May 2017, Day 14, Ishiura v Takarafuji

Ishiura’s hopes of a winning record and promotion stay alive, and he’ll move into the last day with a record of 7-7. Fighting off the larger Takarafuji at the edge of the ring, Ishiura gets a left hand around to the back of Takarafuji’s belt, swinging sideways and turning that circular momentum into a smooth underarm throw. Ishiura plants his feet in a wide stance, and you can watch the power flow through his hips all the way to his arm as he tosses Takarafuji down to his eleventh loss.

May 2017, Day 13, Takarafuji v Goeido

Big sigh of relief from Ozeki Goeido as he picks up his eighth win on Day 13, meaning he’s clear of kadoban status and the threat of demotion. He shows good composure, working patiently for a belt grip through Takarafuji’s stiff defense. In the end he doesn’t need a hand on the belt, walking Takarafuji over the edge of the ring to his tenth loss.

May 2017, Day 12, Takarafuji v Takayasu

Takayasu keeps his championship hopes alive with a convincing uwatenage (overarm throw) win over Takarafuji, but he’ll need to win his last three bouts against Yokozuna Harumafuji, Ozeki Terunofuji, and probably Okinoumi or Aoiyama to have a realistic chance at the title. Regardless of the outcome, his tenth win today likely means he’ll be promoted to the exalted rank of Ozeki next tournament, an honor he well deserves (and which I predicted in January, talking about Mitakeumi and Takayasu: “one of whom I predict will be the next new Ozeki, maybe even sometime this year.”)

May 2017, Day 8, Hokutofuji v Takarafuji

Fantastic epic battle between these two evenly matched wrestlers in their third-ever head-to-head meeting. Takarafuji won the first two, but Hokutofuji gets one back today with a gutsy performance, surviving several scares at the edge of the ring. He uses his left foot against the tawara well, and a tenuous right-handed belt grip to execute the come-from-behind victory. Hokutofuji earns his sixth win, and Takarafuji loses for the fifth time.

May 2017, Day 3, Takanoiwa v Takarafuji

Takanoiwa’s huge right shoulder at the initial charge lifts up Takarafuji and opens him up for the ensuing massive right paw to the face. That heavy hand puts Takarafuji down on the ground, where he spends a brief moment reconsidering his career decision.

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).