(September 8 to 22)

It's great to learn that Akebono is taking part in this tournament despite his left shoulder problem. He's lost easily to Musoyama on the second day. Though he did well for a while, on the 10th day, Asahiyutaka beat him after a rematch. Then Musashimaru toppled him on the 12th day, and Akebono seemed to have lost his balance in his bout against Wakanohana on the 13th day. On the final day, he was beaten by Takanohana.

Victory in at least 12 bouts this tournament would've given Sekiwake or 3rd ranking Kaio promotion to ozeki or champion ranking. He started out so powerfully, but lost on the 3rd day to Kotonishiki then the following day to Tamakasuga. On the 7th day, he was overwhelmed by Akebono. His chance for promotion was shattered on the 10th day losing to Takanonami.

It's been a year since Hawaiian born Konishiki is facing top ranking wrestlers. Although he's lost the first 3 days--to another Hawaiian born wrestler Musashimaru,to Takatoriki, then to Takanohana, it seems like he's enjoying the fact that he could face those guys again. The sumo fans are really having a blast just seeing Konishiki up there too. He won his first bout this tournament to Minatofuji on the 5th day, against Kotonowaka on the 8th day, and his victory against Kenko on the 12th day has secured his place in the makuuchi division. Konishiki took another win by thrusting out Kotoinazuma out of the ring on the final day.

The winner of the Emperor's Cup was decided on the 13th day when Musashimaru faced his 3rd loss and Takanohana overwhelmed Kaio that day. As a result, Takanohana won a perfect victory this tournament.

Pre tourney highlights
Akebono missed the general practice meeting on Sept. 2 performed before executive members of the yokozuna selection board and other sumo officials. He instead practiced with wrestlers in the lower division of juryo at the Magaki stable. It is believed Akebono does not have the confidence to face the best, because of pain in his left shoulder and left ankle.

A Mongolian has for the first time been promoted to the highest makunouchi division for this tournament. His sumo name is Kyokushuzan. His real name is Daba Badobayaru. He made his sumo debut in the summer of '92 and is now 23 years old.

Michiyo's Note: Have you seen Konishiki's homepage! He's started it on Aug. 26. If you'd like to go to his page, click here
The Japan Sumo Association also opened its page with the start of the autumn tournament.

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