NEW BANZUKE ANNOUNCED Oct.25:The new banzuke was announced today. Rankings for the makunouchi division are as follows:
* Yokozuna Musashimaru
* Yokozuna Akebono
* Ozeki Chiyotaikai
* Ozeki Takanonami
* Sekiwake Kaio
* Komusubi Musoyama
* Maegashira 1 Tamakasuga
* Maegashira 2 Takatoriki
* Maegashira 3 Kyokushuzan
* Maegashira 4 Terao
* Maegashira 5 Kotonowaka
* Maegashira 6 Wakanoyama
* Maegashira 7 Minatofuji
* Maegashira 8 Kyokutenho
* Maegashira 9 Asanowaka
* Maegashira 10 Hamanoshima
* Maegashira 11 Kaiho
* Maegashira 12 Tokitsuumi
* Maegashira 13 Ohinode
* Maegashira 14 Ganyu
* Yokozuna Wakanohana
* Yokozuna Takanohana
* Ozeki Dejima
* Sekiwake Tochiazuma
* Komusubi Akinoshima
* Komusubi Tosanoumi
* Maegashira 1 Miyabiyama
* Maegashira 2 Kotonishiki
* Maegashira 3 Asanosho
* Maegashira 4 Aogiyama
* Maegashira 5 Toki
* Maegashira 6 Kotoryu
* Maegashira 7 Higonoumi
* Maegashira 8 Chiyotenzan
* Maegashira 9 Wakanosato
* Maegashira 10 Shikishima
* Maegashira 11 Otsukasa
* Maegashira 12 Tochinonada
* Maegashira 13 Daizen
* Maegashira 14 Takanowaka
MUSASHIMARU, TOCHIAZUMA WIN NAGOYA EXHIBITION TOURNAMENT Oct.11: Yokozuna Musashimaru won the first day of a two-day exhibition tournament in Nagoya (Nagoya Oza Keteisen) on Oct.9, after defeating Takatoriki and Chiyotaikai in the finals. It was Musashimaru's first victory in the event, and the only major exhibition he had not yet won. Tochiazuma won the second day of the tournament, after defeating Tosanoumi and Akinoshima in the finals. The juryo title went to Takanowaka. There was no final playoff between the winners of the first day and the second day.
CALENDARS AVAILABLE IN NOVEMBER Oct.6: Sumo Kyokai's official calendar for the Year 2000. Six-page calendar features large color pictures of all the sekitori, with special focus on the yokozuna, ozeki and other sanyaku rikishi: $20 for calendars sent by registered airmail and $15 for non-registered airmail. (Sumo World is not responsible for non-delivery of non-registered calendards. 1,500 yen in Japan.
CHIYOTAIKAI WINS MEIJI JINGU HONO-ZUMO Oct.4: Ozeki Chiyotaikai today won the annual Meiji Jingu Hono-Zumo (dedicatory sumo for Meiji Jingu). It was his first victory in the event, which won him 3 million yen. Kaio, who lost to Chiyotaikai in the final bout, was the runner-up. In juryo, Dewaarashi won the yusho.
DAISHOHO, HOSPITALIZED WITH CANCER, HAS DAMPATSUSHIKI Oct.4: Former komusubi Daishoho's dampatsushiki was held at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel on October 3, with about 300 people, including 20 rikishi cutting his final oichomage. Among those attending were yokozuna Musashimaru, Mainoumi, ex-ozeki Konishiki, and Daishoho's mentor, the former Tatsunami Oyakata (ex-sekiwake Haguroyama). Daishoho retired in the Natsu Basho, after he was hospitalized with cancer of the pancreas. Daishoho has since been in and out of hospital, and has lost 50 kilograms, which has brought him down to only 90 kilograms. At the ceremony, Daishoho stated that he is now confident he can make a full recovery, after which he hopes to be able to train the young rikishi in Tatsunami Beya. He has remained in sumo as a jun-toshiyori. He was released from hospital just for the ceremony, and is still being treated.
EX-JURYO RIKISHI HAJI KILLED IN CAR CRASH Oct.4: Former juryo Haji, 53, was killed on October 3, when the car he was driving crashed into a cement mixer. He was the only rikishi in history who was both a former professional baseball player and a sekitori. He was a pitcher on the Kintetsu Buffalos for two years from 1964, after which he retired and entered Izutsu Beya (later transferred to the Kimigahama Beya of ex-Sekiwake Tsurugamine). He was promoted to the juryo in July 1972 as Saganoumi, dropped after one basho, but came back for one tournament under his real name of Haji before retiring.
INTAI-ZUMO HELD FOR TOYONOUMI Oct.4: Former maegashira 1 Toyonoumi's intai-zumo was held at the Kokugikan on October 3. 205 men cut the former Futagoyama Beya rikishi's mage. It was one of the most poorly attended intai-zumo in memory, with only about 3,000 fans present. Toyonoumi, 34, is now Yamahibiki Oyakata.
Former Komusubi Ryuko, 58, takes his turn to cut Toyonoumi's mage.
ASAHIYUTAKA'S INTAI-ZUMO HELD Oct.3: Former komusubi Asahiyutaka's intai-zumo was held at the Kokugikan. The 31 year old former Oshima Beya rikishi has become the new Tatsunami Oyakata. Asahiyutaka performed his final dohyo-iri, circling the dohyo holding his infant son, also wearing a keshomawashi. Those cutting Asahiyutaka's oichomage included the former tate-gyoji Kimura Shonosuke XXVII, Diet member and former komusubi Kyokudozan, Kaio, Ohinode, Kotonishiki, Musashimaru, the former Tatsunami Oyakata-Asahiyutaka's father-in-law, and finally Oshima Oyakata (ex-ozeki Asahikuni).
Maegashira Ohinode cuts Asahiyutaka's mage, towards the end of the dampatsushiki.
WAKA TO HANG IN THERE Sept.30: Yokozuna Wakanohana has been handed an ultimatum by the Yoko-zuna
Shingi-iikai (Yokozuna Promotion Council) on the day after the end of the Aki Basho, in which he chalked up the first losing record by a grand champion in 10 years, since yokozuna Onokuni in the 1989 Aki Basho. The Council recommended that Waka refrain from competing in the Kyushu Basho next November so that he can make a full recovery from his pulled thigh muscle. Although one of the members of the advisory council wanted Wakanohana to retire without further ado, but the other members went along
with the wishes of Rijicho Tokitsukaze (ex-ozeki Yutakayama), who said he had no reason to force his retirement because his poor record was directly caused by the injury.
Wakanohana injured his left thigh in a protracted struggle with No. 3 maegashira Toki on the 10th day, including a tori-naoshi (rematch). Although Waka eventually won the bout, the injured hobbled him to such an extent that he lost all of his last five bouts, going from a third-place tie at 7-3 to a humilating 7-8 record. He refused to withdraw from the basho, defying repeated recommendations from the rijicho that he should pull out. After Waka's spirited but losing struggle with fellow-yokozuna
Musashimaru on senshuraku (final day), Tokitsukaze said that "Wakanohana showed us today why he was promoted to yokozuna. He can still do sumo under such trying conditions, although I wish he could have competed in perfect condition." Waka announced later after talks with his stablemaster and father, ex-ozeki Takanohana, that he planned to keep doing sumo.
Wakanohana said after the Council meeting that Mr. Ichiriki, the Council head, only encouraged him. "I know myself what was right and what was wrong." He added that he wanted to hear what others had to say about his future, adding that "I want to return to top condition."
MARU AND KIMIGAYO Sept.29: Some 30 people called NHK after the Aki Basho on Sept. 24th to protest against NHK announcer Shozo Ishibashi asking yokozuna Musashimaru during the sumo broadcast on the last day to sing the Japanese national anthem, Kimigayo, after winning the Autumn Tournament. As usual, Maru didnít sing the national anthem, but Ishibashi commented on air at the time that he would like to ask the yokozuna to sing Kimigayo. Musashimaru, who was born in Samoa and raised in Hawaii, became a Japanese citizen in 1996. He was quoted as saying that ìIím studying it real hard right now.î Ishibashi said he based his remarks on the fact that Maru said after being promoted to ozeki in 1994 that he would do his best, "keeping in mind the Japanese heart." The NHK announcer also recalled that Tokitsukaze Rijicho said after Musashimaru was promoted to yoko-zuna after the Natsu Basho last May that Maru must learn to sing the anthem. An NHK P.R. official said that Ishibashi's request was made with-out a proper background explanation.
WAKANOHANA DECIDES NOT TO RETIRE Sept.26: Yokozuna Wakanohana decided not to retire, and to attempt a comeback after recovering from his injuries, following a meeting tonight with Tokitsukaze Rijicho and Futagoyama Oyakata.
15TH DAY-MUSASHIMARU WINS 6TH YUSHO, WAKANOHANA FINISHES WITH MAKE-KOSHI Sept.26: Musashimaru won his first yusho as a new yokozuna and his sixth championship overall Sunday at Tokyoís Ryogoku Kokugikan, defeating fellow-yokozuna Wakanohana to wind up with a 12-3 record. No. 3 maegashira Akinoshima was eliminated from the championship race earlier when he suffered his fourth loss at the hands of komusubi Musoyama and finished as runnerup with an 11-4 mark. It was Akinoshimaís second jun-yusho, including his March ë92 runnerup performance with a 12-3 record.
Wakanohana absorbed his eighth loss in a humiliating make-koshi
(failure to win a majority of bouts) finish for a yokozuna--the first
time in 10 years that a yokozuna has failed to get a winning record--since yokozuna Onokuni wound up with an embarrassing 7-8 record in the 1989 Autumn Tournament. But it was a gutsy performance over the last three days by the little, 28-year-old yokozuna, who declined to drop out despite his hobbling thigh injury.
In the final bout, Wakanohana put up surprisingly strong resistance against Musashimaru, preventing his opponent from making a quick ouster, dancing around him with surprising agility and seizing a migi-yotsu (right hand inside on the mawashi). And when Maru powered him to the edge, Waka countered with a desperate backward pivot throw that lifted his opponent up on one leg. But the try fell short and they came to grips on the mawashi again at the center. It was Wakanohana's high-water mark in attempting to overcome his huge, 223-kg. (492-lb.) opponent, as Maru bulldozed Wakanohana to the edge and then stifled any
countering move before crushing him out by yoritaoshi.
It was a gallant attempt by Wakanohana, but given his thigh injury, it would have taken a minor miracle to have beaten Maru, who now seems to be at his peak, and unless Takanohana is able to recover and regain the power he showed a year or so ago, Musashimaru appears certain to dominate the hon-basho dohyo for the next few years into the new millennium. Despite the exciting finish, it was a rather disappointing basho over-all, robbed of much of its excitement by the early withdrawals of the tourney favorite, yokozuna Akebono, as well as yokozuna Takanohana and ozeki Takanonami plus Wakanohanaís 12th-day injury. The two new ozeki, Chiyotaikai and Dejima, performed up to expectations, both finishing with 10-5 records.
The three sansho, or special prizes, went to No. 1 maegashira
Tochiazuma--Shukun-sho (Outstanding Performance Award) for the second time for his upsets of two yokozuna on the first two days--Takanohana and Musashimaru in that order, the Kanto-sho (Fighting Spirit Prize) to No. 3 maegashira Akinoshima for the eighth time and the Gino-sho (Technique Prize), also to Akinoshima--for the fourth time.
Musashimaru and fellow-yokozuna Akebono topped the tourney leaders after the first three days, and when Akebono withdrew on the fourth day due to a torn muscle in his left thigh, Maru continued to set the pace in first place and took over sole possession of the lead on the 10th day with a 9-1 record, as his rivals for the cup began to drop back. His only loss up till the the first half came when Tochiazuma outlasted him in a close bout on the second day. His closest rivals began to drop behind in the second week, except for Akinoshima, who kept pace with the yokozuna right down to senshuraku.
Despite Musashimaruís upset by Chiyotaikai on the 14th day, he was
still able to cling to the tourney lead since Akinoshima was two wins
behind on that day. His victory over Wakanohana--and clinching the yusho on the last day--were a foregone conclusion after Akinoshima lost to Musoyama early on. Maru thus racked up his first yusho as a yokozuna in only his second basho in the top rank, and now with six championships under his belt, he is apparently setting his sites on catching up with fellow-Hawaiian Akebono, who has nine yusho.
Needless to say, it was a disastrous basho for Wakanohana, who joined former yokozuna Onokuni in 1989 and ex-yokozuna Chiyonoyama and Akinoumi, among other former grand champions, in failing to make kachi-koshi. Standing 7-3 on the 10th day and tied for third place only two wins behind Musashimaru, Waka seemed well on his way to coming through with a reasonably good record. But on the 11th day he lost to No. 4 maegashira Kotonowaka and the next day he injured his left thigh in a losing effort against sekiwake Kaio.
It was all downhill after that, as the 28-year-old yokozuna lost all of
his four remaining bouts to finish with an embarrassing (for a yokozuna) 7-8 record. After withdrawing from the March and May tournaments and skipping the July tourney in Nagoya, then getting make-koshi in September, Wakanohana now faces an early forced retirement unless he can turn things around in the next two or three basho.
Akinoshima, who had started to fade over the last two basho with a pair of 6-9 records, which came on the heels of two consecutive 11-4 marks and talk of making ozeki. He has now strongly answered his detractors, who were predicting he was washed up and headed down the ranks toward an eventual, embarrassing demotion to Juryo in the near future. As things turned out, this has been one of the best basho ever for the 32-year-old veteran. With both Takanohana and Takanonami out and Wakanohana struggling to keep going despite his injury, Akinoshima (and No. 7 maegashira Takatoriki (9-6) to some extent) did their best to uphold the proud Futagoyama Beya tradition in this basho.
Despite losing to No. 5 maegashira Miyabiyama on the second day,
Akinoshima made it through the first week without dropping any more bouts. But when he lost to Musashimaru on the eighth day and to ozeki Dejima on the ninth day, it appeared that his hopes of staying in the yusho race had all but vanished. Akinoshima, however, returned to his winning ways from the 10th day as the other yusho rivals dropped out of the race one by one so that he was the only viable challenger to Musashimaru by the 13th day, a situation that continued right down to the last day--until he lost his final bout--to Musoyama.
The two oshi-dashi ozeki, Chiyotaikai and Dejima, did about as well as expected, with both chalking up 10 wins. Chiyotaikai was rolling along in a first-place tie by the fifth day with a perfect, 5-0 record, but the bottom suddenly dropped out when he lost three straight bouts over the next three days to komusubi Musoyama and the two top-ranked maegashira Tochiazuma and Tamakasuga. Still, he managed to bounce back with five more wins through the 14th day, so that Taikai had a reasonably good 10-4 record going into senshuraku, but Dejima was too strong for him in their final showdown and so he had to be content with a 10-5 mark.
Dejima had an ever harder time than Chiyotaikai, losing two of his
first three bouts to opponents he was expected to beat without too much trouble, but both No. 2 maegashira Asanosho and Kyokushuzan upset him on opening day and the third day, respectively. A third loss to Tochiazuma on the fifth day left Dejima with a so-so 5-3 record by end of the first half of the basho. He improved remarkably on this by winning five of his last seven bouts, including his 15th-day collision with Chiyotaikai, for a final 10-5 record.
Kaio bounced back from his letdown in July by chalking up a
9-6 record, including upset victories over yokozuna Akebono and
Waka-nohana plus ozeki Dejima and Takanonami. But Tosanoumi never managed to get going, losing all of his last three bouts to end up with a disappointing 7-8 record. Tosa will probably fall to komusubi in November. The two komusubi also split, with Musoyama collecting his eight wins and Kotonishiki falling far short with 5-10. Musoyama dealt a devastating blow to Futagoyama Beya, beating both yokozuna Wakanohana and Taka-nohana as well as Akinoshima, preventing the No. 3 maegashira from reaching a playoff with his (Musoyamaís) stablemate, Musashimaru.
Down in the lower Juryo Division, No. 8 Hayateumi of Oitekaze Beya (run by former No. 2 maegashira Daishoyama) took the Juryo yusho with a strong 12-3 record. Juryo No. 10 Hoshitango of Argentina made kachi-koshi with an 8-7 mark, but the other No. 10 Juryo rikishi, Sentoryu of the U.S., fell short with a 6-9 record. Itís possible Sentoryu could fall all the way down to Makushita in November, although he may be able to hang on at the very bottom of Juryo in the No. 13 position. (Andy Adams)
15th Day Results (Winner-Technique-Loser)
* Kitazakura 8-7 (yorikiri) Kato 4-3*
* Tamanonada 10-5 (oshidashi) Akinoshu 10-5
* Towanoyama 6-9 (oshidashi) Sentoryu 6-9
* Tamarikido 7-8 (yorikiri) Oginishiki 8-7
* Kobo 6-9 (shitatenage) Tochinohana 8-7
* Mainoumi 5-10 (kirikaeshi) Daishi 7-8
* Takanowaka 11-4 (uwatedashinage) Dewaarashi 8-7
* Oikari 9-6 (oshidashi) Hoshitango 8-7
* Dewataira 9-6 (yorikiri) Mitoizumi 6-9
* Wakanojo 6-9 (yorikiri) Kotoiwakuni 4-11
* Susanoumi 7-8 (oshidashi) Tomonohana 6-9
* Kitakachidoki 7-8 (hatakikomi) Wakahayato 2-13
* Daizen 9-6 (oshidashi) Hayateumi 12-3
* Tokitsuumi 7-8 (yorikiri) Wakanoyama 9-6
* Ganyu 5-10 (yorikiri) Ohinode 8-7
* Higonoumi 8-7 (hatakikomi) Kaiho 7-8
* Aogiyama 8-7 (oshidashi) Hamanoshima 8-7
* Kinkaiyama 6-9 (hatakikomi) Tochinonada 5-10
* Terao 8-7 (hatakikomi) Otsukasa 8-7
* Chiyotenzan 6-9 (yorikiri) Kyokutenho 8-7
* Minatofuji 6-9 (yorikiri) Kotoryu 8-7
* Miyabiyama 10-5 (hatakikomi) Asanowaka 9-6
* Toki 6-9 (hatakikomi) Wakanosato 6-9
* Kotonowaka 7-8 (yorikiri) Asanosho 7-8
* Tamakasuga 8-7 (oshidashi) Kyokushuzan 7-8
* Tochiazuma 10-5 (oshidashi) Takatoriki 9-6
* Musoyama 8-7 (yorikiri) Akinoshima 11-4
* Kotonishiki 5-10 (sukuinage) Shikishima 3-12
* Kaio 9-6 (hatakikomi) Tosanoumi 7-8
* Dejima 10-5 (yorikiri) Chiyotaikai 10-5
* Musashimaru 12-3 (yoritaoshi) Wakanohana 7-8
14TH DAY-MUSASHIMARU LOSES; TIED WITH AKINOSHIMA AT 11-3 Sept.25-Ozeki Chiyotaikai upset Musashimaru to throw the Aki Basho into a two-way tie for first place between Maru and No. 3 maegashira Akinoshima--both with 11-3 records. Musashimaru meets fellow-yokozuna Wakanohana on senshuraku (final day), while Akinoshima takes on komusubi Musoyama. to decide the yusho winner. Musashimaru seemed on the verge of clinching the championship with only Chiyotaikai standing in the way, but the yokozuna was careless in losing his right-hand grip on Taikai's mawashi as he drove the ozeki to the edge.Once they hit the straw ridge, Chiyotaikai suddenly leaped to his right and pulled Musashimaru down onto all fours by tsukiotoshi. The yokozuna is now 11-3, while Taikai is 10-4. It left the ozeki one-up on Maru in their nine-bout rivalry. Akinoshima made short work of No. 1 maegashira Tochiazuma, who came in much too low. Aki simply shifted to one side at the tachi-ai and slapped Tochi down onto all fours by hatakikomi. It was only the fourth time that Akinoshima has bettered Tochi in their 12-bout rivalry. Akinoshima thus moved into a two-way tie with Muashimaru for the lead by racking up his 11th win against three losses, while Tochiazuma slipped to 9-5.
As expected, Dejima made short work of Wakanohana, who desperately tried to put pressure on the ozeki's right shoulder in an attempt to throw him off-balance, but it was a futile effort as Dejima ran the ailing yokozuna out by yorikiri. Since Waka faces fellow-yokozuna Musashimaru on senshuraku (final day), he has almost no chance of getting kachi-koshi, or a majority of wins. Meanwhile, rikishi with 6-7 records on the 13th day evened their marks at 7-7 in preparation for getting kachi-koshi on the final day: These included sekiwake Tosanoumi, No. 2 maegashira
Kyokushuzan, No. 3 Asanowaka and No. 9 Kaiho--all even at 7-7 going into Day 15. Don't bet against these four on Sunday.
Kaio looked pathetic in losing to Kyokushuzan. After some initial sparring at the center of the dohyo, the sekiwake appeared about to reach for Shuzan's mawashi, but the tricky Mongolian suddenly jerked Kaio into the clay by hatakikomi. The sekiwake is 8-6 and Koykushuzan is 7-7. Asanosho continued his amazing performance in this basho by upsetting Musoyama to even his record at 7-7 so that if he wins on the last day and make his majority of eight wins, he has a good chance of being promoted to komusubi in November. It would be his first basho ever in sanyaku. Musoyama seemed to have things well in hand, as he brushed aside Asa's thrusting attack and drove the No. 2 maegashira toward the edge. But just as Musoyama closed in for the kill, Asa suddenly leaped to his right and slapped the komusubi down at the edge by hatakikomi. Both are even at 7-7.
Tamakasuga did everything but beat Miyabiyama. He used a strong
pushing/thrusting attack to drive the ex-collegian to the edge, and just when it seemed he was about to administer the coup de grace on the beleagured Miyabi with a powerful thrust to the latter's throat, Tama's thrusting arm slipped off. It resulted in his losing his balance and making it easy for Miyabiyama to push him out head over teacups by tsukiotoshi. Miyabiyama has now equalled his best-ever record in the top division with nine wins (and five losses), while Tamakasuga is even at 7-7. Mongolian Kyokutenho got his eight wins to assure his continued presence in the Makunouchi Division for the fourth consecutive basho. His previous best was two basho in a row in the top division. Tosanoumi pulled off a rare (for him) henka, leaping aside at the tachi-ai as Kotonowaka rushed ahead and only just managed to stop short of the edge. But when he turned around to face his onrushing foe, 168-kg. (359-lb.) Tosa crashed into him and immediately blew him off the dohyo by oshidashi. The sekiwake is now 7-7, while Koto is 6-8.
14th Day Results (Winner-Technique-Loser)
* Wakakosho 4-3* (uwatenage) Kitazakura 7-7
* Hayateumi 12-2 (oshidashi) Dewataira 8-6
* Oginishiki 8-6 (sukuinage) Sentoryu 6-8
* Daishi 7-7 (oshidashi) Akinoshu 10-4
* Takanowaka 10-4 (kirikaeshi) Tochinohana 8-6
* Tamanonada 9-5 (yorikiri) Mainoumi 4-10
* Mitoizumi 6-8 (yorikiri) Kotoiwakuni 4-10
* Dewaarashi 8-6 (tsukiotoshi) Oikari 8-6
* Wakanojo 5-9 (uwatenage) Wakahayato 2-12
* Hoshitango 8-6 (tsukitaoshi) Tomonohana 6-8
* Susanoumi 6-8 (oshidashi) Tamarikido 6-8
* Daizen 8-6 (tsuridashi) Kobo 5-9
* Kitakachidoki 6-8 (tsukiotoshi) Towanoyama 5-9
* Wakanoyama 9-5 (hatakikomi) Higonoumi 7-7
* Ohinode 8-6 (yorikiri) Kotoryu 8-6
* Otsukasa 8-6 (yorikiri) Ganyu 4-10
* Aogiyama 7-7 (oshidashi) Kinkaiyama 5-9
* Asanowaka 9-5 (hikiotoshi) Takatoriki 9-5
* Terao 7-7 (kubinage) Hamanoshima 8-6
* Tokitsuumi 6-8 (yorikiri) Chiyotenzan 5-9
* Kyokutenho 8-6 (hatakikomi) Wakanosato 6-8
* Kaiho 7-7 (oshidashi) Minatofuji 5-9
* Shikishima 3-11 (yorikiri) Tochinonada 5-9
* Akinoshima 11-3 (hatakikomi) Tochiazuma 9-5
* Miyabiyama 9-5 (tsukiotoshi) Tamakasuga 7-7
* Toki 5-9 (tsukitaoshi) Kotonishiki 4-10
* Asanosho (hatakikomi) Musoyama 7-7
* Kyokushuzan 7-7 (hatakikomi) Kaio 8-6
* Tosanoumi 7-7 (oshidashi) Kotonowaka 6-8
* Chiyotaikai 10-4 (tsukiotoshi) Musashimaru 11-3
* Dejima 9-5 (yorikiri) Wakanohana 7-7
* denotes makushita rikishi
13TH DAY-MUSASHIMARU ONE WIN AWAY FROM TIE FOR YUSHO Sept.24- Yokozuna Musashimaru moved to within one win of clinching at least a tie for the yusho of the Aki Basho by overpowering a stubborn Kaio and picking up his 11th win against two losses, but plucky No. 3 maegashira Akinoshima kept pace one step back in second place by defeating his much-bigger opponent, sekiwake Tosanoumi and collecting his 10th win against three losses. Ozeki Chiyotakai, No. 1 maegashira Tochiazuma and No. 7 Takatoriki--all 9-4--still have a mathematical chance to collect the top prize, but only if Maru loses both of his last two bouts and Akinoshima loses one while they win both of theirs--a very unlikely scenario. It's painful to see an injury-hobbled Wakanohana lose badly day after day, and although he only needs one more win to make kachi-koshi (a majority of wins), his chances are virtually nil since he meets Dejima on the 14th day and Musashimaru on senshuraku.
Kaio put up a spirited fight against Musashimaru, holding off the 223-kg. (492 lbs.)yoko- zuna at the edge early on, then countering by driving Maru back across the dohyo. But the huge grand champ stopped Kaio short of the edge, grabbed the sekiwake's mawashi in a hidari-yotsu (left hand inside on the belt) grip and marched Kaio straight across the circle and out by yorikiri. Musashimaru is all alone in first place at 11-2, while Kaio is now 8-5. Plucky little Akinoshima clashed with hefty Tosanoumi and got the better of his 187 cm. (6-1 1/2-inch) opponent. After a brief standoff at the center of the dohyo, Akinoshima suddenly pulled Tosa toward the
edge, turned him around and shoved him out from the rear by okuridashi. The little No. 3 maegashira thus held onto second place with a 10-3 record, while Tosanoumi slipped to 6-7. Dejima had little trouble with Chiyotenzan and racked up his eighth win against five losses. He was not fooled by Tenzan's attempt to fake him out at
the tachi-ai, then quickly closed the gap and boomed the No. 6 maegashira out by oshidashi. Tochiazuma kept his hopes alive by picking up his ninth win against four losses, therby clinging to a three-way tie for third place. The husky little No. 1 maegashira kept up with an elusive Kyokushuzan, who twisted and danced about the dohyo in a desperate attempt to elude Tochi, who eventually forced him to fight on the mawashi before booming him out by oshidashi. Shuzan is now 6-7. Musoyama made short work of Minatofuji, driving him out by oshidashi in a matter of seconds to
boost his record to 7-6, while the No. 5 maegashira fell to 5-8. Asanosho continued his surprising performande by upsetting komusubi Kotonishiki. Both went at each other hammer and tongs, flailing away each other without letup until Asanowaka
suddenly twisted Koto down by tsukiotoshi. Now 6-7, the No. 2 maegashira has a chance to reach sanyaku for the first time in his career if he wins his last two bouts, but Koto's brief stint at komusubi is definitely over since he now stands at 4-9.
In the key bout of the 14th day, Musashimaru collides with ozeki Chiyotaikai. Wakanohana is paired with Dejima and then meets Maru on the final day, so it appears that he will be one of the few yokozuna ever to absorb a losing record--7-8 in his case. The last yokozuna who failed to make kachi-koshi was Onokuni, who ended up with a 7-8 record exactly 10 years ago in the 1989 Aki Basho.
13th Day Results (Winner-Technique-Loser)
* Wakatsutomu 3-4* (oshidashi) Wakahayato 2-11
* Dewataira 8-5 (tsukiotoshi) Sentoryu 6-7
* Hayateumi 11-2 (yorikiri) Tochinohana 8-5
* Hoshitango 7-6 (hikiotoshi) Towanoyama 5-8
* Daishi 6-7 (tsukiotoshi) Tamarikido 6-7
* Akinoshu 10-3 (tsukiotoshi) Oginishiki 7-6
* Mainoumi 4-9 (shitatenage) Kobo 5-8
* Takanowaka 9-4 (yorikiri) Kitazakura 7-6
* Tomonohana 6-7 (oshidashi) Tamanonada 8-5
* Mitoizumi 5-8 (yorikiri) Wakanojo 4-9
* Susanoumi 5-8 (hatakikomi) Kotoiwakuni 4-9
* Dewaarashi 7-6 (yorikiri) Kitakachidoki 5-8
* Daizen 7-6 (uwatenage) Asanowaka 8-5
* Oikari 8-5 (oshidashi) Kinkaiyama 5-8
* Otsukasa 7-6 (yorikiri) Wakanoyama 8-5
* Ohinode 7-6 (oshidashi) Aogiyama 6-7
* Tochinonada 5-8 (tsukiotoshi) Kyokutenho 7-6
* Takatoriki 9-4 (oshidashi) Hamanoshima 8-5
* Wakanosato 6-7 (yoritaoshi) Kaio 6-7
* Kotoryu 8-5 (hatakikomi) Miyabiyama 8-5
* Higonoumi 7-6 (shitatenage) Kotonowaka 6-7
* Tokitsuumi 5-8 (shitatenage) Shikishima 2-11
* Toki 4-9 (tsukidashi) Ganyu 4-9
* Tamakasuga 7-6 (oshidashi) Terao 6-7
* Tochiazuma 9-4 (oshidashi) Kyokushuzan 6-7
* Musoyama 7-6 (oshidashi) Minatofuji 5-8
* Asanosho 6-7 (tsukiotoshi) Kotonishiki 4-9
* Akinoshima 10-3 (okuridashi) Tosanoumi 6-7
* Dejima 8-5 (oshidashi) Chiyotenzan 5-8
* Chiyotaikai 9-4 (hatakikomi) Wakanohana 7-6
* Musashimaru 11-2 (yorikiri) Kaio 8-5
* denotes makushita rikishi
12TH DAY-MUSASHIMARU CLOSER TO YUSHO Sept..23:Yokozuna Musashimaru closed in on his first yusho as a new yokozuna Thursday and his sixth tourney title overall by muscling out a stubborn Chiyotenzan for his 10th win against two losses on the 12th day of the Aki Basho, while No. 3 maegashira Akinoshima kept pace one step back in second place with a solid win over No. 11 Wakanoyama to boost his record to 9-3. No less than seven rikishi are tied for third place at 8-4, including ozeki Chiyotaikai, sekiwake Kaio, No. 1 maegashira Tochiazuma, No. 7 Takatoriki, No. 10 Kotoryu, No. 11 Wakanoyama and No. 12 Hamanoshima. A game but injury-hampered Wakanohana absorbed his fifth loss against seven wins in a one-sided bout with Kaio.
For one brief instant, Chiyotenzan had Musashimaru in trouble, but the 223-kg. (492-pound) yokozuna quickly recovered and used his left-hand inside grip (hidari-yotsu) to drive Tenzan around the inside of the dohyo and finally muscle him out by yorikiri
for his 10th victory against two losses. Chiyo thus fell further behind the pace at 5-7. In second place, Akinoshima secured a
strong grip on Wakanoyama's mawashi, patiently waited for an opening and finally downed his No. 11 opponent with a powerful
armthrow--uwatenage. Chiyotaikai made short work of Shikishima, banging into his hefty, 184-kg. (406-lb.) opponent and driving him straight off the dohyo by oshidashi. Chiyo thus remains in a tie for third place at 8-4, while the No. 4 maegashira is heading for another disaster at 2-10. Kaio, as expected, made short work of a handicapped Wakanohana, thrusting the injured grand champion to the edge, slipping his left arm under Waka's shoulder and running him out by oshidashi. Waka, who is fighting to get kachi-koshi (a majority of wins) is now 7-5 and faces Chiyotaikai on Friday, while Kaio clings to a third-place tie at 8-4.
No. 1 maegashsira Tamakasuga fought off a determined Musoyama with a brilliant standoff at the edge, then countered by
maneuvering the komsubi around the inside of the cirlce and eventually crushing him out by yoritaoshi to pick up his eighth win against four losses, while Musoyama slipped to 6-6. So much for reports that Musoyama won a key tournament during the recent
Tohoku jungyo tour through northern Japan this past summer. In other bouts, Kotonowaka stunned Dejima to deal the ozeki his
fifth loss against seven wins. Koto forced the fight to the belt at the outset, and although the ozeki maintained a lower grip and
stance throughout their struggle, the big No. 4 maegashira kept up the pressure and finally drove Dejima out by yorikiri. Koto is
even at 6-6. In an exciting clash, No. 1 maegashira Tochiazuma defeated Miyabiyama--the tourney leader at the halfway point--to
hand the No. 5 maegashira his fourth straight setback. The bout was highlighted by Tochi's brilliant defense at the edge, but once
he survived that onslaught by Miyabiyama, he quickly counter-attacked and muscled him out by yorikiri.
Musashimaru faces one of his toughest bouts so far when he clashes with sekiwake Kaio on the 13th day, while Akinoshima is paired with Tosanoumi, and Dejima faces Chiyotenzan.
12th Day Results (Winner-Technique-Loser)
* Aminishiki 3-3* (uwatenage) Kotoiwakuni
* Akinoshu 9-3 (uwatenage) Sentoryu 6-6
* Hayateumi 10-2 (kirikaeshi) Oginishiki 7-5
* Dewataira 7-5 (yorikiri) Kobo 5-7
* Tamanonada 8-4 (yorikiri) Dewaarashi 6-6
* Takanowaka 8-4 (tsukiotoshi) Tamarikido 6-6
* Kitazakura 7-5 (okuridashi) Mainoumi 3-9
* Tochinohana 8-4 (hatakikomi) Oikari 7-5
* Towanoyama 5-7 (yorikiri) Wakanojo 4-8
* Tomonohana 5-7 (shitatenage) Mitoizumi 4-8
* Susanoumi 4-8 (hatakikomi) Wakahayato 2-10
* Daizen 6-6 (oshidashi) Hoshitango 6-6
* Kitakachidoki 5-7 (yorikiri) Daishi 5-7
* Hamanoshima 8-4 (yorikiri) Otsukasa 6-6
* Asanowaka 8-4 (hatakikomi) Kotoryu 7-5
* Kaiho 6-6 (okuridashi) Ohinode 6-6
* Kinkaiyama 5-7 (yorikiri) Ganyu 4-8
* Kyokutenho 7-5 (hikiotoshi) Aogiyama 6-6
* Higonoumi 6-6 (oshitaoshi) Terao 6-6
* Wakanosato 5-7 (okuridashi) Tokitsuumi 4-8
* Toki 3-9 (hikiotoshi) Minatofuji 5-7
* Akinoshima 9-3 (uwatenage) Wakanoyama 8-4
* Takatoriki 8-4 (oshidashi) Kyokushuzan 6-6
* Asanosho 5-7 (yorikiri) Tochinonada 4-8
* Tochiazuma 8-4 (yorikiri) Miyabiyama 8-4
* Tamakasuga 6-6 (yoritaoshi) Musoyama 6-6
* Tosanoumi 6-6 (oshidashi) Kotonishiki 4-8
* Chiyotaikai 8-4 (oshidashi) Shikishima 2-10
* Kotonowaka 6-6 (yorikiri) Dejima 7-5
* Musashimaru 10-2 (yorikiri) Chiyotenzan 5-7
* Kaio 8-4 (oshidashi) Wakanohana 7-5
* denotes makushita rikishi
Wakanohana crumbles under Kaio's onslaught today.
11TH DAY-ALL YOKOZUNA AND OZEKI LOSE Sept..22:All four competing yokozuna and ozeki lost today, but yokozuna Musashimaru remains in the sole lead with a 9-2 record. Akinoshima, Miyabiyama, and Wakanoyama share second place with 8-3 records.
Musashimaru suffered a clumsy and embarrasing loss at the hands of No.5 maegashira Minatofuji. The 31 year old Minatofuji, who has never been ranked in the sanyaku in six years in the makunouchi, was quickly pushed to the edge of the dohyo by Musashimaru, whose tachi-ai was not very strong. Just when Musashimaru thought he had finished off Minatofuji, the maegashira dashed aside, and the lumbering Musahimaru stepped out of the dohyo first. Fellow yokozuna Wakanohana was quickly shoved out by No.4 maegashira Kotonowaka, offering almost no resistance. Wakanohana has obviously been weakened by the injury he suffered yesterday in his epic struggle with Toki. An examination at a hospital last night showed Waka had a slight muscular injury in his upper leg. Wakanohana would be well advised to withdraw now, since he could well lose all his remaining bouts, and finish with make-koshi if he chooses to compete to the final day.
No.3 maegashira Akinoshima achieved kachi-koshi today, with an 8-3 record, by easily defeating ozeki Chiyotaikai. Akinoshima charged quite low, and Chiyotaikai, sensing danger, tried to pull him down, to no avail, and was quickly shoved out. Akinoshima is perhaps the only one of the second place rikishi with a realistic chance to take the yusho if Musashimaru loses more bouts. Ozeki Dejima also suffered his fourth loss, when he was outsmarted by sekiwake Kaio. Dejima's forward momentum was stymied by Kaio, and the sekiwake wasted no time in throwing the new ozeki over by makiotoshi.
Miyabiyama lost for the third consecutive day, but remains in second place. He put up a strong effort in his bout with sekiwake Tosanoumi. After holding his own for two minutes, Miyabiyama was suddenly caught off guard by Tosa and pushed down by uwate-hineri.
11th Day Results (Winner-Technique-Loser)
* Wakakosho 3-3* (tsukiotoshi) Wakahayato 2-9
* Hayateumi 9-2 (yorikiri) Hoshitango 6-5
* Tochinohana 7-4 (yorikiri) Towanoyama 4-7
* Kitazakura 6-5 (yorikiri) Daishi 5-6
* Oginishiki 7-4 (kirikaeshi) Kotoiwakuni 4-7
* Tamarikido 6-5 (sukuinage) Dewaarashi 6-5
* Takanowaka 7-4 (hatakikomi) Akinoshu 8-3
* Tamanonada 7-4 (hatakikomi) Oikari 7-4
* Mitoizumi 4-7 (yorikiri) Mainoumi 3-8
* Sentoryu 6-5 (hikiotoshi) Tomonohana 4-7
* Kobo 5-6 (yorikiri) Wakanojo 4-7
* Dewataira 6-5 (hikiotoshi) Susanoumi 3-8
* Kinkaiyama 4-7 (yorikiri) Daizen 5-6
* Hamanoshima 7-4 (yorikiri) Kitakachidoki 4-7
* Ohinode (6-5 (shitatehineri) Kyokutenho 6-5
* Kotoryu 7-4 (tsukiotoshi) Tokitsuumi 4-7
* Ganyu 4-7 (hikiotoshi) Higonoumi 5-6
* Asanowaka 7-4 (oshitaoshi) Kaiho 5-6
* Aogiyama 6-5 (okuridashi) Otsukasa 6-5
* Takatoriki 7-4 (tsukidashi) Wakanoyama 8-3
* Terao 6-5 (tsukiotoshi) Shikishima 2-9
* Tochinonada 4-7 (tsukiotoshi) Toki 2-9
* Asanosho 4-7 (okuridashi) Wakanosato 4-7
* Kyokushuzan 6-5 (watashikomi) Chiyotenzan 5-6
* Tochiazuma 7-4 (yorikiri) Musoyama 6-5
* Kotonishiki 4-7 (oshidashi) Tamakasuga 5-6
* Tosanoumi 5-6 (uwatehineri) Miyabiyama 8-3
* Kaio 7-4 (makiotoshi) Dejima 7-4
* Akinoshima 8-3 (oshidashi) Chiyotaikai 7-4
* Kotonowaka 5-6 (tsukidashi) Wakanohana 7-4
* Minatofuji 5-6 (uwatedashinage) Musashimaru 9-2
* denotes makushita rikishi
TOKITSUNADA AND ZENSHINYAMA RETIRE Sept..22: Former No.4 Maegashira Tokitsunada, 30, of Tokitsukaze Beya announced his retirement today. He is becoming a jun-toshiyori and will be known as Tokitsunada Oyakata. Ex-No.2 Juryo Zenshinyama, 33, of Takadagawa Beya, retired effective September 16, and will also remain in sumo as a wakaimonogashira. Both rikishi were absent in the makushita this tournament. Tokitsunada was ranked in the makunouchi for a total of 19 tournaments, but had been languishing in juryo for years, until he finally fell to the makushita in the Nagoya Basho. Zenshinyama went up and down between the juryo and makushita for a decade, and reached his highest rank as recently as last year.
10TH DAY-MUSASHIMARU TAKES SOLE LEAD Sept..21: Yokozuna Musashimaru took became the sole leader for the first time this basho, with a 9-1 record, while No.5 maegashira Miyabiyama absorbed his second loss at the hands of ozeki Chiyotaikai.
Musashimaru had little difficulty defeating No.4 maegashira Kotonowaka, ousting his slow opponent before he could solidify his position and become a potential threat. Miyabiyama might have been expected to learn from his split-second sidestep loss to yokozuna Wakanohana yesterday, but today was almost a repeat of yesterday. Chiyotaikai quickly seized hold of Miyabiyama at the tachi-ai, and sent the powerful maegashira down by hatakikomi. Though this is his third basho as a high maegashira, Miyabiyama has to yet to pose any threat to the yokozuna and ozeki. His offensive sumo can be destructively powerful, but on the defense he is little more than an amateur, and is especially vulnerable when he is pulled forward. Miyabiyama has now fallen to second place, along with Wakanoyama, and likely has very little chance to take the yusho.
Ozeki Dejima has now almost totally regained his rythum and has won five consecutive bouts. He did not have an easy bout with No. 5 maegashira Minatofuji, but he persevered and defeated the veteran Minato Beya rikishi at yotsu-zumo. Dejima and Chiyotaikai, now both 7-3, pose the only real threat at this point to Musashimaru.
The most exciting bout today was between yokozuna Wakanohana and No.3 maegashira Toki. Toki pushed the much lighter Wakanohana around the dohyo, but the little yokozuna held on, and finally managed to throw the maegashira down on to the dohyo. At the last moment, Toki tried to spread Wakanohana's legs, and as a result the yokozuna appeared to injure his leg in falling. Tate-gyoji Kimura Shonosuke pointed his gunbai in Wakanohana's direction, but the decision was challenged by the shimpan. The bout was declared a tori-naoshi. Wakanohana, slow and limping, appeared to be a sitting duck, but he gamely withstood another fierce thrusting and pushing assault from Toki. Finally Toki starting running out of steam and Wakanohana caught him off guard and sent him out by okuridashi. It was Wakanohana's most hard-won bout this tournament and a fine display of outstanding fighting spirit. Wakanohana is now 7-3 after five consecutive wins. After returning to shitakubeya, Wakanohana declared that his leg was fine, and he was able to leave without requiring medical treatment.
10th Day Results (Winner-Technique-Loser)
* Kotoiwakuni 4-6 (oshidashi) Juzan 2-4*
* Tamarikido 5-5 (uwatenage) Sentoryu 5-5
* Oginishiki 6-4 (yorikiri) Kitazakura 5-5
* Akinoshu 8-2 (yorikiri) Kobo 4-6
* Dewaarashi 6-4 (yorikiri) Hoshiango 6-4
* Takanowaka 6-4 (uwatenage) Tamanonda 6-4
* Tochinohana 6-4 (yorikiri) Mainoumi 3-7
* Mitoizumi 3-7 (kotenage) Wakahayato 2-8
* Oikari 7-3 (tsukiotoshi) Hayateumi 8-2
* Dewataira 5-5 (oshidashi) Wakanojo 4-6
* Daishi 5-5 (uwatedashinage) Tomonohana 4-6
* Susanoumi 3-7 (oshidashi) Towanoyama 4-6
* Kinkaiyama 3-7 (kakenage) Kitakachidoki 4-6
* Otsukasa 6-4 (yorikiri) Kyokutenho 6-4
* Hamanoshima 6-4 (oshidashi) Daizen 5-5
* Wakanoyama 8-2 (hatakikomi) Ohinode 5-5
* Kaiho 5-5 (hatakikomi) Kotoryu 6-4
* Higonoumi 5-5 (okuridashi) Tochinonada 3-7
* Asanowaka 6-4 (okuridashi) Aogiyama 5-5
* Takatoriki 6-4 (oshidashi) Tokitsuumi 4-6
* Terao 5-5 (hikiotoshi) Chiyotenzan 5-5
* Wakanosato 4-6 (sukuinage) Ganyu 3-7
* Tochiazuma 6-4 (yorikiri) Shikishima 2-8
* Akinoshima 7-3 (yorikiri) Tamakasuga 5-5
* Musoyama 6-4 (oshitaoshi) Kotonishiki 3-7
* Asanosho 3-7 (yoritaoshi) Kaio 6-4
* Kyokushuzan 5-5 (okuridashi) Tosanoumi 4-6
* Chiyotaikai 7-3 (hatakikomi) Miyabiyama 8-2
* Dejima 7-3 (yoritaoshi) Minatofuji 4-6
* Musashimaru 9-1 (yorikiri) Kotonowaka 4-6
* Wakanohana 7-3 (okuridashi) Toki 2-8
* denotes makushita rikishi
9TH DAY-WAKANOHANA SIDESTEPS MIYABIYAMASept.20: No.5 Maegashira Miyabiyama's winning streak was snapped today, as he fell victim to yokozuna Wakanohana's dohyo savvy. Musashimaru won to share the lead. Musashimaru thus appears on track to win his first yusho at yokozuna, but given the fact that he is not in especially good condition, the outcome is still by no means certain.
Miyabiyama charged into Wakanohana at full force, but made the mistake of not watching the yokozuna closely. Wakanohana dashed aside and Miyabiyama continued charging into nothing but thin air, crashing down onto the dohyo. Henka is not considered an entirely appropriate means by which a yokozuna should win, but considering his small size, and sub-optimum condition, Wakanohana's hatakikomi came as no surprise. It was a valuable lesson for Miyabiyama. Wakanohana's record has improved to 6-3 after four consecutive wins, and he now appears to be more or less out of danger. Miyabiyama shares the lead with his Musashigawa Beya sempai Musashimaru, and faces ozeki Chiyotaikai tomorrow.
Musashimaru had a momentary scare in his bout with No.4 maegashira Shikishima. The yokozuna's tachi-ai was poor, and so slow that the maegashira quickly grapsed his favored migi-uwate grip. Shikishima managed to drive Musashimaru forward, but simply lacked the strength to take advantage of his supposedly superior grip. Musashimaru soon applied forward pressure, and Shikishima was quickly forced out. Musashimaru thus achieved his 54th consecutive kachi-koshi.
Both competing ozeki looked strong today. Dejima was as impressive as was in July in quickly stampeding No.3 maegashira Akinoshima, who suffered his third defeat. At the tachi-ai, sekiwake Kaio gropped toward ozeki Chiyotaikai with about as much agility as a galvanized statue. Chiyotaikai wasted no time in pulling him over by hatakikomi. Kaio has at times looked impressive in this basho, but was at his worst today. One cannot help but think he would be far more speedier and effective on the dohyo if he were to get his weight back below 150 kilograms. Wakanoyama meanwhile won again, to come within one win of kachi-koshi with a 7-2 record. In juryo, undefeated Hyateumi suffered his first loss at the hands of Akinoshu, but is still the sole leader at 8-1.
9th Day Results (Winner-Technique-Loser)
* Tamarikido 4-5 (oshitaoshi) Juzan 2-3*
* Kotoiwakuni 3-6 (hatakikomi) Wakatsutomu 2-3*
* Kototamiya 4-1* (oshitaoshi) Wakahayato 2-7
* Hoshitango 6-3 (hatakikomi) Tochinohana 5-4
* Akinoshu 7-2 (tsukidashi) Hayateumi 8-1
* Towanoyama 4-5 (tsukiotoshi) Kitazakura 5-4
* Tamanonada 6-3 (yorikiri) Kobo 4-5
* Oikari 6-3 (hatakikomi) Dewataira 4-5
* Sentoryu 5-4 (hikiotoshi) Mitoizumi 2-7
* Takanowaka 5-4 (uwatenage) Tomonohana 4-5
* Wakanojo 4-5 (yorikiri) Daishi 4-5
* Oginishiki 5-4 (oshidashi) Susanoumi 2-7
* Kitakachidoki 4-5 (okuridashi) Mainoumi 3-6
* Daizen 5-4 (uwatedashinage) Dewaarashi 5-4
* Asanowaka 5-4 (tsukiotoshi) Kyokutenho 6-3
* Higonoumi 4-5 (tsukiotoshi) Ohinode 5-4
* Kotoryu 6-3 (oshidashi) Hamanoshima 5-4
* Tokitsuumi 4-5 (yorikiri) Kinkaiyama 2-7
* Otsukasa 5-4 (yorikiri) Kaiho 4-5
* Tochinonada 3-6 (yorikiri) Ganyu 3-6
* Wakanoyama 7-2 (oshidashi) Terao 4-5
* Aogiyama 5-4 (tsukidashi) Wakanosato 3-6
* Takatoriki 5-4 (oshidashi) Kotonowaka 4-5
* Chiyotenzan 5-4 (oshidashi) Toki 2-7
* Minatofuji 4-5 (hikiotoshi) Asanosho 2-7
* Kyokushuzan 4-5 (katasukashi) Musoyama 5-4
* Tochiazuma 5-4 (hikiotoshi) Kotonishiki 3-6
* Tosanoumi 4-5 (yoritaoshi) Tamakasuga 5-4
* Dejima 6-3 (yorikiri) Akinoshima 6-3
* Chiyotaikai 6-3 (hatakikomi) Kaio 6-3
* Wakanohana 6-3 (hatakikomi) Miyabiyama 8-1
* Musashimaru 8-1 (yorikiri) Shikishima 2-7
* denotes makushita rikishi
8TH DAY-MIYABIYAMA AT 8-0, MUSASHIMARU FOLLOWS AT 7-1 Sept.19: No.5 maegashira Miyabiyama maintained his sole lead today by overcoming a spirited challenge from veteran Terao. Musashimaru took sole possession of second place by easily overpowering No.3 maegashira Akinoshima. Kaio, Kyokutenho, and Wakanohana share third place at 6-2 with Akinoshima.
36 year old No.7 maegashira Terao, who is in surprisingly good shape despite missing the entire summer jungyo with a stomach ailment, engaged in a fierce tsuppari duel with Miyabiyama at the outset of their bout, but the powerful 22 year old quickly lunged forward, pushing the former sekiwake to the edge of the dohyo in a split second. As Miyabiyama was charging from a very low position, Terao nearly succeeded in pulling him down at the last instant. Miyabiyama now must face the joi-jin, starting with yokozuna Wakanohana tomorrow. As Wakanohana is starting to regain some of his speed, it is likely to be a closely fought bout.
Both yokozuna won convincingly today. Though his tachi-ai still lacks sharpness, Wakanohana's dohyo movement is becoming faster by the day. Though he was not able to defeat sekiwake Tosanoumi in a straight-forward fashion, Wakanohana kept his opponent under control at all times, and finally unleashed a well-executed shitate-hineri that sent Tosa down onto the dohyo. At 5-3, Wakanohana is now likely to compete to the end of the tourney, and may be able to win in double-digits. Commentators have remarked on Musashimaru's sluggish tachi-ai in this basho, but today he looked every inch a powerful yokozuna, easily locking up Akinoshima and sending up out of the dohyo with a minimum of effort. At 7-1, Musashimaru must now be considered the favorite for the yusho, given Miyabiyama's relative inexperience. Ozeki Chiyotaikai appears to be going into a tailspin; he lost his third consecutive bout today, to No.1 maegashira Tamakasuga. Tama skillfully broke through Chiyotaikai's pushing barrage, straightened the ozeki up, and pushed him out by oshidashi. Both rikishi are now 5-3. On the other hand, Dejima has now won three straight bouts. His tachi-ai today was rather poor, but he still had little difficulty against the lumbering Shikishima, who dropped to 2-6. Sekiwake Kaio improved his record to 6-2 by surviving a strong challenge from No.1 maegashira Tochiazuma.
Terao (back to camera) and Miyabiyama engaged in a fierce tsuppari battle today. Miyabiyama quickly broke through Terao's defenses.
8th Day Results (Winner-Technique-Loser)
* Kotoiwakuni 2-6 (oshidashi) Wakahayato 2-6
* Tochinohana 5-3 (yorikiri) Dewataira 4-4
* Akinoshu 6-2 (okuridashi) Hoshitango 5-3
* Towanoyama 3-5 (oshitaoshi) Tamarikido 3-5
* Oginishiki 4-4 (yorikiri) Tamanonada 5-3
* Kitazakura 5-3 (yorikiri) Dewaarashi 5-3
* Hayateumi 8-0 (yorikiri) Takanowaka 4-4
* Sentoryu 4-4 (oshidashi) Mainoumi 3-5
* Daishi 4-4 (tsukiotoshi) Mitoizumi 2-6
* Oikari 5-3 (oshidashi) Tomonohana 4-4
* Susanoumi 2-6 (oshidashi) Wakanojo 3-5
* Kitakachidoki 3-5 (uwatedashinage) Kobo 4-4
* Ohinode 5-3 (sukuinage) Daizen 4-4
* Hamanoshima 5-3 (fusensho) Gojoro 4-4
* Wakanoyama 6-2 (oshidashi) Asanowaka 4-4
* Otsukasa 4-4 (okuridashi) Tokitsuumi 3-5 Kotoryu 5-3 (yorikiri) Kinkaiyama 2-6
* Kyokutenho 6-2 (hikiotoshi) Kaiho 4-4
* Aogiyama 4-4 (oshidashi) Higonoumi 3-5
* Takatoriki 4-4 (oshidashi) Ganyu 3-5
* Chiyotenzan 4-4 (yorikiri) Tochinonada 2-6
* Miyabiyama 8-0 (oshidashi) Terao 4-4
* Minatofuji 3-5 (tsukiotoshi) Wakanosato 3-5
* Asanosho 2-6 (oshidashi) Toki 2-6
* Kyokushuzan 3-5 (yorikiri) Kotonishiki 3-5
* Musoyama 5-3 (oshidashi) Kotonowaka 4-4
* Kaio 6-2 (totari) Tochiazuma 4-4
* Tamakasuga 5-3 (oshidashi) Chiyotaikai 5-3
* Dejima 5-3 (yorikiri) Shikishima 2-6
* Musashimaru 7-1 (oshidashi) Akinoshima 6-2
* Wakanohana 5-3 (shitatehineri) Tosanoumi 3-5
7TH DAY-MIYABIYAMA STILL LEADS AKI BASHO
Sept.18: Former college sensation Miyabiyama held onto his sole
possession of first place in the Aki Basho by easily downing Chiyotenzan got his 7th win without a loss, but yokozuna Musashimaru and No. 3 maegashira Akinoshima kept pace one step behind in second place with 6-1 marks. The high-flying No. 5 maegashira came in low and wasted no time in shoving out Chiyotenzan before the No. 6 maegshira had a chance
to get set, let alone counter. Tenzan is now behind the pace at 3-4.
Toki never really had a chance against Musashimaru, who wasted no time in running him out by yorikiri in a quick, one-sided contest. Musashimaru is tied for second at 6-1, while Toki is now 2-5 and headed for his worst top-division record ever. Akinoshima twisted down Wakanosato by tsukiotoshi for his sixth win in seven days to keep pace with Musashimaru in second place at 6-1. Waka secured a good grip on the mawashi and appeared about to make his move when his stocky little opponent suddenly twisted him down for the win. Wakanosato is 3-4.
Yokozuna Wakanohana moved ahead of the pace for the first time by col lecting his fourth win against three losses with a quick victory over No. 4 maegashira Shikishima, but his Futagoyama Beya
stablemate, ozeki Takanonami (3-4), withdrew from the Autumn Tournament after suffering a hip injury on Thursday, giving No. 4 maegashira Kotonowaka (4-3) the win by fusen-sho. This is the first time Takanonami has been absent since November 1989, when he was still ranked in makushita. Ozeki Chiyotaikai suffered his second straight loss when No. 1 maegashira Tochiazuma twisted him down by tsukiotoshi seconds after the tachi-ai. Taikai thus dropped into a third-place with a 5-2 record, while improved to 4-3.
Sekiwake Kaio remained tied for third place at 5-2 by driving out Tamakasuga, but not before the top-ranked maegashira nearly
spilled him in the middle of the dohyo. Tama is 4-3. No. 11
maegashira Wakanoyama overcame a determined No. 12 maegashira Kyokutenho by using his heavy (158 kg./348 lbs.), squat 176 cm. (5-9 1/4) bulk to bull him out. The results left both rikishi as part of a four-way tied for third place with 5-2 marks. In other results, sekiwake Tosanoumi (3-4) overpowered komusubi Musoyama (4-3) with surprising ease, running him out by oshidashi, while ozeki Dejima got his fourth win against three losses by slapping down komusubi Kotonishiki (hatakikomi) shortly after the tachi-ai.
7th Day Results (Winner-Technique-Loser)
* Kato* 4-0 (yoritaoshi) Kotoiwakuni 1-6
* Tamarikido 3-4 (oshidashi) Wakahayato 2-5
* Akinoshu 5-2 (oshidashi) Kitazakura 4-3
* Hoshitango 5-2 (hatakikomi) Dewataira 4-3
* Hayateumi 7-0 (uwatenage) Tamanonada 5-2
* Dewaarashi 5-2 (tsukiotoshi) Tochinohana 4-3
* Kobo 4-3 (kotenage) Sentoryu 3-4
* Oikari 4-3 (tsukiotoshi) Takanowaka 4-3
* Mitoizumi 2-5 (hatakikomi) Towanoyama 2-5
* Tomonohana 4-3 (yorikiri) Oginishiki 3-4
* Daishi 3-4 (yorikiri) Susanoumi 1-6
* Wakanojo 3-4 (yorikiri) Kitakachidoki 2-5
* Daizen 4-3 (oshidashi) Mainoumi 3-4
* Otsukasa 3-4 (oshidashi) Gojoro 4-3
* Kyokutenho 5-2 (yorikiri) Wakanoyama 2-5
* Tokitsuumi 3-4 (yorikiri) Ohinode 4-3
* Ganyu 3-4 (hatakikomi) Asanowaka 4-3
* Hamanoshima 4-3 (uwatenage) Kaiho 4-3
* Kotoryu 4-3 (oshidashi) Tochinonada 2-5
* Terao 4-3 (hatakikomi) Kinkaiyama 2-5
* Takatoriki 3-4 (oshidashi) Higonoumi 3-4
* Aogiyama 3-4 (hatakikomi) Minatofuji 2-5
* Miyabiyama 7-0 (oshidashi) Chiyotenzan 3-4
* Akinoshima 6-1 (tsukiotoshi) Wakanosato 3-4
* Kyokushuzan 2-5 (okuritaoshi) Asanosho 1-6
* Tosanoumi 3-4 (oshidashi) Musoyama 4-3
* Kaio 5-2 (yorikiri) Tamakasuga 4-3
* Dejima 4-3 (hatakikomi) Kotonishiki 3-4
* Kotonowaka 4-3 (fusensho) Takanonami 3-4
* Tochiazuma 4-3 (hatakikomi) Chiyotaikai 5-2
* Wakanohana 4-3 (yorikiri) Shikishima
* Musashimaru 6-1 (yorikiri) Toki 2-5
* denotes makushita rikishi
MIYABIYAMA THE SOLE LEADER AT 6-0 Sept.17: 6th Day:Ex-collegiate star Miyabiyama took over sole possession of the lead in the Aki Basho by overpowering No. 6 maegashira Wakanosato for his sixth straight win without a loss, as
ozeki Chiyotaikai dropped back into a second-place tie with yokozuna Musashimaru, No. 3 maegashira Akinoshima and No. 11 Wakanoyama--all with 5-1 records. No. 5 maegashira Miyabiyama is emerging as a dark horse as a result of his amazing string of six
straight wins. In other bouts, yokozuna Wakanohana evened his record at 3-3 by defeating Asanosho, but stablemate ozeki
Takanonami suffered his third loss against three wins when Tamakasuga defeated him in a one-sided match.
Although Wakanosato outmaneuvered Miyabi on the mawashi, he was unable to block his opponent's strong countering armthrow at the edge. Waka is now 3-3. Musoyama lowered the boom on Chiyotaikai, stopping the ozeki in his tracks at the tachi-ai, then rapidly driving him to the edge and booming him out by oshidashi. Komusubi Musoyama is now 4-2. Musashimaru had a little trouble chasing Mongolian Kyokushuzan around the dohyo. The No. 2 maegashira did henka (jumping aside at the tachi-ai) at the outset and when the yokozuna was about to catch up with him, Shuzan escaped around the inside of the circle with Maru in hot pursuit. But the Mongolian outsmarted himself by beating another rapid retreat but losing his balance in the process and collapsing to the dohyo. Musashimaru is 5-1 and Kyokushuzan 1-5. In a clash between sumo's version of David and Goliath, little Akinoshima won out over Kotonowaka in a closely contested match in which Koto maintained the offensive until Akinoshima finally countered with an armthrow at the end to beat his huge opponent. Akinoshima is 5-1 and No. 4 maegashira Kotonowaka is even at 3-3.
Yokozuna Wakanohana withstood Asanosho's furious thrusting assault and countered with some effective pushing of his own, defeating the No. 2 maegashira to even his mark at 3-3. Asanosho is 1-5 and obviously overmatched against the top-rankers. Takanonami suffered his second loss in a row when Tamakasuga drove him straight out. The tall ozeki was unable to strike back at the edge with his usually effective counter-attack. Tama is now 4-2 and Nami is 3-3. Ozeki Dejima bounced back from his loss on the fifth day by quickly powering out Koki in a matter of seconds, while sekiwake Kaio suffered his second straight setback, this time at the hands of komusubi Kotonishiki., Dejima is 3-3 and Toki is 2-4, while Kaio is 4-2 and Kotonishiki is 3-3. Komusubi Tosanoumi is starting to come on strong, booming out No. 1 maegashira Tochiazuma in a
surprisingly one-sided affair, leaving Tosa at 2-4 and Tochi with 3-3.
The two yokozuna shouldn't have too much trouble on Saturday, as Musashimaru takes on Toki and Wakanohana meets Shikishima. But ozeki Chiyotaikai and ozeki Dejima have their work cut out for them against Tochiazuma and Kotonishiki, respectively. The Musoyama-Tosanoumi clash is also shaping up as one of the better bouts on the seventh day. Miyabiyama is matched with No. 6 maegashira Chiyotenzan, Kaio with Tamakasuga and Takanonami takes on Kotonowaka.
6th Day Results (Winner-Technique-Loser)
* Kotoiwakuni 1-5 (sukuinage) Wakakosho 1-3*
* Kitazakura 4-2 (yorikiri) Hoshitango 4-2
* Sentoryu 3-3 (hikiotoshi) Wakahayato 2-4
* Tamanonada 5-1 (yorikiri) Dewataira 4-2
* Akinoshu 4-2 (uwatedashinage) Tamarikido 2-4
* Tochinohana 4-2 (oshitaoshi) Daishi 2-4
* Takanowaka 4-2 (yorikiri) Towanoyama 2-4
* Oginishiki 3-3 (kirikaeshi) Mitoizumi 1-5
* Dewaarashi 4-2 (yorikiri) Wakanojo 2-4
* Hayateumi 6-0 (yoritaoshi) Tomonohana 3-3
* Mainoumi 3-3 (tsukiotoshi) Gojoro 4-2
* Kobo 3-3 (yorikiri) Susanoumi 1-5
* Oikari 3-3 (tsukiotoshi) Daizen 3-3
* Ohinode 4-2 (uwatenage) Kitakachidoki 2-4
* Asanowaka 4-2 (tsukiotoshi) Hamanoshima 3-3
* Higonoumi 3-3 (oshidashi) Kinkaiyama 2-4
* Kyokutenho 4-2 (sukuinage) Tokitsuumi 2-4
* Kotoryu 3-3 (oshidashi) Otsukasa 2-4
* Kaiho 4-2 (yorikiri) Tochinonada 2-4
* Wakanoyama 5-1 (oshidashi) Aoigyama 2-4
* Terao 3-3 (tsukidashi) Ganyu 2-4
* Chiyotenzan 3-3 (oshidashi) Takatoriki 2-4
* Miyabiyama 6-0 (sukuinage) Wakanosato 3-3
* Minatofuji 2-4 (yorikiri) Shikishima 2-4
* Akinoshima 5-1 (shitatenage) Kotonowaka 3-3
* Kotonishiki 3-3 (yorikiri) Kaio
* Tosanoumi 2-4 (yorikiri) Tochiazuma 3-3
* Tamakasuga 4-2 (oshidashi) Takanonami 3-3
* Musoyama 4-2 (oshidashi) Chiyotaikai 5-1
* Dejima 3-3 (oshidashi) Toki 2-4
* Musashimaru 5-1 (hikiotoshi) Kyokushuzan 1-5
* Wakanohana 3-3 (oshidashi) Asanosho 1-5
* denotes makushita rikishi
WAKANOHANA AND TWO OZEKI LOSE Sept.16: 5th Day: Ozeki Chiyotaikai and No. 5 Miyabiyama clung to the lead in the Aki Basho Thursday by racking up their fifth straight wins without a loss, but sekiwake Kaio absorbed his first setback and fell back into second place with a 4-1 record along with yokozuna Musahimaru, No. 3 maegashira Akinoshima and No. 11 Wakanoyama. Yokozuna Wakanohana went down to defeat for the third time and appears now to be out of the running for the yusho along with ozeki Dejima and Takanonami, both of whom lost. The Autumn Tournament is beginning to shape up as a struggle among Chiyotaikai and Musashimaru, and four long-shot dark horses: Kaio, Musoyama, Miyabiyama and Akinoshima.
Both frontrunners-Chiyotaikai and Miyabiyama quickly overpowered their opponents, No. 2 maegashira Kyokushuzan of Mongolia and little No. 9 Kaiho, respectively, with their patented oshidashi attacks. As for Kaio, he started off by driving veteran
Akinoshima toward the edge and seemed en route to his fifth win, but the stocky little No. maegashira pivoted near the edge and swung Kaio down with an underarm throw. Musashimaru had a little trouble getting started against Tamakasuga, who earlier in
the basho picked up two consecutive fusensho (win by default) against yokozuna Takanohana and Akebono, both of whom have dropped out. In fact, the No. 1 maegashira had Maru at the edge twice and seemingly in trouble. But the yokozuna held Tama off
both times, then got his left hand on the mawashi. After that, there was very little his tsuki-oshi opponent could do, as Musashimaru went into high gear and marched Tama out by yorikiri. Komusubi Musoyama kept pace with his Musashigawa Beya stablemate
Musashimaru by collecting his fourth win against one loss, bulldozing yokozuna Wakanohana off the dohyo in a matter of seconds in a surprisingly one-sided bout. Waka, now 2-3, was completely unable to counter at any time and was hustled straight
out. Wakanoyama kept pace with the leaders in second place by taking care of ex-collegian Tochinonada in an easy win for his fourth win against one loss. No. 8 Tochi is 2-3.
In other bouts, Dejima lost to little giant-killer Tochiazuma, who got a strong grip on the mawashi at the outset and hung on despite the ozeki's desperate efforts to shake him loose and boom him out. Tochi eventually marched Dejima out by yorikiri. Tochi is 3-2 and Dejima 2-3. Takanonami's efforts to counter by reaching over his
opponentís back and gripping the mawashi didnít work out against spunky little Kotonishiki, who outmaneuvered him on the mawashi, kept up the pressure, blocked the ozeki's attempted counter at the mawashi and forced him out by yorikiri. Komusubi Koto is now 2-3 and Nami is 3-2. (A.A.)
5th Day Results (Winner-Technique-Loser)
* Kitazakura 3-2 (hatakikomi) Juzan 1-2
* Tamanonada 4-1 (yorikiri) Kotoiwakuni 0-5
* Tochinohana 3-2 (oshidashi) Tamarikido 2-3
* Wakahayato 2-3 (yoritaoshi) Towanoyama 2-3
* Dewaarashi 3-2 (yorikiri) Sentoryu 2-3
* Oginishiki 2-3 (yorikiri) Kobo 2-3
* Hoshitango 4-1 (oshidashi) Mainoumi 2-3
* Akinoshu 3-2 (okuridashi) Oikari 2-3
* Dewataira 4-1 (kotenage) Tomonohana 3-2
* Hayateumi 5-0 (yorikiri) Wakanojo 2-3
* Takanowaka 3-2 (yorikiri) Susanoumi 1-4
* Gojoro 4-1 (oshidashi) Daishi 2-3
* Mitoizumi 1-4 (yoritaoshi) Kitakachidoki 2-3
* Daizen 3-2 (uwatenage) Otsukasa 2-3
* Kinkaiyama 2-3 (yorikiri) Ohinode 3-2
* Hamanoshima 3-2 (yorikiri) Kyokutenho 3-2
* Asanowaka 3-2 (hikiotoshi) Higonoumi 2-3
* Kotoryu 2-3 (oshidashi) Aogiyama 2-3
* Wakanoyama 4-1 (oshidashi) Tochinonada 2-3
* Terao 2-3 (okuridashi) Tokitsuumi 2-3
* Chiyotenzan 2-3 (okuridashi) Ganyu 2-3
* Takatoriki 2-3 (oshitaoshi) Minatofuji 1-4
* Miyabiyama 5-0 (tsukidashi) Kaiho 3-2
* Wakanosato 3-2 (yorikiri) Shikishima 2-3
* Toki 2-3 (oshitaoshi) Kotonowaka 3-2
* Tosanoumi 1-4 (oshidashi) Asanosho 1-4
* Akinoshima 4-1 (sukuinage) Kaio 4-1
* Chiyotaikai 5-0 (oshidashi) Kyokushuzan 1-4
* Tochiazuma 3-2 (yorikiri) Dejima 2-3
* Kotonishiki 2-3 (sukuinage) Takanonami 3-2
* Musoyama 3-2 (oshidashi) Wakanohana 2-3
* Musashimaru 4-1 (yorikiri) Tamakasuga 3-2
ALL FIVE YOKOZUNA AND OZEKI WIN Sept.15-5th Day-All five yokozuna and ozeki remaining in competition won today. After four days of action, only Miyabiyama, Kaio, and Chiyotaikai remain undefeated. As expected, Yokozuna Akebono withdrew from action today, due to a hip injury that will require two months of treatment. Maegashira 1 Tamakasuga gained his second consecutive default (fusensho) win; yesterday he collected from Takanohana. Three makuuchi rikishi are now absent-Takanohana, Akebono, and Yotsukasa. Musashimaru, looking more powerful by the day, easily ousted Maegashira 2 Asanosho, while Wakanohana concentrated intensely on Maegashira 2 Kyokushuzan's tachiai, and as a result was able to deflect the Mongolian maegashira's attempted henka. Wakanohana then forced out his opponent with little difficulty. Though by no means out of the woods at 2-2, Wakanohana is beginning to look like he may survive this basho. Ozeki Chiyotaikai fought a long bout with Maegashira 3 Toki, but finally threw down the Takasago Beya rikishi, without coming close to losing. Takanonami and Dejima also looked fairly impressive today. Sekiwake Kaio, no longer under pressure due to possible ozeki promotion, is looking extremely sharp this basho, and it will be interesting to see how long he can remain unbeaten. Miyabiyama is also performing at his best level since his first basho in the makuuchi in March, however, he has not yet faced any sanyaku rikishi. In the juryo, Hayateumi took sole possession of the lead at 4-0 after Tomonohana was defeated.
4th Day Results (Winner-Technique-Loser)
* Tamanonada 3-1 (oshidashi) Wakahayato 1-3
* Kitazakura 2-2 (yorikiri) Sentoryu 2-2
* Dewataira 3-1 (yorikiri) Kotoiwakuni 0-4
* Hayateumi 4-0 (yorikiri) Tamarikido 2-2
* Tochinohana 2-2 (yorikiri) Oginishiki 1-3
* Hoshitango 3-1 (tsukiotoshi) Daishi 2-2
* Mainoumi 2-2 (yorikiri) Akinoshu 2-2
* Kobo 2-2 (yorikiri) Mitoizumi 0-4
* Towanoyama 2-2 (hikiotoshi) Oikari 2-2
* Dewaarashi 2-2 (yorikiri) Tomonohana 3-1
* Takanowaka 2-2 (yorikiri) Gojoro 2-2
* Daizen 2-2 (yorikiri) Wakanojo 2-2
* Kitakachidoki 2-2 (tsukiotoshi) Susanoumi 1-3
* Otsukasa 2-2 (yorikiri) Asanowaka 2-2
* Kyokutenho 3-1 (yorikiri) Kinkaiyama 1-3
* Ohinode 3-1 (uwatedashinage) Hamanoshima 2-2
* Tokitsuumi 2-2 (okuridashi) Higonoumi 2-2
* Kaiho 3-1 (hatakikomi) Wakanoyama 3-1
* Ganyu 2-2 (uwatenage) Kotoryu 1-3
* Aogiyama 2-2 (hikiotoshi) Chiyotenzan 1-3
* Miyabiyama 4-0 (hatakikomi) Tochinonada 2-2
* Minatofuji 1-3 (oshidashi) Terao 1-3
* Shikishima 2-2 (oshidashi) Takatoriki 1-3
* Kotonowaka 3-1 (yorikiri) Wakanosato 2-2
* Akinoshima 3-1 (abisetaoshi) Kotonishiki 1-3
* Kaio 4-0 (hatakikomi) Musoyama 2-2
* Dejima 2-2 (oshidashi) Tosanoumi 0-4
* Takanonami 3-1 (kotenage) Tochiazuma 2-2
* Chiyotaikai 4-0 (uwatenage) Toki 1-3
* Musashimaru 3-1 (oshidashi) Asanosho 1-3
* Tamakasuga 3-1 (fusensho) Akebono 2-2
* Wakanohana 2-2 (oshidashi) Kyokushuzan 1-3
AKEBONO SUFFERS MAJOR INJURY, TAKA WITHDRAWS, WAKA WINS Sept.14-4th Day-For a fleeting moment there were four yokozuna in competion; from tomorrow there will only be two. Akebono nearly drove Kaio out with his initial charge today, however, the sekiwake held on the edge of the dohyo and regained ground. Akebono drove Kaio to the edge of the other side of the dohyo, but was in too upright a position, without a proper grip on his opponent. Kaio unleashed a sharp, timely nage at the last moment, which sent the yokozuna tumbling out of the dohyo. Akebono was unable to get up for nearly a minute, and a medical examination afterward revealed that he had damaged a ligament in his left thigh. Though he is able to walk, he is certain to be absent from tomorrow and will need two months of treatment for the injury, which makes it unlikely he will return to action until the Hatsu Basho in January 2000. Meanwhile, as expected, fellow yokozuna Takanohana withdrew due to his unhealed hand injury. Taka has not won in double digits since last November, and presumably he will have to retire if he does not perform well when he next mounts the dohyo.
Yokozuna Wakanohana, facing nearly certain retirement if he lost today, eeked out a hard fought win over Maegashira 1 Tochiazuma. Even though Tochiazuma lacked the aggressiveness of the last two days, Wakanohana had difficulty in manoevering the former sekiwake. Tochiazuma strangely failed to launch a concerted attack on the yokozuna, and Wakanohana finally pushed Tochi down to the dohyo. At 1-2, Wakanohana is still in grave danger, and he has a close rivalry with his opponent tomorrow-Kyokushuzan. Musashimaru looked like the only true yokozuna again, easily overpowering Sekiwake Tosanoumi. Ozeki Dejima lost again today. He failed to defeat Maegashira 2 Kyokushuzan in his initial charge, and the wily maegashira turned Dejima around and pushed him out. At 1-2, Dejima is looking a little like Chiyotaikai in his hapless ozeki debut in March, when he had a 3-8-4 record. Both Takanonami and Chiyotaikai won without any difficulty. Chiyotaikai, in particular, looks in fine form this time. Only Wakanoyama, Miyabiyama, Kaio, and Chiyotaikai remain undefeated with 3-0 records.
3rd Day Results (Winner-Technique-Loser)
* Kitazakura 1-2 (yorikiri) Kotoiwakuni 0-3
* Tamanonada 2-1 (yorikiri) Tochinohana 1-2
* Dewataira 2-1 (hatakikomi) Tamarikido 2-1
* Hayateumi 3-0 (yorikiri) Wakahayato 1-2
* Sentoryu 2-1 (okuritaoshi) Daishi 2-1
* Hoshitango 2-1 (hikiotoshi) Oginishiki 1-2
* Akinoshu 2-1 (okuridashi) Dewaarashi 1-2
* Kobo 1-2 (yorikiri) Towanoyama 1-2
* Wakanojo 2-1 (yorikiri) Takanowaka 1-2
* Mainoumi 1-2 (shitatenage) Susanoumi 1-2
* Gojoro 3-0 (hatakikomi) Oikari 2-1
* Tomonohana 3-0 (shitatedashinage) Kitakachidoki 1-2
* Daizen 1-2 (yorikiri) Mitoizumi 0-3
* Ohinode 2-1 (fusensho) Yotsukasa 0-3
* Asanowaka 2-1 (oshitaoshi) Kinkaiyama 1-2
* Higonoumi 2-1 (hatakikomi) Otsukasa 1-2
* Kyokutenho 2-1 (yorikiri) Kotoryu 1-2
* Hamanoshima 2-1 (komatasukui) Tokitsuumi 1-2 Wakanoyama 3-0 (yorikiri) Ganyu 1-2
* Kaio 2-1 (okuridashi) Terao 1-2
* Takatoriki 1-2 (hatakikomi) Aogiyama 1-2
* Wakanosato 2-1 (yorikiri) Tochinonada 2-1
* Kotonowaka 2-1 (uwatenage) Chiyotenzan 1-2
* Miyabiyama 3-0 (yorikiri) Shikishima 1-2
* Akinoshima 2-1 (oshidashi) Minatofuji 0-3
* Musoyama 2-1 (oshidashi) Toki 1-2
* Takanonami 2-1 (yorikiri) Asanosho 1-2
* Chiyotaikai 3-0 (oshidashi) Kotonishiki 1-2
* Kyokushuzan 1-2 (yorikiri) Dejima 1-2
* Musashimaru 2-1 (oshidashi) Tosanoumi 0-3
* Kaio 3-0 (shitatenage) Akebono 2-1
* Wakanohana 1-2 (shitatedashinage) Tochiazuma 2-1
* Tamakasuga 2-1 (fusensho) Takanohana 0-3
TAKA AND WAKA BOTH 0-2 Sept.13-Yokozuna Wakanohana and Takanohana both lost again today, in what is becoming the most disastrous start ever for the two brothers. Wakanohana's loss also have brought him close to retirement, since he indicated before the basho that he would retire if he was unable to perform this time. Wakanohana lost in much the same fashion as yesterday; he was simply out-thrusted and overpowered by a relatively small rikishi, Komusubi Kotonishiki. Though Wakanohana offered more spirited resistance today than yesterday, he seems to have lost his power and sense for the dohyo. If Wakanohana loses again tomorrow, to Tochiazuma, he is almost certain to withdraw, and his fate will likely be left to Futagoyama Oyakata and the Sumo Kyokai. Given the present relatively low level of interest in sumo in Japan, Wakanohana will probably retire this time only if he is totally determined to throw in the towel. Takanohana looked even worse than Wakanohana, and offered almost no resistance when Musoyama thrusted him towards the edge. Musoyama finished Taka off with uwatenage, in what was another humiliting loss for the once near-great yokozuna.
Musashimaru also lost today, after he allowed Maegashira 1 Tochiazuma to take the offensive from the start of the bout. Tochiazuma hoisted Musashimaru to the edge of the dohyo a couple of times, before the yokozuna managed to work his way back to the center of the dohyo. Musashimaru was not able to get a proper grip on Tochiazuma's mawashi, however, and finally the maegashira drove forward and forced Musashimaru over the edge. Akebono easily trounced Kyokushuzan. The Mongolian maegashira almost lost his balance in his spirited, but overly low charge against the yokozuna. Akebono wasted no time in finished him off.
Ozeki Takanonami also lost today, after he made the fatal mistake of letting Kaio drive him too far backward at the tachiai. Today was a disastrous day for Futagoyama, with all five of the sinking heya's sekitori losing. By contrast all Musashigawa Beya's sekitori won, save Musashimaru. Dejima looked improved today in winning over Tamakasuga, while Chiyotaikai totally overpowered Asanosho.
Second Day Results (Winner-Technique-Loser)
* Juryo: Tamarikido (oshidashi) Hoshitango
* Sentoryu (okuridashi) Tamanonada
* Dewataira (yorikiri) Kitazakura
* Tochinohana (tsukiotoshi) Akinoshu
* Towanoyama (yorikiri) Kotoiwakuni
* Oginishiki (uwatenage) Wakahayato
* Hayateumi (yorikiri) Dewaarashi
* Daishi (oshidashi) Takanowaka
* Oikari (tsukidashi) Kobo
* Wakanojo (tsuridashi) Mainoumi
* Susanoumi (oshidashi) Mitoizumi
* Tomonohana (oshidashi) Daizen
* Gojoro (hatakikomi) Kitakachidoki
* Ohinode (yoritaoshi) Asanowaka
* Kinkaiyama (hatakikomi) Otsukasa
* Kyokutenho (uwatenage) Yotsukasa
* Wakanoyama (tsukiotoshi) Hamanoshima
* Kotoryu (oshidashi) Higonoumi
* Tokitsuumi (okuritaoshi) Kaiho
* Aogiyama (oshidashi) Ganyu
* Tochinonada (oshidashi) Takatoriki
* Terao (hatakikomi) Wakanosato
* Shikishima (abisetaoshi) Chiyotenzan
* Kotonowaka (yorikiri) Minatofuji
* Miyabiyama (sukuinage) Akinoshima
* Toki (okuridashi) Tosanoumi
* Chiyotaikai (tsukidashi) Asanosho
* Dejima (oshidashi) Tamakasuga
* Kaio (uwatenage) Takanonami
* Akebono (oshidashi) Kyokushuzan
* Kotonishiki (yorikiri) Wakanohana
* Musoyama (uwatenage) Takanohana
* Tochiazuma (yorikiri) Musashimaru
TAKANOHANA AND WAKANOHANA FALL IN 1ST DAY ACTION Sept.12-Yokozuna brothers Takanohana and Wakanohana were both defeated in opening day action at the Ryogoku Kokugikan, and new Ozeki Dejima also lost. Yokozuna Wakanohana, making his first apperance since May, was easily driven out by Maegashira 1 Tamakasuga. Wakanohana had looked reasonably strong in pre-basho keiko, and his performance today raises concern about his future, as he indicated in an interview several days ago that he would retire if he performed poorly in this basho. Wakanohana will have to work exceptionally hard to survive, as Tamakasuga is one of the least dangerous opponents he will face in the Aki Basho. Takanohana also looked listless in his bout with Maegashira 1 Tochiazuma, allowing the former sekiwake to bore in through his defenses and drive him out by yorikiri. Takanohana trained for only a few days before the Aki Basho, and was expected to sit out this tournament. However, once again he expressed determination to compete, and Futagoyama Oyakata gave in to his wishes. Takanohana is also nearing retirement unless he can turn the tables around soon. He hasn't won 10 or more bouts since November last year.
The two Hawaiian born yokozuna looked powerful, both winning convicingly. Musashimaru simply overwhelmed Komusubi Kotonishiki, while Akebono quickly drove up Maegashira 1 Musoyama. Musoyama was said to be in top shape on the summer jungyo, but appeared totally outclassed by Akebono. While Ozeki Chiyotaikai and Takanonami won without much trouble, new Ozeki Dejima suffering a surprising loss to Maegashira 2 Asanosho, who had been languishing in the low maegashira ranks until the last couple of basho. Dejima predictably drove Asanosho to the edge, but the maegashira stepped aside at the right moment, breaking Dejima's balance. Sekiwake Kaio withstood powerful opposition from Maegashira 3 Toki, and finally defeated him by oshitaoshi.
Tamakasuga (back to camera) drives Wakanohana to the edge of the dohyo in their lst day bout.
First Day Results (Winner-Technique-Loser)
* Juryo: Tamanohana (oshidashi) Kitazakura
* Tamarikido (yorikiri) Kotoiwakuni
* Wakahayato (hatakikomi) Tochinohana
* Hoshitango (hatakikomi) Sentoryu
* Akinoshu (tsukiotoshi) Dewataira
* Hayateumi (oshidashi) Towanoyama
* Daishi (okuridashi) Oginishiki
* Dewaarashi (kimedashi) Kobo
* Takanowaka (yorikiri) Mainoumi
* Oikari (tsukiotoshi) Mitoizumi
* Tomonohana (sakatotari) Wakanojo
* Gojoro (tsukidashi) Susanoumi
* Kitakachidoki (yorikiri) Daizen
* Otsukasa (tsukiotoshi) Ohinode
* Asanowaka (hatakikomi) Yotsukasa
* Hamanoshima (yorikiri) Kinkaiyama
* Higonoumi (tsukiotoshi) Kyokutenho
* Wakanoyama (okuridashi) Kotoryu
* Ganyu (yoritaoshi) Tokitsuumi
* Kaiho (okuritaoshi) Aogiyama
* Tochinonada (hikiotoshi) Terao
* Wakanosato (oshidashi) Takatoriki
* Chiyotenzan (oshidashi) Minatofuji
* Miyabiyama (oshidashi) Kotonowaka
* Akinoshima (tsukiotoshi) Shikishima
* Kaio (oshitaoshi) Toki
* Asanoshio (hatakikomi( Dejima
* Takanonami (yorikiri) Kyokushuzan
* Chiyotaikai (hatakikomi) Tosanoumi
* Tamakasuga (oshidashi) Wakanohana
* Tochiazuma (yorikiri) Takanohana
* Musashimaru (oshidashi) Kotonishiki
* Akebono (yorikiri) Musoyama
SUMO WORLD SITE BACK ONLINE Sept. 5- The Sumo World website is back online and totally redesigned at our own domain, nearly two months after the server containing the old site crashed, totally destroyed all data. Our new site features online subscription to Sumo World by credit card, in-depth and timely coverage of sumo news, and a new virtual museum. The site will be greatly expanded in the next few months and it is our hope that it will eventually be your primary source of information on sumo, along with Sumo World itself. We wish to apologize for the long delay in creating our new site. Our new domain is on an industrial strength server and we do not foresee any access, security, or compatibility problems.
TAKANOHANA ATTEMPTING COMEBACK IN AKI BASHO Sept. 4- Yokozuna Takanohana is attempting to get back into sufficient shape to compete in the Aki Basho. At keiko at Futagoyama Beya on September 3, Takanohana had 23 practice bouts with makushita rikishi. For the first time since he injured his hand in the Nagoya Basho, he was able to grip the mawashi of his opponents. He has made some progress in getting back into shape over the last week, but still has a long way to go to be able to compete with the makuuchi rikishi. He is apparently determined to compete, but the odds that he will actually do so this time are probably less than 50-50.
CHIYOTAIKAI TRAINING HARD, BUT SUFFERING FROM HERPES RELAPSE Sept.4-Ozeki Chiyotaikai achieved a perfect 14-0 record over makuuchi rikishi in rengo geiko at Tokitsukaze Beya on September 3. Chiyotaikai reportedly has a form of non-infectious herpes that flares up with stress or overwork. He had a flare-up in the earlier part of the Natsu Jungyo and again in early September, but he is still reported to be in good shape for the Aki Basho.
YOKOZUNA SHINGIINKAI SOKEN HELD September 2-The Keiko Soken for the Yokozuna Shingiikai was held at the Kokugikan on September 2. All the sanyaku rikishi attended, with the exception of Yokozuna Takanohana and Komusubi Musoyama. Yokozuna Akebono and Wakanohana appeared to be in fairly good shape. The three ozeki participation in many of the bouts, and will none looked out of shape, all three won about as many bouts as they lost. Yokozuna Musashimaru appeared in only two of the bouts and lost both.
TAKANOHANA AND WAKANOHANA RECONCILE August 31- Brothers Takanohana and Wakanohana are back on speaking terms. At a party held by the Futagoyama Beya Koenkai, Futagoyama Oyakata announced that the two brothers were friends again, after which the two yokozuna shook hands and smiled for photographers. Takanohana is now reported to have also patched up his relationship with parents. It is said that Takanohana has not had contact with his chiropractor, Tomita, who supposedly "brainwashed" him, since before the Nagoya Basho.
NEW BANZUKE ISSUED August 30- The new banzuke was issued at the Kokugikan on August 30. A summary will be posted on the download page on this site.
KUSHIMAUMI BECOMES TAGONOURA OYAKATA, EX-SADANOUMI LEAVES SUMO August 27- At a meeting of the Rijikai (Board of Directors) of the Sumo Kyokai on August 26, Tagonoura Oyakata's (ex-Komusubi Sadanoumi) application to leave sumo was approved, while Kushimaumi Oyakata (ex-Maegashira 1 Kushimaumi)'s application to become the new Tagonoura Oyakata, was approved. The reasons for the departure of ex-Sadanoumi, 43, are not known. Kushimaumi had previously expressed interest in remaining in Sumo permanently and possibly even starting his own heya. But he needed to have his own full-fledged myoseki to do so, and now he has achieved that. Both the 33 year old new Taganoura Oyakata and the former Sadanoumi are ex-Dewanoumi Beya rikishi.
NATSU JUNGYO RESULTS August 27- Win loss results in the Natsu Jungyo (July 27 to August 21) were as follows (21 day schedule)-Musashimaru 13-8, Takanohana Absent, Chiyotaikai 9-12, Chiyotenzan 10-11, Akinoshima 11-10, Toki 8-13, Higonoumi Absent, Minatofuji 10-11, Kaiho Absent, Tamakasuga 9-12, Shikishima 10-11, Asanosho-7-14, Kyokutenho 10-11, Terao Absent, Daizen 12-9, Wakanoyama 16-5, Ganyu 11-10, Akebono 13-8, Wakanohana Absent, Takanonami 4-17, Dejima 16-5, Kaio 12-9, Tochiazuma 17-4, Tosanoumi 4-17, Kotonishiki 11-10,, Wakanosato 8-13, Takatoriki 12-9, Miyabiyama 15-6, Aogiyama 5-16, Musoyama 21-0, Kyoshuzan 14-7, Tochinonada Absent, Hamanoshima 10-11, Kotonowaka 6-15, Wakanojo 9-12, Yotsukasa 5-16, Tokitsuumi 7-14, Ohinode 3-6-12, Kotoryu 14-7. Musoyama was awarded the 'yusho' and a prize of 1,000,000 yen for his incredibly strong performance, while Toki and Tochiazuma were jointly awarded the kantosho.
KOKONOE OYAKATA'S FATHER DIES August 3- Akimoto Matsuo, 74, the father of Kokonoe Oyakata (former Yokozuna Chiyonofuji), died from pneumonia on August 2, at a hospital in Kikonai, Hokkaido. Kokonoe Oyakata was the chief mourner at the funeral on August 5, which was attended by Chiyotaikai and Chiyotenzan, who travelled 12 hours by train to Kokonoe Oyakata's hometown in Hokkaido.
EX-JURYO RIKISHI DAIRYU DIES AT 54 July 28- Matoba Takeshi, ex-juryo rikishi Dairyu, died from cirrhosis of the liver on July 27, at the age of 54. The former Tomozuna Beya rikishi was active from May 1961 to March 1970, and reached the juryo in March 1966, where he was ranked for 11 basho. Isenoumi Oyakata (ex-Fujinokawa), Ikazuchi Oyakata (ex-Haguroiwa), and Yamawake Oyakata (ex-Tochifuji), who made their debut together with Dairyu in May 1961, all attended the funeral in Yokkaichi, Mie Ken.
TAKATORIKI'S FATHER DIES July 27- Kamakari Shigeo, the father of Takatoriki, died in Kobe on July 26, from a stroke, at the age of 62.