March 2018, Day 15, Abi v Daishomaru

Abi brings the same two-handed tachiai as usual, aiming for the shoulders and trying to stand up Daishomaru. He follows with a series of sharp tsuppari thrusts at the head and neck, and only a well-timed sideways shove from Daishomaru knocks him off course. With Abi briefly off-balance and near the edge, Daishomaru charges, but Abi quickly circles out of the way and gets a hand on Daishomaru’s belt to send him rolling over the edge. The referee and judges decide that Daishomaru hit the ground while Abi’s feet were still in bounds. Abi finishes with an excellent 10-5 record, and Daishomaru should be happy at 9-6 (although he lost a couple of close ones in the last few days).

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March 2018, Day 14, Kaisei v Daishomaru

Kaisei had a harsh test yesterday against Yokozuna Kakuryu, a bout scheduled to force him to earn a legitimate shot at the championship. Having lost that bout, he’s back to a normal routine and facing M13 Daishomaru, at the opposite end of the banzuke (and the quality spectrum) from the Yokozuna. So Kaisei celebrates by going bowling.

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 3, Daishomaru v Kotoyuki

Kotoyuki gets a couple of good swipes in at Daishomaru’s face, but his thrusts leave an opening that Daishomaru pounces on. One good right arm underneath Kotoyuki’s left armpit, and Kotoyuki is completely upended and off balance. At the edge of the ring Daishomaru shifts his hands to the center of Kotoyuki’s gravity for extra leverage on a mighty shove that sends Kotoyuki into the pricey seats.

September 2017, Day 12, Ishiura v Daishomaru

Whew. Ishiura ends a seven-day losing streak, his longest since entering the top Makuuchi division. Staying true to his style, he ducks low at the tachiai and quickly gets both hands on Daishomaru’s belt. Then he puts his head in Daishomaru’s chest and turns on the jets, charging across the dohyo with surprising speed. Ishiura earns his third win, and Chiyomaru sits at 7-5.

September 2017, Day 11, Takanoiwa v Daishomaru

Set ’em up, knock ’em down. Takanoiwa handily dispatches Daishomaru to stay tied with the select group of three wrestlers who sit at 8-3, within striking distance of tournament leader Goeido.