March 2018, Day 15, Chiyoshoma v Nishikigi

There’s a collective groan from the crowd when Chiyoshoma goes airborne at the tachiai, launching up and to the side to grab Nishikigi’s belt, pulling Nishikigi into the negative space where Chiyoshoma should have been. A smattering of applause as he pads his record to 9-6, but a general disappointment at the henka. Nishikigi falls to 5-10, arguably in danger of dropping back down to the Juryo division next tournament.

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March 2018, Day 13, Chiyoshoma v Daishomaru

The resounding slap to the face at the tachiai is not enough for Chiyoshoma. The strong right-handed overarm belt grip will not suffice. He is greedy. He wants more. He seeks to glimpse the divine, and to do so he must become the Center. The stable anchor at the heart of the maelstrom. That little spinny, twirly, cone-shaped area of nothingness in the middle of a whirlpool that recedes into infinite smallness and touches the other side. So he spins. He twists. He twirls. And Daishomaru is unwilling witness to his success. That’s a heckuva uwatenage (overarm throw), and Daishomaru’s face as he gets up says it all. Not even grudging respect. Just plain ol’ respect. My face was more like that lady in the beret in the fifth row. “Hooooooly mooooooly.”

March 2018, Day 11, Abi v Chiyoshoma

Chiyoshoma solves the Abi puzzle. I mean, it’s not like it’s a difficult puzzle to solve, but several wrestlers seem to be flummoxed by Abi’s long arms and strong shoves. Chiyoshoma grabs onto Abi’s left arm and swings him around with an arm bar, pulling off a nice reversal for his fifth win.

March 2018, Day 6, Chiyoshoma v Ishiura

Ishiura spends most of this bout trying to solve the puzzle of Chiyoshoma’s long arms. Chiyoshoma does a great job at first, landing his strikes on Ishiura’s shoulders to keep him at bay, but Ishiura slips underneath a head strike and finally gets solid left-handed underarm grip. Chiyoshoma can’t reach Ishiura’s belt, so he tries defending against Ishiura’s arms, but Ishiura eventually gets the right arm grip he needs to totally control Chiyoshoma’s body. From there it’s academic and Ishiura gets the yorikiri (front force out) win to pull even at 3-3.

January 2018, Day 14, Chiyoshoma v Asanoyama

Asanoyama breathes a big sigh of relief, picking up his eighth win after a streak of losses. Chiyoshoma, after picking up his eighth loss, has to pick himself up off the floor below the dohyo.

January 2018, Day 7, Chiyoshoma v Shohozan

Chiyoshoma wallops Shohozan a couple of times in the face with his right hand, but it only serves to piss off Shohozan. Shohozan’s head is well-attached to his thick shoulders, and he focuses his attack on Chiyoshoma’s torso. Getting both hands on Chiyoshoma’s chest proves to be the winning move, and Shohozan shoves him out for an excellent 6-1 record.

January 2018, Day 5, Chiyoshoma v Kaisei

Weird, floaty tachiai by Chiyoshoma today, putting himself at an immediate disadvantage against Kaisei. But he recovers well, getting both arms underneath on Kaisei’s belt and torquing the big man’s torso down to the clay. Shitatenage (underarm throw) for the Chiyoshoma’s fourth win in five days.