(January 11 to 25 at Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena)

Outstanding Performance Award:
Outstanding Technique Award: Kakizoe
Fighting Spirit Award: Kotomitsuki

Final day
It's learned that Argentine Hoshitango had decided to retire. And so did Oginishiki 2 days ago. As to the major bouts of the final day, Takanonami picked Kaiho up and put him out of the ring. Takanonami was able to secure a majority win. Kaiho, however, finished with a majority loss. Miyabiyama drove out Ushiomaru for his 11th win. Kokkai, at one point, got hold of Shimotori's leg, and appeared he'd defeat his opponent. But Shimotori instead pushed the Georgian out. It's Shimotori's 11th win. Kotomitsuki moved forward despite Buyuzan's shoves, and won. Kotomitsuki clinched his 13th win. Kyokutenho's throw prompted Yotsukasa to fall on his belly. Kyokutenho secured a majority win. Dejima drove out Kyokushuzan for his 10th win. Takamisakari was no match for Iwakiyama falling to his 11th loss. Kakizoe started the bout fast, but Wakanosato had the skills to push him out. Kaio and Chiyotaikai fought a rather long bout, which Kaio eventually won. It was learned that Kaio fought this tourney despite having high fever. Asashoryu slightly moved to the side after he clashed into Tochizauma, and pushed out the ozeki quickly. Asashoryu for the first time clinched a perfect tourney victory. And it hasn't been since Takanohana or more than 7 years ago in a grand tourney anyone achieved such a feat.

14th day
Takanonami pulled Kitazakura's head towards him and twirled round and round...perhaps 3 times. And Takanonami in the end put Kitazakura down. The former ozeki brought his record to even. Miyabiyama pushed, then pulled back, putting Asanowaka off balance. It's his 10th win. Kaiho grabbed Dejima's armed and pulled to win. It's Dejima's 5th loss. Kakizoe pushed forward and beat Tochisakae. It's already his 11th win. Kokkai challenged the elite wrestler Kotomitsuki. The Georgian gaves pushes, but Kotomitsuki had an upper hand by pushing him down. It's Kotomitsuki's 12th win. Kyokushuzan was able to withstand Jumonji's thrust to secure his majority win. Takamisakari stuck behind Hokutoriki's back to drive him out. It's his 4th win. Tochiazuma pushed out Kaio. Both are 9 to 5. Chiyotaikai gave thrusts, but Asashoryu shifted to the side slightly and pushed the ozeki out. Asashoryu smiled to celebrate his victory and his securing the Emperor's Cup. It's the 5th time he's victorious in the grand tournament.

13th day
Takanonami was pushed out by the round Ushiomaru and faced his 7th loss. Miyabiyama pushed out Tochisakae for his 9th win. And so did Dejima by defeating Asanowaka. Kokkai pushed and pushed as usual, but as he pushed forward, Kakizoe took him down first. It's Kakizoe's 10th win. Kinkaiyama easily took Takamisakari out. Takamisakari succumbed to his 10th loss. Kotomitsuki and Wakanosato at one point did not even touch eachother and stared. But in the end, Kotomitsuki while falling,pushed out Wakanosato. Kotomitsuki improved his record to 11 wins. Tochiazuma pushed while Chiyotaikai pulled back. Tochiazuma tipped forward and fell. The gyoji or refree awarded the bout to Tochiazuma. The judges came to reevaluate, and decided Chiyotaikai was still in. It's Tochiazuma's 5th loss. Kaio messed up his bout against Asashoryu. He turned his back towards the yokozuna, enabling the yokozuna to easily drive him out. Asashoryu has one more bout to win to clinch the Emperor's Cup, as his runner up is Kotomitsuki with 2 losses.

12th day
Kokkai pushed and pushed again, and Kaiho tried to resist him, but in the end was pushed out. Kokkai happily secured a majority win. Miyabiyama gave thrusts and then pulled back and put Kitazakura on the ground. Miyabiyama too secures his 8th win. And his stable mate Dejima did too. It's the the bout against Kinkaiyama. Takanonami tried to throw Kasuganishiki but was unsuccessful. He tried again and instead was thrown down.Takanonami leapt as he left the ring. Takamisakari weakly lost to Tochinonada. Kakizoe shifted to the side to put Kaio off. Kaio pulled back and as Kakizoe fell, Kaio's foot went out first. Both are with 9 to 3. Kotomitsuki moved to the side too as he faced Chiyotaikai. Chiyotaikai lost balance and was taken out. Tochiazuma managed to push out Tamanoshima to finally gain a majority win. Asashoryu was fast to push out Tosanoumi. Asashoryu for the first time had 12 consecutive wins in a tourney against no losses. He's followed by Kotomitsuki with 2 losses.

11th day
Takanonami held Hayateumi's arm between his and threw him out. Both are 6 to 5. Miyabiyama fell to Shimotori's thrust for his 4th loss. Dejima went forward and pushed out Asasekiryu. Kokkai pushed and pushed to defeat Kasuganishiki. It's Kokkai's 7th win. Takamisakari succumbed to his 8th loss against Tosanoumi. Chiyotaikai was in danger once, about to be pushed out. He got himself back in balance. But in the end was defeated by Tochinonada. Tochiazuma and Kotomitsuki fought a 2 minute and a half bout which in the end Kotomitsuki won. Kaio was incredible again. He got hold of Tamanoshima's arms and threw. Tamanoshima not only fell. He seemed to be in great pain. Asashoryu did not give Kakizoe a chance to fight, with a fast walk out. Asashoryu improved his record while there's noone any more with one loss.

10th day
Kotazakura and Kokkai both gave strong thrusts against eachother. Kokkai proved stronger as he in the end pushed his opponent out to gain his 6th win. Miyabiyama fought the bout against Asasekiryu with patience and took the Mongolian out. It's his 7th win. Dejima quickly drove out Takanonami. Kakizoe seemed to have had an upper hand in the bout. But as he shoved Aminishiki, Aminishiki kept himself within the ring. Kakizoe collapsed first and succumbed to his 2nd loss. Takakaze tripped Takamisakari. Takamisakari fell on his back. Kyokutenho was not easy to fight, as he'd bear Tochizauma's shoves. And when it seemed the ozeki was in a good position to win, Kyokutenho picked the ozeki slightly up, to change places and drove Tochiazuma out. Tochiazuma, with his 3rd loss no longer has the chance to gain yokozuna ranking. Kaio clashed into Toshinonada, quickly grabbed his opponent's belt with his right ,and threw him powerfully. It was an amazing victory that secured Kaio a majority win Chiyotaikai quickly gave thrusts and drove out Kyokushuzan. It's his 9th win. Kotomitsuki tried to resist Asashoryu's attacks, but in the end, the yokozuna picked him up and put him down. Asashoryu still is the sole leader. Chiyotaikai follows with one loss.

9th day
Kokkai pushed out Takanowaka for his 5th win. Takanonami was pushed down by Asanowaka.Miyabiyama is in good shape driving out Yotsukasa for his 6th win. Dejima flopped and turned his belly up in the bout against Shimotori. Kotomitsuki managed to throw Takekaze while himself falling too. Kotomitsuki secured a majority win. Kakizoe too clinched his 8th win by driving out Asashoryu. Tohki was back after missing 5 days. He wasn't able to perform wee, succumbing to Tamanoshima's push out. Kaio was given an automatic win as his rival, Musoyama withdrew from the tourney. Chiyotaikai drove out Wakanosato. Takamisakari clashed into Tochiazuma and then pulled back. The ozeki was not prepared for it and fell. It's Tochiazuma's 2nd loss. The yokozuna fought quick and took out Tokitsuumi for his 9th win.

8th day
The Emperor and Empress joined the crowd for the high ranking division. Miyabiyama pushed out fellow "former" ozeki Takanonami. Both are with 5 wins 3 losses. Dejima attacked Kokkai's throat and drove him out. It's his 5th win. Kakizoe pushed out Kinkaiyama for his 7th win. Kotomitsuki pushed Aminishiki. Aminishiki tumbled down the ring into the audience. Kotomitsuki won his 7th bout. Takamisakari managed to take out Wakanosato for his 2nd win. Kaio got hold of the back of Tokitsuumi's belt. It was clear, he was avoiding the use of his right thumb. Without it on the belt, he used the rest of his hand to throw Tokitsumi. It's his 6th win. Chiyotaikai put Kyokutenho down for his 7th win. As Tosanoumi charged forward, Tosanoumi shifted to the side and put his opponent down. Tamanoshima, as he forced Musoyama down fell on the ozeki's knee. Musoyama was clearly in pain, and he needed the aide of a wheelchair. Asashoryu did not clash hard into rival Mongolian Kyokushuzan, but took the time to watch his opponent's move and then drove him out. Asashoryu continues to be the sole leader.

7th day
Kokkai challenged Takanonami. Takanonami reached for Kokkai's belt and with his right threw the Georgian and won his 5th bout. Miyabiyama struggled but managed to push out Kinkaiyama for his 4th win. Dejima turned his back toward Aminishiki and was driven out. Kotomitsuki walked out Kyokushuzan for his 6th win. Chiyotaikai gave fast thrusts and in the end thrust out Tokitsuumi. Tochiazuma pushed out Iwakiyama while resisting his opponent's attacks. Musoyama shoved and Takamisakari's foot left the ring. Kaio went forward appearing to attempt to grab Kyokutenho, but then he pulled away and put down the Mongolian. Kaio seemed to have hurt his right bandaged hand. Asashoryu was no match for Tamanoshima, defeating him easily with thrusts.

6th day
Hayateumi gave a surprising big leap. That put Yotsukasa off and he won. Takanonami lost again. This time he was driven out by Shimotori for his 2nd loss. Miyabiyama fell as he shoved Kokkai, but Kokkai went out first, so the bout went to the former ozeki to get his record even. Dejima pushed down Kotomitsuki. It's Kotomitsuki's first loss. Tochiazuma got to fight this time. He drove out Hokutoriki. Musoyama threw Tochinonada to win his 4th bout. Kaio faced the popular Takamisakari. Kaio hooked his right foot around his opponent's leg to trip him down. Chiyotaikai attacked Iwakiyama's throat and won with a push out. Asashoryu crushed fellow Mongolian Kyokutenho. He fell on his knee. Asashoryu is now the only one with a perfect record.

5th day
First, a first-time event in the juryo division. Kaido, with his hand wrapped around Ooikari's neck threw him. As Ooikari's body was straight, looking like the container to pour Japanese rice wine, it was called a "tokkuri" throw. It's the first time the technique was used. Asasekiryu and Hayateumi had to stopping fighting after 4 minutes as a rule. And after a short break they resumed the bout. It went on and on again. 2 minutes 57 after, Asasekiryu took his opponent out. Takanonami, this time was driven out by Takanowaka for his first loss. Miyabiyama gave thrusts, stopped and gave thrusts again. And with a push drove out Takekaze. Dejima pushed out Kotoryu. Kotomitsuki won his 5th bout by taking out Kinkaiyama. Takamisakari easily lost to Kasuganishiki. It's his 4th loss. Musoyama and Hokutoriki clashed into eachother. It seemed, Hokutoriki's charge was stronger that it's impacted Musoyama. The ozeki appeared unable to control himself and was thrust down. Wakanosato easily drove out Kaio. Tochiazuma did not need to fight as his match for the day, Tohki withdrew from the tournament. It took 3 tried to face off properly for Tosanoumi and Chiyotaikai. Tosa seemed to succeed to start the bout with a stonger thud, and Chiyo pulled back, and lost. Asashoryu quickly threw Iwakiyama to extend his winning streak.

4th day
Takanonami extended his winning streak defeating Asasekiryu with an overarm throw. Kokkai pulled Buyuzan toward himself and thrust him down. It's his 3rd win. Kotoryu's blow on Miyabiyama's face seemed effective. The former ozeki dropped. Dejima virtually seemed to be chasing Jumonji, and struggled to push him out. Both rikishi are 2 to 2. Takamisakari seemed to have firmly gripped Tokitsuumi's belt. But he tried to change the position of his arms and with that move he pulled backwards and lost. Kyokushuzan thrust Kaio's head and put the ozeki down. It was a disappointing bout. Chiyotaikai pulled back in the bout against Hokutoriki. But he avoided losing by thrusting his opponent down by keeping his right toes on the verge of the ring. Tochiazuma managed to push out Tochinonada to win his 3rd bout. Musoyama did not have a firm enough grip of Tohki but tried to throw him. The move put him off balance and he tried another throw, but instead was taken down. It's the ozeki's first loss. Asashoryu needed to push Wakanosato just twice to win.

3rd day
Wakatoba shoved Takanonami, but the former ozeki changed his position, and instead took Wakatoba out. It's Takanonami's 3rd straight win. Aminishiki pulled Kokkai's arm towards him and then pushed the Georgian out. It's Kokkai's first loss. Miyabiyama gave thrusts and put down Kasuganishiki for his first win. Kotomitsuki drove out Shimotori. Dejima managed to take out Tokitsuumi for his first victory. Chiyotaikai pushed forward and powerfully took out Takamisakari. Tochiazuma slowly and surely drove Kyokushuzan out the ring. Musoyama was firm and powerful in his push out against Wakanosato. Kaio got hold of Iwakiyama's belt with his right, but didn't force a throw this time. He walked the big buy out. Asashoryu easily drove out Hokutoriki. All champion class wrestlers won this day.

2nd day
Takanonami got the back of Aminishiki's belt with his left and threw him out the ring. Kokkai pushed down Jumonji. He himself fell from the ring too and seemed to have hurt himself. Dejima pushed forward, but when Tochisakai stepped aside, he lost his balance. The former ozeki was pushed out. Kotomitsuki twisted his throw from underneathe and dropped Miyabiyama on his belly. Kyokushuzan drove Iwakiyama down and won his 2nd bout. Tochiazuma, this time, banged hard into his opponent, Tokitsuumi and drove him out fast. Musoyama managed to take out Kyokutenho. Kaio had his right hand on Tosanoumi's belt in a rather awkward position, while he contemplated on his next move. What he did was, force an underarm throw on his heavy opponent and won. Chiyotaikai gave Tamanoshima quick thrusts, paused, gave thrusts again, and pushed him out. Takamisakari slapped his face and waved his fist up and down to rev himself up for the bout against the yokozuna. But Asashoryu was no match for him. The yokozuna fought him enormously fast to win.

1st day
There're 4 more rikishi fighting as sekitori, or as high ranking wrestles from previous tournaments. The tourney took off with a full crowd. The first Georgian makuuchi rikishi Kokkai faced Yohtsukasa. He was attacked but kept himself from falling and in the end thrust out his opponent. Takanonami immediately wrapped his arms around Kinkaiyama and forced him out. Miyabiyama dropped out the ring to Aminishiki's technique. Dejima was pushed out by Kasuganishiki. Kotomitsuki forced out Kakizoe. Takamisakari pulled back and with himself on the verge of the ring, turned around and threw Tamanoshima. Tosanoumi charged forward while Kyokushuzan stepped aside. Tosa virtually went straight out the ring. Musoyama was wearing a new "mawashi" or a silk belt. It's silverish white. And he fought a bout matching that dignity. He got his hand on the back of Iwakiyama's belt and forced him out. Kaio shoved down Hokutoriki. Chiyotaika pushed forward to defeat Tohki. Wakanosato, surprisingly took out Tochiazuma who's trying his chance for yokozuna ranking this time. Asashoryu easily drove out Tochinonada.

Pre Tourney highlights
Akebono loses first K-1 fight
Akebono faced American Bob Sapp in the K-1 match on Dec 31. However, Akebono collapsed to Sapp's blows. It was a devastating loss for the former yokozuna in his first K-1 challenge. The match held at the Nagoya Dome drew a crowd of over 43,500. Among the, former yokozuna Takanohana. TV rating at one point, exceeded that of NHK's popular year end music program.
Michiyo's Note: It may not be an event to put under my sumo site, but since it was so big in Japan, and carefully watched by sumo fans as well, I had to introduce it.

Georgian promoted to makuuchi
22 year old Kokkai has gained makuuchi ranking according to the listing released on Dec 24. He is said to have fled the civil war in Georgia (former USSR) and then lived in the capital as a refugee and practiced wrestling. He joined sumo in May 2001. His sumo name means "Black Sea" reminding fans of the place he comes from.

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