Monday, May 19, 2008


Summer sumo tournament

Sumo time again! Eight days completed in the Natsu Basho (Summer tournament), although I've been unable to see as much as usual because of irregular working hours and whatnot.

The news:

1. Asashoryu, fighting as the East (higher-ranked) yokozuna for the first time since his suspension last year, got off to a less-than-flying start. Looking confident before his tachiai against Kusonosato (contemptuous sneer as he crouched down), he made a complete mess of the bout and ended up with the pouty Kunimura clone sitting on top of him, and earned himself a first-day shower of cushions into the bargain. Since then, Asa has posted seven straight wins to leave himself in second place at the mid-way stage.

2. Hakuho, on the other hand, has made light work of pretty much everyone so far (including Kisenosato yesterday) to race to his kachikoshi (majority) eighth win. At this stage, he looks to be wrestling the better of the two yokozuna, which bodes well for his chances of capturing the title: in the previous two tournaments, although the outcome was decided on the final day, victory ultimately went to the wrestler who'd huffed and puffed less in the early stages.

Videos of the two yokozuna:

Asashoryu (near side) losing on day one.

Hakuho versus Kotoshogiku.

Asa versus Wakanoho (of whom, more later.)

Hakuho versus Kisenosato.

3. Joining Hakuho on an 8-0 record is Bulgarian ozeki Koto-oshu. The towering yoghurt slurper began the tourny threatened with demotion; a threat which has now been lifted, thanks to his impressive performance over the first eight days. It would be great if he could keep up the pace and make the title into a three-way race, but his wins thus far have been stolid rather than superb (for which reason I haven't bothered to post any vids of him in action.) It would take a braver gaijin than me to bet on Koto taking the title, although stranger things have happened.


Went down to Daie to watch the action on TV yesterday with the VMM. Most interesting match-up of the day was hulking newbie Wakanoho versus my favourite, Ama. Wakanoho, winner of the previous encounter between the two, is a 21 year-old-Russian who comes out of the tachiai like a rat out of a trap. He looked to have the fight sewn up this time as well, but Ama pulled out something a bit special:

A remarkable throw, that had me scratching my butt and wondering exactly how he did it. (Normally I would scratch my head, but my recent bout of unemployment has left me with rather a nasty collection of bedsores.) Wakanoho apparently spoke highly of Ama's technique after the match, but his immediate reaction of shouting "KUSO!" in front of TV cameras (captured in the above clip) ought really to earn him a rap on the knuckles from the powers that be. Or a beer bottle over the head.

Wakanoho, already a high-ranking wrestler, should have a bright future ahead of him. On the other hand, his habit of wearing his heart on his sleeve is proving a bit difficult to digest for sumo purists. Get some hinkaku, rookie!

(Notice that Ama's expression flickers not a jot from his customary baleful glare, even after a spectacular victory. Poker nights must be a pretty nail-biting affair in the Isegahama stable.)


Wakanoho is 19.
Give a year to get his hinkaku together. He can't even buy a beer.
My silly. Homeboy's still got less hinkaku than Tyson, tho'
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Listed on BlogShares