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2021 "Kozumo" Hatsu Basho discussion thread

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Ozeki Watch for day 9

There were two "upsets" today.  That of Takakeisho constituted a silver star for M4w rank-and-filer, Tamawashi, and that of Shodai against Komusubi Mitakeumi was just a ... travesty.

First up tomorrow will be Shodai against aforementioned Tamawashi.  This could spell trouble for Waka III's yusho pick for two reasons: (1) Shodai just had the wind taken out of his sails today, and (2) Tamawashi actually has a better record (9-5) against the Ozeki.  Will we be treated to a vital win for the only Ozeki still somewhat in the yusho race, or will we be treated to more disappointment?  One of Shodai's weaknesses is mental fortitude (or should I say self-confidence?).  Tamawashi on the other hand seems to have no trouble with focus.  Unless Shodai can come up with a resourceful save at the bales tomorrow, I fear his yusho hopes in this tournament will be firmly put to rest.

Next, Takakeisho will face Endo.  Today, a somewhat struggling Asanoyama showed that Endo can and should be beaten by an Ozeki.  But Asanoyama is no Takakeisho, and vis-versa.  So what do the "data" say?  Past meetings have definitely favoured Takakeisho, 7-2.  The mini tank has dispatched Endo in their last five straight meetings.  I'm not sure Endo can remember back to September 2019 when last he defeated the then-sekitori who had leapfrogged him on the banzuke.  But will whatever's ailing Takakeisho this tournament result in yet another surprise loss?  The odds are definitely good on that possibility.

In the last bout of the day tomorrow, Asanoyama will be tested by former Ozeki, Takayasu.  Surprisingly, these two wrestlers have only met (...sort of) twice in the past.  Actually, Asanoyama has never beaten the man-bear and recent father, because in their most recent scheduled bout, Takayasu ended up withdrawing giving Asanoyama a freebie.  So since Asanoyama lacks experience against K1 Takayasu and Takayasu showed some gutsy sumo today, I fear that we might just see yet another upset in this Ozeki bout.

I realise that none of the above predictions carry much water, but the way that the three current Ozeki have been fighting in this tournament, each of their bouts seem possible to go either way...  The real shame is that Covid has put the kibosh on the purple shower tradition!

Edited by Amamaniac

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As someone who landed on his head a few times during sports a few years ago, the way Akua got spiked was really scary to me. I hope he is alright. 

Takakeisho seems to try and go as long as the KK is still possible, but if that 8th L drops, I expect him to pull out. Whatever it is, something is wrong with him. 

Daieisho seemed shaky for the very first time, convincing me that the Yusho race is still wide open. Well, back to the weekly grind. 

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If I'm not mistaken, Daieisho is only the fourth joi maegashira ever to start 8-0 for a straight kachikoshi. The others were Akinoshima in Haru 1992 (only 3 sanyaku opponents though, out of eventually 5), later ozeki Masuiyama in Natsu 1974 (5 sanyaku out of 8), and later yokozuna Akinoumi in Natsu 1939 (5 sanyaku out of 7).

(And it's the second time after that 1939 tournament that there's simultaneously an 0-8 starter among the maegashira-joi. That was actually what I originally set out to find, thinking there would be a lot more 8-0's...)

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7 hours ago, since_94 said:

He was totally in control throughout. So poised. Textbook worthy sumo.

I'm sorry, but what was he in control of? Being pushed back to the bales and barely escaping a loss? Daieisho simply got lucky this time. No way he's gonna zensho. 

Akua falling on his head got me really worried for him for a moment. Fortunately rikishi mostly know how to fall. 

And was it just me who found Furiwake-oyakata squinting at the rikishi from the shimpan seat absolutely hilarious? I think Kintamayama once mentioned he's blind as a bat so not sure why they thought he would make a great shimpan. 

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1 hour ago, Asashosakari said:

(And it's the second time after that 1939 tournament that there's simultaneously an 0-8 starter among the maegashira-joi. That was actually what I originally set out to find, thinking there would be a lot more 8-0's...)

8-0 is a lot harder to pull off than 0-8....even I could go 0-8 (if I didn't have tattoos).

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6 hours ago, pricklypomegranate said:

Anyone familiar with the Tachiai jungyo posts know how much Tamawashi, Terutsuyoshi and Abi torment Enho so. I have yet to experience jungyo in real time and here's hoping there will be one at least late 2021... 

I've seen him torment Shodai alongside a few others when the current ozeki was a low maegashira.

Since then, it's always felt to me that Shodai's rise wouldn't have been possible in a different era.

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So, looking at the Juryo banzuka at Nakabi, it appears there's going to be some really bad banzuke luck for some Juryo KKs and/or some really bad banzuke luck for Makuuchi MKs.  There's literally very few places to maneuver around in there.

 

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13 hours ago, Gurowake said:

The youngsters in Makushita (which I define as those less than 20.5 years old at least Ms15, less than 20 years old at least Ms30, less than 19.5 at least Ms45, and less than 19 at least Ms60, looking only at the month and assuming they hit their (half) birthdays after the basho) are all doing reasonably well.  Note how far above that age curve that Yoshii and Otsuji are.

Kitanowaka: Born November 2000, ranked Ms11 - 3-1

Yoshii: Born August 2003, ranked Ms26 - 2-2

Tochikamiyama: Born January 2001, ranked Ms20 - 2-2

Anzai: Born August 2002, ranked Ms45 - 3-1

Mudoho: Born September 2001, ranked Ms43 - 2-2

Otsuji: Born October 2003, ranked Ms59 - 3-1

There's also Hokuseiho, Born November 2001, ranked Ms15, not participating due to Covid.

As I posted in another thread, I'm surprised Kitanowaka hasn't gotten more hype. He swept the major high school competitions in his final year (and easily beat Hokuseiho in all their meetings, granted Hoku is a year younger), is a Saitama Sakae grad who outperformed his classmates Oho and Kototebakari, has a good build and skillset, and has performed consistently well as a pro. Only 1 MK since turning pro and that was a 3-4.....it's very possible that he'll be at Ms5 or higher next tournament, still being just 20 until near the end of 2021.

I guess winning a yusho (or being a foreigner, or having a famous relative) would have helped with the hype...

Edited by Katooshu
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Day 9 and zero kyujo so far among the starting sekitori.  Has this happened recently?

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Damn!  Ura appears to be injured. I hope it does not lead to extended kuyjo.  

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16 hours ago, Philioyamfugi said:

 Takakeisho looks uncomfortable in that body, not showing the youthful sumo he promised. He should get on the bike, loose 10Kg, regain some quickness. Its like he never recovered from that beating he got by Hakahou in the practice. 

 

Lots of Rikishi have struggled over the years in the Basho directly after receiving some "tough love" from Hak during keiko. 

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Tough loss for Daeisho. Nerves, trying to hard. A little patience would have done him well there.

 

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I was thinking that if Daieisho were to lose to someone at this point, it would be Takarafuji as his defenses are certainly no laughing matter. 

Takarafuji claps back. 

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Since he was at 3-3 and seemingly out of sorts, I’d stopped paying too much attention to Terunofuji, but a three-bout win streak has put him at 6-3 and just two off the pace for the yusho. Asanoyama too has started to find his form and there are plenty of days remaining for one or both men to catch up. We could be in for a pretty exciting week.

Edited by Eikokurai

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3 hours ago, Ichimawashi said:

Day 9 and zero kyujo so far among the starting sekitori.  Has this happened recently?

Surely not with Hakuho and Kakuryu in the mix.

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Frontrunner "by one" now, Daieisho will face Hokutofuji tomorrow.  Hokutofuji stood out in his day 3 bout versus Takakeisho, but has really struggled ever since.  He is on the verge of getting his makekoshi 8th loss, so no doubt he will lay everything on the line against Daieisho.  Both men are pusher thrusters, so this will be a very interesting showdown.  On paper, Daieisho's toughest opponents rank-wise are all behind him.  But maybe he will end up struggling with those he'll meet in the second half of this tournament.  

Was Takarafuji the beginning of the end for Saitama's hopes and dreams for a prefectural first Makuuchi champion?  I for one hope he regroups, and shows the awesome skill and determination he showed in the first eight days!

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4 hours ago, Ichimawashi said:

Day 9 and zero kyujo so far among the starting sekitori.  Has this happened recently?

http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Query_bout.aspx?show_form=0&group_by=basho&g_op==&having=0&year=>1949&day=1-9&m=on&j=on&rowcount=2&kimarite=74

The latest instance without any intermittent kyujo was March 2006, and that one was even starting with a full slate.

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10 minutes ago, Amamaniac said:

On paper, Daieisho's toughest opponents rank-wise are all behind him.  But maybe he will end up struggling with those he'll meet in the second half of this tournament.  

I think he can go 4-2 to finish 12-3.  That may be enough to take the yusho.  Shodai who is 1 behind Daieisho has to face tougher opponents.  

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Really, was that a yorikiri win for Yutakayama? it looks like anything else. 

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3 hours ago, Rocks said:

Tough loss for Daeisho. Nerves, trying to hard. A little patience would have done him well there.

 

You can't neck thrust a man with no neck......

 

Takarafuji enjoying his spoiler role this Basho.

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Akua has been watching football (soccer) it seems. That was such an obvious dive to try and win a free kick. Luckily, the ref was having none of it.

Takakeisho too apparently. Top floppage.

Edited by Eikokurai
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2 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

Since he was at 3-3 and seemingly out of sorts, I’d stopped paying too much attention to Terunofuji, but a three-bout win streak has put him at 6-3 and just two off the pace for the yusho. Asanoyama too has started to find his form and there are plenty of days remaining for one or both men to catch up. We could be in for a pretty exciting week.

Quoting myself here, but it’s almost been forgotten amidst all the Takakeisho disappointment and Daieisho enthusiasm that Terunofuji is trying to maintain an Ozeki run following his 13-2 in November. If he goes 4-2 for the rest of the week he can keep it alive.

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Fashion alert, Kitanofuji wearing a hoodie and a scarf today.

Y5cHl2M.jpg

Nice shot of the tawara steps leading up the dohyo:

awRnjWY.jpg

And a bonus shot of Shinjuku, Tokyo (just past the east entrance of Shinjuku Station). I really miss being able to travel. Hoping I can be back there this year.

7jJT3sC.jpg

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