Yokozuna Hakuho wins the May 2017 Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo, earning his 38th top-division championship with a perfect record of 15-0. Over the course of fifteen wins he used seven different kimarite (winning techniques): yorikiri (5), hatakikomi (2), uwatenage (2), uwatedashinage (2), yoritaoshi (2), uwatehineri, and oshidashi. Congrats to the champ!
Mitakeumi hits Endo at the tachiai with a focus on Endo’s left arm, which he uses to maneuver Endo around and push him to the edge of the ring. But Endo finds the tawara with his right foot and pushes back, working steadily forward until Mitakeumi pulls down on his head, and then you’ll never guess what happens: Endo doesn’t move his feet forward, falling down in slow motion. Oh, wait, you probably actually guessed that without any trouble because ENDO DOESN’T EVER MOVE HIS DANG FEET. Endo falls to a losing record of 5-8, while Mitakeumi has a good shot at a winning record, heading into the last two days with a record of 7-6.
It’s been a disappointing tournament for both Endo and Yoshikaze, both struggling to put together wins against the top of the division. But their head-to-head bout is a good one, as the two appear evenly matched in size and skill. Endo, feeling the pressure of his seven losses, shows uncharacteristic (sorry, but it’s true) drive to survive several scares at the edge of the ring. While defending against the always-busy Yoshikaze, Endo maneuvers to find a belt grip he can use to control Yoshikaze’s hips. Finally getting both an underarm left and an overarm right, Endo marches Yoshikaze out of the ring. If Endo showed this much resilience and passion in every bout, he wouldn’t be sitting at 4-7. Yoshikaze falls to 5-6.
The first six times Endo met Tamawashi, Endo emerged victorious. The last five times, the script has flipped. Whether Tamawashi has deciphered the puzzle or Endo’s just mired in mediocrity, there’s not much he could have done today against a tough armlock that sends him stumbling off the dohyo. He rubs his elbow a couple of times to make sure it’s still bending the right way, and contemplates his seventh loss of the tournament. Tamawashi, on the other hand, improves to 7-3.
Kotoshogiku staves off a losing record for one more day, dominating the inconsistent Endo with his straightforward brand of sumo. Good strong tachiai followed by hip control and some good hops.
Some days, you just don’t know what’s going to happen. Ozeki Goeido inexplicably tries to pull down on Endo after a decent tachiai, putting himself in trouble from the get-go. Endo somehow remembers to move his feet and follows Goeido across the dohyo, hitting him hard and keeping his hips low and centered. Goeido obliges by trying a quick pull-down again from an untenable position, and Endo gets the win.
Endo has apparently been studying hard under Kotoshogiku’s tutelage, at the hallowed institution of Move-Your-Dang-Feet University.