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    1. 2007-05-29 Hakuho Tsuna Preparation
    2. 2007-05-30 Hakuho becomes yokozuna
    3. 2007-05-31 Hakuho receives belt
    4. 2007-06-01 Hakuho at Meiji Shrine
    5. 2007-06-03 Interview with Hakuho
    6. 2007-06-20 Hitorizumo Ritual
    7. 2007-06-25 Hakuho on the Banzuke
    8. 2007-07-06 Hiro's Pre-basho Sum Up
    9. 2007-07-23 B4 Post-Basho Summary
    10. 2007-07-26 Kotomitsuki promoted to Ozeki
    11. 2007-08-01 Asashoryuu Suspended
    12. 2007-08-02 Some Losing Techniques
    13. 2007-08-04 Tachiai Techniques
    14. 2007-08-23 Asashoryuu Scandal Update
    15. 2007-08-29 Asashoryuu Goes Home
    16. 2007-09-04 Upcoming Basho Update
    17. 2007-09-04 Hiro Tries Out
    18. 2007-09-28 Basho 5 Sum Up
    19. 2007-10-07 Tokitsukaze Dismissed
    20. 2008-05-27 Basho 3 Kotooushuu
    21. 2008-11-29 Ama News
  3. Individual Tournaments Pages
    1. Year 2007 Basho 1
    2. Year 2007 Basho 3
    3. Year 2007 Basho 4
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Basho 4 of 2007 "Nagoya"

Video clips and Pictures

Note: Information on how to request the 4-disk set of videos, about 31 hours of broadcast, is now on my site here. Remember that I will remove this set from the list when I think all requests are in, and no more requests will be taken. So if you want one, act now. If I get fewer than 6 sets requested and paid for, I will not make sets for the next basho. I will probably also make the usual 1-disk conventional TV-viewable DVD too, a week or so after the last day of the tournament.

Day 1

At first, the match seemed quite even.

Asashoryuu-Aminishiki. Aminishiki is the new komusubi. The rank is the highest of the lower half of the upper half of makuuchi and gets grouped with the rikishis who must face the highest ranked men (the top quarter) during the first week. As a result the komusubi rank is generally considered to be a terrible experience for the newly promoted rikishi, since his early elation is diluted by the realization that he must face the yokozuna the very first day. Aminishiki is not intimidated though, and today lightning does strike twice! The tachiai seems good on both sides, but what isn't obvious at first is that Ami. immediately obtained an unbreakable hold with his right hand, and Asa. can only struggle until he executes a very unyokozuna-like misstep at the edge. After this win, one can begin to imagine Ami. moving into Kotomitsuki's sekiwake spot next basho. If he does, he will finally enjoy a first week of matches with low ranked men along with all the others in the top quarter of the division and be free of the first day match with a yokozuna. Note again how Asa. does not properly bow and show respect - instead he faces his opponent then turns his back and leaves.

Under pressure, Kotomitsuki faces Takekaze.

Day 2

Kotomitsuki-Takekaze. Takekaze likes using lots of trips and surprise techniques, which puts Kotomitsuki under a lot of pressure not to make a mistake against him in K's quest for his ozeki promotion this basho. Because of K's long sojourn at sekiwake, he must prove himself a bit more than a rapidly rising new star to make the rank, so he will probably have to achieve 12 victories this basho. Watch the free hands of the two wrestlers battling it out.

Kasugao moves into the leg trip position.

Day 3

Kitazakura-Kasugao. Kitazakura shows us the value of a cool head as he survives Kasugao's normally-fatal leg trip move by stubbornly holding his position upright until his opponent tires of the attempt. Joe Kuroda reports his post-match comment: "I remembered my shisho (Kitanoumi oyakata) advising me, never try to get the hook out so I stayed patient until my opponent got tired of it and he took it off himself." Kitazakura is now 3 wins, zero losses.

Toyonoshima braces himself solidly on his injured knee to face Ama.

Day 4

Ama-Toyonoshima. Toyonoshima has more bandages on his right knee than I think I've ever seen on a sumo wrestler. This old injury, caused by Asashoryuu's rough treatment, is obviously holding Toyo back. Ama executes a sotogake against Toyo. What a difference between the brilliant Toyonoshima of the March tournament and todays wounded warrior.

Hakuho's thrust flattens Takekaze's nose.

Hakuho-Takekaze. Here is another good look at what gave Hakuho the extra boost he needed to achieve yokozuna status - a fast, strong, and effective pushing-thrusting attack to complement his mawashi skills. Here against Takekaze, H. does not make any attempt to get the belt, but rather executes a set of centered thrusts probably aimed at T's neck. However, because T. maintains proper chin posture most of the blows land on his chin or face. Watch now Takekaze skillfully takes his fall to avoid injury. Now Hakuho has 4 wins, zero losses, and has won 20 matches in a row.

Bandaged Toyonoshima goes for the leg trip.

Day 5

Kotooushu-Toyonoshima. By moving to the right, Toyonoshima has his uninjured leg to work with, so he puts it to use against Kotoushuu. It has no chance though. K. shows us here how polished he is becoming - watch how he stops his uetenage halfway through, to make sure that he does not fall before T. Then K. resumes the move after twisting the helpless T. further underneath him. When I see smooth execution like this from Kotooshu, I wonder why he has not won a tournament yet.

Kotooshuu leaps to the side.

Day 6

Kotooshuu-Wakanosato. Kotooshuu probably was hoping for an easy win. He had no strategy for Wakanosato, other than the henka. Why would an ozeki resort to desperation sumo against a winless rikishi who will be in all likelihood demoted half a dozen slots down next basho? This match caused a furor on the Sumo Mailing List, where it spawned the thread "Day 6 Spoiled!". The fact that the henka failed must have doubled the punishment K. felt afterwards. Not to mention that W. won while going backwards, normally a bad defense. K. will not progress until he develops new strengths, and henka is not one of them.

Takamisakari grimaces as he fights for a grip.

Day 7

Kotomitsuki-Takamisakari. Kotomitsuki probably knows that under the right conditions Takamisakari can beat almost anyone. This is no time to underestimate the Robocop. K. uses the threat of a belt hold to force T. to defend, and then adds an amazingly forceful forward power surge to end the match. There is a spring in K's step as he returns to the dohyo, contrasting with the Takamisakari's misery. The crowd seems to be cheering more for the ozeki hopeful than the robot clown today.

Kotooshu leans into a third forward blast.

Kotooshuu-Asasekiryu. Kotooshu sends an obvious message to fans, opponents, and perhaps himself, that he regrets sidestepping yesterday and will not do it again! Kotooshu "wham! wham! wham!" three times crashes directly into Asasekiryu, not even looking to the side, using his body as a battering ram to devasting effect. By the time he has the belt he almost doesn't need it. I think this man does not realize how powerful he really is, or how he can effectively use his several advantages. His henka tendencies are a sad self-handicap, a situation which perhaps he is now seeing more clearly.

Kaiou finds himself outpowered.

Day 8

Kaiou-Kotomitsuki. Kaiou is fairly tired by day 8 and beginning to weaken. Even Ama can beat him, especially since when Kaiou gets tired he gets very slow. Kotomitsuki today uses almost too much force, humiliating the ozeki by dumping him in a heap at the edge of the dohyo.

Asashoryuu sees that he is in big trouble.

Day 9

Asashoryuu-Miyabiyama. The photo shows the moment. In this match, Miyabiyama totally gets away from Asashoryuu. A. loses control of the match entirely, and he tries one thing after another - slap down, neck thrust, twist down, everything. Clearly he does NOT want to lose to M., but he does come so very close. To his credit, his mental list of strategies is a long one, and after plan B fails, and also plans C, D, E, F, and G, finally plan H does the trick and Miyabiyama goes down. But wait, there is more. After his shaky win, A. has the temerity to put on a big swagger walking back to his side, as if there were not a moment that the outcome was in doubt. And again, no bow to the opponent.

Takamisakari maintains constant upward pressure on Kaiou.

Day 10

Kaiou-Takamisakari. Takamisakari certainly has abundant strength, and often knows exactly how to use it. He tends to fight to get a very close-in grip, forcing his opponent upright. Robot Clown's terrible nearsightedness might explain his bias towards this type of attack. A spent Kaiou is easy prey for T's standard game today. The visiting Israeli ambassador is playing "pick the winner" and chooses Kaiou. T. does his head-held-high strut afterwards, shouting something aloud, but his words are not audible for some reason.

The unforgettable moment when Kotomitsuki's promotion is assured.

Hakuhou-Kotomitsuki. So finally we must admit it is NOT just luck or a winning streak, but Kotomitsuki really has the skill and strength to be an ozeki. Well, we all knew he had the skill and strength, but the spirit was questionable, but not today. Hakuhou seems uncertain how to proceed with K. But the ozeki hopeful has a plan -- in, forward, up -- promising a contest of strength only -- then the instant K is sure that the timing is right, he opens up and does the uwatedashinage. For a moment, K. looks like Asashoryuu! Hakuhou's winning streak ends at 25.

Please leave

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I look forward greatly to your postings of bouts and would like to ask if you will be posting any more for this basho? We seem to be stuck on the Asa match on day 9. Loyal Hakuho fan in NZ ,nIGEL
From Nigel H., location Australia or New Zealand, date Monday, July 23, 2007 at 15:31:02
Please put me down for your 1-disk DVD for this tournament. I guess it covers the highlights and major bouts.

From Nigel H, location Australia or New Zealand, date Tuesday, July 10, 2007 at 05:29:26

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This page last modified: 11/30/2008 23:41:06