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Rikishi Talk Day 14 Aki Basho 2011

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Day 14 Aki Basho September 24, 2011


Hakuho downed Baruto in a heated battle and Kotoshogiku shoved out Harumafuji easily to keep two loss record and stay atop the yusho race. Hakuho will be going for his 20th yusho while Kotoshogiku challenges for his first. Should both loses their bout tomorrow, there will be a chance for Kisenosato who kept his three loss record.

Kotoshogiku won his 12th bout and reached what is considered to be an ozeki promotion standard of 33 win in three consecutive basho and almost certain of his promotion after the basho. Sekiwake Kakuryu won his kachikoshi.

Myogiryu won his second consectuive Juryo Yusho.

Ikioi (Makushita East 3, 5-2) over Chiyozakura (Juryo East 11) by hatakikomi


(Winning his fifth and ensuring his Juryo promotion to be certain. Making his dohyo debut at the 2005 Haru Basho and made Makushita when he was only 19 years old but since then his progress has stalled while always being considered to be a top prospect with his well toned 191 cm, 131 kg frame. His shisho, Isenoumi oyakata, retiring after this basho.)

"I am so happy that I was able to do this while the shisho was still with us."

"I have been in this situation, you know, the most important bout in you career thing so many times that I actually got used to it by now and I was able to go calmly."

Isenoumi oyakata, Ikioi's shisho


(On Ikioi's promotion)

"He sure let us wait around for so long, we all run out of our patience long ago (laughs). I should have told him he didn't need to wait to time it with my retirement."

Takamisakari (6-8) losing to Bushuyama by yorikiri


(Suffering makekoshi in Juryo, losing to Bushuyama, born in the same month, May and in the same year, 1976 and in the same place, Aomori Prefecture)

"I went out only with my upper half. He started coming out with Tsuppari. I was trying not to think he was the same age, 35, as I was."

"I will try to keep myself motivated until the basho is over."

Myogiryu (12-2) over Chiyoarashi by yorikiri


(Winning his two straight Juryo yusho since Shotenro did it.)

"I am happy about everything. There were some moments in there that I could have been lost but I was able to endure them in the flow. I never imagined I could win the yusho but I was able to stay calm throughout this basho."

"Once you are up on the dohyo, all you need to do is to down an opponent in front of you. I will do my best with my style of oshi-zumo in Makuuchi as well."

(Joined Ozumo after sensational amateur careers at Saitama Sakae High School and Nihon Taiiku University but suffered devastating left knee injury at the Hatsu Basho last year.)

"I will need to sincerely thank all the people who have helped me as I could not have come back to this point and done all this without their support."

Kimurayama (7-7) over Tamawashi by okuridashi, 2.3 sec


(Facing the Senshuraku with 7-7 record for three basho in a row)

"I've lost two basho straight so for the third time for sure I want to get the win and stay in Makuuchi."

Takanoyama (5-9) losing to Fujiazuma by oshidashi, 5.2 sec


(With losing his ninth and a strong possibility of falling down to Juryo.)

"I don't know what my banzuke ranking will be in the next basho but I will train as hard as I can."

Kaisei (3-11) losing to Wakanosato by yorikiri, 4.5 sec


(Even trying a henka but it too fails and loses his ninth.)

"I have not been moving well so there was nothing left. All failed, none worked. The end of the story."

Takayasu (5-9) over Hochiyama by shitate-dashignae, 12.6 sec


(Stopping his losing skid at four in his second Makuuchi basho.)

"I believe I am moving well. (Already losing nine bouts) Anyway there is no point in being thinking negative."

Goeido (10-4) over Kitataiki by hatakikiomi, 15.1 sec


(Winning his 10th at Maegashira West 5)

"At the rank I am at, I should get a double digit win record every time. Unless I get my execution sharper, I won't be able to higher though."

Okinoumi (7-7) over Takekaze by oshidashi, 4.7 sec


(Beating Takekaze to bring his record to 7 win and 7 loss. Ranked at Maegashira West 1, even with a kachikoshi Sanyaku promotion may not be possible.)

"Obviously I have regret over a few bouts. But we have one bout left, win or lose tomorrow I want to come up with a good quality sumo that can lead to the next basho."

Toyonoshima (7-7) over Wakakoyu by oshidashi, 7.1 sec


(Winning his sixth straight and setting his record to even.)

"It's not as if I am aiming for some reward or something but just a fact that I am standing on a cliff for this long and doing my best should be worth something, don't you think so?"

Kakuryu (8-6) over Tochinoshin by yoritaoshi, 3.4 sec


(Winning kachikoshi and preserving his sekiwake rank. Reflecting back this ozeki promotion challenge basho, on losing four bouts in the first half.)

"I don't believe I had that much pressure but I was very conscious of what was at stake."

(After losing his fifth bout this basho on Day 9, started a new tachiai form.)

"I started going with a new tachiai form and since then everything turned for better. I stopped moving unnecessarily and I have been able to hit low."

"Right now I am happy about getting the kachikoshi. It's been really a great learning experience."

Kisenosato (11-3) over Tochiozan by oshidashi, 9.4 sec


(Not stopping or pausing but kept pushing away at Tochiozan.)

"For a second I let him turned into his form but I kept working hard except I don't remember anything else. I have not lost fire within me, after all we still have one more."

Harumafuji (8-6) losing to Kotoshogiku by yorikiri, 4.6 sec


(Unable to become the wall to Kotosohgiku's ozeki promotion challenge.)

"The best thing was that I was so looking forward to this one. Unfortunately I couldn't display my sumo."

Kotoshogiku (12-2) over Harumafuji


(Securing the 33rd win in the last three basho, clearing the so-called ozeki promotion standard, becoming the first Japanese born ozeki since Kotomitsuki at the 2007 Nagoya Basho.)

"Yes, I am really happy. But it has not been really getting to me yet at all."

"I was kind of thinking whether he (Harumafuji) would come out with Tsuki or Hari-sashi but I was so determined to get the left mawashi in and go with my own sumo. I believed in myself. It would be a lie if I say I was not conscious of what was at stake. But I felt I had the weight advantage."

"Last Basho I kept thinking about the promotion and failed the quest. This basho I tried not to get too conscious of my opponent but go with good quality sumo all the time. I kept thinking, there is only one thing, I need to do well, better than anyone else, that is tachiai, Focusing only on tachiai was the key."

"Tomorrow I want to display the best sumo I am capable of."

"People have been saying a group of us as 'young" but I am already 27 years old so I am already a seasoned mid-level veteran as far as sumo experience is concerned. I will try to be aware of who I am and would like to repay for all the things sumo has given me."

Toshiyurki Hamamura, his sumo coach at Meitoku Gijuku School


(On Kotoshogiku)

"He has been called an ozeki candidate for well over a year now so I was hoping he would be able to keep the initial desire, motivation and will for all these months. He has matured mentally so much now."

Hanaregoma oyakata, Kyokai Chairman


(On Kotoshogiku bout)

"He went in low and hit hard. It was an excellent display of sumo."

(On Kotoshogiku promotion)

"We definitely have far more likelihood of it and it's moving that way. He has been passed over the last basho and I am sure he has gone through hard mental anguishes but this means he cleared those hurdles."

Nakamura oyakata, Deputy Director of Judging (former Sekiwake Fujizakura)


(On Kotoshogiku promotion)

"I doubt there will be naysayers when you have seen him do this much. He has beaten higher ranked rikishi including the yokozuna. He has achieved a record deserving of the promotion. I personally feel he has made sufficient accomplishments this basho."

(On Kisenosato promotion)

"There is no talk within the group yet but there is a possibility that the subject may come up."

Baruto (9-5) losing to Hakuho by uwate-dashinage, 1.29.8 sec


(Got into a firm yotsu but thrown away in the end)

"I need to go on offensive much quicker. As far as I am concerned, it makes no difference even if you showed good sumo and you end up losing the bout."

Hakuho (12-2) over Baruto


(Preserving his two loss record after hard struggles spanning one minute and 30 seconds.)

"I was basically waiting for a good opening after grabbing his mawashi with both hands."

"But I am really exhausted now."

(Asked about a possibility of Yusho Kettei-sen against Kotoshogiku, but only able to express a few words in a uncharacteristically subdued mood.)

"You asking me I look forward to it? I let your imagination speak for that."

"Anyway I can't tell you, I really don't know."

Yusho Race Board



2 losses - Hakuho, Kotoshogiku

3 losses - Kisenosato

Kotoshogiku Kazuhiro


Real name: Kazuhiro Kikutsugi, From Yanagawa City, Fukuoka Prefecture. 27 years old. Started sumo when he was in Grade 4, encouraged by his grandfather. Enrolled in Meitoku Gijuku Junior/High School to join its sumo club. Became the Junior High Yokozuna, and during his high school years, won seven national sumo titles. Joined Sadogatake Beya and made his dohyo debut at the 2002 Hatsu Basho. Juryo debut: 2004 Nagoya Basho. Makuuchi debut: 2005 Hatsu Basho. Won Gino-sho award at the 2006 Kyushu Basho winning 10 bouts. Became Sanyaku at the 2007 Haru Basho. Beat Asashoryu at the 2008 Haru Basho and awarded Shukun-sho. Ranked at sekiwake four straight basho starting this Hatsu Basho.

Kazunori Kikutsugi, 56, Kotoshogiku's father


(With around 100 people gathered at a facility near their home in Yanagawa City, cheering for Kotoshogiku, wiping away his tears after the bout.)

"I am so happy he won the bout. He went with his sumo style all the way. I hope he can become an ozeki who can give encouragement to everyone."

(Kotoshogiku's mother Mieko, 56, held a photo of Kotoshogiku's deceased grandfather Kazuo who initially encouraged Kotoshogiku to start sumo.)

"This is all like a dream. I want to tell my son he did all his best today."

(Kotoshogiku Supporters Club President Hiroshige Tachibana, 71, expressed his hope for the first yusho.)

"Now we can even see the yusho in horizon, that's something we never expected. I want to scream a Banzai now."

Juryo Yusho


Myogiryu Juryo East 3


Real name: Yasunari Miyamoto, from Hyogo Prefecture, Sakaigawa Beya. Dohyo debut: 2009 Natsu Basho Makushita Tsukedashi 15. Juryo debut: 2010 Hatsu, 187 cm, 140 kg. Favorite: Oshi.

The 35th Shonosuke Kimura (real name: Junichi Uchida, Tatsunami Beya), 64, held a press conference at the Kokugikan as he will be retiring after this basho. He joined Ozumo in 1962 and became the first gyoji born after the end of World War II to be promoted to Tate Gyoji, Inosuke Shikimori. He was named Shonosuke Kimura in May,2008.

Reflecting back on his fifty years in Ozumo, Shonosuke said, "Actually I never ever imagined I would become a gyoji before I entered this world. I have been able to come this far this long without any major mishaps thanks to all advice provided to me by many oyakata."

His most memorable event was the bout Hakuho was stopped of his consecutive bout winning record at 63 at the last Kyushu Basho. "I was really focused not to have any error or mental lapse. I was certain that he would win it so I was really surprised at the outcome. I thought he would go on to win 69 like Futabayama did," Shonosuke said.

"As from now on, I am not sure what I want to do actually. Well for one thing, I would like to avoid any crowded areas for now and rest."

Q&A of the day


Q: What is the yumitori ceremony that is performed at the conclusion of basho day?

A: It is a ceremony conducted by an assigned rikishi who will twirl around a bow on behalf of the winning rikishi after the Musubi No Ichiban bout.

The bow is 220 cm long. The ceremony was started as a part of service to the fans at the 1952 Hatsu Basho. There are many stories of the origin but one recorded ceremony goes back to 1791 when a Shogun presented a bow to Ozeki Tanikaze, then the highest ranked rikishi who won his bout at the special tournament held at the Edo Castle and Tanikaze swung it around in all directions.

Q: Is it true that the bow could not be picked by a hand if dropped during the ceremony?

A: In sumo bout, if one touches the ground, it's a loss. The Kyokai's handbook refers to a manner of picking up the bow when dropped to using a toe to whip it up and then pick it up by a hand.

Edited by Jonosuke

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