(Nov.8 to 22 at Fukuoka Kokusai Center)

Fighting Spirit Award:
Outstanding Performance Award: Kotonishiki
Outstanding Technique Award: Kotonishiki, Tochiazuma

Final day
Kotonishiki defeated Mongolian Kyokushuzan for his 14th win. It's the most win Kotonishiki recorded in a tourney. Kotonishiki fought at maegashira number 12. He is expected to regain one of the champion class rankings next tourney. In other bouts, Takanonami lost to Musoyama to finish the tourney with 8 wins 7 losses. Wakanohana was thrusted out the ring by Chiyotaikai for his 6th loss.

14th day
Despite all the cheers Fukuoka born Kaio has been receiving, he lost again dropping forward against Touki. Both have 7 wins and 7 losses. The main bout of the day was held between Kotonishiki and Takanonami. Kotonishiki took off and pushed the ozeki to one side of the ring, the ozeki withstood it, then another shove took him to the other side. And finally, the shove was effective that it not only got Takanonami out, but the refree fell too. The full turnout crowd was overjoyed. Kotonishiki not only kept the lead--he had possibility of assuring his tourney victory if Tosanoumi lost this day to Takanohana. That was the next bout. Kotonishiki sat by the side of the ring as they fought. After the 2 clashed, Tosa dropped. Tosa succumbed to his 3rd win. Kotonishiki on seeing the result cheerfully walked away. Kotonishiki became the Emperor Cup winner. It's actually his 2nd time. The last time was in the autumn of 1991. Kotonishiki is the only hiramaku or a non-champion titled makuuchi rikishi to clinch the Emperor's Cup twice. There was another bout at the end. Musashimaru faced Wakanohana. Waka tried to confuse Maru by shoving him, and moving in irregular directions, but none worked. Waka was driven out and his record went down to 9 wins 5 losses.

13th day
The results of this day proved that this is not your average tourney. Starting with the 2 ozeki--Takanonami pulled back as Chiyotaikai moved forward. Takanonami is down to 5 losses. Musashimaru shoved down Akinoshima for his 10th win. The 2 top runners faced the yokozuna. First, Tosanoumi fought well against Wakanohana. He gripped the yokozuna's belt with his left hand and drove him out. In the next bout, Kotonishiki got hold of Taka's belt with both hands. That position kept Taka from taking any action and Kotonishiki walked him out. The audience was in a frenzy. Cushions flew all over the sumo arena. Kotonishi has moved a step further to clinching the Emperor's Cup for the 2nd time.

12th day
Tosanoumi clashed against Chiyotaikai. Chiyo's powerful thrust placed Tosanoumi in a passive position. Chiyo moved back and thrusted Tosanoumi down. Tosa took his 2nd loss. The 2 ozeki were matched up. It was quite a bout or rather-- bouts. They had to start over for the 3rd time after the judges decided in the previous bouts that both left the ring at about the same time. In the 3rd try, Musashimaru quickly pushed Takanonami for a win at last. In the final bout, Mr. perfect, Kotonishiki faced Wakanohana. Kotonishiki tried to move fast, but in vain. He fell on his knees. Still, Kotonishiki leads the makuuchi division with his first loss. Takanohana and Tosanoumi tie for second.

11th day
Kotonishiki, this time, pushed out Tamakasuga for his 11th straight win. It's the first time since Takahanada (the present Takanohana) in the spring of 1992 that a non-champion ranker stretched his winning streak this far. Tosanoumi also won. He drove out Tochiazuma for his 10th win. Dejima in just one breath pushed out ozeki Takanonami. The ozeki succumbed to his 3rd loss. Yokozuna Wakanohana marked the same record too. His feet dangled in the air as he was taken out by Wakanosato. The top 2 contenders are still Kotonishiki and Tosanoumi. In 3rd place is Takanohana.

10th day
Tochiazuma appeared to take off to a good start, forcing himself against Kotonishiki. But the leader of this tourney withstood it and with a grip of the belt shoved forward to win this bout. Tosanoumi's opponent was the hometown star, Kaio. Although Kaio is said to overpower Tosa in practice, in this bout, Tosa was the won to do so by pushing Kaio out. Musashimaru at last won after 3 straight losses. He defeated Tamakasuga by attacking the side of his neck. Wakanohana had a very close bout with Hamanoshima. Action wise, Hamanoshima seemd to be in better shape. However, as the two shoved eachother near the end of the ring, Hamanoshima's toes slighlty left the ring while Waka was on his way to fall. Waka is remains tied for 3rd place with 2 losses together with Takanohana and Takanonami--all from his stable.

9th day
Tosanoumi thrusted down Minatofuji to mark a majority win or his 8th win. Kotonishiki kept moving forward and took Wakanosato out for another win. Kaio was at last victorious after 3 straight losses and the crowds appreciated that. He defeated the jumpy Takatohriki. Musashimaru leaped to action, But that move went against him. Chiyotaikai moved to the side and Maru could not stop from leaving the ring as if under his own well. Tamakasuga thrusted Wakanohana in various positions. Waka started to lose balance. Finally, Tamakasuga took down the yokozuna. Kotonishiki is still the top contender with 9 perfect wins, followed by Tosanoumi as the only one with 1 loss.

8th day
A full crowd was there to cheer on the sumo wrestlers for the second time this tourney. Kotonishiki again had an easy win. This time it was over Oikari. Kotonishiki kept his record clean, still. Among those who follow him with 1 loss each-- Tosanoumi drove out Kotoryu. Musashimaru was challenged by the winless Kaiho. Kaiho fought fiercely, tried to trip the ozeki by attacking the leg with his leg. Then, Kaiho, with a grip of the ozeki's belt with only one hand, threw him out the ring. The crowd appeared to be surprised at this unexpected outcome. On other 2 with 1 loss, Wakanohana and Musoyama met. Wakanohana had a better start. He attacked, and shoved and used an overarm throw to beat Musoyama. The leader is Kotonishiki, followed by Wakanohana and Tosanoumi.

7th day
For the first time this tourney, the grand sumo site had a sellout crowd. Kotonishiki fought against Tochinonada. He grabbed with his left hand Tochinonada's belt,and finally got to the front part and pushed Tochinonada out. Kaio lost again to the dismay of Fukuoka sumo fans. He was pushed then pulled away by Musoyama. Kaio fell on his hands. Musashimaru lost the pushes and pull aways by Takatohriki. Kotonishiki became the only one without a loss yet. By the way, Shikimori Inosuke could not be back to refree the bouts. It is the first time that such senior ranking refree is staying out from the grand tourney.

6th day
Kotonishiki drove out Asanowaka very quickly. An unsual scene was witnessed in the bout between Tochinonada and Tamakasuga. While the bout was still on, the refree stopped the 2. That's because Tochinonada cut his lip and was bleeding. Blood is an offense to the sacred ring. The bout went on for more than 3 minutes include the break to clean the blood. Tamakasuga, in the end, thrusted the bleeding man. The invincible Kaio and Musashimaru were matched up. The audience was again paying a lot of attention to this bout, because Kaio was fighting it. But Maru easily pushed out Kaio. Kaio went down the edge of the ring. Kaio fell on top of the refree in waiting. It had broken Shikimori Inosuke's arm bone. The champion class rikishi all won. Kotonishiki and Musashimaru are the only 2 with perfect records.

5th day
This time, hometown rikishi, Kaio fought Wakanosato. Kaio forced himself toward Wakanosato and threw him with his left arm. Kaio kept his record clean. Others who have not been defeated yet are Kotonishiki and Musashimaru. All ozeki and yokozuna improved their records.

4th day
The star of this tourney so far, Kaio was matched up with Dejima. Dejima pushed forward, and drove Kaio to the edge of the ring. Because Dejima was the aggressor, it appeared that Kaio was tumbling down the dirt mound first. However, the judges came up on the mound and decided that the two rikishi fell at the same time. In the 2nd try, Kaio was the one to initiate action and grabbed Dejima in what resembled a big hug. He beat Dejima in an overarm throw and dropped him on his butt. Kaio is still without a loss. Another rikishi in good shape is Chiyotaikai. He defeated veteran Tochinowaka in a quick bout. Musashimaru extended his perfect record too by driving out Ganyu. The other champion class wrestlers won this time.

3rd day
It was an incredible day. First, ozeki Takanonami lost to another tall guy. That's to Kotonowaka's overarm throw. Actually, this became Kotonowaka's 3rd straight victory against the ozeki. Takanonami is down to 2 losses. Kaio who has so far fought very well, faced yokozuna Wakanohana. Kaio moved toward Wakanohana with confidence, then it was Kaio who was taken out--or at least it appeared that way. The referee gave Waka the win. However, the judges came up on the ring to confirm the outcome of the bout. As a result, it was learned through video replay and confirmation of the dirt packed ring edge that Waka's left leg was out earlier on in the bout. So the decision was reversed, giving Kaio his 3rd win. In the final bout, Waka's younger brother was matched up with the young up and coming Tochiazuma. Takanohana tried to overpower Tochi, but the smaller kid just clinged on to the yokozuna. Then Tochiazuma pushed Takanohana to the edge and got him dropping out of the ring, and Tochi falling on top of him. The 2 great upsets got the fans throwing 2 white cushions toward the ring.

2nd day
Miyabiyama was driven down by Argentine Hoshitango in the juryo division. This defeat put a halt to his consecutive win record since his very first sumo bout. It ended at 15. In the highest of high, Takanonami was this time able to win by taking Higonoumi out. Kaio aggressively attacked yokozuna Takanohana. The bout surpassed one minute. Kaio continued to find a good position for himself. He finally drove the yokozuna out with one arm, and that got him toppling down the ring. Kaio is from Kyushu so naturally the audience roared with joy. It's the second straight basho that Kaio has defeated Takanohana. Wakanohana was succumbing to Tochiazuma's pushes as soon as the bout took off. But at the end of the ring, he shifted his body to the side which put Tochiazuma off balance.

1st day
New juryo rikishi Miyabiyama pushed out the heaviest active sumo wrestler, Susanoumi with ease. So that means he has extended his winning streak from his pro debut. In the top makuuchi division, popular rikishi Terao attempted to threaten Kyokushuzan with shoves and thrusts, but he turned his back toward the Mongolian and then fell on his bottom. The 2 who were out the previous tourney, Tosanoumi and Oginishiki faced eachother. Tosa thrusted Oginishiki down. Another rikishi who's back this tourney, Shikishima, took Wakanojo out of the ring. In the champion class, Kaio beat ozeki Takanonami by driving him out. The other ozeki--that's Musashimaru and both yokozuna or Wakanohana and Takanohana won their bouts.

Pre Tourney highlights
Akebono will not compete
On Nov. 6, Akebono decided to withdraw from the Kyushu tourney due to a hip pain. During practice against Musashimaru on Nov. 2, Akebono fell hard on the lower part of his hip. It was not an unbearable pain until the 6th when he couldn't even squat down because of the severe pain. This will be the 2nd straight time Akebono will be out of the Kyushu tourney and his total 9th grand tourney absence.

Kotoinazuma drops to juryo
The 36 year old veteran wrestler dropped to the juryo division for the first time in 38 tourneys. He finished the Autumn tourney with 4 wins 11 losses at maegashira no. 14.
Michiyo's Note: What concerns me most about Kotoinazuma is the validity of his topknot. It's barely visible.

Takeuchi as Miyabiyama
Former Meiji University student Takeuchi has been promoted to the ranking of juryo no. 11. His promotion results from 2 perfect tourneys since his debut in the makushita division. His name, at the same time has been changed to Miyabiyama.

Kushimaumi decides to retire before going to Kyushu
Kushimaumi's retirement as an active rikishi at 33 was accepted by the Japan Sumo Association on Oct. 19. He was complaining of shoulder and hip pains during the past few years, and in the Autumn Grand Tourney, he finished with only 4 wins and 11 losses as juryo number 5. As Keita Kushima, he won the amateur title already as a senior in high school. In all, he was crowned with 28 titles--the highest record of the time. In Jan. 1988, Kushimaumi made his professional debut. He was promoted to the highest makuuchi division in 1989. He won the Fighting Spirit Award twice, but with his potential never reached the champion class ranking. In recent years, he has been going back and forth between makuuchi and juryo divisions. Kushimaumi will become one of the coaches in his stable, Dewanoumi, and keep his sumo name.

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