November 2017, Day 7, Mitakeumi v Tamawashi

(Thanksgiving Holiday commentary hiatus)

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November 2017, Day 6, Mitakeumi v Onosho

Like a violent, meaty, horizontal yo-yo, Mitakeumi and Onosho battle back and forth the length of the doyho several times before Mitakeumi prevails. Any guesses as to how Onosho loses? Yup, falling forward. Come on, Onosho, keep your feet under you. You not reading the blog or something?

November 2017, Day 4, Mitakeumi v Chiyonokuni

Nothing fancy here, just two dudes trying to knock each other out. Mitakeumi comes out on top, literally, crushing out Chiyonokuni with authority. Great bout.

November 2017, Day 3, Mitakeumi v Kotoshogiku

One former Ozeki on his way down, one likely future Ozeki on his way up. The way Kotoshogiku applies pressure with both legs equally can be really powerful when he stays on his line and uses his arms to control his opponent. But it can also be a weakness when his opponent shifts off-center, making him susceptible to easily tipping over. Like today. Good work by Mitakeumi to exploit ‘Giku’s style and get the sukuinage (beltless arm throw) win.

November 2017, Day 1, Mitakeumi v Tochiozan

Tochiozan rolls Mitakeumi with an overarm throw at the edge of the ring, but Mitakeumi gets up and points out the scuff in the dirt left by Tochiozan’s foot. Which means that Tochiozan stepped out before Mitakeumi hit the ground. Which means that it’s Mitakeumi’s oshidashi victory. The judges get together and agree to reverse the referee’s decision.

September 2017, Harumafuji Yusho Compilation

Yokozuna Harumafuji wins the September 2017 Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo, earning his ninth top-division championship. He beat front-runner Ozeki Goeido on the last day to tie things up at 11-4, and then beat Goeido again in a single playoff bout to claim the title. Over the course of the tournament he used four different kimarite (winning techniques): yorikiri (8), uwatedashinage (2), uwatenage (1) and shitatenage (1).

September 2017, Day 15, Mitakeumi v Yoshikaze

Yoshikaze has his eight wins already, and Mitakeumi wants what he’s got. Some see the higher winning percentage of 7-7 wrestlers on the final day as evidence of match-fixing (or at least an unspoken code of generosity among wrestlers), but I think much of it can be explained simply by the extra motivation brought about by the desperation of a wrestler in that position. Either way, Mitakeumi barely squeaks by Yoshikaze today, relying on a last-ditch pull on the back of the head to drive Yoshikaze into the dirt at the edge of the ring. The match leading up to that is full of great sumo, with Yoshikaze looking sharper and stronger than Mitakeumi. But there can be only one winner, and Yoshikaze eats clay first.