My-Dohyo on Social Media!

My-Dohyo is now on Social Media!

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a tough year for all sumo-loving fans around the world. However, the strength of the sumo world has by no means been broken – on the contrary, it is growing stronger: fans were allowed to attend live sumo in September for the first time since March in a limited capacity, with spectatorship expanded for the spectacular season finale at half capacity in November.

This season has provided a mixed bag of emotions, with the cancellation of the April tournament and the tragic death of sandanme rikishi Shobushi, after contracting the novel coronavirus in May. Conversely, strong performances from Maegashira #17 wrestlers Tokushoryu and Terunofuji to win the January and July tournaments respectively, set the tone for the class of sumo to expect from the 2020 season. Later victories from Shodai and Takakeisho promoted the former to Ozeki and provided a solid platform for the latter to seek Yokozuna promotion at the start of next season.

As a result of the pandemic struggles that have impacted the entire sporting-world, social media has been a great way for sumo fans to continue sharing their support and engaging with professional sumo. Therefore, it is our pleasure to announce that My-Dohyo is now available on Social Media platforms!

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With the 2021 season of sumo wrestling starting in January, there is no better time than the present to become part of the My-Dohyo social media family – you really don’t want to miss the sumo-fun!

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We wish you a very (Sumo) Christmas and New Year!

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Sumo’s most decorated wrestler, East Yokozuna Hakuho, has officially retired from the sport at the age of 36.

Originally from Mongolia, Hakuho moved to Japan at the age 15 with the aim to become a
professional Sumo wrestler. Since making his debut in the Makuuchi Division in 2001,
Hakuho has won 45 career titles, as well as over 1000 individual victories, making him the
most successful fighter to ever compete in the sport.

While sad for most of us, the East Yokozuna’s decision to exit the sport isn’t overly
surprising; with Hakuho having missed five prestigious events over the last year due to a
knee injury and illness since, as well as a possible forced retirement from the Sumo
governing body, the elite wrestler looked ever closer to finally ending his illustrious career.

Despite this, Hakuho looked to be making a come-back to the sport after his spectacular
display in the 2021 July tournament; in his first full Basho since March 2020, he managed to baffle fans across the world by winning the event with a perfect 15:0 score, defeating
Terunofuji, this month’s victor, on the Final Day of the event to take the yūshō.

“Before the tournament, I never expected to win the championship with a record of no
defeats at this age; I’m just relieved…But with
this victory, I am feeling I can fight again.”

Hakuho, after winning the July Basho 2021.

However, after missing this month’s Basho due to Coronavirus issues in his stable, Hakuho’s
future in the sport became all too clear; the legendary fighter announced his official
retirement from Sumo wrestling due to age and injury concerns.

Although Hakuho will no longer compete as a professional wrestler, he is reportedly
considering opening his very own stable in the future, in order to show gratitude to his
beloved sport. Having obtained Japanese citizenship in 2019, Hakuho has earnt the right to become an oyakata (stable coach) in his old stable: Magaki.

Terunofuji wins 2021 September Basho!

Newly promoted West Yokozuna, Terunofuji, claimed his fifth career title in the Makuuchi
division, displaying a stellar 13:2 win record on the Final Day to take the yūshō.

The Mongolian-born wrestler was in superb form from the outset of the event; boasting a
8:0 score after eight days of fighting – finding some strong victories against the likes of
Takanosho and Kotonowaka – Terunofuji looked to be working towards his first title as a
Yokozuna ranked wrestler.

However, suffering a rather shocking defeat on Day 9 to Maegashira #4 Daiesho, it became
evident that Terunofuji wasn’t alone in his pursuit for yūshō glory; following close behind
were Myogiryu and Endo, the Maegashira duo sporting 7:2 and 6:3 scores respectively.

Despite falling short to Daieisho, Terunofuji managed to maintain his composure in his bouts versus versus Ura and Takayasu on Days 10 and 11, boosting his basho record to a breath-taking 10:1.

Although Endo could only convert his Day 11 bout against Kaisei – losing to Onosho on Day 10 – former Sekiwake Myogiryu continued to add pressure to the Yokozuna by claiming two victories against Okinoumi and Ichiyamamoto. As a result, Myogiryu remained hot on the heels of Terunofuji with a 9:2 record by the end of Day 11.

With the dash for the Yusho now clearly between Terunofuji and Myogiryu, all eyes were on
the two to see who would emerge as the eventual champion.

Although both parties would succumb to their Day 12 opponents, Terunofuji successfully
rebounded with three consecutive victories to finally be crowned Basho champion, while
Myogiryu was forced to settle with gino-sho (technique prize).

In a post-tournament interview, Terunofuji thanked those that contributed to his success in
the Basho and as a world-leading Sumo wrestler:

“I could not achieve this level of performance on my own […] Starting with my
stablemaster and his wife, to my colleagues at the stable, to my family, and to all
those who come to watch. They are the ones who make this possible and I am
grateful to all of them.”

– Terunofuji

Yokozuna Terunofuji! Terunofuji Promoted To Top Rank of Professional Sumo

Terunofuji has been officially named as the sport’s 73rd Yokozuna wrestler, making the
Mongolian born rikishi the first competitor to reach Sumo’s highest rank since now retired Kakuryu gained the prestigious status nearly five years ago.

Four-time makuuchi division champion, Terunofuji, was promoted from the prestigious Ozeki rank just days after his outstanding performance in the June basho, which saw Terunofuji finish second behind Sumo’s most decorated wrestler, Yokozuna Hakuho, with a spectacular winning record of 14:1, while the latter won the event with 15:0.

In the customary kojo speech, Terunofuji stated his desire to continue his improvement as a
Yokozuna wrestler:

“I will hold on to my unshakeable spirit and aim to foster greater dignity and power as a
Yokozuna […] “I want to go all out each day, have a more determined mindset in sumo and
get even stronger. I have to change my ways. I have so much room for improvement. I want
to understand what it means to be a Yokozuna and be a role model,”

Terunofuji, 2021

Although Terunofuji failed to find his fifth makuuchi division title last month, fans will surely be filled with excitement following his recent promotion and commitment to expanding upon his already successful career.

Stablemaster Isegahama, Terunofuji’s coach, was full of praises for his top ranked rikishi after his pupil’s successful basho and hard earned promotion to Yokozuna:

“He did well. No matter how much we support him, he’s the one who has to do the job. He
worked hard day after day. I hope he keeps his head high and establishes a firm position as

Stablemaster Isegahama, 2021

However, while his promotion to the illustrious rank of Yokozuna is clearly deserved through the merit of his recent performances, stepping up to the mark of Yokozuna won’t be without its challenges. The monumental divide between Yokozuna Hakuho and Terunoufji in terms of career victories and overall achievements alone appears unbridgeable, and so forming a strong position as a Yokozuna may be trickier than it seems for Terunofuji.

That being said, the Mongolian-born wrestler displayed his winning ambition just last month in that all-exciting Final Day bout versus Hakuho, and being known for his hard work ethic and incredible come-back from injury just two years ago, there is indeed hope for Terunofuji to be able to cement his place as yet another legendary Yokozuna!

July 2021 Grand Sumo Tournament: Hakuho wins the Emperor’s cup!

Yokozuna Hakuho has claimed his 45th career title in the Makuuchi Division after defeating Ozeki Terunofuji in a truly electrifying Grand Sumo Final!

Hakuho’s returning victory wasn’t by any means easy; it was all to play for on the
Final Day of the July basho, with the two Sumo kings, Yokozuna Hakuho and Ozeki
Terunofuji, both making it to the end of Day 14 tied up at 14:0 winning records. As a result,
fans were set to witness a legendary bout between the two, as they went head-to-head for
the July yūshō!

Out of the gate, it appeared a rather awkward tachiai for Hakuho: racing at full-pelt, the
Yokozuna launched himself arms-up at the Ozeki, causing a mighty collision. Feeling the
force of his onslaught, Hakuho was pushed back, skipping about the edge of the ring,
looking to find some space in the centre and get a grip on his fierce opponent. Eventually,
the two locked grips, and fans were left in ecstatic wonder of who would emerge the victor,
with the duo throwing each other about the ring. While Hakuho appeared to be ‘in control’
of the bout, Terunofuji never gave up and mounted counter-attack after counter-attack in an attempt to catch Hakuho off-guard. Although it was a tough bout, the victory would eventually go to Hakuho, who won by kotenage (arm-lock throw).

After his victory, Hakuho let out a roar in celebration, marking his stellar achievement of not only defeating his new rival in Terunofuji, but also in taking yet another title, furthering his record as Sumo’s most decorated wrestler, in addition to being just one win away from 900 total career victories! For Hakuho fans who were previously worried of the Yokozuna’s retirement from the sport, have no fear: Hakuho is back!

Although it was Hakuho earning the top prize, consolation and congratulation should be
extended to Terunofuji for his efforts. Challenging Hakuho as closely as he managed throughout the event, deserves much praise. Upon Hakuho’s return, Terunofuji stepped up to the mark throughout the basho, winning bout after bout as each day progressed. To have reached the Final Day without a single blemish to his tally is, in itself, deserving of much celebration. Furthermore, ending the event with a winning record of 14:1, is surely enough of promotion to the legendary rank of Yokozuna. As a result, we congratulate you, Terunofuji on your breath-taking performance!

Receving the Kanto-sho and Gino-sho prizes this month were the impressive Maegashira #11 Kotonowaka and Maegashira #5 Hoshoryu. Reaching Day 13 with 9:3, Kotonowaka would go on to end the event with 12:3, winning all three of his final bouts, while Hoshoryu would settle for a respectable 10:5 score line. A special mention should also be awarded to Maegashira #10 Tamawashi, who finished the event with a spectacular 11:4 winning record.

July 2021 Grand Sumo Tournament: Days 10-12 Reflection.

Basho leaders get set for decisive battle, Maegashira double digit finishes inbound!

The July Basho is set to offer a dramatic ending, as the two tournament forerunners,
Yokozuna Hakuho and Ozeki Terunofuji, get ready to battle it out for the Emperor’s Cup. The
illustrious duo enter Day 13 with perfect 12:0 winning records.

Reaching Day 13 without even so much as a blemish, Yokozuna Hakuho looks ready not only to smash his competition objective (completing a full basho, something he hasn’t done since March last year), but also passing yet another milestone in claiming his 45th Makuuchi division title. Over the last 12 days, fans have witnessed the overwhelming skill and prestige of Hakuho; from comfortable and quick victories, to slower, more patient bouts, Sumo’s most decorated wrestler has been in breath-taking form! Hakuho will face Sekiwake Takayasu on Day 13 in what looks set to be a tough bout, however, Hakuho has the historical advantage over Takayasu with a 18:2 head-to-head winning record (19:2 if including Hakuho’s fusen-sho victory by default over Takayasu in July 2019), so one can reasonably presume that the Yokozuna will come out of the bout with his perfect record intact!

Ozeki Terunofuji has also been exceedingly impressive throughout the basho. Although fans have rather acclimatised to seeing Terunofuji hit double digit scores and adding titles to his belt in recent tournaments, the now Ozeki hasn’t achieved such a spotless start to a professional Sumo competition since he was in Juryo division, when he became Juryo division champion in January 2020. Fellow Ozeki Shodai is Terunofuji’s opponent on Day 13, with the former desperately searching for his kachi-koshi, sitting on just a 6:5 score. Clearly Shodai can’t let his guard up against an Ozeki, but considering Shodai’s form, it seems that Terunofuji’s main concern lies in competing with Yokozuna Hakuho on the final day of proceedings.

While Hakuho and Terunofuji have rightfully been in the Sumo headlines of late, two
Maegashira fighters, Kotonowaka (Maegashira #11) and Tamawashi (Maegashira #10), also
deserve some spotlight; while the duo cannot challenge the favourites for the yūshō, they
currently sit in joint second position, after having successfully ended Day 12 with
spectacular 9:3 scores.

Kotonowaka seems to be having the Basho of his Makuuchi career; much like Terunofuji,
Kotonowaka hasn’t achieved such an incredible run since he was in the Juryo division.
Despite the rather frustrating loss to Maegashira #9 Shimanoumi on Day 11 (which would
have seen Kotonowaka just two bouts behind Hakuho and Terunofuji), the Chiba-born
wrestler has looked in strong form, surpassing kachi-koshi in just 10 days, after beating
Makuuchi newbie, Ichiyamamoto. After a victory on Day 12 over Maegashira #11 Kaisei,
Kotonowaka will face Chiyoshoma on Day 13; if the former manages to claim yet another
positive result, he will find his second double digit finish since the start of the year!

As for Tamawashi, the Maegashira #10 fighter has already succeeded in claiming his first kachi-koshi since 2020’s July event. Indeed, it seems that Tamawashi could even surpass his 10:5 result from last year’s basho, being currently placed on a formidable 9:3 record. Tamawashi faces Maegashira #8 Takarafuji on Day 13, which should be a pulsating bout, with the latter just trailing behind with an 8:4 score line.

July 2021 Grand Sumo Tournmanet: Days 7-9 Reflection

Hakuho and Terunofuji pull ahead, Kotonowaka and Ichiyamoto behind by two

Hakuho extended his spotless score-line to 9:0 on Day 9, claiming a comfortable victory over Maegashira #4 Chiyotairyu with a yorikiri (frontal force out) winning technique. While a successful bout for the Yokozuna against the struggling Chiyotairyu was to be expected (the Maegashira falling to a 2:7 record after the loss), the relative ease with which Hakuho has defeated his opponents throughout the event so far is surprising given that its his first basho back in the ring . The yūshō favourite, Hakuho, appears to be eying up his 45th career title, then, but he still has work to do; the Yokozuna will face Maegashira #5 Okinoumi, who holds a respectable 5:4 record after a loss to Ozeki Terunofuji on Day 9.

Despite the seemingly unfaltering prowess of Hakuho, four-time Makuuchi Division
champion Terunofuji continues to impress and matches his Yokozuna rival’s spectacular score of 9:0. Like Hakuho, Terunofuji is still yet to face a rival from the Sekiwake and Ozeki ranks and so he will have to keep his guard-up as he enters the final stages of the tournament. Having passed the half-way mark, it remains to be seen whether Terunofuji is able to claim the Emperor’s Cup and overcome the legendary Hakuho, thus furthering his basho success to three Division titles in a row.

While Hakuho and Terunofuji’s Ozeki, Sekiwake and Komusubi counterparts have struggled to keep up with their breathtaking efforts, two unlikely Maegashira competitors, Kotonowaka (Maegashira #11) and Ichiyamamoto (Maegashira #17) have shown that high rankings are not everything when it comes to predicting Sumo results. The two have already exceeded expectations, ending Day 9 with strong 7:2 scores.

After just nine days of fighting, Kotonowaka has already equalled his 7-8 result from the
May basho. Unable to achieve kachikoshi two months prior, Kotonowaka now looks set to
surpass the all-important 8-win milestone that aids promotion. In fact, Kotonowaka would
have already attained kachikoshi, if not for the mono-ii reversal in his bout versus Chiyonoo
on Day 8, seeing his rival Maegashira fighter take the win. Catching up to Hakuho and
Terunofuji, though, will be no easy feat, especially if Kotonowaka wishes to challenge the
pack leaders for the yūshō ; having already suffered two defeats, it seems unlikely
Kotonowaka can successfully threaten the leading Yokozuna and Ozeki fighters. That being
said, all things are possible; this is Sumo!

Facing off with Kotonowaka on Day 9 is Ichiyamamoto. Currently equalling Kotonowaka whilst also being the lowest ranked wrestler in Makuuchi (Maegashira #17), Ichiyamamoto is currently making his debut in the highest division of Sumo and has astounded us with his spectacular beginning to the basho. Out of his seven victories, Ichiyamamoto’s biggest upset has been in overcoming Maegashira #11 Kaisei, however, Ichyamamoto has found additional successes over Chiyomaru (Maegashira #13), Daiamami (Maegashira #14) and Tokushoryu (Maegashira #15). Can Ichiyamamoto defeat yet another Maegashira #11 wrestler? Bring on Day 10!

July 2021 Grand Sumo Tournament: Days 4-6 Reflection.

Yokozuna Hakuho and Ozeki Terunofuji remain undefeated: Kotonowaka trails by one.

After six days of exciting Sumo, Ozeki Terunofuji and Yokozuna Hakuho continue to
dominate, clearing Day 6 without a single loss on their tallies. The pair of fighters currently sit alone at the top of the tournament leaderboard, however, a strong start sees Maegashira #11 Kotonowaka into second place, sporting a 5:1 win record thus far into the event.

With Hakuho returning from injury to participate in his first real event since winning the
2020 March tournament, Terunofuji will have his work cut-out if he’s to successfully
challenge the 44 time Makuuchi Division champion this month. That being said, with the
year that Terunofuji has been having (looking for his third consecutive title if he can claim the July Yusho), in addition to his strong 6:0 start in the event, if anyone has the mettle to upset Yokozuna Hakuho, it’s Ozeki Terunofuji.

As for Hakuho, the Yokozuna seems to be in true winning form, defeating Hokutofuji on Day 6 to level with his Ozeki rival, Terunofuji. Already having defeated such strong rikishi as: Komusubi Meisei and the two Maegashira #2 competitors Ichinojo and Takanosho, Hakuho appears to be unstoppable in the ring. Fans of the Yokozuna can only be delighted with his stellar start; with Hakuho in risk of retirement from professional fighting due to his lack of consistent participation in the Makuuchi Division, fans should be ecstatic with his recent results. Boasting perfect bouts so far, Hakuho looks far from losing his topknot!

Hot on the heels of the two prestigious fighters, is Maegashira #11 Kotonowaka. Despite the sizeable divide in rank, Kotonowaka has managed to become the sole external rival to the two top rikishi, displaying a spectacular 5:1 scoreline. Finding victories over Maegashira #15 Tokushoryu and #12 Kagayaki, Kotonowaka has looked fierce since the outset. However, when facing off against Maegashira #10 Tamawashi on Day 6, Kotonowaka was overcome by Tamawashi’s okuridashi (rear push out) technique. While Kotonowaka is currently placed at second in the leaderboard after Day 6 despite the defeat, having failed to overcome a competitor just one rank above him might paint a less successful finish to his stint in the event, as he prepares to face the stronger ranks towards the end of the tournament.

While Terunofuji is the only Ozeki that currently looks capable of overcoming the might of Hakuho – Takakeisho having retired with injury and Shodai behind at 3:3 – one member of the Sekiwake rank, Mitakeumi, has managed to stay within two bouts of the forerunners, sitting on a respectable score of 4:2. In fact, if not for a loss on Day 6 to the skill of Komusubi Meisei, Mitakeumi could have joined Kotonowaka in shared second position, pursuing Terunofuji and Hakuho. Knowing this, Mitakeumi will surely be looking to enact his revenge on Day 7; facing off against a struggling Daieisho, who has managed to win just one win in thus far, Mitakeumi should be preparing to reverse his luck from Day 6, in order to march after the tournament favourites, Hakuho and Terunofuji.

July 2021 Grand Sumo Tournament: Days 1-3 Reflection.

Yokozuna Hakuho is back with a blast!

Sumo’s most decorated wrestler, Yokozuna Hakuho, who has won 44 career Makuuchi
Division titles, began his campaign in the July event in a truly dominant fashion. Despite returning from injury – the Mongolian-born wrestler was forced to undergo endoscopic surgery on his knee after pulling out from the May competition – Hakuho managed to find three strong victories over Komusubi Meisei and the two Maegashira #1 competitors, Daieisho and Endo. As a result, the Yokozuna ended Day 3 of proceedings with a perfect 3:0 record, looking to extend his unspoilt score as he faces Maegashira #2 Takanosho on Day 4.

Equalling Hakuho’s impressive start is none other than Ozeki Terunofuji: having already won two Makuuchi Division titles this year, it comes as little surprise to see Terunofuji emerge unscathed after the first three days of wrestling in the ring. Wins over the exciting Komusubi Wakatakakage and Takanosho (Hakuho’s opponent on Day 4), saw Terunofuji to an emphatic start the tournament. While Terunofuji fans will be pleased with the Ozeki’s current form, they will have to wait patiently to see whether he can continue his pursuit for his third consecutive title, especially with Hakuho once again back in the running for yet another Championship title.

Day 3 offered dissapointing news for Ozeki Takakeisho fans. In his short bout versus Ichinojo, Takakeisho appeared to completely lose control, being pushed out of the ring without any resistance. Terrifyingly, Takakeisho stayed down, unable to move; he subsequently diagnosed with a reported neck injury that looked in need of immediate attention. As a result, the Ozeki was forced to withdraw from the July tournament on Day 3, giving Meisei a win by fusen. Takakeisho is expected to be out of action for a recovery period of around 1 month.

Although Yokozuna Hakuho and Ozeki Terunofuji were the only top ranked rikishi to boast
an unbeaten record after Day 3, a trio of Maegashira fighters – Maegashira #15 Tsurugisho, #11 Kotonowaka and #10 Tamawashi – have also earnt their claim to fame, remaining undefeated alongside their Ozeki and Yokozuna counterparts.

Tsurugisho, the lowest ranked of the three, was perhaps the most surprising of the Maegashira bunch. Returning to the Makuuchi Division in March, Maegashira #15 Tsurugisho has had a rather mixed bag of results: despite his impressive performance in the 2021 March event (in which he recorded a 9:6 score), Tsurugisho found little success in May, leaving the ring with just 4 wins to 11 losses. Interestingly and in complete contrast to this July basho, Tsurugisho really struggled out of the gate in the previous two tournaments, so it will be interesting to see whether the Maegashira #15 wrestler can turn his unfortunate May result on the head in this month’s event.

Middleman Kotonowaka also looks to be in form as he takes victories over similarly ranked
Tochinoshin, Kagayaki and Terutsuyoshi. Sitting at Maegashira #11, Kotonowaka looks to
take his first kachikoshi since the first Sumo event of the year, the 2021 January tourney, in
which he listed an incredible 10:5 score line, ranked just Maegashira #15 at the time of

Facing Kotonowaka on Day 4 is Tamawashi. Like Kotonowaka, Tamawashi stole wins from
close ranked opponents, such as Shimanoumi on Day 1 and Hidenoumi on Day 3. While
Kotonowaka appears to be in decent form at the beginning of this basho, he could well be considered the underdog in his Day 4 matchup with Tamawashi: the Mongolian-born Tamawashi was formerly a Makuuchi Division Champion. That being said, Tamawashi’s track- record this year has been far from fruitful, failing to find, as of yet, a single kachikoshi, meaning Tamawashi will need to be fully focused on his sumo, facing off against Kotonowaka as he looks to further his unbeaten score line.

May Grand Sumo Tournament 2021: Days 13-15; Terunofuji Crowned Champion!

Terunofuji wins fourth Makuuchi Division title

Ozeki Terunofuji has officially won the 2021 May basho, claiming his fourth career yusho in the prestigious Makuuchi Division. The Ozeki is the second most decorated active sumo wrestler behind the legendary Yokuzuna Hakuho, who missed the tournament due to receiving knee surgery two months ago.

Terunofuji looked in dominating form throughout the basho, boasting 10 wins after the first 10 days of fighting. However, the Ozeki suffered a shock and controversial upset to Maegashira #4 Myogiryu on Day 11. Despite initially winning the bout, a mono-ii was called, in which Terunofuji was found to be in violation of the rulebook after pulling the topknot of Myogiryu, resulting in hansoku (disqualification) for the basho forerunner. Terunofuji didn’t let the upset phase him for long though; the Ozeki took victory in his next two bouts against Onosho and Ichinojo with relative ease, boosting his score to a staggering 12:1.

With just one additional win needed for Terunofuji, the Ozeki entered Day 14, the penultimate day of proceedings, with his sights set on taking the yusho. Unfortunately for Terunofuji, he would have to wait a while longer, after succumbing to the impressive Maegashira #8 Endo with shitatenage (underarm throw). Adding salt to Terunofuji’s wounds, the Ozeki would be completely bamboozled by Takakeisho on their final day bout which saw the latter equal Terunofuji’s 12:3 score for the first time since the outset of the basho, after defeating Terunofuji with tsukiotoshi (thrust down) in a match-up that lasted less than 5 seconds.

With Takakeisho now tied with Terunofuji, the two were set to face off in an all-important play-off fight for the title. After a fierce bout full of spirit, Terunofuji seized the perfect opportunity to topple Takakeisho to the ground, using hatakikomi (slap down). As a result, Terunofuji won his second consecutive yusho, as well as the admiration of his loving fans.

In a post-match interview, Terunofuji stated the method behind his ultimate victory:

“The desperate effort that I had been putting out led to the result. I did everything I could!”

Terunofuji, May Basho Champion, 2021

Terunofuji was not the only wrestler to find success this month; both Endo and Wakatakakage were awarded Gino-sho (technique prize) for their efforts. The former surprised us by finishing the event with 11:4, just one win shy of Terunofuji, who he beat on the penultimate day of the basho. Wakatakakage also looked in strong form throughout the event, finishing his campaign with a respectable 9:6 score.

Overall, it was a highly dynamic and thrilling basho throughout, and we can hardly wait for the 2021 July basho to come! An important question remains though: will Hakuho be fit to compete against the growing dominance of Terunofuji, in just two months’ time, or will the latter enter the forthcoming Basho with the support of the fans as tournament favourite? With all this hanging in the balance, we await to see what further spectacles are to come from the professional Sumo scene in July!

May Grand Sumo Tournament 2021: Days 10 – 12 Review

Terunofuji and Takakeisho fight it out for the Yūshō!

With just three days of Sumo bouts left in the 2021 May basho, Ozeki rivals Terunofuji and Takakeisho get ready to contest for the right to be crowned tournament champion.

After winning 10 consecutive bouts since the outset of the basho, current favourite Terunofuji appeared in almost unbeatable form. Facing Maegashira #4 Myogiryu on day 11, Terunofuji looked set to further his lead over Takakeisho – who held a 9:2 score at the time. However, despite initially throwing Myogiryu to the ground, a mono-ii (judges conference) was called, suggesting that the basho forerunner pulled the topknot of Myogiryu as he was falling to the floor. After some careful consideration from the referees, Myogiryu was given the result by hansoku (disqualification), in what would have otherwise been yet another strong victory for Terunofuji. A controversial bout then, but Terunofuji still holds a clear advantage over his fellow Ozeki, Takakeisho, with the former proudly ending day 12 with an electrifying 11:1, after beating Maegashira #5 Onosho with yorikiri.

Hot on Terunofuji’s heels is Takakeisho. Ending day 12 with 10:2, Takakeisho appears within reach of the current basho leader, should he falter in his remaining bouts. While Takakeisho is still yet to face a fellow Ozeki fighter, his victory over Takayasu on day 11 should hold him in good stead ahead of his inevitable bout with the might of Terunofuji. However, facing the Maegashira #8 Endo on day 13 could prove tough going for the Ozeki; while Takakeisho is the clear favourite on paper (with a 7:3 head-to-head winning record against Endo), Endo’s impressive 9:3 stint in the basho thus far should give him some much needed confidence going into his bout against Takakeisho. Endo emerged as the victor in their last official bout – just four months ago in the January tournament – however, after suffering a surprising upset to Koteoko on day 12, he will need to re-group quickly if he is to take on and overcome the challenge of the mighty Takakeisho on day 13!

Lastly, some upsetting news for Asanoyama fans, as the Ozeki withdraws before his bout with Takayasu on day 12. Asanoyama purportedly exited from the event following a magazine report that alleged the Ozeki broke Japan Sumo Association coronavirus safety guidelines before the start of the tournament. Asanoyama supposedly dined out with others at an establishment providing food, drinks and entertainment in contravention of association guidelines. As a result, Asanoyama forfeited his bout to Takayasu on day 12, ending his campaign with a 7:5 record, meaning the Ozeki faces kadoban in the next basho and therefore will need to come out of the next tournament with a kachikoshi (or more wins than losses) if he is to retain his rank of Ozeki.