EMPEROR'S CUP WINNER: ASASHORYU
Outstanding Performance Award: Kotoshogiku
Outstanding Technique Award: Tochiozan
Fighting Spirit Award: Kokkai, Baruto
Ama was at last able to secure his majority win by throwing Kyokutenho. Kokkai drove Kaio down on the ring for his 12th win. Kaio finished 8 to 7. Kotomitsuki gave Chiyotaikai thrusts and drove his opponent down to finally clinch a majority win. The 2 yokozuna fought for the Emperor's Cup. Hakuho banged into Asashoryu. He did not get a hold of Asashoryu's belt but tried to push forward with his body. Then Asashoryu with his right arm threw Hakuho and won. It's Asashoryu's 22nd Emperor's Cup and the first in 4 grand tourneys. Asashoryu was in tears while the Japanese national anthem was performed.
Takamisakari powerfully drove Roho out the ring for his 10th win. Roho succumbed to a majority loss. Dejima pushed out Tamakasuga. Kokkai thrust down Homasho for his 11th win. Miyabiyama fell on his back in the bout against Ama. Kotoshogiku forced Tochiozan out the ring. Baruto immediately grabbed Chiyotaikai's belt and drove the ozeki out. It's the Estonian's 11th win. Kotomitsuki desperately tried to get Hakuho's belt but did not manage to. Hakuho won by forcing out the ozeki. Asashoryu defeated Kaio. Hakuho And Asashoryu will again face eachother on the final day to try to gain this tourney victory.
Dejima pulled back and managed to put Toyohibiki down for his 4th win. Takamisakari was defeated by Kokkai who won his 10th bout. Tochiozan was quickly driven out the ring by Kyokutenho. The Mongolian won his 9th bout. Asasekiryu slightly shifted his position to the side and drove Baruto out. Miyabiyama pulled back and he was in danger of being taken out, but he kept himself within the ring, moved around to avoid being caught, and in the end drove Kotoshogiku down. Chiyotaikai first gave thrusts. Toyonoshima shifted his position in hopes of putting Chiyo off balance. But Chiyo resisted. The consequence of the bout which exceeded 1 minute was, Chiyo forcing a throw which put him down on the ring first. Kotomitsuki got a good hold of Asashoryu. It took a while for him to make a move, but when he did, he drove the yokozuna down on the dirt. It's Kotomitsuki's first win against Asashoryu in 28 bouts. Kaio and Hakuho both tried to get a good hold of the belt. Hakuho got a better position and pushed forward to win. The two yokozuna tie for the Emperor's Cup.
It appeared Homasho was shoving Takamisakari to the edge of the ring. But Takamisakari fought back and forced his opponent out. It's his 9th win. Futeno attacked Baruto, but the Estonian with a throw, won his 10th bout. Hokutoriki targetted blows on Tochiozan's throat, but showed no effect. Tochiozan instead shoved Hokutoriki's throat and won. Dejima fell in the bout against Tokitenku, succumbing to his 9th loss. Kisenosato and Miyabiyama slapped eachother ferociously. In this pretty long bout, Miyabiyama fought patiently and drove the young rikishi out from his back. Russian Wakanoho pulled back and shoved down Kaio. Kotomitsuki quickly drove Kyokutenho out the ring for his 6th win. Chiyotaikai shifted his position and Hakuho took that completely by surprise and went speeding out the ring. It's the yokozuna's 2nd loss. With this win Chiyo saved himself from slipping from ozeki rank. Kotoshogiku got a good hold of Asashoryu's belt. He shoved and shoved and forced the yokozuna out of the ring. But with one loss, Asashoryu still leads, followed by Hakuho, Baruto and Tochiozan.
Baruto from Estonia pushed out Homasho for his 9th win. Georgian Kokkai drove Tochiozan for his 8th win. Takamisakari tried to swing Kyokutenho, but he was instead swung out. The Mongolian earned a majority win. Dejima lost to Toyonoshima to succumb to a majority loss. Miyabiyama forced Takekaze out for his 5th win. Kotomitsuki moved around and threw Wakanoho on the ring to win his 5th bout. Tokitenku's thrust did not seem to bother Kaio. The veteran ozeki pushed ahead and earned his majority win. Chiyotaikai had a good start against Asashoryu, but it didn't continue for too long. Asashoryu won with an underarm throw. Ama tried to grab Hakuho's belt. The yokozuna got hold of the small Mongolian with his left and threw him.
Tochiozan pushed out Homasho for his 9th win. Homasho took his 2nd loss. Baruto got a good hold of Takamisakari and drove him out. It's the Robocop's 2nd loss. Dejima, in his 2nd bout of the day, fell forward and lost to Goeido. It's the former ozeki's 7th loss. Miyabiyama banged into Tokitenku and then pulled back to force his opponent to fall. Chiyotaikai gave Kaio thrusts. Kaio was simply on the receiving end, moved back and lost. Both ozeki are 7-3. Kotomitsuki shifted his position as he stood to fight and Ama took that by surprise. Kotomitsuki won his 4th bout. Hakuho pulled Wakanoho slightly towards him, then got hold of the Russian's body and shoved him out. Asashoryu got his position low, pushed Kyokutenho's knee to drive his opponent down. Asashoryu remains the sole leader with a perfect record.
The not so high ranking but some of the top contestants in the tourney, Homasho, Takamisakari and Tochiozan all won to clinch a majority win. Dejima drove out Iwakiyama for his 3rd win. Chiyotakai faced off and shoved, but it was not a powerful one, that he was easily driven out by Tokitenku. Kaio moved with fervor. Asasekiryu hooked his leg around Kaio, but that didn't do much. Kaio just went ahead and forced down the Mongolian. Kotomitsuki charged into Miyabiyama and then shoved his arm to put him on the dirt. It's Kotomitsuki's 3rd win. Asashoryu drove Ama out the ring. Hakuho and Kotoshogiku stared at eachother several times, before they faced off. Hakuho shoved forwards, won and clinched his 8th win.
Takamisakari was patient. He was attacked but in the end his shove threw Kakizoe out the ring. Homasho and Tochiozan who had perfect records both lost for the first time. Dejima banged into Tochinonada but was overpowered by Tochinonada's shove. They're both 2-6. Miyabiyama pushed and pushed then pulled away to drive Asasekiryu down on the dirt. Kaio pushed out Kotomitsuki for his 6th win. It's Kotomitsuki's 6th loss. Koto-o-shu also lost his 6th bout. It's to Toyonoshima who earned his first win. Ama pushed out Chiyotaikai. Hakuho had a rough time against Tokitenku. They struggled for more than 1 minute until Hakuho lifted him up and out to win. Asashoryu lifted up heavy Russian Wakanoho and drove him out to become the sole leader for the Emperor's Cup.
The lower ranking makuuchi rikishi, Homasho and Tokiouzan both won to win their 7th bout. Takamisakari too proved to be in good shape by throwing Kasugao for his 6th win. Former ozeki Dejima was able to win his 2nd bout by keeping his eye on Wakanosato, following him and pushing him out. Miyabiyama slowly fell out the ring, after his opponent Toyonoshima went down first. Kotomitsuki faced off too strong, losing balance to Aminishiki's slight change of position and was driven down. It's already the ozeki's 5th loss. Tokitenku attacked Koto-o-shu's throat and forced down the Bulgarian ozeki. Chiyotaikai shoved Kakuryu with quick thrusts driving the young Mongolian straight out of the ring. Ama aggressively attacked Kaio, while Kaio kept his eye on the small Mongolian, pulled his arm toward him and then gave a big shove to force down Ama. Asashoryu and Takekaze was temporarily shoulder to shoulder in a very low position. The the yokozuna shoved Takekaze down to win. Hakuho and Kisenosato slapped and thrusted eachother fiercely. In the end Hakuho got Kisenosato's belt and threw him on the ring. Asashoryu, Homasho and Tokiouzan tie with a clean record.
Takamisakari went into Tamakasuga after he was attacked to win his 5th bout. On the verge of the ring, Kyokutenho threw Dejima. Miyabiyama kept on giving Aminishiki thrusts and won with a push out. Koto-o-shu pushed Kisenosato but in the end was thrown. Chiyotaikai pushed and pushed than took the back of Asasekiryu's neck and pulled back. Chiyo managed to keep his one foot inside the ring while the other was up and won. Kakuryu got a good hold of Kaio's belt and drove the ozeki out. Kotomitsuki was fighting briskly, but fell to Takekaze's shift. Hakuho's 2nd blow kept Toyonoshima from doing anything. The yokozuna won with a push out. Asashoryu twisted Tokitenku which put the younger Mongolian on his knee.
Homasho got behind O-tsukasa to drive him out and win his 5th bout. Takamisakari lost his first bout. It's against Goeido. Hokutoriki won a competitive bout against Tamakasugo for his 5th win. Dejima charged into Wakanoho and shoved the Russian out for his 1st win. Chiyotaikai gave quick shoves and defeated Takekaze. Kaio drove out Kotoshogiku. Kotomitsuki managed to drive Tokiteku on the ring. Koto-o-shu was pushed out by Aminishiki, succumbing to his 3rd loss. Asashoryu fought aggressively against Toyonoshima and won to keep his record perfect. Hakuho cautiously moved slightly back and threw Miyabiyama.
Dejima was powerless again. He lost his 4th bout to Kokkai who in contrast has a perfect record. The elder Russian Roho shoved down his young countryman Wakanoho for his 2nd win. Ama pushed out Takekaze. Kaio was challenged by young Kisenosato. The ozeki proved his skill by clinching the youngsters arm and throwing him down. Kotomitsuki managed to drive Toyonoshima out for his first win. Kakuryu shifted to the side. Koto-o-shu tried to regain his balance, then pushed forward but he couldn't control his pace, that his foot left the ring. It's the Bulgarian's 2nd loss. Chiyotaikai after giving thrusts pulled back, then shoved Kotoshogiku's head, forcing him down. Aminishiki immediately shifted to the side, forcing Hakuho on his hands. It's the yokozuna's first loss. Asashoryu pushed and pushed to force out Miyabiyama.
Takamisakari went for Futen-o and drove him out for his 3rd win. Dejima lost again, this time to Baruto. Ama got down too low that he was forced down by Wakanoho. Kotomitsuki lost against Asasekiryu fast. It's the ozeki's 3rd loss. Koto-o-shu fought patiently against Miyabiyama and managed to drive the former ozeki down. Chiyotakai gave thrusts and tried to pull away, but he somehow lost balance and lost to Kisenosato. Kaio immediately forced Takekaze down on the ring. Asashoryu shoved Aminishiki's head and then drove him out the ring. The yokozuna went out the dirt packed mound too. Hakuho struggled a bit against Kakuryu, but managed to change his hand and drive his countryman out to celebrate his 23rd birthday.
Takamisakari drove down Yoshikaze. Dejima lost again. This time to Hokutoriki. Koto-o-shu managed to drive out Takekaze. Chiyotaikai gave thrusts and pushed Aminishiki out. Kaio was able to grab Miyabiyama's belt the shove the former ozeki out. Kisenosato easily drove out Kotomitsuki. Hakuho thrust down Asasekiryu. Asashoryu got hold of Kakuryu's belt and gave him a blow, taking him into the audience.
The tourney kicked off with a sell out crowd. Many seemed excited to see the popular Takamisakari who added a new action to his regular slapping and hand motions. He stumped his feet. In the beginning of his bout, he received attacks to his throat by Toyohibiki. But the Robocop managed to stop his opponent, grab him and throw him out the ring. Dejima did not dash fast enough. He was taken by Roho by the back of his belt and driven out. Kokkai thrust down the veteran Wakanosato. Ama was carefully attacking the huge Tokitenku. But he somehow slipped and fell. Chiyotaikai was back with his right arm heavily bandaged. He did not seem to be in the best of shape, but he patiently fought against Miyabiyama and managed to win with a push out. Chiyo needs 8 wins this tourney to keep his post. Kaio lost to Aminishiki. Kotomitsuki got hold of Kakuryu, but Kakuryu got an even better hold of the ozeki's belt and shoved forward powerfully to win. Koto-o-shu was overwhelmed by Asasekiryu wearing a bright red belt. Asashoryu quickly drove Kisenosato out, to make up for his loss in the previous tourney. Hakuho came on wearing a dark brown belt. He lifted Takekaze up and then threw him on the ring.
Pre Tourney highlights
3 suspended from participating
Japan Sumo Association announced on Mar 6 that it would suspend the 3 questioned by police on the death of 17 year old Takashi Saito. In the event they are convicted, they will be permantently expelled from the sumo world.
Controversies surrounding Asashoryu
Asashoryu who was in Hawaii for his brother's wedding was photographed in Hawaii wearing an aloha shirt. He left Japan on Feb 17. His photo caused a stir as the yokozuna is supposed to be traditional Japanese attire when he's out. Then it was reported that when he was in Osaka on Feb 25, he blasphemed a journalist.