Nagoya Basho 2018 Results – North American Sumo Wrestlers

The two rikishi (sumo wrestlers) from North America competing in the Nagoya Basho 2018 (July Basho 2018), Musashikuni Mamu and Wakaichirō Ken, just wrapped up their performances.  Below is a summary of their efforts as well as a little bit of information about the rikishi themselves.  If you know of any other North American sumo wrestlers that we missed, or have any suggestions on how to improve our write-ups, please contact us at NorthAmericanSumo@Gmail.com.


Musashikuni Mamu participated in his tenth basho in the Makushita division, but this time unfortunately resulted in a make-koshi (more losses than wins).  Musashikuni started his career moving up the rankings extremely quickly until he reached the top of the Sandanme division.  It then took him two years to reach the Makaushita division, where he has generally stayed in the lower-half (sometimes being demoted back to Sandanme division).  Nevertheless, he won’t have to worry about it this time, as he will drop from his current ranking of 33 (east) but should remain in the division.  Musashikuni is still young (23 years old), so he has time to reach new heights.  Below is a summary of his performance at the Nagoya Basho 2018.

Opponent

Ranking

Final Record

Result

Method

Hokaho Kosaku

33 West

3-4

Loss

Oshidashi

Gochozan Masashi

34 East

3-4

Win!

Yorikiri

Nankairiki Atsushi

35 East

4-3

Win!

Okuridashi

Koba Daichi

29 West

4-3

Loss

Yoritaoshi

Asahisho Kota

38 East

4-3

Loss

Hatakikomi

Tochiseiryu Yuki

31 West

2-5

Win!

Kotenage

Asahiryu

36 West

4-3

Loss

Uwatenage

A video clip of Musashikuni’s match against Asahiryu can be found here.

Some close bouts in the Makushita division!  It generally seemed that Musashikuni excelled against smaller opponents, beating Gochozan (247 lbs/112 kg) and Tochiseiryu (267 lbs/121 kg).  He also seemed to struggle against larger opponents, losing to Koba (337 lbs/153 kg) and Asahisho (309 lbs/140 kg).  The middle group was a tossup, both beating Nankairiki (300 lbs/136 kg) and losing to Hokaho (302 lbs/137 kg).  The methods that he lost also supports this hypothesis.  Musashikuni lost via oshidashi (frontal push out) to Hokaho and via yoritaoshi (frontal crush out) to Koba.  Against Asahisho, he lost via hatakikomi (slap down), which suggests that he was committing too much forward momentum to try to counteract the strength of the much larger wrestler.  This was probably expected by the experienced Asahisho, who previously competed in the Makuuchi division.  His loss to Asahiryu (273 lbs/124 kg) throws a wrench into my hypothesis, but not every hypothesis is perfect.

As mentioned, Musashikuni should remain in the Makushita division.  While this performance wasn’t as satisfying as his last, it wasn’t terrible either.  If he can string together two or three kachi-koshis, then he could reach new heights in the Makushita division.  He has already shown that he is capable of doing this, he just needs to gather the momentum to do so.

References used for the write-up of Musashikuni Mamu can be found here.


Wakaichirō Ken participated in his third Basho in the Sandanme division, but this was his first time getting a kachi-koshi (more wins than losses) in this division.  Good work for him!  He will be moving up in his next Basho from his current ranking of 94 (west).  Wakaichirō has been steadily improving, gaining weight (and strength) and advancing the rankings in his almost two years participating in Sumo.  And he turned 20 only two weeks ago!  Below is a summary of his performance at the Nagoya Basho 2018.

Opponent

Ranking

Final Record

Result

Method

Kotosato Shinya

94 East

1-6

Win!

Oshitaoshi

Dewaazuma Ryusuke

92 West

6-1

Loss

Hatakikomi

Kototora Yuta

95 East

5-2

Loss

Hatakikomi

Kotorikuzan Yushi

93 East

3-4

Loss

Okuridashi

Mienosato Kazuya

98 East

3-4

Win!

Oshidashi

Mitsummune Taisei

95 West

3-4

Win!

Tsukidashi

Fudano Huromi

99 East

3-4

Win!

Oshidashi

Video clips of Wakaichirō’s matches against Kotosato and Fudano can be found here and here, respectively.

Wakaichirō battled against some interesting rikishi during this Basho, but his wins and losses seemed to have been strongly influenced by the experience of his opponents.  His first match (and first win) was against Kotosato, who is younger than Wakaichirō at only 16 years old!  The youngster has already competed in nine Basho, only two fewer than Wakaichirō.  And even this is more than Wakaichirō’s sixth opponent (and third win), Mitsummune, who has quickly rose in the ranks while only competing in five basho.  On the other side of the coin, Wakaichirō struggled against his most seasoned opponents, losing against Ryusuke (68 basho), Kototora (50 basho), and Kotorikuzan (56 basho).  None of these competitors have ever advanced beyond the rank of Sandanme, but their experience still seemed to cause trouble for Wakaichirō.  Lastly, Wakaichirō defeated Mienosato (45 basho) and Fudano (26 basho), which were in this middle-ground of experience.

I highly recommend watching the clip of Wakaichirō vs. Fudano to see Wakaichirō overpower the much larger competitor in Fudano.  He has surprising strength to match his agility and footwork seen in most matches.  I think that Wakaichirō has a bright future, and he should achieve a new high for his ranking in the next basho.

References used for the write-up of Wakaichirō Ken can be found here.

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