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Kaikitsune Makoto

Day 7 comments

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Hokutoriki has done his sumo both in good and bad. Chest and face are as puffed as usual and throat attack is his game. He has had good wins over Tochinoshin and Kokkai and had a forward going motion yesterday against Toyohibiki too despite losing at the end. Dejima has been Dejima. Yesterday had a text book (book called "Dejima's tachi-ai and its ramifications in Japan" tachi-ai hitting YMY hard, then recovering from admittedly agile move by YMY before returning the favour by getting out of the way. Hokutoriki vs Dejima always has the extra spice of having solely in throat/head aiming pusher and usually lower aiming bulldozer. Dejima hasn't beaten Hokutoriki lately. Today Hokutoriki's pushes were more effective and all that Dejima could do was to defend as much as possible never getting any of his own pushing game on. At the end Hokutoriki just pushed him out. Simple as that. 3-4 for Hoku and Dejima both.

Takamisakari has been extraordinarily sharp this basho. Lost to Shotenro yesterday but otherwise perfect sumo. On day 5 his demo on how to excel in migiyotsu was electrifying. He took migiyotsu stance against Bushuyama, then perofoemr utterly classic drive by lifting Bushuyama up with his free right hand (under Bushu's armpit ) and escoriting hism out. That is the best Takamisakari move that is not defensive pivot. Also Tochinoshin has done his own sumo a lot and looks genki. Powerful defense and lot of horse power in his migiyotsu. Tochinoshin has not beaten Sakke in 2 tries. Tochinoshin had the advantage first getting the better tachi-ai. Hidariyotsu stance at first, Tochinoshin tried t o get into driving form but Sakke did his powerful pivot, worked his way deep inside and he never loses from that position. Sakke squeezed Tochinoshin's torse and kirikaeshied him crashing down. Great sumo by Sakke. 6-1 now and looking as good as ever. Tochinoshin falls to 4-3.

In addition to many matta, Kakizoe has done better sumo than in ages. Pushing is good, sharpness too and he has done some neat sukuinage too. An awkward tachi-ai against Sakke was the reason for his only loss so far and his foes have not been of such modest quality. Toyohibki with his operated retina looks like his old self and better. Convincing oshizumo in his wins mostly, one horribly disintegrated bout against Bushuyama and very acceptable yotsu fight agaisnst Tochinoshin. Good sumo all around. Today Kakizoe evidently got inside at the tachi-ai but Toyohibiki countered with a fast robust kotenage sending Kakizoe down to his second loss (5-2). Toyohibiki is also at 5-2.

Miyabiyama hasn't been bad. He lost to burly Toyohibiki and YMY but prevailed over Futeno, Shimotori, Kimurayama and Tokitenku well. Some persistent pushing and despite the decrease in strength, he is doing his job as well as he can. Kokkai has been even more bisonish at times but also all-out yotsu. The wins over Bushuyama, Kitataiki and yesterday Tochinoshin were all thanks to unrestrained yotsu-tension. Messy bout today where Kokkai did his bull attacks again and Miya tried his best to have some stable pushing but as Kokkai was so erratic, the bout looked very unclean and messy. Entertaining though and neither fell down easily until the end when Kokkai stumbled down in as uncontrolled way as large bout of his bout was. Miyabiyama at 5-2 is showing decent sumo and Kokkai at 4-3 isn't bad either.

Bushuyama is at 1-5 but his sumo isn't bad at all. His foes have been of better caliber than he has ever faces in first 6 days but he puts up good fights, isn't a walkover at all. With such sumo he would easily going for good kachi koshi in juryo. Yesterday against Kimurayama there was fire on the dohyo. Sweat, desperation, seizing the moment, love and heasted work all combined into a enigmatic mix of honest, workmanlike sumo. Many sumofans cried in awe of the humble work by two rikishi. Shimotori is also 1-5 and doesn't quite look like he has timing right now. He has 5 losses in a row now. The bout is kenkayotsu although Shimotori is better at hidariyotsu than Bushuyama is in migiyotsu. Still Bushuyama should win if bout ends up in hidariyotsu. Shimotori is a 99% sue winner in migiyotsu. Well bout went to hidariyotsu and while Bushuyama didn't really get right hand outside, he was still clearly better in that and ousted Shimotori after some work time. Good basic sumo bout.

Futeno recovered from worrysome start and let his sumo flow on 3 conseuctive days. The serenity of expressions against Iwakiyama followed by two businesslike wins over Dejima and Tamawashi showed promes. He stands at 3-3 and looks at times to still generate a lot of power from right uwate grip. Kimurayama at 1-5 needs wins in order to avoid demotion. He doesn't do that much of that inashi move now and doesn't look especially weak either. Yesterday's bout against Bushuyama could serve as an optimal turning point to him. Futeno was able to divert the bout towards yotsu but Kimurayama broke free and sent a couple of well timed jerks which made Futeno collapse. Nice nice sumo and winning streak for Kimu now. 2-5 => 10-5 in his dreams perhaps. Futeno at 3-4 is really not that good result but what can he do?

Shotenro's sumo is somewhat difficult to YMY. Shotenro won by oshidashi in Kyushu and oshitaoshi in Haru. Yesterday Shotenro's eyes and intestens boiled due to kensho catch. Fully successful bout against Sakke gives him a nice flow to today's encounter with YMY who has been pretty good (4-2) and hasn't been okuridashied at all. Another tremendously perfect sumo from SHotenro. He blasted into YMY and had everything going his way. Power, timing and probably attack angle well in balance, he strormed forward and YMY had no chance to come back. Shotenro is now at 4-3 and has had 2 absolutely perfect bouts in a row against formidable foes.

Asasekiryu (2-4) has looked rather mediocre with glimpses of his brilliance only while Tamawashi (2-4) is somewhat of a mystery even still. His forward charge is very good and arm fencing too in placing his hands on foe's body but yesterday too when his tachi-ai was good, veteran Nada just utilized the lean and did his thing. On the other hand when he gets into full yotsu he is very good in that too. We shall await in great excitement how his life will continue as a makuuchi rikishi. There is special quality and uniqueness in his sumo. Again Tamawashi started off with a fine push, when Sekiryu tried to regroup, Tamawashi yanked him around with kotenage and finished with okuridashi. 3-4 for the Mongolian minienigma. Sekiryu just looks off in most bouts.

Surprisingly Tenku (3-3) is 3-0 against Shogun (5-1)in last year's bouts. Shogun lost one bout 100-0 to picture perfect Tamawashi but other than that has dominated well. He has been doing his very own sumo (as opposed to for example doing Orora's sumo) beating Aran, Toyonoshima and Kisenosato. Especially yesterday's bout against Kisenosato took him on the verge of orgastic pleasure based on his body language and post-bout comments. He hates to lose to Kise whom he considers his main rival. Shogun is in great shape now and going for double digits for sure. Tenku has lost some of his appeal lately but still does some good sumo at times. There is also certain weakening in his defense though. My guess is he has some lingering problem with back or some other problematic body part. Ketaguri win by Tenku. Shogun banged his leg or actually Tenku banged Shogun's leg with that ketaguri.

Yoshikaze does his sumo but his primetime has ended for now. Losing a lot (1-5) while being as energetic as always. Nada is Nada (3-3). Heh...some basic tussle at first but then Yoshikaze kind of vanished. Nada just lost all landmarks and fell after a short "oh oh..i have no foe". Funny to an extend. Not that funny but a bit funny. Kind of like a funny expression of a rikishi in a photograph taken during a bout.

I admire Iwakiyama (3-3). The difficulties with various bodyparts must still hamper his sumo but in this basho he has been showing such intensity that it is just a big example to younger rikishi. The last two bouts against Tochinonada and Shimotori looks explosive and the finishing throw against Nada was superb. It is not so much the results but the intensity. Goeido's sekiwake debut and Toyohibiki's return to development curve must have some sort of an impact on him. In any case, be sure to notice the youthfulness in his sumo. Aran (2-4) on the other hand has been outsumoed and outmuscled in 4 bouts now. It is understandable he loses to Kisenosato, Shogun and Sekiryu like that but yesterday's totally bizarre sumo against then winless Yoshikaze was bad. All he did was deliver some nasty street fight slaps which didn't have much effect and Yoshikaze took him out. It won't be easy against today either.Wow, nasty bout. Aran was making mush out of Iwakiyama's face with arm extending direct hits. Iwakiyama looked pissed and head bumped Aran then! Some hussle tussle after which Aran slapped him down forcefully. Violent bout indeed. Both at 3-4 now. Iwakiyama is probably angry now at shitakubeya. Teeth breaking stuff from Aran.

If I remember correctly (and I may not) Takekaze (0-6) broke his losing streak in Kyushu by defeating Kisenosato (5-1). Hopefully history won't repeat itself. Kisenosato has been opening up again and his stance gets too high too. Yesterday was a nasty example of that when he went into hidariyotsu with Shogun. Kise's centre of gravity was high al the way, naturally also thanks to Shogun's sumo, but his body just floated. It was only a matter of time before such errors come into play. Takekaze is outclassed a bit at this level and has faced only yokozuna and ozeki so far. No danger today, solid tachi-ai and pushed Takekaze around, almost crushed him mid dohyo with a thrust but Takekaze staggered to the edge where Kise then finished him. Good 6-1 start while Takekaze's difficulties continue.

Aminishiki (1-5) is a bit off but is also performing good solid sumo and defensive moves. He has been slightly unlucky too and just missing one more gear in many bouts that he could have won too. Nice win over Shoryu though and he can beat anyone, doesn't look bad but he can't blame but himself for not getting more wins than 1 despite valiant efforts. Tamanoshima (1-5) is doing his sumo but hasn't been able to upset ozeki or yokozuna this time. Tamanoshima's nodowa lead him all the way to the finish. Nodowa and accompanied forward march and Aminishiki had nowhere to escape.

Kotooshu (4-2) had a very good bout yesterday against Homasho. Tight migiyotsu and power sumo. Aftera w hile hip drop during a drive and while Homasho tried to hang on and prepare for utchari, Osh lifted him out. Toyonoshima (2-4) has looked ok but yesterday he had cool finish against Sekiryu. Morozashi and then yanked Sekiryu's right hand oustdde off with grip breaking move and immediately dropped him with sukuinage. Kotooshu vs Toyonoshima isalways a classic. 2-1 in favour of Toyo in last 6 bashos. Kotooshu prevented Toyo from getting inside, pushing sumo and Toyo never got into his favourite shitatenage/sukuinage situation with Osh. Sound tactics from Kotooshu.

Taikai (4-2) has looked good in the bouts he has won. Yesterday's foe Tamanoshima is a good target practise body too as he tends to take the hits straight on. Good propulsion though and heavyness even behind the thrusts. Still Taikai will lose for sure if the rhytm is off. Goeido (4-2) lost badly to Kakuryu yesterday having been caught by surprise when Kakuryu came out with tsuppari. Otherwise good tactics and good results so far. He has beaten 3/4 ozeki so far so 4/5 would sure look good. Goeido looked good in attempting to seize the mawashi from below. The grasping didn't work though and this left him as a bit of a sitting duck. Taikai did his pushing while Goeido launch a retreat along the edge, Taikai followed though and easily won this bout.

O3 has had better basho than ever when it comes to ability to really wrestle against anyone. The stable state defense is still lacking against high rankers but his strengths are becoming better and better. Yesterday a better chance to beat Shoryu than most think. Shoryu's pull kind of move saved his ass but it was good tactics from O3 and nice delivery too. He himself even said he would have "had him" and that is not common to hear that lower sanyaku says such a thing out loud after losing to yokozuna. 2-4 now with 2 ozeki scalps. He met Kotomitsuki (4-2) last basho and los. Kotomitsuki has looked as strong as ever but that odd loss to Tenho ruined his reputation a bit. The loss to Goeido was acceptable due to Goeido's good footwork and such losses do happen. In last 3 bouts Kotomitsuki has been his usual strong self beating Homasho, Baruto and Aminishiki clearly. Neither got that big advantage at the tachi-ai but bout slowed down which always favours Kotomitsuki against a foe like O3 too. Kotomitsuki then just outpowered O3 out. 5-2 for him and really is looking better and better. O3 couldn't compete with genki and balanced Kotomitsuki yet.

Homasho's 0-6 isn't the whole truth. He has been competitive against in many ozeki/yokozuna bouts but has come short so far. KaioU has employed his kote grip a lot extinguishing Kakuryu with that, yanking Tamanoshima with hikkake and testing Estonian elbow joint durability. KaioU has also looked quite agile even and it is nice to see him as healthy. Excellent tachi-ai reaching for right uwate and it was all over then. Good sumo by KaioU. Homasho had no chance in this bout. 6-1 for U and Homasho at 0-7 now.

Yesterday Kakuryu showed how to do a polished attack where foe is totally unable to have even a single effective response. Kakuryu just pummeled, pushed and moved in a way that left Goeido so armless that it was funny. All Kakuryu did was making damage while Goeido every move was off and unproductive. Nice sumo by Kakuryu who rose to 2-4 while Goeido dropped to 4-2. Harumafuji's tachi-ai against Tenho yesterday must have boosted his already high confidence even more. The tachi-ai had no flaws, it was one of the best ever. Just amazing. 6-0 and solid stuff. For some time Kakuryu was unable to beat Harumafuji but now he has actually beaten Harumafuji twice in a row. Interesting bout today to come. Speedy sumo from Harumafuji. Just kept Kakuryu in sight and was faster in his moves. Kakuryu did his best to match that but not this time.

Asashoryu vs Tenho has little pre-excitement. Shoryu won.

Hakuho is 5-0 against Baruto (2-4) in last 6 basho. Baruto was flexing his elbow a bit after getting caught by KaioU. Baruto has had only 1 solid win and has lost 4. Quality foes though and foes like Tenho know how to fight him. If this bout goes into migiyotsu, then at least some chance for Baruto. Otherwise Baruto is totally outskilled.

Bout goes to hidariyotsu where Baruto tries his best to power Hakuho out but the defence is impeccable. Then a well-timed uwatedashinage drops Baruto relatively easily. There was no knee collapse there or it didn't look like that at least but some limping post-bout is witnessed.

Great sumo today in many ways.

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I think Baruto's left knee gave out on him. Checked the replay a few times and I suspect that, had things held together another 4-5 seconds, he hight have had Hakuho in compromising positions, and perhaps even won. Baruto was indeed limping away after the bout. Hakuho doesn't look like his usual Automatic Pilot. Whether he's changed his approach or whatever, there aren't the same number of centre-of-the-dohyo lockdowns that have characterized his previous successes.

Should be a very interesting Week Two.

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I think Baruto's left knee gave out on him. .... Baruto was indeed limping away after the bout.

If a knee gave out, it was the right one rather than the previously injured left one. I agree he seemed to be limping very slightly when he left; but, it didn't appear to be anything serious.

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If a knee gave out, it was the right one rather than the previously injured left one.

It was probably his right ankle. He had it taped heavily (and I mean like there were many meters of tape around that ankle - it took the tsukebito five minutes to unwind) and when we saw what was underneath - not pretty. Big abrasion on the outside and some swelling (although it is hard to tell because his legs are so big anyway). But always popular with press because he talks about the bout... no grumpiness at them / us and still time to pose for photos with fans afterward.

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