Sumo Stomp! Nagoya Basho results and higlights: Hoshoryu reigns supreme

Grand Sumo is in Nagoya for its latest tournament. Follow along with our results, highlights and analysis.

By: Tim Bissell | 2 months ago

The 2023 Grand Tournament of Sumo rolls on this month with the Nagoya basho, which takes place from July 8 to July 23 at the poorly air-conditioned Aichi Prefectorial Arena in the sweltering Nagoya, Japan (look at all the fans in the crowd). Bloody Elbow is your home for all the news, highlights and updates as this year’s field of competitors face off for the first time in an attempt to hold or better their place on the banzuke (rankings document).

You can stream this tournament via NHK World, both live and on demand. This can be done on their website via your web browser or the NHK World app on Apple and Android products. The live shows happen around 4:10 a.m. ET. Highlights are often shown at 12:30 a.m and are then available on demand.

Sumo Stomp nagoya basho live results

For just bout replays you can download the official Grand Sumo app on Android and Apple products. That app will have all bouts, without much delay, but it will all be in Japanese and feature unavoidable spoilers.

You can also try your luck on YouTube.

For a preview of this month’s tournament you can check out my Five Reasons to watch post and my breakdown of the Nagoya banzuke (below).

The results below only refer to the makuuchi division. For lower division results, please visit

Please jump in the comments to share your thoughts on the tournament and our coverage of it here on Bloody Elbow.

Day 1


  • Hakuoho (M17, 0-1) def. Aoiyama (M17, 0-1) via yorikiri (frontal force out)
  • Endo (M16, 1-0) def. Bushozan (M16, 0-1) via uwatedashinage (pulling over arm throw)
  • Takarafuji (M15, 1-0) def. Ryuden (M15, 0-1) via hatakikomi (slap down)
  • Shonannoumi (M14, 1-0) def. Daishoho (M14, 0-1) via oshidashi (frontal push out)
  • Gonoyama (M13, 1-0) def. Kotoshoho (M13, 0-1) via oshidashi
  • Chiyoshoma (M12, 1-0) def. Tsurugisho (M11, 0-1) via yorikiri
  • Kotoeko (M11, 1-0) def. Myogiryu (M10, 0-1) via yorikiri*
  • Hokutofuji (M9, 1-0) def. Kinbozan (M10, 0-1) via uwatedashinage*
  • Nishikifuji (M8, 1-0) def. Takanosho (M9, 0-1) via hikiotoshi (hand pull down)
  • Tamawashi (M8, 1-0) def. Sadanoumi (M7, 0-1) via tsukiotoshi (thrust down)
  • Takayasu (M7, 1-0) def. Oho (M6, 0-1) via uwatenage (over arm throw)
  • Hokuseiho (M6, 1-0) def. Onosho (M5, 0-1) via yorikiri
  • Hiradoumi (M5, 1-0) def. Ura (M4, 0-1) via oshitaoshi (frontal push down)
  • Meisei (M3, 1-0) def. Asanoyama (M4, 0-1) via abisetaoshi (backward force down)*
  • Kotonowaka (K, 1-0) def. Midorifuji (M3, 0-1) via tsukitaoshi (frontal thrust down)
  • Wakamotoharu (S, 1-0) def. Mitakeumi (M3, 0-1) via yoritaoshi (frontal crush out)*
  • Daieisho (S, 1-0) def. Shodai (M2, 0-1) via oshidashi
  • Hoshoryu (S, 1-0) def. Tobizaru (M1, 0-1) via oshitaoshi (frontal push down)*
  • Nishikigi (M1, 1-0) def. Kirishima (O, 0-1) via fusen (default)
  • Terunofuji (Y, 1-0) def. Abi (K, 0-1) via oshidashi

*Must see bouts!

Quick analysis

Well we are off to a bit of a bummer to start the Nagoya basho. Earlier this week we learned that Takakeisho had pulled out of the tournament due to meniscus issues on both knees. And on Day 1 we found out that new ozeki Kirishima was out due to a rib problem (maybe due to his epic wars with Nishikigi and Wakamotoharu during his cross training at their heyas).

Those two not being around provide a big opportunity for Daieisho, Wakamotoharu and Hoshoryu this tournament. Those rikishi need double digit wins to get an ozeki promotion and now they don’t need to worry about two of the most dangerous opponents on the banzuke.

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Wakamotoharu (black) defeats Mitakeumi (magenta).

They do need to worry about Terunofuji, though. With Takakeisho and Kirishima out, he might be a shoe-in to win yusho again. He looked up for it on Day 1, dispatching of Abi with zero fuss.

Bout of the day for me is Hoshoryu and Tobizaru. Tobizaru makes everything weird and he didn’t disappoint here. He got Hoshoryu with a henka last tournament and almost fooled him with some trickery here, only the young sekiwake was able to stay off the ground for the split second he needed to get the win.

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Hoshoryu (blue) defeats Tobizaru (lavender).

Our three rookies all got wins in their first ever makuuchi appearances. Super prospect Hakuoho beat Aoiyama (though, it wasn’t a walk in the park) while Gonoyama beat Kotoshoho and Shonannoumi bested Daishoho.

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Hakuoho’s reaction after beating Aoiyama.

Day 2


  • Hakuoho (M17, 2-0) def. Kagayaki (J1, 1-1) via yorikiri (frontal force out)
  • Aoiyama (M17, 1-1) def. Bushozan (M16, 0-2) via tsukiotoshi (thrust down)
  • Endo (M16, 2-0) def. Ryuden (M15, 0-2) via yorikiri
  • Shonannoumi (M14, 2-0) def. Takarafuji (M15, 1-1) via kotenage (arm lock throw)
  • Kotoshoho (M13, 1-1) def. Daishoho (M14, 0-2) via yorikiri
  • Gonoyama (M13, 2-0) def. Chiyoshoma (M12, 1-1) via hatakikomi (slap down)
  • Kotoeko (M11, 2-0) def. Tsurugisho (M11, 0-2) via yorikiri*
  • Kinbozan (M10, 1-1) def. Myogiryu (M10, 0-2) via yoritaoshi (frontal crush out)
  • Hokutofuji (M9, 2-0) def. Takanosho (M9, 0-2) via hatakikomi*
  • Nishikifuji (M8, 2-0) def. Sadanoumi (M8, 0-2) via tsukiotoshi
  • Takayasu (M7, 2-0) def. Tamawashi (M7, 1-1) via oshidashi (frontal push out)
  • Oho (M6, 1-1) def. Hokuseiho (M6, 1-1) via kotenage*
  • Asanoyama (M4, 1-1) def. Ura (M4, 0-2) via uwatenage (over arm throw)
  • Meisei (M3, 2-0) def. Kotonowaka (K, 1-1) via yorikiri
  • Abi (K, 1-1) def. Midorifuji (M3, 0-2) via oshitaoshi (frontal push down)
  • Hoshoryu (S, 2-0) def. Shodai (M2, 0-2) via yorikiri*
  • Wakamotoharu (S, 2-0) def. Tobizaru (M1, 0-2) via yorikiri
  • Daieisho (S, 2-0) def. Mitakeumi (M2, 0-2) via tsukidashi (frontal thrust out)
  • Nishikigi (M1, 2-0) def. Terunofuji (Y, 1-1) via sukuinage (beltless arm throw)*

*Must see bouts!

Quick analysis

Nishikigi followed up a strong May tournament (9-6) with an amazing kinboshi winning performance against yokozuna Terunofuji on Day 2. Nishikigi lost to Terunofuji in the previous tournament, but was able to challenge the eventual champion more than most did that basho. This time around Nishikigi had Terunofuji’s number.

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Nishikigi (green) defeats Terunofuji (black).

In their Day 2 bout Terunofuji went for the arm-barring force out move that he used throughout May, however, I think he was a little over-confident in thinking he could move Nishikigi around the same way he did Tobizaru and Hoshoryu. When Nishikigi felt Terunofuji putting so much pressure on his upper body, he engaged his massive thigh muscles, pivoted and was able to send that pressure towards the dirt with a beautiful sukuinage. The win gives Nishikigi his second career kinboshi.

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Nishikigi (green) defeats Terunofuji (black).

On Day 2, Daieisho, Wakamotoharu and Hoshoryu continued to look in fine form as they chase ozeki promotion. The three rookies (Hakuoho, Shonannoumi and Gonoyama) also improved to 2-0.

Bout of the day has to be Nishikigi’s win over Terunofuji, but honourable mentions go to Oho’s war of attrition versus Hokuseiho, Hokutofuji’s back and forth win over Takanosho and Kotoeko giant-killing of Tsurugisho.

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Hokutofuji (grey) defeats Takanosho (red).

Day 3


  • Atamifuji (J1, 2-1) def. Aoiyama (M17, 0-3) via okuritaoshi (rear push down)
  • Takarafuji (M15, 1-2) def. Hakuoho (M17, 2-1) via tsukiotoshi (thrust down)*
  • Bushozan (M16, 1-2) def. Ryuden (M15, 0-3) via hikiotoshi (hand pull down)
  • Endo (M16, 3-0) def. Shonannoumi (M14, 2-1) via yorikiri (frontal force out)
  • Gonoyama (M13, 3-0) def. Daishoho (M14, 0-3) via oshidashi (frontal push out)
  • Chiyoshoma (M12, 2-1) Kotoshoho (M13, 1-2) via okuridashi (rear push out)*
  • Myogiryu (M10, 1-2) def. Tsurugisho (M11, 3-0) via yorikiri
  • Kinbozan (M10, 2-1) def. Kotoeko (M11, 2-1) via uwatenage (over arm throw)
  • Nishikifuji (M8, 3-0) def Hokutofuji (M9, 2-1) via hatakikomi (slap down)
  • Sadanoumi (M8, 1-2) def. Takanosho (M9, 0-3) via yorikiri
  • Tamawashi (M7, 2-1) def. Oho (M6, 1-2) via hatakikomi
  • Takayasu (M7, 3-0) def. Hokuseiho (M6, 1-2) via hikiotoshi*
  • Ura (M4, 1-2) def. Onosho (M5, 1-2) via okuridashi*
  • Asanoyama (M4, 2-1) def. Hiradoumi (M5, 1-2) via yorikiri*
  • Abi (K, 2-1) def. Meisei (M3, 2-1) via hatakikomi*
  • Kotonowaka (K, 2-1) Mitakeumi (M2, 0-3) via yorikiri
  • Daieisho (S, 3-0) def. Midorifuji (M3, 0-3) via oshidashi
  • Nishikigi (M1, 3-0) def. Hoshoryu (S, 2-1) via hatakikomi
  • Shodai (M2, 1-2) def. Wakamotoharu (S, 2-1) via oshidashi
  • Tobizaru (M1, 1-2) def. Terunofuji (Y, 1-2) via yorikiri*

*Must see bouts!

Quick analysis

Tobizaru was punked by Terunofuji in the last tournament. In May he was walked out of the ring like a toddler by the yokozuna, his face grimacing with pain as both his arms were hyper-extended. That move has been the lasting image of that entire tournament for me. And, from the looks of what happened today, it’s something Tobizaru had a hard time forgetting, too.

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Terunofuji (black) beating Tobizaru (lavender) in May.

Tobi, who is known as one of the more light-hearted rikishi in sumo, showed a level of grit and meanness we’re not accustomed to from him. Off the tachiai Tobizaru immediately tried to stay busy with his hands, to prevent Terunofuji from locking them up in his kimedashi hold.

Terunofuji tried reaching for Tobizaru, by the Flying Monkey did a good job of maintaining range, though it did lead to him being backed all the way up to the straw. He kicked out a leg at Terunofuji’s knee, which gave him enough space to circle away from the boundary. He almost slipped on the clay (which is especially slippery in Nagoya), but was able to maintain his movement and establish a clinch with Terunofuji in the center of the dohyo.

From there Terunofuji established a grip on Tobizaru’s belt and then went for an inside trip. Tobizaru was too mobile, for that, though. He blocked that and then he blocked Terunofuji’s attempts at an underarm throw. At this point Terunofuji had pulled Tobizaru’s mawashi so high up he was wearing it like a bandeau.

Tobizaru kept his feet moving throughout, though, preventing Terunofuji from sitting down and summoning up all his strength. With Terunofuji starting to fade, Tobizaru kicked out Terunofuji’s right leg. That provoked a big reaction from big Teru, who charged forward and took Tobizaru to the edge again, but Tobizaru again slipped away. In slipping away Tobizaru got himself perpendicular to Terunofuji and was able to push him back and over the straw. Terunofuji, who was side-footed (and hurt), was unable to put on the brakes. And thus, the pillows rained down.

Sadly, Terunofuji hobbled out of the ring and you have to fear the worst for the recent tournament winner. That sweep attempt from Tobizaru may have damaged Terunofuji’s recently surgically repaired knee.

I think the fact that Tobizaru targeted Terunofuji’s legs speaks to how much he wanted to win this one and get payback for the embarrassing loss in May. The level of intensity and commitment from both men created one of the greatest bouts I’ve ever seen.

That’s two kinobshi on the career for Tobizaru, both of which have come against Terunofuji.

Other key bouts from this day include Daieisho smashing Midorifuji to go 3-0, Shodai waking up to beat Wakamotoharu and Nishikigi continuing to impress with a crafty win over Hoshoryu. Hakuoho took his first top division loss this day, being outfoxed by former sekiwake Takarafuji.

Day 4


  • Aoiyama (M17, 2-2) def. Endo (M16, 3-1) via oshidashi (frontal push out)
  • Hakuoho (M17, 3-1) def. Bushozan (M16, 1-3) via yorikiri (frontal force out)
  • Takarafuji (M15, 3-1) def. Daishoho (M14, 0-4) via yorikiri
  • Gonoyama (M13, 4-0) def. Ryuden (M15, 0-4) via tsukidashi (frontal thrust out)
  • Shonannoumi (M14, 3-1) def. Kotoshoho (M13, 1-3) via oshidashi
  • Kotoeko (M11, 3-1) def. Chiyoshoma (M12, 2-2) via yorikiri*
  • Tsurugisho (M11, 1-3) def. Kinbozan (M10) via uwatenage (over arm throw)
  • Hokutofuji (M9, 3-1) def. Myogiryu (M10, 1-3) via hatakikomi (slap down)
  • Takayasu (M7, 4-0) def. Takanosho (M9, 0-4) via hatakikomi
  • Tamawashi (M7, 3-1) def. Nishikifuji (M8, 3-1) via yorikiri
  • Oho (M6, 2-2) def. Nishikifuji (M8, 3-1) via yorikiri
  • Hokuseiho (M6, 2-2) def. Hiradoumi (M5, 1-3) via yorikiri
  • Asaonoyama (M4, 3-1) def. Onosho (M5, 1-3) via sukuinage (beltless arm throw)*
  • Ura (M4, 2-2) def. Meisei (M3, 2-2) via oshidashi*
  • Abi (K, 3-1) def. Tobizaru (M1, 1-3) via oshidashi
  • Wakamotoharu (S, 3-1) def. Midorifuji (M3, 0-4) via hatakikomi
  • Nishikigi (M1, 4-0) def. Daieisho (S, 3-1) via hikkake (arm grabbing force out)*
  • Hoshoryu (S, 3-1) def. Mitakeumi (M2, 0-4) via yorikiri
  • Krisihima (O, 1-1-2) def. Kotonowaka (K, 2-2) via okuridashi (rear push out)*
  • Shodai (M2, 2-2) def. Terunofuji (1-3) via fusen (default)

*Must see bouts!

Quick analysis

Well, Terunofuji is out. After his damaging loss to Tobizaru, the yokozuna submitted papers to the JSA stating he had a slipped disc and an injury to one of his vertebrae, which was actually sustained in training and not during the bout with Tobizaru. His absence gave Shodai the default win on Day 4.

As Terunofuji exits, Kirishima enters. The new ozeki was expected to be out all tournament nursing a bone bruise on his rib, returned on Day 4 and took on Kotonowaka. I had feared the worse for him, doing up against one of the strongest shovers in the game. But Kirishima showed that, either his injury is not as bad as expected, or he is just ‘him’ and could fight through it without showing any pain. He was able to withstand, turn and then push out Kotonowaka without too much trouble.

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Kirishima (black) defeats Kotonowaka (mint).

Nishikigi might become the story of this tournament. He’s 4-0 after he beat Daieisho (who had looked dominant beforehand). Nishikigi has gotten to 4-0 after facing the hardest four man line-up you can expect to start a tournament. Day 1 he got a lucky fusen win over Kirishima, but then he beat Terunofuji and Hoshoryu. With all those big names out the way already, Nishikigi could finish this tournament with a big number of wins.

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Nishikigi (green) defeats Daieisho (magenta).

In the last two tournaments, Midorifuji and Meisei came blasting out the gates only to fall away later. However, that’s because they were beating up rank-and-filers. Nishikigi is beating up elites and looking like the best version we’ve ever seen of him. He’s fighting the third and final sekiwake Wakamotoharu on Day 5.

Takayasu and Gonoyama are both 4-0, too. Takayasu looks to be healthy. And when he’s healthy he’s better than three quarters of the division. Gonoyama is showing impressive skills against the lowest ranked guys in the division, so it will be interesting what happens when he gets a step up in competition.

For bout of the day, I’m picking something lower on the banzuke. Kotoeko and Chiyoshoma are two of my favourite wrestlers. When they match-up, it’s a fascinating duel of Kotoeko’s upper body attacks versus Chiyoshoma’s lower body attacks. The Mongolian tried a few trips in this one, but Kotoeko was able to evade them and get chest to chest. From there he let his boulder-shoulders go to work and was able to force Chiyoshoma out.

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Kotoeko (lilac) defeats Chiyoshoma (black).

These two have now faced eachother a whopping 21 times, which Kotoeko leading 14-7 in the match-up. The first time they collided was in 2012, in the sandanme division. Check out the video below to see how that went between the skinny 21-year-olds.

Day 5


  • Roga (J2, 2-3) def. Bushozan (M16, 1-4) via yorikiri (frontal force out)
  • Endo (M16, 4-1) def. Takarafuji (M15, 3-2) via oshidashi (frontal push out)
  • Ryuden (M15, 1-4) def. Hakuoho (M17, 3-2) via yorikiri
  • Shonannoumi (M14, 4-1) def. Aoiyama (M17, 2-3) via oshidashi
  • Daishoho (M14, 1-4) def. Chiyoshoma (M12, 2-3) via yorikiri
  • Kotoshoho (M13, 2-3) Tsusugisho (M11, 1-4) via oshidashi
  • Gonoyama (M13, 5-0) def. Kotoeko (M11, 3-2) via hatakikomi (slap down)*
  • Myogriyu (M10, 2-3) def. Takanosho (M9, 0-5) via tsukiotoshi (thrust down)
  • Kinbozan (M10, 3-2) Nishikifuji (M8, 3-2) via hatakikomi
  • Hokutofuji (M9, 3-1) def. Sadanoumi (M8, 1-3) via okuridashi (rear push out)*
  • Tamawashi (M7, 4-1) def. Onosho (M5, 1-4) via yoikiri*
  • Takayasu (M7, 5-0) def. Hiradoumi (M5, 1-4) via hatakikomi*
  • Ura (M4, 3-2) def. Oho (M6, 2-3) via oshidashi*
  • Hokuseiho (M6, 3-2) def. Asanoyama (M4, 3-2) via yorikiri
  • Midorifuji (M3, 1-4) def. Mitakeumi (M2, 0-5) via tsukiotoshi*
  • Kotonowaka (K, 3-2) def. Shodai (M2) via yorikiri*
  • Hoshoryu (S, 4-1) def. Abi (K, 3-2) via okuritaoshi (rear push down)*
  • Nishikigi (M1, 5-0) def. Wakamotoharu (S, 3-2) via yorikiri*
  • Daieisho (S, 4-1) def. Meisei (M3, 2-3) via oshidashi
  • Tobizaru (M1, 2-3) def. Kirishima (O, 1-2-2) via yorikiri*

*Must see bouts!

Quick analysis

Call this the tournament of the underdogs.

Nishikigi is now 5-0 after dispatching with Wakamotoharu with a quick yorikiri. With all the sekiwake out the way he will now get to face a decline in competition the rest of the way, with Kotonowaka and Abi the only san’yaku he’s yet to face.

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Nishikigi (green) defeats Wakamotoharu (black).

The other wrestler who is 5-0 is another underdog, rookie Gonoyama. In focusing so much on Hakuoho (who had a dissapointing loss to Ryuden this day), we’ve forgettn about the man who has owned Hakuoho in the lower division. Gonoyama got his fifth win with a tremendous victory over Kotoeko. I doubt he can keep this pace up, but it’s fun to watch.

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Gonoyama (blue) defeats Kotoeko (lilac).

The only other undefeated wrestler is Takayasu, who is looking to be in frightening form. If he can stay healthy, pretty sure he can keep this up. He smashed Hiradoumi on Day 5.

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Takayasu (scarlet) defeats Hiradoumi (blue).

And then we have Tobizaru continuing to surprise us. Fresh off his thrilling win over Terunofuji, the Flying Ape has only gone and beaten Kirishima (who might still be suffering from a rib injury).

All these matches were fantastic, but for my bout of the day I need an Ura fix. On Day 5 Kirby dug his heels in and blasted Oho off the dohyo.

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Ura (pink) defeats Oho (gold).

Honourable mention to Midorifuji getting his first win, after a marathon match with Mitakeumi.

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Midorifuji (green) defeats Mitakeumi (magenta).

Day 6


  • Endo (M16, 5-1) def. Mitoryu (J2, 3-3) via kirikaeshi (twisting backward knee trip)
  • Takarafuji (M15, 4-2) def. Aoiyama (M17, 2-4) via yorikiri (frontal force out)
  • Daishoho (M14, 2-4) def. Bushozan (M16, 1-5) via yorikiri
  • Hakuoho (M17, 4-2) def. Gonoyama (M13, 5-1) via hatakikomi (slap down)*
  • Ryuden (M15, 2-4) def. Kotoshoho (M13, 2-4) via yorikiri
  • Chiyoshom (M12, 3-3) def. Shonannoumi (M14, 4-2) via yorikiri
  • Takanosho (M9, 1-5) def. Tsurugisho (M11, 1-5) via yorikiri
  • Hokutofuji (M9, 5-1) def. Kotoeko (M11, 3-3) via okuritaoshi (rear push down)*
  • Kinbozan (M10, 4-2) def. Sadanoumi (M8, 1-5) via yorikiri
  • Myogiryu (M10, 3-3) def. Nishikifuji (M8, 3-3) via hatakikomi
  • Tamawashi (M7, 5-1) def. Hiradoumi (M5, 1-5) via yorikiri*
  • Onosho (M5, 2-4) def. Takayasu (M7, 5-1) via oshidashi (frontal push out)*
  • Asaonoyama (M4, 4-2) def. Oho (M6, 2-4) via yorikiri
  • Ura (M4, 4-2) def. Hokuseiho (M6, 3-3) via okuridashi (rear push out)*
  • Tobizaru (M1, 3-3) def. Mitakeumi (M2, 0-6) via okuridashi
  • Nishikigi (M1, 6-0) def. Abi (K, 3-3) via oshidashi*
  • Kotonowaka (K, 4-2) def. Daieisho (S, 4-2) via hikiotoshi (hand pull down)
  • Hoshoryu (S, 5-1) def. Midorifuji (M3, 1-5) via sotogake (outside leg trip)
  • Wakamotoharu (S, 4-2) def. Meisei (M3, 2-4) via hatakikomi
  • Kirishima (O, 2-2-2) def. Shodai (M2, 2-4) via tsukiotoshi

Must see bouts!

Quick analysis

Nishikigi is now 6-0 with all his wins coming over the san’yaku. On Day 7 he will meet komusubi Kotonowaka (who beat Diaiesho today) to try and complete his clean sweep of the upper rankers and put himself in firm control of this basho. His win today was over Abi and, again, it wasn’t that close. He sustained Abi’s forward tsuppari charge and then pushed him back to the straw, an area Abi likes and is good at escaping from. However, Abi was not able to hop out of the way this time as Nishikigi pushed him out.

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Nishikigi (green) defeats Abi (black).

Including his strong finish in May, Nishikigi has now won 14 bouts in a row (including a fusen over Kirishima on Day 1). Incredible sumo from the 32-year-old who is competing at the highest rank of his career.

Nishikigi is now the only undefeated rikishi at the tournament. Takayasu took a loss to Onosho and Gonoyama lost his grudge match against Hakuoho.

I’d like to put some spotlight on Tamawashi today, sumo’s iron-man and the oldest person in the division. He beat the young and rising Hiradoumi to go 5-1 today and did it with devastating nodowa (throat strikes). After a couple of down tournaments the Mongolian veteran is looking back to his yusho form of last year.

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Tamawashi (right) defeats Hiradoumi (left).

Bout of the day has to be Ura vs. Hokuseiho. I used Ura for BotD yesterday just because, but there was no doubt he deserved it this day. His bout with Hokuseiho, who is a foot taller than him, was sensational as he attacked the legs of the giant and somehow got behind him. From there Ura was able to shepherd out the confused youngster.

Ura (pink) defeats Hokuseiho (grey).

Day 7


  • Hakuoho (M17, 5-2) def. Endo (M16, 5-2) via yorikiri (frontal force out)
  • Takarafuji (M15, 5-2) def. Shimazuumi (J3, 3-4) via yorikiri
  • Ryuden (M15, 3-4) def. Aoiyama (M17, 2-5) via oshidashi (frontal push out)*
  • Kotoshoho (M13, 3-4) def. Bushozan (M16, 1-6) via tsukiotoshi (thrust down)
  • Shonannoumi (M14, 5-2) def. Gonoyama (M13, 5-2) via hatakikomi (slap down)
  • Kotoeko (M11, 4-3) def. Daishoho (M14, 2-5) via okuridashi (rear push out)
  • Chiyoshoma (M12, 4-3) def. Myogiryu (M10, 3-4) via katasukashi (under shoulder swing down)*
  • Hokutofuji (M9, 6-1) def. Tsurugisho (M11, 1-6) via hatakikomi
  • Takanosho (M9, 2-5) def. Kinbozan (M10, 4-3) via oshidashi
  • Nishikifuji (M8, 4-3) def. Takayasu (M7, 5-2) via tsukiotoshi
  • Tamawashi (M7, 6-1) def. Hokuseiho (M6, 3-4) via yorikiri*
  • Onosho (M5, 3-4) def. Sadanoumi (M8, 1-6) via hatakikomi
  • Hiradoumi (M5, 2-5) def. Oho (M6, 2-5) via yorikiri
  • Meisei (M3, 3-4) def. Midorifuji (M3, 1-6) via yorikiri
  • Tobizaru (M1, 4-3) def. Shodai (M2, 2-5) via oshidashi*
  • Kotonowaka (K, 5-2) def. Nishikigi (M1, 6-1) via yorikiri
  • Wakamotoharu (S, 5-2) def. Abi (K, 3-4) via hatakikomi
  • Daieisho (S, 5-2) def. Ura (M4, 4-3) via oshitaoshi (frontal push down)
  • Hoshoryu (S, 6-1) def. Asanoyama (M4, 4-3) via uwatenage (over arm throw)*
  • Mitakeuimi (M2, 1-6) def. Kirishima (O, 2-3-2) via oshidashi

*Must see bouts!

Quick analysis

Nishikigi’s attmpted clean sweep of the san’yaku fell at the last hurdle on Day 7 with a quick loss to Kotonowaka, who has amassed a typically quiet 5-2 record thus far.

Day 7 saw all the ozeki chasers win. Daieisho blasted through Ura, Wakamotoharu slapped down Abi and Hoshoryu had my bout of the day versus Asanoyama.

Hoshoryu moved to a tournament tying best mark of 6-1 with his slick win over the former ozeki. This was another bout where Hoshoryu not only showed himself off as the best technician in sumo, but also one of the strongest guys out there (despite his relatively small stature). Asanoyama is massive, and very quick, but Hoshoryu wasn’t moved off the tachiai.

Asanoyama, who has incredible footspeed, was able to puhs Hoshoryu back in the second stage, moving him to the boundary. But the smaller man was able to put on the brakes. He then surged forwards and immediately went for an over arm throw. He almost got it, too. But Asanoyama, being no slouch, defended the position (partly thanks to his tree trunk-like legs).

After defending the throw, he pushed forwards, blocking a sneaky foot sweep attempt from the Golden Boy. He got greedy, though, and tried to go chest-to-chest to push Hoshoryu out. This allowed, Hoshoryu to pivot and get deeper on the overarm throw set-up. This time he pulled the throw off, which he celebrated with a move reminiscent of his famous uncle.

Hoshoryu (blue) defeats Asanoyama (black).

A fantastic win for Hoshoryu, who is quickly closing in on the 13 wins he needs to become an ozeki.

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Joining Hoshoryu and Nishikigi at the 6-1 mark are two surprising leaders, Hokutofuji and Tamawashi (who I highlighted yesterday). Hokutofuji rode the attack of Tsurugisho to snatch a win. Tamawashi used his devastating nodowa technique to immediately attack and unsettle Hokuseiho, forcing the youngster to panic and not defend against a quick yorikiri.

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Tamawashi (navy) defeats Hokuseiho (teal).

Day 8


  • Ryuden (M15, 4-4) def. Ichiyamamoto (J3, 0-6-2) via yorikiri (frontal force out)
  • Daishoho (M14, 3-5) def. Aoiyama (M17, 2-6) via oshidashi (frontal push out)
  • Hakuoho (M17, 6-2) def. Shonannoumi (M14, 5-3) via yorikiri
  • Eno (M16, 6-2) def. Kotoshoho (M13, 3-5) via tottari (arm bar throw)*
  • Takarafuji (M15, 6-2) def. Kotoeko (M11, 4-4) via tsukiotoshi (thrust down)
  • Tsurugisho (M11, 2-6) def. Bushozan (M16, 1-7) via hatakikomi (slap down)
  • Chiyoshoma (M12, 5-3) def. Kinbozan (M10, 4-4) via shitatenage (underarm throw)
  • Myogiryu (M10, 4-4) def. Gonoyama (M13, 5-3) via oshidashi
  • Hokutofuji (M9, 7-1) def. Takayasu (M7, 5-3) via oshidashi*
  • Takanosho (M9, 3-5) def. Tamawashi (M7, 6-2) via oshidashi
  • Hokuseiho (M6, 4-4) def. Sadanoumi (M8, 1-7) via shitatenage*
  • Hiardoumi (M5, 3-5) def. Nishikifuji (M8, 4-4) via oshidashi
  • Oho (M6, 3-5) def. Onosho (M5, 3-5) via tsukiotoshi
  • Meisei (M3, 4-4) def. Mitakeumi (M2, 1-7) via yorikiri
  • Nishikigi (M1, 7-1) def. Tobizaru (M1, 4-4) via oshidashi
  • Abi (K, 4-4) def. Shodai (M2, 2-6) via tsukidashi (frontal thrust out)
  • Hoshoryu (S, 7-1) def. Ura (M4, 4-4) via hatakikomi
  • Wakamotoharu (S, 6-2) def. Kotonowaka (K, 5-3) via yorikiri*
  • Daieisho (S, 6-2) def. Asanoyama (M4, 4-4) via fusen (default)
  • Midorifuji (M3, 2-6) def. Kirishima (O, 2-4-2) via shitatenage*

*Must see bouts!

Quick analysis

The leading pack was trimmed to three rikishi today with Nishikigi, Hoshoryu and Hokutofuji getting wins to go 7-1. Nishikigi got past the tricky Tobizaru, Hoshoryu easily slapped down Ura and Hokutofuji got through a tough Takayasu.

Bout of the day has to be Midorifuji vs. Kirishima, which saw a very rare pause in the aciton so that the referee, the 41st Inosuke Shikimori or current chief referee, could prevent Kirishima from suffering a wardrobe malfunction. The referee had the two wrestlers pause, mainitaining their grips while he struggled with Kirishima’s mawashi. Eventually a yobidashi came in and helped secure the knot.

After they restarted the action, Midorifuji and Kirishima went back and forth and as Kirishima attempted some throws, Midorifuji was able to move the action closer and closer to the boundary. When blocking the final throw, Midorifuji was able to take away Kirishima’s space and force the ozeki to step out of the ring.

The win is the best of Midorifuji’s career (even if Kirishima was suffered from a rib injury). It’s been an up and down year for Midorifuji, who has looked incredible against rank-and-filers, but undersized and out of his depths against the san’yaku this win over Kirishima could be an important confidence booster for him to get back to winning form.

Mirodifuji (red) defeats Kirishima (black).

Day 9


  • Bushozan (M16, 2-7) def. Takarafuji (M15, 6-3) via oshidashi (frontal push out)
  • Daishoho (M14, 4-5) def. Hakuoho (M17, 6-3) via oshidashi
  • Endo (M16, 7-2) def. Gonoyama (M13, 5-4) via oshidashi
  • Aoiyama (M17, 3-6) def. Chiyoshoma (M12, 5-4) via oshidashi
  • Ryuden (M15, 5-4) def. Tsurugisho (M11, 2-7) via yorikiri (frontal force out)
  • Shonannoumi (M14, 6-3) def. Kotoeko (M11, 4-5) via hatakikomi (slap down)*
  • Myogiryu (M10, 5-4) def. Kotoshoho (M13, 3-6) via hatakikomi
  • Kinbozan (M10, 5-4) def. Tamawashi (M7, 6-3) via oshidashi
  • Sadanoumi (M8, 2-7) def. Takayasu (M7, 5-4) via yorikiri
  • Hokutofuji (M8, 8-1) def. Oho (M6, 3-6) via oshidashi*
  • Takanosho (M9, 4-5) def. Hokuseiho (M6, 4-5) via okuridashi (rear push out)
  • Onosho (M9, 4-5) def. Nishikifuji (M8, 4-5) via oshidashi
  • Shodai (M2, 3-6) def. Midorifuji (M3, 2-7) via yorikiri*
  • Nishikigi (M1, 8-1) def. Mitakeumi (M2, 1-8) via yorikiri
  • Tobizaru (M1, 5-4) def. Kotonowaka (K, 5-4) via oshidashi*
  • Daieisho (S, 7-2) def. Abi (K, 4-5) via oshidashi
  • Hoshoryu (S, 8-1) def. Hiradoumi (M5, 3-6) via kakenage (hooking inner thigh throw)*
  • Wakamotoharu (S, 7-2) def. Ura (M4, 4-5) via sukuinage (beltless arm through)
  • Kirishima (O, 3-4-2) def. Meisei (M3, 4-5) via tsukiotoshi (thrust down)

*Must see bouts!

Quick analysis

We have our first kachi-koshi wrestlers with Hoshoryu, Nishikigi and Hokutofuji all getting their eighth wins on Day 9. Hokutofuji dealt with Oho without too much fuss. Nishikigi withstood and pushed out Mitakeumi. And Hoshoryu beat Hiradoumi in my bout of the day.

One thing I love about Hoshoryu is that he combines his craft and guile with straight up power. He often chooses to win a lot of his bouts with slick throws and trips, but he has the straight up strength to go chest-to-chest with most opponents. He also has that mean streak in him, too, which will see him really lay into the tachiai at times.

Hoshoryu (left) defeats Hiradoumi (right).

On Day 9 he met Hiradoumi, who might have the meanest streak in the division. Hoshoryu knows how Hiradoumi starts all his bouts, he puts his head down, smashes into contact and looks to capitalize off the impact. Instead of trying to avoid the contact and use Hiradoumi’s pressure against him, this bout Hoshoryu decided to meet him head on and show he can’t be pushed back.

Off the clash, Hoshoryu then went to his bag of tricks and got deep on a judo throw. However, Hiradoumi grapevined one of his legs. This forced Hoshoryu to show tremendous balance to maintain his posture, while hopping on one leg, and eventually securing the throw along the straw, dumping Hiraduomi on the chief referee’s lap.

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Hoshoryu (front) defeats Hiradoumi.

Other bouts I enjoyed included Tobizaru beating Kotonowaka in another choatic affair (these two seem to always put on a show) and Midorifuji coming up just short to Shodai.

Day 10


  • Shonannoumi (M14, 7-3) def. Bushozan (M16, 2-8) via uwatedashinage (pulling overarm throw)
  • Gonoyama (M13, 6-4) def. Takarafuji (M15, 6-4) via yorikiri (frontal force out)
  • Aoiyama (M17, 4-6) def. Kotoshoho (M13, 3-7) via hatakikomi (slap down)
  • Endo (M16, 8-2) def. Chiyoshoma (M12, 5-5) via oshidashi (frontal force out)
  • Hakuoho (M17, 7-3) def. Kotoeko (M11, 4-6) via oshidashi
  • Ryuden (M15, 6-4) def. Myogiryu (M10, 5-5) via kotenage (arm lock throw)*
  • Takanosho (M9, 5-5) def. Daishoho (M14, 5-5) via yorikiri after torinaoshi (rematch)
  • Tsurugisho (M11, 3-7) def. Sadanoumi (M8, 2-7) via sukuinage (beltless arm throw)
  • Kinbozan (M10, 6-4) def. Takayasu (M7, 5-5) via oshidashi
  • Hokutofuji (M9, 9-1) def. Tamawashi (M7, 6-4) via oshitaoshi (frontal push down)
  • Nishikifuji (M8. 5-5) def. Oho (M6, 3-7) via tsukidashi (frontal thrust out)*
  • Shodai (M2, 4-6) def. Hokuseiho (M6, 4-6) via yorikiri*
  • Nishikigi (M1, 9-1) def. Meisei (M3, 4-6) via yoritaoshi (frontal crush out)*
  • Midorifuji (M3, 3-7) def. Tobizaru (M1, 5-5) via oshidashi*
  • Miakeumi (M2, 2-8) def. Abi (K, 4-6) via yorikiri
  • Onosho (M5, 5-5) def. Wakamotoharu (S, 7-3) via oshidashi*
  • Daieisho (S, 8-2) def. Hiradoumi (M5, 3-7) via tsukiotoshi (thrust down)*
  • Kotonowaka (K, 6-4) def. Hoshoryu (8-2, S) via oshidashi*
  • Kirishima (O, 4-4-2) def. Ura (M4, 4-6) via oshidashi*

*Must see bouts!

Quick analysis

There were some great bouts on Day 10. Daieisho won the battle of the pug-faces versus Hiradoumi, going thrust for thrust and slap for slap with the young man, before cutting an angle and pushing him down. And Kotonowaka got a quality win over Hoshoryu, though Hoshoryu still got to show off his freakish balancing skills (yet again).

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Kotonowaka (teal) defeats Hoshoryu (indigo).

But bout of the day for me was Kirishima vs. Ura.

Due to an injury Kirishima has been relegated to a bit-part in this basho, unlike in the past two tournament where he was one of the lead characters. Against Ura, though, he showed how great he is at full strength. He deployed some Hakuho-esque escapes around the boundary and got himself into the position he needed to win. And once he got there he had the strength and energy to push his popular opponent out.

Nishikigi and Hokutofuji won again on Day 10 to reach 9-1. Endo joined the kachi-koshi ranks with a quick win over Chiyoshoma.

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Endo (purple) defeats Chiyoshoma (black).

Day 11


  • Ryuden (M15, 7-4) def. Daishoho (M14, 4-7) via yorikiri (frontal force out)
  • Bushozan (M16, 3-8) def. Chiyoshoma (M12, 5-6) via oshidashi (frontal push out)
  • Aoiyama (M17, 5-6) def. Tsurugisho (M11, 3-8) via hatakikomi (slap down)
  • Kotoshoho (M13, 4-7) def. Kinbozan (M10, 6-5) via hikiotoshi (hand pull down)
  • Kotoeko (M11, 5-6) def. Sadanoumi (M8, 2-9) via sukuinage (beltless arm throw)*
  • Hakuoho (M17, 8-3) def. Takayasu (M7, 5-6) via okuridashi (rear push out)*
  • Hokuseiho (M6, 5-6) def. Myogiryu (M10, 5-6) via yorikiri
  • Onosho (M5, 6-5) def. Gonoyama (M13, 6-5) via sukuinage*
  • Takanosho (M9, 6-5) def. Hiradoumi (M5, 3-8) via oshidashi
  • Ura (M4, 5-6) def. Nishikifuji (M8, 5-6) via yorikiri
  • Oho (M6, 4-7) def. Midorifuji (M3, 3-8) via oshidashi
  • Shodai (M2, 5-6) def. Mitakeumi (M2, 2-9) via yorikiri
  • Tobizaru (M1, 6-5) def. Meisei (M3, 4-7) via hatakikomi
  • Nishikigi (M1, 10-1) def. Endo (M16, 8-3) via yorikiri
  • Takarafuji (M15, 7-4) def. Abi (K, 4-7) via tsukiotoshi (thrust down)*
  • Kotonowaka (K, 7-4) def. Shonannoumi (M14, 7-4) via yorikiri
  • Hoshoryu (S, 9-2) def. Tamawashi (M7, 6-5) via oshidashi
  • Kirishima (O, 5-4-2) def. Daieisho (S, 8-3) via hatakikomi*

*Must see bouts!

Quick analysis

Day 11 is where we started seeing wrestlers matched based on their records and not just their rank. As a result a number of the high performing lower ranked guys got to face off with their stiffest competition of the basho thus far. And there they struggled.

My bout of the day is Hokutofuji, who had been beating up the lower ranks, getting to take on sekiwake Wakamotoharu who is working on his ozeki run. Wakamotoharu needs 12 wins this tournament to qualify, so he could not afford to lose this one.

Check out their bout below. You’ll see both guys match each other for aggressiveness, but Wakamotoharu (who I think might be the most physically strong guy in the sport) tap into an extra level of power to force the very heavy and very strong Hokutofuji out.

Wakamotoharu (black) defeats Hokutofuji (grey)

Nishikigi vs. Endo was another match-up like this. That saw Endo hit a brick wall before being forced out by the now 10-1 Nishikigi (who is leading the competition on his own now thanks to Hokutofuji’s loss).

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Nishikigi (green) defeats Endo (purple).

Impressive rookie Shonannoumi also got a step up in competition. He took on komusubi Kotonowaka. He almost won, too, taking Kotonowaka into the seats, but being forced out just before.

Other notable matches were Daieisho vs. Kirishima in a match-up of the March tournament playoff. Kirishima continues to show his supremacy over Daieisho, using great footwork to make the shover fall onto his face.

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Kirishima (black) defeats Daieisho (magenta).

Day 12


  • Oshoma (J4, 6-6) def. Daishoho (M14, 4-8) via oshidashi (frontal push out)
  • Aoiyama (M17, 6-6) def. Kinbozan (M10, 6-6) via okuridashi (rear push out)
  • Myogiryu (M10, 6-6) def. Takarafuji (M15, 7-5) via yorikiri (frontal force out)
  • Chiyoshoma (M12, 6-6) def. Takanosho (M9, 6-6) via hatakikomi (slap down)
  • Sadanoumi (M8, 3-9) def. Bushozan (M16, 3-9) via uwatenage (over arm throw)
  • Ryuden (M15, 8-4) def. Nishikifuji (M8, 5-7) via oshidashi
  • Gonoyama (M13, 7-5) def. Takayasu (M7, 5-7) via oshidashi*
  • Kotoeko (M11, 6-6) def. HOkuseiho (M6, 5-7) via uwatenage*
  • Oho (M6, 5-7) def. Kotoshoho (M13, 4-8) via tsukiotoshi (thrust down)
  • Tsurugisho (M11, 4-8) def. Onosho (M5, 6-6) via oshitaoshi (frontal push down)
  • Hiradoumi (M5, 4-8) def. Midorifuji (M3, 3-9) via yorikiri
  • Meisei (M3, 5-7) def. Shodai (M2, 5-7) via sotogake (outside leg trip)
  • Ura (M4, 6-6) def. Mitakeumi (M2, 2-10) via tottari (arm bar throw)*
  • Shonannoumi (M14, 8-4) def. Nishikigi (M1, 10-2) via kotenage (arm lock throw)
  • Asanoyama (M4, 5-4-3) def. Tobizaru (M1, 6-6) via sukuinage (beltless arm throw)*
  • Kotonowaka (K, 8-4) def. Endo (M16, 8-4) via sukuinage
  • Hakuoho (M17, 9-3) def. Abi (K, 4-8) via oshidashi*
  • Tamawashi (M7, 7-5) def. Daieisho (S, 8-4) via hatakikomi*
  • Hokutofuji (M9, 10-2) def. Hoshoryu (S, 9-3) via oshidashi*
  • Kirishima (O, 6-4-2) def. Wakamotoharu (S, 8-4) via yorikiri*

*Must see bouts!

Quick analysis

What a great day of bouts (and throws!). Nishikigi was pegged back in his race to yusho by a throw from the impressive rookie Shonannoumi. Asanoyama returned despite a bicep injury to throw Tobizaru. Ura got a funky throw on Mitakeumi and Kotoeko tossed out the giant Hokuseiho.

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Kotoeko (lilac) defeats Hokuseiho (teal).

Nishikigi’s loss means he was tied atop the leader board by Hokutofuji, who got a big win over Hoshoryu (the first of his career).

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Shonannoumi (blue) defeats Nishikigi (green).

This loss is the kind that pops up for Hoshoryu every now and then. Hokutofuji, one of the most powerful pushers out there, was able to get Hoshoryu back to the boundary and then shove him out the ring. Hoshoryu immediately looked at the dohyo suggesting that the notoriously slippy surface in Nagoya was to blame.

However, on replay you can see that Hoshoryu lost due to (forgive me) a brain fart. When he was being forced back he choose to step towards the straw boundary for leverage. However, in doing so he did not skim his foot across the surface, as wrestlers practice each and every day. Instead he took a big step, which resulted in him stepping out of bounds.

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Hokutofuji (grey) defeats Hoshoryu (blue).

Bout of the day for me is Hakuoho beating Abi. This is the first time the super prospect had ever faced an opponent from the san’yaku. Furthermore, this is the first time he had ever faced anyone like Abi (who is near unique in his aggressive and strike heavy attacking style). Hoshoryu, who is still a teenager, was able to weather the storm of palms to the face and throat, withstand the attempts to slap him down and carefully locate his opponent and the angle he needed to get him out.

Hakuoho (left) defeats Abi (right).

The win took him to 9-3, within reach of what would be a stunning and historic championship. However, it looked like he may have hurt his already injured shoulder on the way out. With a winning record secured, now we wait to see whether Hakuoho will be conservative in sitting out the rest of the tournament or whether he will chase history.

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Hakuoho after his bout with Abi.

Day 13


  • Aoiyama (M17, 7-6) def. Tohakuryu (J4, 6-7) via hatakikomi (slap down)
  • Takarafuji (M15, 8-5) def. Chiyoshoma (M12, 6-7) via yoritaoshi (frontal crush out)
  • Gonoyama (M13, 8-5) def. Tsusugisho (M11, 4-9) via oshidashi (frontal push out)
  • Kotoeko (M11, 7-6) def. Bushozan (M16, 3-10) via oshidashi
  • Ryuden (M15, 9-4) def. Kinbozan (M10, 6-7) via yorikiri (frontal force out)
  • Hokutofuji (M9, 11-2) def. Endo (M16, 8-5) via yorikiri
  • Shonannoumi (M14, 9-4) def. Nishikifuji (M8, 5-8) via oshidashi*
  • Sadanoumi (M8, 4-9) def. Daishoho (M14, 4-9) via yorikiri
  • Tamawashi (M7, 8-5) def. Myogiryu (M10, 6-7) via hikiotoshi (hand pull down)
  • Kotoshoho (M13, 5-8) def. Hokuseiho (M6, 5-8) via yorikiri*
  • Takanosho (M9, 7-6) def. Onosho (M5, 6-7) via oshidashi
  • Meisei (M3, 6-7) def. Oho (M6, 5-8) via oshidashi
  • Takayasu (M7, 6-7) def. Midorifuji (M3, 3-10) via hatakikomi
  • Hiradoumi (M5, 5-8) def. Mitakeumi (M2, 2-11) via yorikiri
  • Asanoyama (M4, 6-4-3) def. Shodai (M2, 5-8) via yorikiri
  • Tobizaru (M1, 7-6) def. Ura (M4, 6-7) via shitatenage (underarm throw)*
  • Hakuoho (M17, 10-3) def. Nishikigi (M1, 10-3) via uchigake (inside leg trip)*
  • Kotonowaka (K, 9-4) def. Abi (K, 4-9) via yorikiri
  • Wakamotoharu (S, 9-4) def. Daeiesho (S, 8-5) via hatakikomi*
  • Hoshoryu (S, 10-3) def. Kirishima (O, 6-5-2) via yorikiri*

Must see bouts!

Quick analysis

This tournament is an absolute nailbitter. Because of how things went today, and given the match-ups listed for Day 14 (including Hakuoho vs. Hokutofuji) we could head into the final day with four wrestlers tied for first place.

We got here because Hokutofuji, Hakuoho and Hoshoryu all got wins. Hokutofuji powered through Endo without much fuss, Hakuoho won an epic battle with Nishikigi (who is the fourth man who could win the title) and Hoshoryu bested his old judo rival Kirishima in a technical affair.

Sumo GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Hoshoryu (blue) defeats Kirishima (black).

Hakuoho vs. Nishikigi is my hands-down bout of the day (though you should still watch Ura vs. Tobizaru).

Hakuoho has the strength and speed to come off the line like a pro-bowl linebacker. Nishikigi is a brick wall, though. Off the tachiai Nishikigi immediatelly looked for an inside grip on the left side, but Hakuoho did great in moving his hips and hand fighting to keep him away. In the ensuing scramble Nishikigi got Hakuoho on the straw, but the 19-year-old was able to stay up and in and then drive Nishikigi back into the centre.

The pair then rested with matching grips on each other’s mawashi, with Hakuoho really keeping his waist at a good distance from his opponent. With that distance established, he shucked Nishikigi forwards and then took him down with a deft, and rarely seen, uchigake (inside leg trip).

Sumo GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Hakuoho (black) defeats Nishikigi (green).

No matter what happens the rest of the way. I’ve seen enough. Hakuoho is not just the future of sumo. He might be the present, too.

Other bouts of note included Wakamotoharu vs. Daieisho. Wakamotoharu had his ozeki run ruined on Day 13 by Kirishima and he returned the favour this day. He was able to use Daieisho’s momentum in his favour (like all elite opponents do to Daieisho) and slap him down. Daieisho is now unable to get the 11 wins he needed to get an ozeki promotion. This is a massive collapse for the sekiwake who seemed like he had a great chance to finally get that promotion in Nagoya.

Sumo GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Wakamotoharu (black) defeats Daieisho (magenta).

Day 14


  • Tamashoho (J5, 9-5) def. Bushozan (M16, 3-11) via tsukiotoshi (thrust down)
  • Kotoshoho (M13, 6-8) def. Takarafuji (M15, 8-6) via yorikiri (frontal force out)*
  • Kinbozan (M10, 7-7) def. Shonannoumi (M14, 9-5) via shitatenage (underarm throw)
  • Endo (M16, 9-5) def. Myogiryu (M10, 6-8) via yorikiri
  • Gonoyama (M13, 9-5) def. Takanosho (M9, 7-7) via tsukiotoshi
  • Hakuoho (M17, 11-3) def. Hokutofuji (M9, 11-3) via tsukiotoshi*
  • Aoiyama (M17, 8-6) def. Nishikifuji (M8, 5-8) via hatakikomi (slap down)
  • Daishoho (M14, 5-9) def. Takayasu (M7, 6-8) via yorikiri
  • Kotoeko (M11, 8-6) def. Tamawashi (M7, 8-6) via yorikiri*
  • Tsurugisho (M11, 5-9) def. Midorifuji (M3, 3-11) via okuridashi (rear push out)
  • Meisei (M3, 7-7) def. Hokuseiho (M6, 5-9) via yorikiri
  • Shodai (M2, 6-8) def. Oho (M6, 5-9) via oshidashi (frontal push out)
  • Sadanoumi (M8, 5-9) def. Mitakeumi (M2, 2-12) via yorikiri
  • Ryuden (M15, 10-4) def. Nishikigi (M1, 10-4) via shitatenage*
  • Tobizaru (M1, 8-6) def. Chiyoshoma (M12, 6-8) via okuridashi*
  • Kotonowaka (K, 10-4) def. Ura (M4, 6-8) via oshidashi
  • Abi (K, 5-9) def. Hiradoumi (M5, 5-9) via hatakikomi
  • Hoshoryu (S, 11-3) def. Wakamotoharu (S, 9-5) via kotenage (arm lock throw)*
  • Daieisho (S, 9-5) def. Onosho (M5, 6-8) via hatakikomi*
  • Asanoyama (M4, 7-4-3) def. Kirishima (O, 6-6-2) via sukuinage (beltless arm throw)*

Must see bouts!

Quick analysis

Another day, another show-stealing performance from Hakuoho. The teenage sensation beat Hokutofuji to tie his record at 11-3. Now Hakuoho gets to go into the final day, of his first ever top division tournament, with a chance to beat Hoshoryu (who beat Wakamotoharu today) to win his first Emperor’s Cup.

The win over Hokutofuji showed off Hakuoho’s combination of speed and power, which is perhaps only matched by former ozeki Asanoyama, as he plowed into Hokutofuji (one of the most powerful pushers in the game) and did not back down. Hakuoho instantly got an inside grip and was able to twist his hips to prevent his opponent from getting a good grip from him, much like his mentor Hakuho was famous for.

After some clinching, Hakuoho went for a throw, but Hokutofuji slipped out. Hokutofuji seized on that moment and tried to force out Hakuoho, but he couldn’t get him over the straw. As Hokutofuji went for an all out shove, Hakuoho deftly pivoted and was able to stay in just long enough to see Hokutofuji crash into the dirt.

Sumo GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Hakuoho (black) defeats. Hokutofuji (grey).

Hoshoryu’s win over Wakamotoharu was shorter, but just as dramatic. Wakamotoharu tried to henka his fellow sekiwake (kind of a dirtbag move on a guy who needs the win for his ozeki run after you lost yours). Hoshoryu saw the move, though, and was able to grab Wakamotoharu’s thigh. After the henka didn’t work, Wakamotoharu was stuck upright and Hoshoryu was able to put him down with any move he wanted. After Wakamotoharu hit the ground, Hoshoryu gave him a little ‘how dare you’ stare.

Sumo GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Hoshoryu (blue) defeats Wakamotoharu (black).

Hoshoryu will now meet Hakuoho on the final day. Before they face off, Hokutofuji will fight Nishikigi (who lost to Ryuden this day to eliminate himself from title contention). If Nishikigi beats Hokutofuji, Hoshoryu and Hakuoho will fighting for the cup. If Hokutofuji wins, he will take on the winner of Hoshoryu vs. Hakuoho in a play-off.

I’m really hoping it’s Hoshoryu vs, Hakuoho for the title. The stakes are so high that the idea of seeing them in that spot makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.

If Hakuoho wins he makes history and gives evidence to the claims that he is a generational talent and an absolute star. If Hoshoryu wins his first ever championship, the 25-year-old shows that all the hype around him has been warranted and that win would also clinch his promotion to ozeki.

To add extra spice to the match-up, Hakuoho vs. Hoshoryu is basically Hakuho vs. Asashoryu. With the legendary GOAT Hakuho being Hakuoho’s mentor and the GOAT’s nemesis (and toughest rival) Asahoryu being Hoshoryu’s uncle.

Final Day


  • Daishoho (M14, 6-9) def. Roga (J2, 8-7) via hikiotoshi (hand pull down)
  • Takarafuji (M15, 9-6) def. Tsurugisho (M11, 5-10) via oshidashi (frontal push out)
  • Shonannoumi (M14, 10-5) def. Myogiryu (M10, 6-9) via hatakikomi (slap down)
  • Endo (M16, 10-5) def. Nishikifuji (M8, 5-10) via yorikiri (frontal force out)
  • Aoiyama (M17, 9-6) def. Sadanoumi (M8, 5-10) via hatakikomi
  • Gonoyama (M13, 10-5) def. Tamawashi (M7, 8-7) via oshidashi
  • Takayasu (M7, 7-8) def. Chiyoshoma (M12, 6-9) via tsukidashi (frontal thrust out)
  • Oho (M6, 6-9) def. Bushozan (M16, 3-12) via yorikiri
  • Kotoshoho (M13, 7-8) def. Hiradoumi (M5, 5-10) via fusen (default)
  • Meisei (M3, 8-7) def. Kinbozan (M10, 7-8) via tsukiotoshi (thrust down)*
  • Midorifuji (M3, 4-11) def. Hokuseiho (M6, 5-10) via shitatenage (underarm throw)*
  • Mitakeumi (M2, 3-12) def. Onosho (M5, 6-9) via yorikiri
  • Ura (M4, 7-8) def. Shodai (M2, 6-9) via yorikiri
  • Tobizaru (M1, 9-6) def. Kotoeko (M11, 8-7) via okuridashi (rear push out)*
  • Hokutofuji (M9, 12-3) def. Nishikigi (M1, 10-5) via hikiotoshi*
  • Kotonowaka (K, 11-4) def. Ryuden (M15, 10-5) via yorikiri
  • Asanoyama (M4, 8-4-3) def. Wakamotoharu (S, 9-5) via yorikiri
  • Takanosho (M9, 8-7) def. Daieisho (S, 9-6) via hikiotoshia*
  • Hoshory (S, 12-3) def. Hakuoho (M17, 11-4) via uwatenage (over arm throw)*
  • Abi (K, 6-8) def. Kirishima (O, 6-7-2) via yorikiri


  • Hoshoryu def. Hokutofuji via oshidashi*

*Must see bouts!

Quick analysis

Wow. What an incredible tournament we just witnessed. The 2023 Nagoya basho is going to be rememebred for sometime. The most important thing we witnessed was a career defining victory for 24-year-old sekiwake Hoshoryu who won the championship after first defeating Hakuoho and then Hokutofuji in a play-off.

This is Hoshoryu’s first ever yusho. By beating Hakuoho, Hoshoryu also secured his 12 win which will secure his promotion to the rank of ozeki. Just an incredible day for the young Mongolian, who let his trademark stoicism and mean-mug slip when he realized he would hoist his first ever Emperor’s Cup.

To get the play-off, Hoshoryu first had to beat the super prospect Hakuoho who came veyr close to making history as the youngest and quickest rikishi to win a makuuchi title.

Hoshoryu stopped Hakuoho and, and ensured he would be the main character in this basho as we talk about it for years to come, by using his elite reflexes and adjustments (of which Kirishima is the only other wrestler with comparable ability).

The fight was over quickly.

Off the tachiai Hoshoryu immediately got a grip on Hakuoho’s belt. After showing the teenager how strong he is in the clinch, he then wowed us with his speed. In a lightning quick move, Hoshoryu swept out Hakuoho’s left leg and then drove his opponent’s left shoulder to the ground. Hakuoho didn’t see it coming and before he knew it, his palm was touching clay.

Sumo GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Hoshoryu (blue) defeats Hakuoho (black).

The match with Hakuoho showed off Hoshoryu’s grappling, but the play-off with Hokutofuji showed off he can do oshi-zumo as well as anyone. Again, the only other wrestler who cimbines such craft and power is Hoshoryu’s frenemy Kirishima.

In the final bout Hokutofuji predictably charged at Hoshoryu with a pushing attack that has beaten most people this tounrmanet. But Hoshoryu dug his heels in and would not be moved. Instead he got square, but his hands and forehead on Hokutofuji’s chest and drove him out. The tears came shortly after.

With Hoshoryu, Kirishima and Hakuoho we are enterting a new era of sumo. It’s going to be great.

Other notable bouts from a dramatic Day 15 include Midorifuji pulling off an epic giant-killing, by taking Hokuseiho completely off his feet, Kotonowaka quietly getting win number 11 over Ryuden and Gonoyama and Shonannoumi joining Hakuoho with double-digit wins in their first ever tournaments.

Sumo GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Midorifuji (red) defeats Hokuseiho (teal).

Lots of awards were handed out in Nagoya. Here’s who got what.

Shukun-sho (outstanding performance award)

  • Nishikigi

Kanto-sho (fighting spirit award)

  • Hoshoryu
  • Kotonowaka
  • Hokutofuji
  • Gonoyama
  • Shonannoumi
  • Hakuoho

Gino-sho (technique prize)

  • Hakuoho

Well that’s it for me. As always, I’ve loved keeping you up to date with all the thrills and spills from the dohyo. Thank you so much for stopping by. Next up, I’ll be doing a report card series for my subscribers on Substack.

Take care all! See you in Autumn.

Don’t want to miss an update? Subscribe to my Substack, Sumo Stomp!, for a heads up on all my sumo content. It’s completely free and a place for fellow sumo stans to hang and chat about what’s happening in the world of sumo.

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About the author
Tim Bissell
Tim Bissell

Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. Among Tim's specialties are the intersections between crime and combat sports. Tim has also covered head trauma, concussions and CTE in great detail.

Tim is also BE's lead (only) sumo reporter. He blogs about that sport here and on his own substack, Sumo Stomp!

Email me at Nice messages will get a response.

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