May 2017, Hakuho Yusho compilation

Yokozuna Hakuho wins the May 2017 Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo, earning his 38th top-division championship with a perfect record of 15-0. Over the course of fifteen wins he used seven different kimarite (winning techniques): yorikiri (5), hatakikomi (2), uwatenage (2), uwatedashinage (2), yoritaoshi (2), uwatehineri, and oshidashi. Congrats to the champ!

May 2017, Day 9, Aoiyama v Hakuho

Hakuho rearranges Aoiyama’s face with a big left-handed slap at the tachiai, and gets the right-handed overarm grip shortly thereafter. Watch Hakuho’s right leg as he cranks on the belt throw – he keeps it in perfect position to disrupt Aoiyama’s legs and keep him off-balance. Once the throw is complete, Hakuho’s momentum carries him over and he lands on Aoiyama’s head. That makes it eighteen straight times Hakuho has beaten Aoiyama (not counting a no-contest loss when Hakuho dropped out due to injury). The Yokozuna stays perfect at 9-0, Aoiyama drops to 2-7.

May 2017, Day 8, Kotoshogiku v Hakuho

Hakuho’s strength is evident in his tachiai – he’s not trying to blast Kotoshogiku off the line, he’s just trying to get his arms in there for a belt grip, but he still stops Kotoshogiku like a brick wall. Hakuho absorbs the massive impact and gets the left hand under, working on the other side for the right-handed overarm grip. Once he gets it, he lets go with the left hand and moves it to the back of Kotoshogiku’s head, cranking with the right arm and executing the uwatedashinage (pulling overarm throw). Hakuho stays perfect at 8-0.

May 2017, Day 5, Harumafuji v Daieisho

Daieisho is at his highest-ever rank of M3, and he’s experiencing the different level of competition up here in the rarefied air at the top of the division. Until this tournament, he’d never even competed against someone higher than M3, and now he’s had five days in a row of Sekiwake, Komusubi, Ozeki, and today his first match against a Yokozuna. So it’s no surprise that Harumafuji dispatches him handily, smashing head-to-head at the tachiai and securing a quick overhand left that puts Daieisho instantly into the dirt. Harumafuji stays perfect at 5-0, Daieisho drops to 0-5.

March 2017, Day 14, Ichinojo v Sadanoumi

Ichinojo looks to be headed back to the lower half of the top division, earning his makekoshi (losing record) on Day 14 against Sadanoumi. He muscles Sadanoumi around at the tachiai, swinging the smaller wrestler right to the edge, but Sadanoumi gets his foot planted in the toku-dawara and fights back to the middle. They’re locked up with fairly equivalent migi-yotsu grips, but Ichinojo uses his bulk well to once again push Sadanoumi to the edge. But Sadanoumi has one last trick up his sleeve, dancing away along the tawara to the left and using his left-hand overarm grip to send Ichinojo lumbering off the dohyo with an uwatedashinage (pulling overarm throw). Sadanoumi, with only four wins from the M12 slot, might be demoted as far down as Juryo next tournament.

March 2017, Day 11, Takayasu v Kakuryu

Takayasu drops out of the tournament lead, losing a tough bout against Yokozuna Kakuryu to fall to 10-1. The Yokozuna has the slight positional advantage, with his head lower and both hands on Takayasu’s body, forcing Takayasu to defend with his right arm. But Takayasu doesn’t go down easily, and uses his left-handed belt grip to throw the Yokozuna towards the edge. Kakuryu draws in Takayasu with a little hop to his right before stepping out of the way and finishing with a nice uwatenage (overarm throw) that catapults Takayasu down to the ground beneath the dohyo. Kakuryu improves to 8-3, while Takayasu is now tied with Ozeki Terunofuji and Tochiozan, one loss behind Yokozuna Kisenosato.

March 2017, Day 11, Endo v Takanoiwa

Tough loss for Endo, who gets repeatedly bludgeoned on the left side of the head by Takanoiwa, who keeps up the pattern until he gets a grip on Endo’s belt and rolls his stumbling opponent with an uwatedashinage (pulling overarm throw). Endo’s still hanging in there with a 6-5 record, while Takanoiwa already has his eighth loss.