Many thanks to Coach Hirano and Coach Taira for allowing this visit!
  13. mikawa

    University Banzuke 2019

    I can't find any information regarding why he quit the Toyo University sumo club. It might be that something happened, but he didn't want to make anything public? We may never know......
  14. Some bonus images of the Kokugikan Stadium at sunset and of various things inside Ryogoku Station:
  15. Champions of Japan Location - Kashiwa Central Sports Center Sumo Ground (柏市中央体育館), Kashiwa, Chiba Keiko - Saturdays (9:30am - 1pm), Sundays (9:30am - 1pm) Situated at the side of the Furusato Bridge (ふるさと大橋) in Kashiwa City, the relatively young Kashiwa Junior Sumo Club (柏相撲少年団) was founded in 1989, right at the start of the Heisei era, and are now one of the biggest clubs in the country. By winning the 14th National Club Championships last month, they are now officially the best sumo club in Japan. Like some of the other clubs that have been featured so far, Kashiwa have their own blog, Yoshida-ya. However, Kashiwa Junior Sumo Club actually go further than that, as they also have their own Twitter account, as well as their own Facebook page. Their coach, Nagai Akiyoshi (永井 明慶), also teaches sumo at Nippon Sport Science University Kashiwa High School, which is Byambasuren and Okutomi Yuka's sumo club. Kashiwa Junior Sumo Club host two annual competitions for clubs from around the Kanto region - the Junior Sumo Kashiwa Tournament and the Kashiwa Sumo Exchange Tournament, the latter of which also acts as a joint keiko session for the clubs involved. A TV program called "Kashiwa Research Center" dedicated an episode to the rikishis at Kashiwa Junior Sumo Club, and here's a video of the episode: Kashiwa Junior Sumo Club have sent quite a few members onto Ozumo, including Masunoyama, the first wrestler in the Heisei era to become a sekitori; and the recently joined Tebakari Toshiki, who won the Middle School Student Championships 3 years ago. Let's take a look at some of their biggest names in recent years. Tebakari Toshiki (手計 富士紀) Winner of the 25th National Middle School Student Championships back in 2014, and a Wanpaku semi-finalist, Toshiki and his younger brother Taiki are both big names in amateur sumo. Though Taiki is very skilful, Toshiki is the better of the two as he also has the build for sumo. Kamei Hayato (亀井 颯人) Primary School Yokozuna in 2014, Hayato, despite his size, is actually a very strong rikishi, and should never be underestimated in a bout. He's like Satoyama Yuki from the Future Monsters series, but better. Sakamoto Hirokazu (坂本 博一, back row right in photo) Eldest son of Tokitsukaze-oyakata, Hirokazu is a former Wanpaku finalist and Hakuho Cup winner, and a quarter-finalist at this year's National Middle School Championships. He helped Kashiwa Junior Sumo Club to win this year's National Club Championships by getting a more than crucial win over Mitaka Sumo Club's Hanafusa Kai in their semi-final match; and helped Kashiwadaini Junior High School win the team competition at this year's Middle School Championships. Ito Yasuki (伊藤 寧, right in photo) Yasuki is a semi-finalist at this year's National Middle School Student Championships, and seems to be getting better with age. and a Kanazawa Sorato (金澤 空大, back row middle in photo) Yes, THAT Sorato. A 5-time national champion in wrestling, he got into sumo courtesy of Kinboshi Sumo Club, though his family soon had to move down to Chiba. However, this actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the Kanazawa family settled down in Kashiwa of all places. That was one and a half years ago, and Sorato is now a 2-time Wanpaku participant, and with his club, a national champion in sumo. Nishijima Yura (西島 悠来, left in photo) Yura is a 4-time Hakuho Cup champion, and a Wanpaku semi-finalist. With his help, Sorato is able to safely qualify for the Wanpaku National Championships twice in a row. It is also because of him that Wakayama's Nakanishi Kaishin has not yet been able to win the Hakuho Cup, despite reaching 4 finals in a row. Kanazawa Towa (金澤 永和) Formerly Kinboshi Sumo Club's mascot, Towa has already won the Wanpaku city qualifiers in Kashiwa, and will be looking to compete at the Kokugikan Stadium again in a couple of years' time.
  16. Chris Gould visited Kashiwa recently and made this quality documentary about the club. The man definitely has a way with words, be it English or Japanese:
  17. mikawa

    12th Hakuho Cup (2022)

    No many surprises this year to be honest, especially with prefectures like Kumamoto who didn't seem to have come to Tokyo. Grade 4 - The huge Yuya Okayama (this guy) continued on from his Primary School Championships success last year by winning the Hakuho Cup. He was the hot favourite coming into this event. What was a surprise however was Raizo "Asashoryu Impersonator" Taniyama coming in second. Raizo won the hitori-zumo (one-person sumo) competition (this video) back in 2020 when all tournaments were suspended. Grade 5 - Won by last year's Primary School Yokozuna, Komatsuryu Dojo's Kyuta Kumagai. You might remember him from when Reuters and other news agencies did a feature on him (like this one). Without Kumamoto, and hence Kyuta's biggest rival Sera Ote, there was only ever going to be one person who could have challenged him today, and that was last year's Primary School Yokozuna Hisatsugu Sasaki. Hisatsugu lost before he got to face Kyuta. Grade 6 - Kyosei Katagiri completes the triple crown of primary school sumo as he adds the Hakuho Cup to the Wanpaku Championships and Primary School Championships that he won last year. With the huge support and training he got from his new step-dad, he was just unbeatable for the past year. Middle School - Middle School Yokozuna Daiki Nishide beats former Wanpaku Yokozuna Hayato Kodama (a year lower) to win the Hakuho Cup. Not too many surprises there. Team - Won by the defending national club champions Komatsuryu Dojo (John Gunning's club), who beat Kashiwa Junior Sumo Club (Kotonowaka and Kotoshoho's club) in an exciting 3-2 match in the final. With the match at 2-2, Shurato Hirano of all people (his parents are friends of mine) stepped up and pushed his opponent out for the team victory. From couldn't find a single win at the Wanpaku to now being his team's ace and producing when it matters the most, Shurato has certainly come a long way.
  18. mikawa

    Happy 60th Birthday, Akinomaki!

    Happy birthday Akinomaki! You're the one where we get our daily dose of sumo from
  19. 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.
  20. mikawa

    Mitakeumi Ozeki Promotion

    Congrats to Mitakeumi, and a good thing too, or else we might not have an Ozeki in May :)
  21. mikawa

    New recruits Hatsu 2022

    Hanafusa eh? That's someone to keep an eye on, Araiso has recruited a nice deshi there.
  22. mikawa

    70th All Japan sumo championships

    Many thanks for the correction, it's pretty interesting to see a professional rugby player's son doing sumo. Looking into this, it seems that his full name is Muti Zidane Palu, Zidane just happens to be my favourite footballer of all time
  23. mikawa

    70th All Japan sumo championships

    Quick Comments Grade 4 - One of the prefectures that didn't send a team to this year's Wanpaku Tournament was Aomori Prefecture, which meant that one of the best rikishi in this year group didn't get to compete there. However, the huge former Hakuho Cup winner Okamoto Yuya did get a chance to take part last weekend and he duly came away with the Primary School Yokozuna title. He has thus far not shown much in terms of technique, but at this stage his massive stature does the job for him. The Enho-like Hirano Juito made it to the quarter-finals, where he put up a mighty effort, only to just fall short at the edge of the ring. Grade 5 - The result of this year group left me feeling really disappointed. The top two rikishi of this year group are most definitely the Wanpaku Yokozuna Kumagai Kyuta and the Hakuho Cup winner Ote Sera, but neither of them could prevent the larger Sasaki Hisatsugu from winning the whole thing. And it's not like Hisatsugu is stronger than them or anything (he's not), but Kyuta seemed to lose steam towards the end of his bout and the age-old "slippiotoshi" (credits to Moti) proved to be Sera's downfall. Both of them are stronger and more skilled than the eventual winner, but Hisatsugu is just, heavier. I wouldn't even have mind half as much if he had the kind of power that the likes of Toma Tsuguto and Yamamoto Masakatsu had back in the day. At least Paru Muti once again delivered a miraculous performance to reach the semi-finals. His sumo is still fairly unpolished (he's only been learning sumo for about a year or two), but somehow he finds ways to win bouts. I have no idea how he does it, but I'm not complaining. Grade 6 - Defending Wanpaku Yokozuna Katagiri Kyosei proved to be too strong for everyone as he wins the second major tournament this year. Another performance like this in next year's Hakuho Cup (if it happens) and he'll have the "grand slam" in the bag. My club kohai Ozawa Kaito was excruciatingly close to making it to the semi-finals, but a last-gasp utchari proved to be his undoing.
  24. mikawa

    70th All Japan sumo championships

    Results of the 34th National Primary School Championships: Grade 4 Winner - Okayama Yuya (岡山 祐弥), Aomori Runner-Up - Sasaki Haruki (佐々木 陽希), Akita Semi-Finals - Nyamuchiru Tobushinborudo (ニャムオチル トゥブシンボルド), Niigata Semi-Finals - Takemoto Toki (竹本 都輝), Kumamoto Grade 5 Winner - Sasaki Hisatsugu (佐々木 久継), Shizuoka Runner-Up - Ote Sera (大手 星来), Kumamoto Semi-Finals - Paru Muti (パル ムティ), Tokyo Semi-Finals - ??? (??? ???), Kyoto Grade 6 Winner - Katagiri Kyosei (片桐 恭晟), Ishikawa Runner-Up - Odaira Maki (大平 真輝), Niigata Semi-Finals - Kai Yota (甲斐 陽太), Miyazaki Semi-Finals - Morimoto Kotaro (森本 琥太郎), Akita
  25. mikawa

    70th All Japan sumo championships

    The 34th National Primary School Championships also took place last Sunday, and also inside the Kokugikan. Here's a video of the entire tournament: