May 2017, Day 14, Toyohibiki v Chiyoshoma

Toyohibiki takes three steps forward before going airborne, wading right into the armlock throw of Chiyoshoma. Chiyoshoma takes one step forward and one step back before setting his feet and cranking on Toyohibiki’s arm, using the heavier wrestler’s momentum against him.

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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 4, Toyohibiki v Ishiura

Ishiura starts the bout by pushing the much larger Toyohibiki off his line and back to the edge of the ring. When Toyohibiki fights back and wraps up Ishiura’s left arm, Ishiura grabs the underarm belt grip on that side and drops his head way under Toyohibiki’s chest. With Toyohibiki’s weight on his back, it’s an easy move to slide backwards and pull with his left hand, dropping Toyohibiki with the shitatehineri (twisting underarm throw).

May 2017, Day 3, Toyohibiki v Onosho

Onosho has risen steadily up the ranks since entering sumo at 16 years old. He floundered a little bit in the Juryo division before putting together enough wins to earn his promotion to the top Makuuchi division this tournament at the age of 20. Veteran Toyohibiki provides a good test on Day 3, but Onosho is able to absorb the strong tachiai and plow forward through a strong series of slaps from his opponent. He shows solid, low hips and careful footwork on his way to dumping Toyohibiki off the dohyo onto his butt. Onosho finishes the day at 2-1, Toyohibiki at 1-2.

November 2016, Day 12, Takekaze v Toyohibiki

Fun matchup between my two favorite round mounds of sound reknown. Takekaze deflects Toyohibiki off to his left, and with a left-arm underhook tries to pull down the larger wrestler. But Toyohibiki bounds around in a circle to follow nicely, and ends up with a left-hand belt grip. Then he marches Takekaze out to the edge and crushes him down for the yoritaoshi (front crush out) victory. Both men finish the day at 6-6.

November 2016, Day 8, Toyohibiki v Arawashi

Arawashi’s having a great run his second time up in the top Makuuchi division. It took him twelve years to reach Makuuchi from his debut (at 16 years old!), but he dropped down to Juryo after only seven tournaments. A year in Juryo saw lots of 8-7 and 7-8 records but now that he’s back up top he seems to have found a groove. Today against Toyohibiki, he latches on to the belt quickly with his left-hand, followed soon by his right. Toyohibiki has the forward momentum, but Arawashi lifts his bulk with the double-underhand and topples his heavier opponent with a really clean shift of his hips. Arawashi improves to 6-2, Toyohibiki drops to 3-5.

November 2016, Day 5, Toyohibiki v Hokutofuji

The message that veteran Toyohibiki wants to send to newcomer Hokutofuji is something like, “I would very much appreciate it if, while vacating the general vicinity of this dohyo, you learned a valuable lesson about the hierarchical structure of sumo seniority, and remember that the next time we happen to meet.” TLDR: GTFO.