January 2018, Day 15, Kotoyuku v Ishiura

One thing you miss in these quick highlight videos is the pace of live sumo. The ritual, the pageantry, the building tension. The mind games. This slightly longer clip of Kotoyuki and Ishiura facing off before their bout and going through a couple of false starts gives you more of a taste of the real thing. The four or five minutes of build-up that lead to a 2-second bout give so much flavor to the 2 seconds, make it so much more impactful, it’s a vital part of sumo that I love. As for this bout, Kotoyuki drops his eighth loss for a make-koshi, and Ishiura finishes the tournament at 9-6.


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 6, Shohozan v Kotoyuki

Shohozan goes bowling with Kotoyuki, picking up a strike in the first row as Kotoyuki rolls off the dohyo with a ton of momentum. Kotoyuki falls to 4-2, and Shohozan stays one loss behind the leaders at 5-1.

November 2017, Day 4, Kotoyuki v Ryuden

Juryo wrestler Ryuden (cool name, btw) has been in professional sumo for over ten years, and he has his first bout in the top division today. He doesn’t waste the opportunity, taking on tough-as-nails Kotoyuki and absorbing some punishment before getting both arms around Kotoyuki’s waist and walking him over the edge. Good job staying on track after Kotoyuki’s spin move halfway through, too.

November 2017, Day 3, Kotoyuki v Myogiryu

Kotoyuki picks up his first win of the tournament by barely edging out Myogiryu. It’s a good back-and-forth battle of stiff-armed throat attacks until Myogiryu starts to retreat under the pressure. Circling away from the charging Kotoyuki, Myogiryu stops at the edge for a last-gasp deflection, but his ankle catches on the tawara and he hits the ground a split-second before Kotoyuki. Myogiryu drops to his first loss.