January 2018, Day 12, Chiyonokuni v Arawashi

Chiyonokuni backs up Arawashi with a fine series of shoves to the throat and head before grabbing onto his left wrist and yanking. Arawashi has been paying attention in class and always gets an A in fall practice, so he cartwheels safely down preventing further injury. Arawashi is at 6-6, Chiyonokuni at 4-8.

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January 2018, Day 11, Takekaze v Chiyonokuni

Takekaze deals with Chiyonokuni in stages, pulling down a couple of times to get Chiyonokuni stumbling forward and off-balance before grabbing him by the throat and slamming him down. After rolling off of Chiyonokuni, and then the dohyo, Takekaze takes a minute to disentangle himself from Ikioi’s lap. Both wrestlers have a makekoshi (losing record) of 3-8.

January 2018, Day 10, Kotoyuki v Chiyonokuni

Bruising bout for two pusher-thrusters, and Chiyonokuni comes out on top. Each time he bounces off of Kotoyuki he takes another small step forward until Kotoyuki is over the straw. Chiyonokuni has a hard road ahead of him at 3-7, needing to win out in order to avoid demotion. Kotoyuki drops to an even 5-5.

January 2018, Day 9, Yutakayama v Chiyonokuni

Yutakayama takes a beating from Chiyonokuni before finally getting a hand on his face long enough to stop him from running around. Chiyonokuni is trapped at the edge with nowhere to go, and Yutakayama exacts his revenge for the earlier vicious face slap by throwing Chiyonokuni down to the clay with great gusto.

January 2018, Day 8, Okinoumi v Chiyonokuni

Chiyonokuni is a whirlwind of activity, starting with a flurry of thrusts to Okinoumi’s face and throat, leading into a big right hand slap that gets him a right-handed overarm belt grip, following with a quick leg sweep attempt, and finishing with a fully-committed yank down on the back of Okinoumi’s head. The judges have a conference to determine if Chiyonokuni pulled Okinoumi’s hair, and decide that he in fact did not.

January 2018, Day 7, Chiyonokuni v Endo

Endo gets back on track, improving to 5-2 despite getting beaten on the tachiai by an always-fierce Chiyonokuni. Endo fights through Chiyonokuni’s stiff left arm to the throat, working his way down low to the belt and pushing Chiyonokuni off the dohyo. He picks up the decorative bit of Chiyonokuni’s mawashi and hands it back. “Here, you take these dangly strings. I’ll take the win.”

January 2018, Day 5, Aminishiki v Chiyonokuni

Props to Aminishiki for hanging in there, both in this bout and in his career. He’s been defaulting to a quick pull-down attempt to start most of his bouts to make up for his declining strength, but top-division opponents are wise to the strategy and seldom fall for it anymore. Today Aminishiki perseveres after Chiyonokuni stays standing, switching gears to a pushing attack but eventually falling victim to Chiyonokuni’s own evasion. He goes down hard clutching his right knee. The pain is evident, and even the ring judge (ex-Maegashira Ushiomaru) asks if he’s ok. Here’s hoping we don’t see the end of Aminishiki.