May 2017, Day 12, Toyohibiki v Sokokurai

Both Toyohibiki and Sokokurai have losing records already, but neither one is going to throw in the towel on the tournament. Toyohibiki comes out hard with a slamming tachiai, and follows up with a strong left arm to the throat that Sokokurai is completely unable to handle. The general strategy seeming to be, “I’m going to push your head out of the ring. It’s up to you if your body follows.”


May 2017, Day 10, Sokokurai v Shodai

Shodai somehow slips suddenly sideways, surprising Sokokurai with his shockingly speedy slipperiness as Sokokurai steps southward out of the sumo circle.

May 2017, Day 7, Ura v Sokokurai

Sokokurai would love to get in close to grab Ura’s belt, but he can’t figure out how to do it. While his brain is occupied with the conundrum, Ura pulls hard on his arm to get him off-balance and headed for the edge of the ring. Sokokurai stops himself, but Ura is right beside him and on the attack. Good work by Ura for the oshidashi (push out) win.

May 2017, Sokokurai v Takakeisho

Sokokurai looks to be in trouble off the tachiai, driven backwards by Takakeisho all the way to the edge of the ring. But he pushes down on Takakeisho’s head while Takakeisho graciously forgets to move his feet forward, and Sokokurai hangs on with both feet balanced on the tawara, his heels suspended over the outside of the ring just long enough for Takakeisho to hit the ground first. The referee calls it for Takakeisho, but ex-Ozeki Kaio calls a conference and the ref’s decision is reversed.

March 2017, Kisenosato Yusho compilation

Yokozuna Kisenosato wins the March 2017 Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka, earning his second-straight top-division championship with a record of 13-2, defeating Ozeki Terunofuji on the last day in a playoff. Over the course of thirteen wins (plus one playoff win) he used six different kimarite (winning techniques): yorikiri (6), oshidashi (3), tsukiotoshi (2), kotehineri (1), okuridashi (1), and kotenage (1).

March 2017, Day 9, Tamawashi v Sokokurai

There are only a few sumo techniques for winning with your opponent behind you, and Tamawashi executes none of them. Sokokurai grabs onto Tamawashi’s arm and sends him swiftly out of the ring by okuridashi (rear force out) for only his third win of the tournament. Tamawashi picks up his fourth loss.

March 2017, Day 8, Kotoshogiku v Sokokurai

Kotoshogiku’s tachiai seems tentative, like he’s worried about Sokokurai pulling some trick, so he just stands and grabs on without much forward momentum. Sokokurai has his left arm high under Kisenosato’s right, and has his right arm wrapped around Kisenosato’s left, trapping it between their bodies. With both of Kisenosato’s arms occupied, he can’t get any offense going. But then he starts his legs pumping, his left arm sneaks out and underneath to get around Sokokurai’s body, and the frog-hop train leaves the station. Kotoshogiku wins by yorikiri and improves to 6-2. Sokokurai falls to 2-6.