September 2017, Day 15, Tokushoryu v Kagayaki

Man, we’re getting treated to a plethora of great throws on the last day of the tournament! Both Tokushoryu (3-11) and Kagayaki (4-10) have terrible records, but that doesn’t stop them from giving it the gusto. Kagayaki seems to get the upper hand at the tachiai, steadily driving Tokushoryu back towards the edge of the ring. But Tokushoryu’s heels hit the straw bales and he digs deep to fight back. Turning to his right, he puts his left leg against Kagayaki’s inner thigh and lifts, breaking Kagayaki’s balance. Holding onto Kagayaki’s left arm with his right, and using a good underhook on the other side, Tokushoryu continues to press with his leg until Kagayaki goes completely over. Kakenage (hooking inner thigh throw) for the impressive win. Both wrestlers finish the tournament at 4-11, with Tokushoryu likely falling to Juryo from the M14 slot, and Kagayaki having enough buffer at M8 to end up at the bottom of the top division.

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September 2017, Day 10, Endo v Tokushoryu

This one’s all about Endo’s right hand. He leans right at the tachiai, working his right arm around for a solid overarm grip on the side of Tokushoryu’s belt. So when Tokushoryu tries to toss him with a left-side sukuinage (beltless arm throw), Endo’s got an anchor to keep from going over. Tokushoryu’s left arm is high underneath Endo’s right, making hard for him to keep hold of that grip, but Endo uses it again in defense before spinning out of the way and dropping Tokushoryu with the uwatedashinage (pulling overarm throw). Tokushoryu earns his makekoshi (losing record) and will probably drop down to the Juryo division next tournament, while Endo improves to 6-4.

May 2017, Day 13, Ichinojo v Tokushoryu

Props to Ichinojo for hanging in there today and pulling off a nice come-from-behind win. The left-handed underarm grip keeps him in the bout, helping him defend against Tokushoryu’s overarm throw attempts, but it’s an armlock throw from the right side that finishes off Tokushoryu at the edge. Both Ichinojo and Tokushoryu go into the last two days with a 7-6 record.

May 2017, Day 9, Tokushoryu v Yutakayama

Yutakayama drops a tough bout to Tokushoryu for his eighth loss of the tournament. He tries in vain to shove Tokushoryu off the direct line to both the right and left sides, but Tokushoryu keeps his balance. And then just at the end Yutakayama slips out to his left, dropping Tokushoryu at the edge of the ring, but Yutakayama is unable to keep his right foot in and steps out before Tokushoryu hits the ground. The eighth loss guarantees a losing record, which means demotion. Which means from his position at the very bottom of the top division, he’ll most likely be dropped back down to the Juryo division next tournament. Which is especially painful because he spent only one tournament in the big leagues. The frustration is evident on his face after the bout – he’ll have to do his best for the remaining six days to keep from falling too far down the ranks, and reset next time around to shoot for the top division again.