January 2018, Day 5, Chiyoshoma v Kaisei

Weird, floaty tachiai by Chiyoshoma today, putting himself at an immediate disadvantage against Kaisei. But he recovers well, getting both arms underneath on Kaisei’s belt and torquing the big man’s torso down to the clay. Shitatenage (underarm throw) for the Chiyoshoma’s fourth win in five days.

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January 2018, Day 3, Ishiura v Daiamami

Ishiura bringing some of that Harumafuji magic back to the dohyo, with the quick sidestep to land the deep overarm grip on the back of Daiamami’s belt. Once in the driver’s seat Ishiura goes for the quick exit, but Daiamami’s size saves him. So Ishiura reattaches with the deep left-side grip, this time underneath Daiamami’s arm, and he puts a right hand on Daiamami’s right leg so the big man can’t catch his balance. In other news, I typed “Daiamami” on the first try today, so that’s a win for me.

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 14, Shohozan v Chiyomaru

Shohozan doesn’t use throwing techniques very often, but his underarm throw (shitatenage) today against Chiyomaru is excellent. Using a strong right-handed grip, he pulls hard and swings his round opponent, Chiyomaru’s feet flailing in vain as he topples over. Both men finish the day at 8-6.

September 2017, Day 12, Endo v Sadanoumi

Alright, Endo’s out of the doghouse. Two consecutive makekoshi (one due to injury) sent him plummeting from M1 to M14, and he was in danger of dropping out of the top division with another losing record this tournament. But he earns his eighth win against a struggling Sadanoumi, fighting off Sadanoumi’s attempts at a belt grip to get a double-underarm belt grip of his own, which he quickly turns into a fine underarm throw (shitatenage) that sends Sadanoumi tumbling out of the ring. Sadanoumi has yet to win a bout after returning from injury on Day 6.

September 2017, Day 2, Tochinoshin v Harumafuji

As the lone member of the Yokozuna contingent participating in the September tournament, Harumafuji seems to be making a statement early. He’s meeting his opponents head-on and beating them with pure strength and technique, without a whiff of trickery. (I happen to have no problem with Harumafuji’s usual technique of sliding around the side at the tachiai, but others find it questionable.) Today he smashes face-first into Tochinoshin, catching the taller wrestler off-guard and quickly securing belt grips with both hands. Before Tochinoshin can use his height advantage to pull him in close, Harumafuji pivots and tosses Tochinoshin to the dirt with incredible core strength. The Yokozuna shows great balance, anchored to the ground and completely in control. Winning technique is shitatenage (underarm throw).