Kakuryu wins the November 2016 Grand Sumo Tournament in Kyushu, earning his third top-division championship with a record of 14-1. Over the course of fourteen wins he used six different kimarite (winning techniques): yorikiri (8), uwatedashinage (2), oshidashi (1), hatakikomi (1), tsukiotoshi (1), and shitatehineri (1).
Kakuryu locked up the championship yesterday on Day 14, so this final bout of the tournament in Kyushu is just for pride. That doesn’t mean he lets up at all against fellow Yokozuna Harumafuji, absorbing the attack at the tachiai with his usual patience before turning on the jets and walking Harumafuji backwards the length of the dohyo and out for his fourteenth win. Kakuryu wins his third top-division championship and second as Yokozuna, defeating a stacked field that included two other healthy Yokozuna and four Ozeki. Congrats to Yokozuna Kakuryu!
Hakuho reminds Goeido of who’s Yokozuna around these parts, stopping Goeido in the middle of the ring with a blistering tsuppari attack that sets him up for the quick sidestep, opening the door and letting him run past. A hand on the belt makes the winning technique uwatedashinage, or “pulling overarm throw,” but it’s more like “smash in the face and get out of the way.” Hakuho finishes with a Yokozuna-appropriate record of 11-4, but Goeido must be disappointed with his 9-6 finish, which ends his dreams of a second consecutive championship and Yokozuna promotion.
Kotoshogiku finishes in Kyushu with a 5-10 record, but his Ozeki rank will protect him from demotion for one tournament, putting him in kadoban (probation) status for the second time in three tournaments. He wins on Day 15 in Kyushu against Shohozan after a few trips around the dohyo, finally getting a hand on the back of Shohozan’s leg and tripping him up for the watashikomi (thigh-grabbing push down) victory.
Endo follows up a great tournament in Tokyo in September with a disappointing 7-8 performance in Kyushu. On the last day against Tamawashi, it looks like he flubs the tachiai, not putting his left hand all the way down and then expecting the referee to call them back for a false start. But the referee lets them play on, and Endo has already relaxed his effort and finds himself on his butt after some strong thrusts to the face from Tamawashi. Tamawashi knows you don’t stop until the ref says stop.
Both Arawashi and Shodai rack up 11 wins in the top division for the first time in their careers, and for Shodai it probably means a rise to the sanyaku rank of Komusubi in January. But Arawashi is the victor in their battle today, adjusting nicely from a right-handed underarm grip to a right-handed overarm grip when Shodai defends his first throw attempt at the edge. The overarm throw that wins the bout is a beauty, with Arawashi’s nice hip turn setting it up.
Ishiura hit double-digit wins on Day 11 but couldn’t improve on that total over the last four days. He meets Tochinoshin for the first time ever on Day 15, and the long time top-division resident cuts him no slack. Ishiura does a good job rotating around and trapping Tochinoshin’s right arm, but Tochinoshin takes a half step to remove Ishiura’s head from his chest and pushes down hard on Ishiura’s back to send him rolling for the katasukashi (under-shoulder swing down) win. Both wrestlers finish the tournament with excellent 10-5 records.