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Le Monde du Sumo
N°8 - february 2005
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the full french issue, with pictures,...)



translated from French by Jelena Macan
proofread by Moti Dichne
Rikishi talk – Hatsu basho 2005
day 1 day 2 day 3 day 4 day 5
day 6 day 7 day 8 day 9 day 10
day 11 day 12 day 13 day 14 day 15
Day 1

Kaio: « [On his victory over Iwakiyama] It is very important to start the tournament with a victory, and I am truly satisfied that I managed to do it. [On the pressure put on him this tournament] In any case, when people look at me they have the image of a person who becomes weak under pressure, and I decided it was enough. » Nikkan
« [On the fact that he was practically dominated by Iwakiyama] My opponent came out of the tachi-ai with a volley of tsuppari and that took me utterly by surprise. » Mainichi
« [On the way he ended the bout after receiving the tsuppari] Being somewhat at a loss, I told myself I had to resist and to stand firm on my legs. I didn’t move forward to attack, but still I am content to have opened the ball with a victory. It is very important for my self-confidence. [On his reputation for weakness during the shonichi (the first day of an official tournament)] Yes, I know I’m dragging that image like a ball and chain. But from now on, I will go and try to fight with the same spirit. (During his career, Kaio has never managed to string together 5 straight victories in the first days of the tournament.) » Sanspo
« [On his bout] Today, my legs moved well. [On his condition] I am a bit tired with the New Year’s festivities. I’m having terrible trouble waking up and only wake up around midday. » Yomiuri

Tomozuna oyakata: « [On Kaio’s condition] Compared to the previous tournament, his strength has dropped by 20%. » Yomiuri

Iwakiyama: « [On his defeat against Kaio, who defeated him with a throw without holding the mawashi] When I moved in towards him to dispatch him, I never even imagined such an outcome. » Nikkan « [On the development of his bout against Kaio] Until the end of the bout, I held him well and I thought that was it… But as usual, I failed against him once again. » Mainichi

Asashoryu: « [On his performance today] I contented myself with doing my sumo. [On Hakuho] Recently his body has become imposing, but as far as his sumo is concerned, it is not yet there! » Nikkan « [On his last bout against Hakuho] Last tournament I lost against him, but that was due to the nature of my attack. [On using his right hand to pick up the kensho, as he was advised by Makiko Uchidate] I’ve had enough of people drilling my ears about that. Also, a new year is starting, this is the first day, and I wish to return to good manners. [Did you picture a defeat against Hakuho?] No, not for a moment. It is bad to think of it. (Asashoryu’s fever, which had risen to 39°C some days ago has sank back to 37.7°C) » Mainichi

Takasago oyakata (Asashoryu’s master): « [On Asashoryu’s abrupt switch to his right hand] Oh, we didn’t really talk about it before this. [Is it connected with the presence of the Emperor?] Ah, that could well be, couldn’t it!? But it is a good thing in any case. » Mainichi

Kokonoe oyakata: « [On Asashoryu’s condition] He didn’t really train before the tournament, and that is quite regrettable. Regarding other wrestlers, they are all so deplorable, which is symptomatic of a lax training regime. » Sanspo

Tochiazuma: « [On his long fought and difficult victory over Tamanoshima] I did losing Sumo, but I am satisfied that I held on to finally grab the victory. [On his injured left shoulder] My left shoulder still gives me pain, but I have to fight regardless. » Mainichi

Chiyotaikai: « [On the fact that he started the tournament with a loss when he is kadoban] It is a bad way to start this tournament, and this tendency must be reversed immediately. In order to do that, I intend to do my own Sumo. » Mainichi

Wakanosato: « [On his victory against Kotonowaka] I managed to do some forward-moving Sumo. I think it is important to win on the first day, so I am delighted I succeeded in doing so. [On the fact that he fought in front of the Emperor of Japan] Every time that occurs, I am incredibly nervous. » Sanspo

Kotooshu: « [On his first victory with an oicho-mage (until now Kotooshu’s hair wasn’t long enough to form the gingko shaped hairdo)] I didn’t worry about that, but I had enough of not being able to wear it. » Sanspo

Kisenosato: « [On his victory against Ama] As this is an opponent against whom I don’t have the least wish to lose, I went forward with all my strength. After the tachi-ai I only had one desire, to attack, and I feel good because of that. » Sanspo

Day 2

Kaio: « [On his defeat against Kotonowaka after winning his last 11 fights against him] I couldn’t off this bout. And yet, I really had intended to destroy my opponent by going straight at him. (In a very rare occurrence, Kaio lost this bout even though he had his usually deadly outer right grip on the mawashi) » Mainichi
« [On the progression of his bout against Kotonowaka] I was careless when trying that last throw, even if at heart I thought of overpowering him that way. My opponent and I had the exact same timing in our throws. I went all the way, but my balance wasn’t good. » Sanspo

Kotonowaka: « [You set up quite a hasty attack, didn’t you?] Hmm, that’s right! At the moment I intended to strike the final blow, my opponent defended with intense wriggling. » Mainichi
« [On his victory over Kaio, putting an end to a series of 11 defeats against him] I kept losing to him, so I really wanted to fight him. I don’t remember when my last victory against him was anymore. (Kotonowaka’s last victory over Kaio goes back to the 10th day of January 1999 tournament, almost exactly 5 years ago!) » Sanspo

Kitanoumi rijicho: « [On Kaio’s defeat] Unfortunately, he fell back to his old habits - trying to win the bouts by throws. He should train himself in offensive Sumo where he moves forward. Well, I imagine he was rather nervous today, but from now on every bout will be of immense importance. » Mainichi
« [On Kaio] Everything becomes important, but if he focuses anew on his goal the happy ending can still be achieved. [On Hakuho, Kaio’s opponent for tomorrow] That opponent is anything but ordinary. » Sanspo

Tamanoshima: « [On his defeat against Miyabiyama in a rematch] I really thought I had won the first bout. Luck wasn’t with me today. » Mainichi

Miyabiyama: « [On his victory after two bouts with Tamanoshima] When I saw the head judge Mihogaseki climbing on the dohyo to say “Miyabiyama wasn’t in advantage”, I told myself it was a bad start into another dance. I’m really tired now. [On his condition, when he posted 9 victories in the last two tournaments] No, it is not yet there. I still don’t have the brute strength that allowed me to push out my opponents by simple forward pushing. » Mainichi

Kotomitsuki: « [On his feeble defeat against Chiyotaikai] My tachi-ai was bad, but the reason for this defeat remains my weakness. » Mainichi

Asashoryu: « [On using his left hand again to collect the kensho] Ah, drat, I’d forgotten! » Mainichi
« [On his fight against Tosanoumi] My opponent held his head quite low so I took advantage of it. [On his condition after the high fever he had for some days] I’m holding on well, as usual. [On his return to taking the kensho with his left hand] Oh, I swear that I simply forgot. The diffference between victory and defeat is sometimes fuzzy and in a way this was the case here. » Sanspo

Kotoshogiku: « [On his first win in Makuuchi] I am utterly delighted. [Confident again?] No, not yet. Yesterday, the Yokozuna came to see me after having seen my bout and told me “Go all the way and without reservations”. (Kotoshogiku went to the same high school as Asashoryu, the famous Meitoku high school on the island of Shikoku) » Mainichi

Hakuho: « [On his bout against Asashoryu yesterday] Yesterday, I defeated myself like a complete beginner. While I focused my attention on my opponent, he jumped me. [On his victory against Kakizoe] I started late at the tachi-ai, but I knew how to keep calm. [What confidence you have!] Bah… » Mainichi

Tochiazuma: « [On his second victory] I did excellent leg-work. When my legs don’t go into the action, I cannot do my Sumo. » Mainichi
« [On his victory over Kokkai] I didn’t want to fight this bout by following my opponent’s rhythm, and I am delighted with the manner in which I took on his attacks. [On his good tournament] Everything at its time and one fight at a time. My only goal is to do my best in each of the bouts. » Sanspo

Wakanosato: « [On his victory against Kotooshu who is 19 cm taller than him] I don’t like losing to young hopefuls in the least, so my Sumo was as if this was my most important bout. [On the quality of his Sumo this tournament] Everything is going very well and I take pleasure in fighting. Yesterday as well as today the quality of my Sumo was excellent, and of course I wish to ride this wave until the end of the tournament. » Mainichi
« [On his bout against Kotooshu] In training, when he entraps me with an over arm grip on the mawashi, he becomes very strong. So for this bout I decided on a strategy that would not allow him such a grip. Today I could really do good Sumo. [On Kyushu 2003, the first tournament where he fought for a promotion to Ozeki and finished make-koshi] That period is different from today. I am completely relaxed and whatever happens I will show what I can do. » Sanspo

Kotooshu: « [On his defeat against Wakanosato] The moment I started moving the bout was over. He is terribly quick, that one! » Sanspo

Ichinoya (44 years, the eldest among wrestlers) [JONIDAN]: « [On his mental state when he lost against Takinooto, 35 years, who also entered sumo over 20 years ago] As for me, I still retain the desire of a young 20-year-old man. » Sanspo

Takinooto (35 years) [JONIDAN]: “ [On his victory over Ichinoya, the eldest among wrestlers] I have an immense respect toward the venerable Ichinoya. » Sanspo

Day 3

Kaio: « [On his strategy against Hakuho] I had the intention of performing a powerful tachi-ai to get an inside grip on the mawashi with my left. [On the development of his bout] He made me move in the opposite direction of what I had expected. [On his left hand, which was bandaged after his bout] No, it is quite well. » Mainichi

Oshiogawa oyakata (chief judge): « [On Kaio’s situation] Ah, how sad this is! It is really regrettable, all this. Today his situation didn’t improve at all, and I have the impression that the worst is yet to come. » Mainichi

Tomozuna oyakata: « [On the advice given to Kaio] I told him that Hakuho was fearsome once he managed to get his left underarm grip on the mawashi. He shouldn’t allow that to happen no matter what, and for that purpose he should keep a distance between himself and Hakuho. That young man is truly an exceptional wrestler. » Hochi

Kitanoumi rijicho: « [On Kaio’s promotion chances] It is not over yet. If he’d only manage to empty his head and motivate himself again, he still could pull himself out brilliantly. » Mainichi

Hakuho: « [On his victory over Kaio] My tachi-ai was good, but I really made myself get into it. Today I really kept the quality of my tachi-ai. » Mainichi
« [On the development of his fight against Kaio] I am quite pleased with my tachi-ai, even if he didn’t allow me to advance. Noticing that, I pulled him and pushed him down. [On his two victories against Kaio] Compared to the last tournament, I think my tachi-ai was good this time around. [On his parents whom he invited and who will watch the 13th day of this tournament] It is out of the question for me to present myself in an embarrassing situation. »

Kumagatani oyakata (Hakuho’s master): « [On Hakuho’s career] I think during this year he could well become an Ozeki chasing the promotion to the rank of Yokozuna. » Sanspo

Wakanosato: « [On his one-sided defeat against Kakizoe] On this third day I completely lost focus during the initial clash. [On the curse of the 3rd day that follows him, losing on it for the 4th tournament in a row] Yeah well, you could say that.. » Mainichi

Kakizoe: « [On his expeditious win over Wakanosato] I only thought of one thing, to do my Sumo whatever the cost. I was good today. I fulfilled my duty well. » Mainichi

Asashoryu: « [On Kokkai who gave him a violent slap] I don’t believe that knave did such a thing to me! I won’t say another word about that, but I can tell you that I am still very angry!! (very mad) » Mainichi
« [Do you still have the fever?] Yes, and I still get dizzy from time to time. But well, as long as I manage to do my Sumo, it is nothing very serious. The key word remains the power of focus. [On Kaio’s second loss that practically destroyed his promotion chances] I am not qualified to comment on that in the least. I simply hope that he will persevere until the end of the tournament. » Sanspo

Kokkai: « [On his defeat against Asashoryu] I lost, but at least I moved forward. My mawashi was grabbed from the outside and at the next moment I was suddenly thrown. The Yokozuna was really quick. » Mainichi

Takamisakari: « [On his first victory in this tournament] Since the first day I kept on losing, so I am quite relieved. At this time I am always on the NHK Sumo highlights at 19 hours, and I even overshadow young promising wrestlers. I am delighted and embarrassed at the same time by this situation. When I am on television, it gets me preoccupied and in the end that makes me nervous. » Mainichi

Kotooshu: « [On his return to victory] This type of thinking will only be important at the end of the tournament. I don’t let myself be influenced in advance by the series of wins or of defeats. » Mainichi

Hayateumi: « [On his victory over Kyokushuzan even though he was lost] I perfected this two-step move at the time when I was at Nichidai university. In fact, I practiced walking on top of the tawara (straw bales that mark the ring) and running on them while keeping my balance. » Mainichi

Ama: « [On his victory over Tokitenku at the edge of the dohyo] Ah, I never let go, you know. This victory is the result of my training. In preparing for this tournament, I had the intention of fighting as if it was for my life. [On his injured big toe] If it should get worse, I would be forced to ease my training. » Mainichi

Tokitenku: « [On his defeat against his compatriot Ama who got lucky in the end] You know, my leg was still inside the dohyo. The elbow of my opponent was outside. It all happened right in front of Tokitsukaze oyakata and he really could have lifted his arm (to call for a meeting of judges in the centre of dohyo). » Mainichi

Miyabiyama: « [On the reasons for his defeat against Kotonowaka] My opponent moved to the side at the tachi-ai. [On the reasons behind the losses of all three Sekiwake today] The first reason, I would say that we lost our rhythm. But as far as I am concerned, I will have the fire in me again. » Mainichi

Kotonowaka: « [On his victory over Miyabiyama] When I woke up this morning, my left elbow hurt. But well, I am delighted with this series of victories, which is only starting. » Sanspo

Chiyotaikai: « [On his victory over Tamanoshima] My body is controlled by my head, in contrast to the previous tournaments when I reacted roughly following my opponents’ lead. Little by little my body recovers and offers me new possibilities. It is now two days in a row that I managed good Sumo. » Mainichi

Kotomitsuki: « [On his worries about Wakanosato, another Ozeki wannabe] Yes, it is true that I watch him, but that is a whole other game. » Sanspo

Dejima: « [On his first victory in this tournament] I am very pleased and I count on using this one for building the others. » Sanspo

Sawai (high school Yokozuna, 18 years) [MAEZUMO]: « [On his first victory among the pros in his first maezumo bout] The atmosphere is completely different, and I have to admit I was very nervous. [On his next basho in the heights of Jonokuchi division if he wins his 3 bouts as scheduled] I want to do my own Sumo. [On his goal in professional Sumo] I want to become Sekitori as quickly as possible. » Mainichi

Day 4

Tosanoumi: « [On the deciding moment of his victory over Kaio] I sensed that his knee was recoiling so I profited from that. » Mainichi

Kaio: « [On his left knee recoiling] I have nothing special to say. [On his left shoulder] Since I lost, you want to find excuses. But my left shoulder had nothing to do with that. » Mainichi

Kitanoumi rijicho: « [On Kaio’s tournament] How on earth could he have presented us with three consecutive defeats? » Mainichi
« [On the situation on the top of banzuke] It is really regrettable that only Asashoryu is capable of winning a yusho at this time. I can still hardly believe that Kaio delivered a series of three defeats. Besides that, the quality is not really bad. » Nikkan

Tomozuna oyakata (Kaio’s master): « [On Kaio’s situation] I want him to fight through the whole fifteen days. On the evening of the second day, I asked him if his shoulder hurt and he said it didn’t. So his shoulder is fine, and I want to see him fight with his true merit until the end. » Nikkan

Kokonoe oyakata: « [On Kaio’s third defeat] It is really disappointing. Truly, I am not sure that he will ever have the opportunity to reach for the top rank of Yokozuna again. What a pity! » Mainichi

Tochiazuma: « [On his Sumo against Wakanosato, which brought him the victory] I wasn’t able to realise my tachi-ai. No, really, I am not there yet. » Mainichi
« [On his victory over an Ozeki aspirant] I have the feeling that recently I’ve improved the strength of my upper body, but that I have neglected to do so for my legs. Compared to yesterday, I did not advance much. [On his bout tomorrow against Kotomitsuki, who already beat him 8 times in 13 fights] I never worry about the past when I climb on the dohyo. My only concern is to carry out my own Sumo. If I manage that, the outcome will be positive no matter what happens. » Sanspo

Furukawa (Tochiazuma’s personal trainer): « [On Tochiazuma’s state of health] If he gets his left hand in deep to use his favourite technique of ottsuke, there is a real risk of renewing that injury in his shoulder. » Sanspo

Naruto oyakata (Wakanosato’s master and former yokozuna Takanosato): « [On the mental preparations of his pupil Wakanosato] In my time, I remember, we made use of the wait beside the dohyo to raise the level of aggression. Wakanosato lacks that killer instinct somewhat. I would like it if while waiting at the dohyo he’d transform into a real Jason from the horror film “Friday 13th”, holding an electric chain-saw in his hand to carve up his opponent… » Sanspo

Kotooshu: « [On his victory by the rare kawazugake, Takanonami’s favourite move] Oh, you know, I often practice this technique in training. Today was the first time I heard the announcer pronounce the name of this technique. [On his tournament] At this moment, I feel I have good rhythm and that my condition is on the level. » Mainichi

Ama: « [On his defeat against Tamakasuga] I managed to grab his mawashi well, but afterwards it was impossible for me to put any strength in my arm. Yesterday evening I had a 39° high fever, and I didn’t sleep a wink all night. My Sumo today was a total mess. » Mainichi

Toyonoshima: « [On his tenacity on the edge of the dohyo which finally allowed him to win] I never let myself give up. Kisenosato and I were promoted to Juryo at the same time, but although he is younger than me I had never managed to beat him. I had to wait until I reached Makuuchi to do it. I am really pleased. » Mainichi

Kaiho: « [On his victory over Kokkai] I don’t know how many slaps I received today. While I received his harite, I felt my senses leaving me more and more. I’ve met God for the first time in a tournament. I had forgotten about Him. » Mainichi

Chiyotaikai: « [On his third straight victory] The more I fight, the more I really desire to penetrate the body of my opponent. » Mainichi

Kotonowaka: « [On his defeat against Chiyotaikai] I intended to evade the tachi-ai, but in the end I went with my little attack. By the time I managed to put my right hand on his mawashi, I was already out of the dohyo. » Mainichi

Asashoryu: « [On his victory over Tochinonada] I didn’t really think about this fight, and I let myself be carried naturally by the flow of the bout to carry out my attacks. It is really a question of flow, you know. [On his condition after the fever] It is completely normal. » Mainichi

Tochinonada: « [On his defeat Asashoryu] Not for a moment did he give me an opportunity to put my left hand inside on his mawashi. It had seemed that Yokozuna lacked training, but that wasn’t really the impression he left on me. » Sanspo

Kotoshogiku: « [On his first bout against Asasekiryu, his senior in Meitoku high school] I am really pleased to have fought him. You know, when I was still in my last year of school, he was already a Sekitori in the Juryo division. » Mainichi

Takamisakari: « [On his defeat although he had his favourite outside right-hand grip on the mawashi] This defeat is hard to swallow. The fact that I didn’t manage to win from that position clearly tells me that I wasn’t there mentally. » Mainichi

Hakuho: « [On his victory over Tamanoshima] At the moment my opponent pulled me towards him, I took the advantage to switch to second gear. Every time someone pulls me, I don’t simply go forward head over heels. » Sanspo

Day 5

Chiyotaikai: « [On his series of 4 victories returning to his explosive Sumo] What happened to me on the first day was just punishment. I didn’t use all my strength. So, ever since then, day after day, I have been trying to elevate my fighting spirit and my aggressiveness. » Sanspo
« [On his 4-1 score, when he needs 8 victories to preserve his Ozeki rank] I am really focused this tournament. [On his injured left elbow] My elbow does not trouble me at the moment. » Mainichi

Kaio: « [On ending his series of defeats] You know, even while I suffered this series of defeats, it didn’t end my life as a Sumo wrestler. [On the pressure on him to become Yokozuna] It is you, the media, that keep feeding this so-called pressure around me, by writing about it in your articles day after day. As for me, all your gloomy prophecies count for nothing when I climb on the dohyo. » Sanspo

Tochiazuma: « [On his brilliant victory over Kotomitsuki] I am really delighted to have been in a position to start straight ahead at the tachi-ai. » Sanspo
« [On his fourth victory] I am satisfied with my tachi-ai. On the tawara, my toe floated but remained inside. I sensed that I could still fight. I really had a lucky escape this time. » Mainichi

Asashoryu: « [On finding out what Tamanoshima’s father used to do, after the K.O. he inflicted on Tamanoshima] Oh really, Tamanoshima’s father was a boxing champion? I didn’t know that. But in any case, harite is not a good thing to do. Simply, my posture was bad. That said, Tamanoshima was bad as well. [On his performance] My tachi-ai was bad, my movements were weak. In short, my Sumo was non-existent. But in the end, the records will simply show that I left with another victory in my pocket. Either way, I should quickly get tired of these blunders. (Ever since his first yusho in November 2003, Asashoryu has always won the yusho in tournaments where he remained unbeaten after the 5th day) » Sanspo
« [Why do you worry so much when you have won?] Because I’ve shown such bad Sumo to the audience. » Mainichi

Tamanoshima: « [On Asashoryu knocking him out with a violent harite] I don’t know how many times this has happened to me, but it is really regrettable. [On the violent harite that also split his lip] He really hit me well. Until that moment I held on nicely and thought I would be able to overcome him. But all of a sudden, everything turned black, and my legs buckled under me. No more strength, no more anything, and I was walked out without being able to resist. » Sanspo

Takasago oyakata (Asashoryu’s master): « [On Asashoryu and his lack of training] Only Asashoryu himself truly knows his condition, but he can pull through by focusing on his Sumo. [On the fact that Asashoryu continues to take his kensho with the left hand] He only used his right hand on the first day, but what do you want, Asashoryu remains a character. » Yomiuri

Iwakiyama: « [On his combat strategy against Wakanosato] I told myself I should get an overarm grip on the left side of his mawashi and use my right arm to attack. You know, until today I have never been in a position to defeat him, so I am very happy. » Mainichi

Kitanoumi rijicho: « [On Wakanosato’s chances of becoming an Ozeki now that he suffered his third defeat] It is not over yet. If he finishes with 12 victories, he has great chances of being promoted. On the other hand, if he finishes with 11 victories, the quality of his Sumo in this tournament would be taken into consideration for the final decision. » Sanspo

Kotonowaka: « [On his defeat against Takamisakari even though he had his right underarm grip of the mawashi] When I attempted a throw with my left overarm grip, I saw the referee’s sandal on the tawara (rice straw that borders the fighting area) as it slid off. When I saw it, I was surprised and lost my strength. » Sanspo

Kokkai: « [On his first victory in this tournament. Is it long, 4 days without a win?] Oh yeah, it is so long! And yet, my condition is not really bad. » Mainichi

Hakuho: « [On his victory over Miyabiyama by pulling his head] I saw that Miyabiyama’s legs were too far back, so why waste the opportunity? [You have a dreadfully calm disposition?] Yes, so what? Is that bad? » Mainichi

Kyokutenho: « [On his victory over Kotooshu in their first encounter] That fellow is even taller than Akebono. If you happen to remain static against this great pole he would gain an irreversable advantage over you. In any case, I wouldn’t be able to do anything against that. But you know, he moves incredibly quickly for his height. » Mainichi

Asasekiryu: « [On his defeat against Hokutoriki, his first in this tournament] As my opponent pushed me strongly in the face with both hands, I assumed a posture which was open to pull-downs. It’s not that I can’t take the tsuppari, but well… [On the ending of his winning streak] You know, the tournament barely started. » Mainichi

Kisenosato: « [On the ending of his series of 3 defeats] I don’t really worry about this series of defeats. [On his attack with the aid of an ottsuke on the left] When my right hand has the underarm grip on the mawashi, my opponent can still use his strength. The attack with ottsuke on the left prevents that. I am satisfied that I was able to move forward in this bout. » Mainichi

Ichinoya (44 years, the elder among the wrestlers) [JONIDAN]: « [On the fact that he beat Arai, a 16-year-old wrestler 28 years younger than him, which is a new record] I always feel wretched when I lose against a boy. » Chunichi

Arai [JONIDAN]: « [On his defeat against Ichinoya, the eldest among the wrestlers] When they told me I would be fighting against him, I told myself that I am being offered a victory. It’s crazy, my father is 36 years old, so that fellow Ichinoya is really impressive. [On the chance that he will still be a Sumotori when he’s 44 years old] Well, no, there is no question about it. There is absolutely no chance of me still being here. » Chunichi

Sawai (high-school Yokozuna) [MAEZUMO]: « [On his third bout and third victory, this time at the expense of the Hungarian Masuto’o] I didn’t particularly worry about my opponent. I was mainly concerned about doing my own Sumo. [On his zensho in Maezumo, which will assure him a place at the top of Jonokuchi division] I am relieved now. Among the professionals, there is clearly more pressure. » Mainichi

Day 6

Kokkai: « [On his victory over Wakanosato by a fine beltless throw] Ah, I really had good timing when I decided to attempt that throw. » Mainichi

Wakanosato: « [On his fourth consecutive defeat, destroying his dreams of promotion to the Ozeki rank]…(Shattered, Wakanosato remains silent in front of various questions) » Mainichi

Kitanoumi rijicho: « [On Wakanosato’s lot] This series of four defeats is really regrettable. There are still 9 days left and he can still pick up a good number of victories in that time. Besides, if he achieves a double-digit score, he would still be in a position to become an Ozeki in the next tournament. » Mainichi
« [On Wakanosato suffering with his 4th consecutive defeat] When one isn’t capable of practicing his own Sumo, the results cannot come. In the very important tournaments, a series of defeats is unacceptable. It is really sad that this has happened to him. » Sanspo

Hakuho: « [On his state of mind when facing Kotomitsuki] When he had a false start, I was wondering in what sauce he intended to eat me… [On the progress of the bout] Kotomitsuki is really a gifted wrestler. I had the intention to come at him suddenly and then to attack him valiantly by going forward. But, unfortunately, I had to win in another manner. » Mainichi
« [On his victory over Kotomitsuki] I didn’t manage to get my favourite left hand overarm grip on the mawashi, but well, I’m still pleased to have beaten him. [On the fact that he remains at Asashoryu’s heels with this series of five wins] In truth, the highest priority still is the good quality of my Sumo, and after that it is necessary that I remain calm. » Sanspo

Kaio: « [On his unconvincing victory against Tamanoshima, when he seemed to have already lost] Indeed I have a problem with feeling in this tournament, but well, I won because I managed to remain calm until the end, which is not that bad. » Mainichi
« [On his two-step at the edge of the dohyo] I was in a desperate position. I didn’t think I could twirl around so deftly. » Sanspo

Tamanoshima: « [On his defeat against Kaio, even though the other man almost lost on the edge of the dohyo] Whatever did I do to lose that bout? » Mainichi

Chiyotaikai: « [On his defeat against Tochiazuma] One of my tsuppari to the left had missed its goal. So, with momentum behind it, that made me glide in the opposite direction and my left side was exposed and defenceless. Nothing serious, I tell you, this defeat is only a simple accident. » Mainichi
« [On the nature of his Sumo today] I don’t remember going into one of my opponents like that. Of course, I cannot be satisfied with this result but well, I feel that little by little I am managing to do my own Sumo again. » Sanspo

Tochiazuma: « [On his 5th victory in 6 days] It is certainly above what was predicted before the tournament started. Even I myself find all this strange. (A pause of 3 months was expected in order to give his shoulder fractured in the November tournament time to recover, and Tochiazuma started this tournament against the advice of his physicians and of his Oyakata and father) » Mainichi
« [On the good start of his return to Ozeki] I don’t think about that. The tournament lasts 15 days, and if I will fight until the end that in itself would be good. » Sanspo
« [On his incredible tactical sense in passing below a left hand tsuppari as he was suffering some tough punishment dished out by Chiyotaikai] Honestly, I don’t really know how I did it, but I wanted to pay him back in the same manner. That much is certain! » Sponichi

Takamisakari: « [On his defeat against Hokutoriki on the day his mother (aged 56) came for the first time to see him at the Kokugikan, with a delegation from his home town] With such support in the audience, I really should have performed differently! I showed them disgraceful Sumo. It is even harder to endure since I knew they made such a long journey to come and see me. (Takamisakari breaks down in tears, but his mother comes to him in the dressing room to tell him “It is all right! Have courage, carry on! ».) » Mainichi
« [On the fact that he lost in front of his mother when she came for the first time to see him] Truly I am nothing but a miserable bacterium! » Sanspo

Hisako Kato (56 years old, Takamisakari’s mother): « [On the defeat of her son] It is really a pity, but I want him to change his state of mind and do his utmost for the rest of the tournament. (She came with a group of apple growers from their city in Aomori prefecture to hand out 12,000 free apples to the audience at the Kokugikan.) » Sanspo

Asashoryu: « [So you are still headed towards a zensho yusho (the score of 15-0 at the end of the tournament)?] As always, I don’t change. [On his bout tomorrow against the Bulgarian 2.04 meter giant Kotooshu] I think we’ll have a lot of fun. » Sanspo
« [On his victory against Kakizoe, culminating in a tsuri-dashi (lifting up his opponent)] I managed to grab the front part of his mawashi, and after that everything came together very quickly. Generally, when I get this sort of grip, basically only with this grip, I become quite creative in my moves. (Asashoryu had lifted Kakizoe’s 140 kg even though he had an OVERARM grip on the mawashi with his left hand, which is exceptional because this type of lift is usually only possible when both arms grab the mawashi with an underarm hold) » Sponichi

Kotooshu: « [On his defeat against Miyabiyama who did a henka (a step to the side) at tachi-ai] My opponent vanished at the tachi-ai. What was the matter with him? Is he afraid of me? I thought HE was the Sekiwake, right? (very angry) » Sponichi

Day 7

Kotooshu: « [On his defeat against Asashoryu] I failed to grab his mawashi. After that, the course of events turned against me. » Mainichi
« [On Asashoryu] The Yokozuna is so fast he seems unreal! I was helpless. » Sanspo

Asashoryu: « [On the new pain in his right wrist] It’s a sort of numbness that has woken up. I will put some ice on it and everything will be fine again. I am starting to know my body. » Mainichi
« [On his right wrist that suffered injury during the violent throw he inflicted on Kotooshu] It’s all right, I only feel something like numbness, and I think that this time tomorrow everything will be back in order. But well, at the end of the bout I really thought I had dislocated my shoulder as well. I should mention that my neck is not in a very good state either. [On the comparison between this injury and the one that bothered him during the last tournament in Kyushu] Oh, back then I hurt only from my elbow down to my fingers. This time around, my whole right arm hurts. But you know, I will handle it, I am starting to know my body well. [On the connection to the fever he caught upon his return from Mongolia] I think when I caught that cold my joints were affected, which should explain the pains. I haven't had the time to get well, and I continue to suffer the pain. » Sanspo

Kaio: « [On his injury, the probable cause of his 4th defeat in this tournament] Oh, as long as I do Sumo, that means I am in a condition to wrestle. My injury has nothing to with that. » Mainichi

Kitanoumi Rijicho: « [On Kaio's promotion chances after his 4th defeat] Even if he wins all his remaining bouts this tournament and manages a zensho yusho in the next one, it wouldn't suffice for the promotion. » Mainichi

Kyokushuzan: « [On his 1000th bout in professional Sumo] When I was a new recruit, I was in awe seeing that some of my elders had more than 800 bouts behind them. And to think that I, I have had a thousand.. It is incredible how time has passed. Having 1000 bouts seems simple enough, but avoiding injuries is important. » Mainichi

Kaiho: « [On his defeat against Takamisakari, his junior at Nichidai University] Today, there were a lot of fans in the Kokugikan, and I am that much more embarrassed by my defeat. My performance was embarrassing. I am as shocked as if I got a make-koshi... » Mainichi

Takamisakari: « [On his victory over Kaiho, his senior at Nichidai University] Arriving more or less to the middle of the bout, I decided to exert myself by pushing with all my remaining strength. [On his mother who saw him lose yesterday] My demeanour was regrettable. I don't know if some day I would be able to show Sumo worthy of a Sekitori to my parents. All I can do is do my best by persevering with all my strength. » Sanspo

Kotonowaka: « [On his defeat against the returning Tochiazuma] There is no doubt, Tochiazuma has returned to form. And yet, he exhibits prudence. He threw himself forward in one move, and then slowed down to manoeuvre me little by little over the edge. » Mainichi

Roho: « [On his sudden defeat against Kyokutenho] Well, to tell you the truth... there was nothing I could have done. The top of Makuuchi has absolutely nothing in common with the bottom of Makuuchi. These guys up here are extremely strong! » Mainichi

Iwakiyama: « [On his fourth consecutive victory over Chiyotaikai] I wasn't expecting that. I was able to advance continuously against him after the tachi-ai, and he was helpless. I solely attacked in this bout. [On Sawai, the promising high-school Yokozuna who strolled through the Maezumo tournament, and who joined Iwakiyama’s stable, Sakaigawa beya] You know, that lad is already strong. He motivates me too, and I want to return to Sanyaku. » Sanspo

Kyokutenho: « [On his keeping up at one sole defeat in the yusho race] I am sorry to disappoint you, but I don't worry at all about the yusho race. I still have two victories to go before my goal is completed. » Sanspo

Kakizoe: « [On his second victory in the tournament] During the tournament, I continue to train in the mornings. As I wasn't winning, my only choice was doubtlessly to go all out. » Sanspo

Kotoshogiku: « [On his victory over Toyonoshima, his big rival in elementary school] Today, I had my greatest bout. As I won, I am in haste to repeat it tomorrow. » Sanspo

Hakuho: « [On his defeat against Wakanosato] I was too high during the tachi-ai! A fine mess! Of all the holds on the mawashi, I choose that one! (frustrated) » Sanspo

Day 8

Hakuho: « [On his victory over Tochiazuma without once getting to the belt] I wanted to get a hold of his mawashi, but in the end I let myself be carried by the course of the bout. [On the fact that his two assistants were absent due to a cold, which prevented him from warming up before the bout] My mental preparation before the bout was completely thrown off by that. » Mainichi
« [On his bout where he turned to his right to counter Tochiazuma's famous ottsuke by left hand] I attacked him well. I didn't remain static for a moment, so I am quite pleased. [On the fact that he was without an assistant and was unable to warm-up properly] You know, that made me anxious before the bout. » Sanspo

Tochiazuma: « [On his defeat against Hakuho] I suffered the full force of his tsuppari, which kept the distance between us too wide. My opponent really is incredibly supple, which is additionally backed with great strength. He is frightening. » Mainichi

Asashoryu: « [On the yusho race in which there is no-one left at one victory behind him] The suspense has taken a blow. [On his right shoulder injured yesterday against Kotooshu] It hurts a bit when I move it. But well, I still keep the attitude that pushes me to perform the perfect Sumo. » Mainichi

Kyokutenho: « [On the setback in the yusho race with his second defeat] I have already told you that I didn't worry about the yusho race. In any case, I did have a feeling I would crumble one way or another. If it weren’t today it would have been tomorrow. » Mainichi

Kotooshu: « [On his victory over Takamisakari, although he allowed him his favourite right underarm grip on the mawashi] I didn't feel in danger while he had his right underarm grip on my mawashi. I had the same grip. » Mainichi
« [On the kensho he won by defeating popular Takamisakari] Oh, yes, that is so great! This evening, I will be able to take my tsukebito (assistants) to a paunch-stuffing session in a yaki-niku (Japanese restaurant serving grilled meat). If Takamisakari should finish make-koshi, he will descend on the banzuke and I won't be able to fight him in the next tournament. Ah, I want to meet him in the coming tournament so badly! [On the shaky situation of his family in Bulgaria after his father's accident] It means it is my duty to earn money. [On his monthly salary that has surpassed 1.3 million yen] I send a lot to my parents in Bulgaria. If I become Sanyaku, my salary will increase. So I intend to persevere with all my strength. » Sanspo

Takamisakari: « [On his defeat against Kotooshu] I thought my offence was good. But my body wasn't closed enough. Considering the length of Kotooshu's arms and legs, it is remarkable he could attack like that. » Mainichi

Kotonowaka: « [On his motivation today] When I lost against Takamisakari on the fifth day, upon my return home I found my son under the table crying. Making my son cry is truly the one thing I hate the most. » Mainichi

Kaio: « [On his victory over Tochinonada] As much as I am delighted by my leg-work in this bout, I am displeased with the nature of Sumo I displayed. I am still incapable of producing my own Sumo. » Mainichi

Ama: « [On his defeat against Dejima] My opponent reminded everyone that he was an Ozeki once for a good reason. But well, I remain confident in my chances. I really should put on some weight. » Mainichi

Miyabiyama: « [On his victory over Roho thanks to a splendid double underarm grip on the mawashi] Ah, I squeezed him nicely with that. After immobilising him, I let my power talk and walked him out without stopping. » Mainichi

Chiyotaikai: « [On his frightening look when he watched Kokkai before the bout] I was motivated as never before, and I wanted to make him realise that. Yeah, that, that is the fighting spirit. This bout really did me good! » Mainichi

Tamanoshima: « [On his first victory in this tournament] I wondered when that would come. I am really delighted. » Sanspo

Day 9

Tochiazuma: « [On his victory against Kyokutenho thanks to the right overarm hold on the mawashi] In fact, I intended to get an underarm grip on the mawashi with my left, but unfortunately I failed to do so. [On his injured left shoulder, which he was unable to spare in this bout] At this time, the most important thing for me is to relentlessly implement my own Sumo, and that is above all other considerations. [Is he satisfied with this tournament now that he is approaching his 10th victory, which would mean his return to the Ozeki rank?] No, the tournament lasts fifteen days and I want to do my all and show the best I can do, even if I end up completely exhausted. Only under this condition will I be satisfied. » Mainichi
« [On his performance against Kyokutenho] My movements in this bout were bad, and I really played a loser today. [On the race for yusho, where he is in the second place] No, I don’t think about it at all. My goal is to keep going until the end of the tournament by deploying all my strength. » Sanspo

Oshiogawa Oyakata (chef judge): « [On Tochiazuma’s performance] Wow, he really showed us good Sumo! » Mainichi

Kokkai: « [On his bout against Kaio I am satisfied, since when I was pulled I managed not to fall. [On the fact that he landed on the hana-michi (the path rikishi pass, among the audience, which links dressing rooms to the dohyo) after his final push] I felt as if my hips were carried by a mischievous wind. » Mainichi

Kaio: « [On his bad performances this tournament with his 5th defeat] My body and spirit are crumbling to pieces. It is impossible for me to move as I want to. » Mainichi

Tomozuna Oyakata: « [On the possibility of Kaio’s withdrawal after his 5th loss] As far as withdrawal from a tournament is concerned, that is a wrestler’s private decision, determined in his soul and self-confidence. I don’t think his condition is bad, but on the other hand it is obvious he lacks the tenacity and fighting spirit this tournament. I cannot tell you what he is thinking, but tomorrow we will have a talk in private. After that, the problem lies solely on his conscience. » Sanspo

Kitanoumi Rijicho: « [On Kaio’s pitiful performances, and his chances of becoming a Yokozuna] No, the quality of his Sumo is just too awful this tournament. Even if he would win the following tournament it would not be enough. Right now, he really should wake up. » Mainichi

Hakuho: « [On his victory over Chiyotaikai] In the last tournament, my loss to him really affected me. I am satisfied because today I was able to seize the victory in the end. [On the fact that he is one win away from his kachi-koshi] If I win tomorrow, I will attempt to achieve ten wins this tournament. [On Asashoryu’s performances] I have seen him fight from the side of the dohyo, and he really looks to be on form. He really does good Sumo, it is a pleasure to watch him. » Mainichi
« [On the hail of tsuppari he received, pushing him to the edge of the dohyo] When I found myself at the edge of the dohyo it was rather dangerous, but I hung on well. I am really delighted with this victory. I could move deftly on the dohyo. [On his adolescence when he played basketball and idolised Michael Jordan] At that time, I would have done anything to be able to become an NBA player. (Hakuho also devoted himself to athletics and has run 100 meters in 11.3 seconds at 15 years of age!!) » Sanspo

Chiyotaikai: « [On his defeat against Hakuho, although he was able to land the tsuppari] Hmm, I cannot believe he is only 19 years old … There was a real difference in strength between us. This was a total defeat for me. » Sanspo

Roho: « [On his defeat against a fellow European, the Bulgarian Kotooshu, whom he often visits] In the changing rooms I often warm up together with him, but I make a clear distinction between the bout and the warm-up. [On his bout tomorrow against a European friend, the Georgian Kokkai] With him, it will be the same thing. Our excellent relationship is only valid outside the dohyo. » Mainichi

Takamisakari: « [On his victory after Hayateumi, his high-school and university senior, jumped high at the tachi-ai] I was lucky to grab his right arm during the jump. But I had a little hunch he was preparing something like that for me. » Mainichi

Hayateumi: « [On his defeat against Takamisakari] It occurred to me to perform my jump as we faced each other for the pre-bout rituals. In fact, I remained undecided, and I started with hesitation in my combat strategy. Today, one couldn’t say I flew. » Mainichi

Ama: « [On his bout against Dejima yesterday, where he stepped to the side on the tachi-ai only to lose miserably afterwards] Yesterday evening, my Oyakata (former Yokozuna Asahifuji) really let me have it. So today I didn’t have the least wish to make a step to the side at the tachi-ai. I would really like to have a more imposing body, but for the moment, in the absence of something better, I rely on my aggressiveness to win. Small but strapping, that’s how I want them to see me. » Mainichi

Wakanosato: « [Were you satisfied with your tachi-ai against Miyabiyama?] Yeah. [You were able to observe your opponent’s movements well?] … (Wakanosato does not respond to any other question) » Mainichi

Kyokushuzan: « [On his victory against Kisenosato (18 years old)] When I left for Japan to join the Sumo world, this boy wasn’t even 4 years old. Since that time he ate and slept a lot to become this solid bulwark I had such a trouble to move. » Sanspo

Sumanofuji: « [On the 10th anniversary of the great earthquake in Kobe, his home town] Today I was really motivated to win… It is now exactly 10 years. » Sanspo

Asashoryu: « [On the wrappings around his left arm. Are you in pain?] Eh, oh, I am not going to inform you every time I am in pain. I’m in pain all the time. [On the fact that his closest pursuers are two loses back] I couldn’t care less. » Mainichi
« [Addressing Hakuho while they took their baths] Well played, my lad! [On his condition] My right shoulder hurts, but it doesn’t make me suffer that much. Still the best cure remains the Sumo. If I do good Sumo, my form will get back naturally. [On his pursuers now two wins behind him] I don’t care in the least. But that said, I am keeping an eye on Hakuho’s Sumo, which is becoming quite good. » Sanspo

Kotomitsuki: « [On his defeat against Asashoryu, once again in a spectacular manner] Today I fought my worst bout this tournament. While I was climbing on the dohyo, I slipped and felt totally embarrassed. I heard laughter from the crowd directed at me. » Mainichi

Day 10

Kaio: « [On his decision to withdraw from the tournament, after a visit to the hospital yesterday evening] During last year’s Kyushu tournament I had damaged my left shoulder. It never stopped acting up while I wrestled. I want to recover and continue to persevere. I still have the hunger and the will to fight on the dohyo. » Sanspo

Tomozuna Oyakata (Kaio’s master): « [On the withdrawal of his pupil Kaio] He was really in a bad state, and this situation didn’t let him do the Sumo he is known for. He has decided to withdraw from the tournament. He no longer had the mental strength to continue bearing this cross. » Sanspo

Kitanoumi Rijicho: « [On Kaio’s withdrawal] In this sort of situation, morale is the most important of all. As I do not believe that his strength suddenly decreased, I would say that it is still conceivable to see him as a Yokozuna. He is still capable of winning a yusho. He is not finished and he should persevere. In the future, it will be important for him not to succumb to the pressure. » Sanspo

Miyabiyama: « [On his kachi-koshi, thanks to Kaio’s forfeit] That’s the 7th or 8th time this happens to me. I’m very happy! It is as if I had an extra victory. (laughs) » Sanspo

Asashoryu: « [On his victory against Kyokutenho] Having destroyed my opponent’s balance, I saw an opportunity to win the bout immediately. You know, it is simply a question of flow and how one masters it. [On Hakuho with whom he dined in a restaurant yesterday evening] You know, that lad is already very tall! (Asashoryu knew Hakuho since he was a child) » Sanspo
« [On his victory by uchimuso, (a fine technique of throwing by lifting the opponent’s leg with one’s arm)] I used my experience in Mongolian wrestling, where the goal is to destroy your opponent’s balance. I had mastered the flow of the bout well. [On his condition] My neck hurts. I can’t believe it, there is always something rattling and this time around it is my neck. » Mainichi

Hakuho: « [On the fact that he became the 3rd youngest wrestler to obtain a kachi-koshi in his first tournament as a Komusubi] Ah, I am truly delighted. Now I will be able to wrestle completely relaxed. I will try to finish this tournament with a double-digit score. [On the fact that he is on a 15 kachi-koshi streak ever since he was ranked in the Sandanme division] I don’t know if that is a record, and I will strive to prolong this fine streak. » Sanspo
« [On his tournament as a new Sanyaku] I would never have thought I would win my kachi-koshi on the 10th day. Since I’ve become Sanyaku, I have a different view of things. I will try to aim for the prestigious technique prize (gino-sho, the only prize he lacks). » Mainichi

Tosanoumi: « [On his defeat against the prodigy Hakuho] Just as I intended to attempt a tsukiotoshi (a vertical push throwing the opponent to the ground), my left knee unfortunately gave way. All I could do was fall, and that is exactly what happened. This bout proceeded exactly as I intended it to, but I self-destructed. » Mainichi

Kakizoe: « [On his victory against Tamanoshima thanks to his speed] In my situation, whether I win or lose, I have to be quick. » Sanspo

Tamanoshima: « [On his early make-koshi] Today, I have no regrets left. I really had it coming. I should really get rid of that bad habit of mine: always wanting to pull on my opponent’s head. » Mainichi

Kotooshu: « [On his victory over Chiyotaikai] The Ozeki does pushing Sumo, so I was delighted at having forced a body-to-body combat. During my bout against the Yokozuna, I was so nervous I was unable to undertake any good move. This time around, I left all my nervousness in the changing room. [On his popularity in Bulgaria, reaching the point that the sport journals now report his feats] Well, let us not exaggerate, the journals still haven’t sent special correspondents here. Certainly, the news of my victories or defeats is widely reported in Bulgaria. But honestly, I would prefer they wouldn’t say a word about my defeats. (laughs) (In the bathroom, Asashoryu threw him an admiring “You were good, lad!”) » Sanspo

Chiyotaikai: « [On his defeat against Kotooshu] The moment I attacked, he grabbed my mawashi. He was extremely quick. Then, from the moment we were body-to-body I tried to do something of course, but against an expert … » Sanspo

Kokonoe Oyakata (Chiyotaikai’s master): « [On Chiyotaikai’s performance against Kotooshu] He was really bad. When someone grabs his mawashi, he turns into a veritable baby. » Mainichi

Iwakiyama: « [On his victory against Tochiazuma] I had a floating tachi-ai and after that I cannot remember any details of what happened. When I managed to get my right hand inside on his mawashi, I started running. [On his fear of losing by a tsukiotoshi (see earlier)] No, I wasn’t afraid of that. » Mainichi

Kyokushuzan: « [On his victory over Toyonoshima after a 2 minute bout] Usually, when a bout lasts longer than 20 seconds, I always lose. » Sanspo

Kisenosato: « [On the fact that he failed to grab Hayateumi’s mawashi. Was your opponent too fast?] Yes, it is certainly that. [On his bouts against Roho and even Kotooshu, whom he let get away at the edge of the dohyo] I am still hesitant when it comes to giving the final blow. [On the possibility of a make-koshi and the tears he shed when he lost a play-off in the Sandanme division] If such emotions surface, I will know how to be strong. (In the last tournament, Kisenosato became the 2nd youngest wrestler in history to get a kachi-koshi in makuuchi division) » Hochi

Naruto Oyakata (former Yokozuna Takanosato, Kisenosato’s master): « [On Kisenosato’s difficult tournament] You know, if he’d finish this tournament with a make-koshi, it would end up being a good thing in the end. In the January tournament of 1951 the future yokozuna Tochinishiki, then ranked Maegashira, started the tournament with a series of 7 defeats to finally link up 8 victories. This lad is of the exact same stock. You probably won’t find a young man of 18 years as serious as he is. I can tell you, he knows what honour is. » Hochi

Day 11

Hakuho: « [After losing to Kyokutenho, who surprised him with a henka] And to think that I have never seen him do henka in training… That said, I admit that my position was really too low at the tachi-ai. » Mainichi

Kyokutenho: « [On his less than shining victory over Hakuho, after taking a step to the left at the tachi-ai, considering that he lost his last two bouts] One way or the other, I wanted to reverse that trend. I started to picture this strategy as I climbed onto the dohyo. It is not really something I want to do, but well … » Mainichi
« [On his victory thanks to a sly henka] It wasn’t good Sumo, and I justly drew the boos of the audience. And yet I am a sort of man that does what he wants to do, but what do you want … » Sanspo

Kitanoumi Rijicho: « [On Hakuho’s defeat] He hastily assumed a position which was too low. » Mainichi

Asashoryu: « [On Hakuho’s defeat] He will have to seriously work on his tachi-ai. He lost, but he will surely remember this lesson. [On his victory over Kotonowaka by the fine technique of tottari (a throw by holding one opponent’s arm with both hands)] You know, the flow of the bout demanded it. I was simply focused. [On the possibility of winning his 10th yusho on the 12th day] I don’t think about that at all. I only worry about doing good Sumo. (Only the legendary yokozuna Futabayama ever won a yusho on the 12th day of a 15-day tournament. It was the summer tournament of 1939. But at that time, there was no play-off in case of equal scores, and the higher ranked wrestler would win the yusho. So, the wrestlers having 3 defeats during that summer tournament in 1939 couldn’t finish ahead of Futabayama) » Mainichi

Kotooshu: « [On his defeat against Tochiazuma, who prevented him from grabbing the mawashi] I can show my best basically only in body-to-body wrestling with a hold on the mawashi. I really have to work on fighting when my opponent gets a grip on my mawashi. » Mainichi

Tochiazuma: « [On his victory against Kotooshu, whom he faced for the first time] I feel that I have wrestled following the principles of my own Sumo. By letting my strength talk, I kept a good mental attitude and I always prevented him from obtaining a left overarm grip on the mawashi. [On his bout against Asashoryu tomorrow, at a time when he still lacks two victories to return to Ozeki] I have to apply my all. I think of every bout as the most important one. » Mainichi
« [On the possibility of Asashoryu winning the earliest yusho in history if he defeats him tomorrow and if Hakuho loses] Oh, really? That is the least of my worries. That has nothing to do with me, and I can only speak for myself. [Concerning the fact that he is the only wrestler in Makuuchi that has a positive score against Asashoryu (7 victories in 13 bouts)] I am his challenger. I am like an apprentice who trains with his senior Yokozuna. » Sanspo

Tamanoi Oyakata (Tochiazuma’s master and father): « [On his son’s condition] At the end of the tournament, with all the fatigue, I am worried that his muscles will not hold out. » Sanspo

Mihogaseki Oyakata (chief judge): « [On Tochiazuma who will fight Asashoryu on the morrow] As the tournament proceeds, we need the wrestlers who persevere with all their strength to contest the Yokozuna’s supremacy. I think there is a place for that. » Sanspo

Chiyotaikai: « [On his 6th victory in this tournament] My neck hurts, and since I do not have the results I am looking for, I am not really in a good mood. [On Chiyohakuho, who will be promoted to Juryo for the coming tournament] Like me, he was born on the isle of Kyushu and his shikona is fantastic. One thing you should know- he will soon surpass himself. » Sanspo
« [On the sixth victory of Chiyohakuho, Makushita 6, which assures him the promotion to Juryo] I am really delighted. I never stopped reminding him to remain attentive. His shikona is also great, you know. (The kanji of the shikona Chiyohakuho unites the kanji of Yokozuna Chiyonofuji (31 yusho) and Taiho (32 yusho).) » Mainichi

Miyabiyama: « [On his 4th defeat which definitively excludes him from the yusho race] I did think I could remain afloat in the yusho race, and that brought me a certain pleasure. Chiyotaikai was really in a foul mood today, and he punished me with unusual savageness. » Mainichi
« [On the punishment dished out by Chiyotaikai] I can tell you it hurts! Today he was visibly in a bad mood and had a wicked desire to win. » Sanspo

Takamisakari: « [On his defeat against Wakanosato, who hails from Aomori prefecture like him] When we were children, we already fought one against the other. In a tournament, it was in a bout against him that I seriously injured my knee, so I can tell you I was motivated for this bout. I have a scar to remind me of it every day. » Mainichi

Hayateumi: « [On his close victory over Roho, given to him after the judges’ deliberation] Ah, I really didn’t want to fight one more time. While they debated, I didn’t think at all about the bout we had just finished, and I wanted to throw myself on my bout of the day after tomorrow even if I had to surrender this one. » Mainichi

Kyokushuzan: « [On his series of 7 victories] In Makuuchi, I was never able to really shine. On the level of Sumo, this kachi-koshi is really a good thing, but as far as my master’s degree in telecommunications is concerned, I am not yet at the level of writing the reports. (Kyokushuzan was admitted to Waseda University to pursue correspondence courses) » Mainichi

Kotomitsuki: « [On his victory over Iwakiyama by a kotenage (arm-lock throw)] My body whirled amazingly at the end. Today I could continually attack. I am finally in harmony with my deepest self. » Mainichi
« [On his Sumo against Iwakiyama] Recently I have adopted a style that forces me to get a body-to-body position with my left hand holding the mawashi with an underarm grip. As he is quite thicker than me, I was satisfied to just get into him, that great pile. » Sanspo

Kasugao: « [On his early kachi-koshi] I would never have believed I could reach kachi-koshi so quickly. I am really delighted. From now on, I will face each bout at a time. [On the yusho race] I can tell you that this yusho already belongs to the Yokozuna. As far as I am concerned, I still have 4 important bouts to fight. In a tournament, I always want to spend all my strength. » Sanspo

Kisenosato: « [On his score bordering on make-koshi] I intend to use this victory to start my revival from the twelfth day on. » Sanspo

Day 12

Tochiazuma: « [On Asashoryu’s talent] I take my hat off to him, he is two, or even three levels above me. His technique, his speed, his power are on another level. It is a given that he is totally above us. [On his strategy against Asashoryu] Above all I intended to prevent him from getting his favourite left hand on my mawashi. [On the last days of his tournament] I can tell you that I certainly intend to fight with determination. I still need two more wins. » Mainichi
« [On his performance against Asashoryu] Ah, I did all that I could, but I was never in a position to control the proceedings. Contrary to what I expected, he attacked me on his right side. There is nothing else to say but that the Yokozuna is two, or even three levels above everyone. In my opinion, he will probably win a zensho yusho (15-0). [On the 10 victories he needs to return to Ozeki rank] I do not worry that much about those 10 victories. If I could still manage to do my own Sumo, that would be a good thing. » Sanspo

Kitanoumi rijicho: « [On the bout between Asashoryu and Tochiazuma] In this bout, the opportunist Tochiazuma who never stops attacking didn’t have an opportunity to do anything. » Mainichi

Asashoryu: « [On his bout against Tochiazuma] I was quite quick when I took control of the bout. It is surely because I was very focused. [On the possibility of winning the yusho today] What interests me is to do good Sumo until the end of the tournament. » Mainichi
« [On his performance against Tochiazuma, his nemesis] Today, I really did good Sumo. As he lately was getting an upper hand against me, I was well aware that this bout was of great importance. Since I lifted the upper part of my body, I thought I should grab his mawashi. It was really dictated by the flow of the bout. But it was difficult to do it. [On his form, with the lack of training] Since I am receiving treatment for the pain in my neck, I think it will be fine. This recovery is dragging on a bit longer than I thought. [On the wrestlers in this tournament] I believe that everyone is in quite bad form. Take a look at what I did to them, even though I am not on my usual form. I don’t know what more to add. [On the prospect of becoming the 13th wrestler to have won ten or more yusho if he wins against Wakanosato tomorrow] I am not thinking about that. I only wish to do good Sumo until the end. It is always the same thing for me. I consider a tournament as a whole and don’t relax. » Sanspo

Hakuho: « [On his recovery after his lightning-quick defeat against Kyokutenho] I returned to my room, and immediately went to sleep. That made me forget everything. [On his 9th victory which was achieved by placing both his arms under those of his opponent’s] I would never have thought that I could win by getting both arms in so skilfully. [On his goal in this tournament] My parents are coming to see me fight on the final day, and I want to show them good things. » Mainichi

Chiyotaikai: « [On his level 6-6 score when he yet has to face Wakanosato and Asashoryu] It is hard, this level score. But the hardest part is yet to come, I know that. » Mainichi

Kakizoe: « [On his victory over Chiyotaikai] It was I alone who determined the outcome of this bout. Naturally, when I grabbed the Ozeki’s body, I wanted to test my strength. This bout really pleased me, ‘cause I did it my way. My Sumo was great. » Mainichi

Miyabiyama: « [On his return to form after the setback he suffered yesterday] Yesterday evening, I went out with some of the heya’s young recruits who had also lost their bouts, to refresh our minds with the aid of several drinks. All of a sudden, I felt in the best form and the tsuppari didn’t disturb me at all. » Mainichi
« [On his victory over Iwakiyama] I didn’t care if I might fall down, the important thing was to move forward. I am relieved to have achieved my kachi-koshi. From now on, I will be able to peacefully enjoy my sake. (laughs) [On the fact that he will be Sekiwake for the 4th consecutive time] Eh, it is starting to be long, isn’t it? (laughs) » Sanspo

Ama: « [On his victory against Tokitsuumi] I managed to resist Tokitsuumi’s pulls. My vertebrae hurt, but tomorrow I face Asasekiryu and, believe me, I really do not want to give him any advantage. » Mainichi

Kisenosato: « [On his series of victories since he found himself with his back against the wall with 7 defeats] I was quick with my movements. Whether I lose or win, I want to do Sumo that agrees with me. » Mainichi

Takamisakari: « [On his first victory over Takanowaka in 6 bouts] Since I never beat him before, I can tell you that I am in seventh heaven right now. [On the fact that he already has 7 defeats] When I think of the victory I need at all costs, I put too much pressure on myself and I feel strange. So I have decided to fight without thinking too much. » Mainichi

Kokkai: « [On his 3rd consecutive make-koshi] I fight while thinking too much of my situation in the tournament. I really should change. » Mainichi

Kotonowaka: « [On his victory over Kokkai] I intended to get a morozashi (hold on the mawashi with both hands, with the arms underneath the opponent’s). At the tachi-ai, the possibility of a henka had crossed my mind, but as I already did it against him in the previous tournament, I abandoned that idea. » Mainichi

Dejima: « [On his kachi-koshi although he seriously injured his left calf in the previous tournament] I am very satisfied with this kachi-koshi. I will be able to relax, and to speak again with my fiancée, my future wife. » Mainichi

Kasugao: « [On his remaining in the yusho race] Since I got this far, I owe it to myself to continue in the best way possible. I am not thinking of the yusho, but I am simply trying to do my Sumo. » Mainichi

Kyokutenho: « [On his kachi-koshi] I had an excellent start to the tournament with a 6-1 score, and in the second part I am happy to get 2 victories, but when I think about it, even that is not terrible. » Sanspo

Day 13

Asashoryu: « [On his bout against Wakanosato, which he won in spite of turning his back to his opponent] You know, I was glad to get out of that nasty corner so quickly. In a similar situation, usually it’s certain defeat, right? [On his tenth yusho] Ah, they are starting to accumulate nicely. [On his motivation for this bout upon realising that he had won his 10th yusho] I admit I had relaxed somewhat. But afterwards, I told myself I should get back to the real me. [On his dream in Sumo] My idol remains Taiho Oyakata (former Yokozuna Taiho, who won 32 yusho). Now that I have fulfilled my first dream (achieving a double-digit number of yusho), I would love to accomplish the second. I would like to have a long career, in which I can continue producing pleasing Sumo that delights the spectators. (Needing only 14 tournaments since his 1st yusho to win his 10th, Asashoryu beat the record set by Taiho, who needed 15 tournaments to achieve the same feat in the 1960s) » Sanspo
« [On his performance against Wakanosato] It is clear that on the level of sumo quality I’ve lost this bout, but well, I defeated him on the level of mind, which remains the most important thing. [On the fact that he is alone in the world at the moment, without a shadow of rival on the horizon] I truly wish for the other wrestlers to persevere and improve. [On the fact that he beat Taiho’s record of quickness in winning 10 yusho] You know, it will be a pleasure for me to phone him and tell him so. » Mainichi

Takasago oyakata (Asashoryu’s master): « [On Asashoryu who is wrestling under lack of training] His Sumo is far from being perfect. But he manages to dispose of his opponents, simply thanks to his ability to focus and his quickness. » Sanspo

Kitanoumi rijicho: « [On Asashoryu’s tournament] He is producing good Sumo. I am pleased that he won both his bout and the yusho. With the exception of his bout today, his Sumo was close to perfection. I want him to carry on with the same energy and to achieve a zensho yusho. » Sanspo

Kokonoe oyakata (former Yokozuna Chiyonofuji [31 yusho]): « [On Asashoryu’s performance this tournament] His Sumo was lively. But that is more or less all… He was manhandled on many occasions. It is clear that he has exhibited carelessness. This is also the case with my Chiyotaikai. » Sanspo

Chiyotaikai: « [On his seventh victory in this tournament] I knew I had to start with my tsuppari immediately from the tachi-ai to force a distance between my opponent and myself. If he had managed to seize my mawashi, I would have been lost. [On Wakanosato who is his opponent for tomorrow and whom he dominated 18 times in 22 bouts] I think that if I manage to let my power talk, everything should end up well. » Sanspo
« [On his strategy against Roho] I was cautious of a henka at the tachi-ai, but I came in with my head anyway. » Mainichi

Tochiazuma: « [On his 9th victory in this tournament, won this time against Kakizoe] As my opponent was in the position, I watched his movements carefully. Although I didn’t manage to take hold of my opponent, in the final analysis I did produce my own Sumo. [On the fact that he is one victory away from the historic feat, his second return to the Ozeki rank] I continue to approach the bouts one at a time. I think solely of performing my own Sumo, and if I do that I feel good. The rest has no significance for me. » Sanspo
« [On his victory over Kakizoe] I lead this bout with my rhythm. [On the impossible bet he is gearing up to win] I do not think of that. As I already said, my goal is to manage to wrestle for all these 15 days. (Tochiazuma had watched Chiyotaikai’s bout from the changing rooms and jumped with joy on seeing him win it) » Mainichi

Kyokutenho: « [On his defeat against Miyabiyama] Today, my mind was not in the bout. I imagine I still haven’t recovered from the joy of securing my kachi-koshi last night. » Sanspo

Miyabiyama: « [On his bout against Asashoryu tomorrow] Tomorrow, I want to do forward-moving Sumo against him. We will have a lot of fun. If I should defeat him, I would have 10 victories on my scoreboard and in that case a prize should not pass me by. That is something I’d really love to achieve. [On the fact that he never managed to win 12 bouts in a tournament since the Nagoya tournament last year] Oh, will you stop teasing me with that?? » Mainichi

Kotomitsuki: « [On his defeat against Takamisakari, his rival at Nichidai. Are you disappointed?] Yeah, you could say that! I am frustrated, mostly because I really was very focused during this bout. » Sanspo

Takamisakari: « [On the presence of cameras in the changing rooms] What is going on here? This is not normal. Ah, I see, Tochiazuma has probably won his bout. I understand it better now. One more victory and he will be an Ozeki. That is your favourite. » Mainichi

Asasekiryu: « [On a basketball match between the Mongolian students and the 6 Mongolian Sekitori, organised at the end of last year] We have all gained weight since our entry into Sumo, and our movements were slow. Between us, only the Yokozuna was still as quick as lightning in that match. (Driven by Asashoryu playing the lead position, the Mongolian sekitori had won the match) » Sanspo

Ama: « [On his victory over his compatriot Asasekiryu, also securing him the kachi-koshi] I could return a favour to my senior. When I look at Hakuho and the Yokozuna, I end up frustrated seeing that although I train as they do I don’t have as much success. But well, I am only 20 years old, still young. I intend to do good Sumo and persevere. » Mainichi

Iwakiyama: « [On the fact that he handed Asashoryu his 10th yusho today by defeating Hakuho] Oh, you know, my victory didn't change a thing there. The deed was already done since the Yokozuna will not lose one bout. [On the fact that he is one victory away from a kachi-koshi and a possible return to Sanyaku] Hmm, this is starting to feel as good as rice gruel. » Sanspo

Hakuho: « [On Asashoryu winning the yusho before even having to fight] The yusho is already decided? Oh really? My defeat was such a waste! Be it as it may, tomorrow is another day. » Mainichi

Jumonji: « [On his 9th victory, when he never had 10 victories in a Makuuchi tournament] You know, this is the first time I have 9 victories after the 13th day. Never before did I find myself in such a situation. I never even seriously thought of a prize. » Mainichi

Kasugao: « [On his 3rd defeat, delivering the yusho to Asashoryu] I wasn’t thinking about the yusho race. From now on, I will summon all my strength in an attempt to achieve a double-digit score. » Mainichi

Kotooshu: « [On his victory over Shimotori thanks to an imposing throw where his leg was very high and his head very low] I thought my face would touch the dohyo. » Mainichi

Tokitsuumi: « [On his 4th victory in this tournament] You know, at this time, I don't have enough ego to win the bouts. My worry is that my body has become soft. » Mainichi

Day 14

Tochiazuma: « [On his historic performance, - with this tenth victory he became the first wrestler in history who managed to return to the rank of Ozeki for a second time] Oh yes, I did that! After seeing Hell twice, now I am able to defy it. [On his achievement in spite of his still injured shoulder] In Sumo, your victory as well as your defeat largely depends on your fighting spirit. What I’ve done simply emanated from my duty as a wrestler. [On the reasons that pushed him last July to proclaim he would retire if he didn’t manage to regain his Ozeki rank] I only said that because of the nature of the injury to my left shoulder at the time. (His Oyakata and father had smothered the fire by declaring that his son still had some good years of Sumo before him.)» Mainichi
« [On his tumultuous Ozeki career] I don’t know how many times I will have to face this type of challenge. In any case, do not count on me to show you a face moved to tears. » Sanspo
« [On the pressure he was under to perform this historic deed] As I made my first step at the tachi-ai, I did think about it. But afterwards, I was completely immersed in my bout, and had forgotten what was at stake. » Hochi

Tamanoi Oyakata (Tochiazuma’s master and father): « (Interviewed before Tochiazuma’s bout) [On his son’s chances of becoming the first Ozeki to regain his rank twice] In comparison to the Nagoya tournament, his physical condition has noticeably worsened. He is only one victory away from that feat, and I can tell you he is motivated as never before. You know, I know him well, that man. » Mainichi

Kitanoumi Rijicho: « [On Tochiazuma’s historic achievement] Generally speaking, when you lose your place on the banzuke and all the advantages that come with it, your morale takes a blow and also drops, which then reflects on your Sumo. He overcame all that on two occasions. That fills me with respect! I would never have believed it possible. » Mainichi

Asashoryu: « [On his performance in this tournament where he could take his 3rd zensho yusho] I wasn’t really on top of my game in this tournament, but well, compared to the previous tournament I have compensated for that by focusing during the bouts. [About the Osaka tournament in March, where he also managed a zensho yusho (15-0) last year] My only wish is to succeed in showing good Sumo. » Mainichi
« [On his situation, completely dominating this tournament] I have already forgotten that I have the yusho in my pocket, and you know, I always let myself be carried by the flow of the bouts. What was characteristic of my Sumo In this tournament was the extent of my focus. My motivation never changes. » Sanspo

Miyabiyama: « [On his defeat against Asashoryu] When I raised myself at the tachi-ai, I hesitated slightly thinking it was a false start. [On Asashoryu’s still unbroken winning streak] Ah, I would have so liked to stop his streak! » Mainichi
« [On Asashoryu’s performance against him, concluded by a pull on the head] The Yokozuna pushed me to specifically put me in a low position, and then, with excellent timing, he profited from my left leg slipping. » Sanspo

Chiyotaikai: « [On his victory against Wakanosato, which allows him to remain an Ozeki] I was really motivated today, but I managed to remain calm on the dohyo. [On his sadness in this tournament, when he hinted of retirement after the injury to his neck] I don’t wish to evoke that sort of memory … But well, the main thing is my happiness today. » Mainichi
« [On his state of mind] Today I wanted my strength to talk, whatever the cost. My neck hurt, so when I threw the salt I attempted to make that pain abstract. I climbed the dohyo intent on not having to fight tomorrow for a way out of this situation. (Chiyotaikai’s opponent for tomorrow is none other than Asashoryu!)» Sanspo

Kotonowaka: « [On his defeat against Hakuho] I have a feeling that my knee pulled a nasty trick on me … I was particularly motivated for this bout, but that was not perceivable in my Sumo which was quite transparent. » Mainichi

Hakuho: « [On his 10th victory in this tournament] Oh, I am crazy with joy. I wanted to do a little extra in this tournament. [On his bout tomorrow, where he will go for a possible promotion in the March tournament] I am not tired at all, and I will tell you that tomorrow I will go all the way. » Mainichi

Takamisakari: « [On his make-koshi] You know, there was nothing I could have done. I have unfortunately lost. [On the injury inside his mouth] It is a little injury, nothing really serious. I owe it to myself to return. » Mainichi

Kotomitsuki: « [On his make-koshi, for the first time after 3 kachi-koshi tournaments] If I had fought as if my life depended on it, I would have been satisfied now. If I had applied myself twice rather than once, I would have been the one in seventh heaven. I have a reason to be disappointed, believe me. » Mainichi

Kotooshu: « [On his kachi-koshi] I am really satisfied. [On his Sumo] I have tested several styles in training, but I always go back to the position where I get a left underarm grip on my opponent’s mawashi. [On his chances of promotion to Sanyaku in the next tournament] We will talk about it again if I win tomorrow. » Mainichi

Tosanoumi: « [On his make-koshi] What a disappointment! As I observed his tachi-ai, my legs remained planted in the back. I know I am 32 years old, but I want to continue doing a young man’s Sumo. » Mainichi

Shimotori: « [Now that you have secured the kachi-koshi, you probably can take care of your marriage next month without worries?] Yes, that is right. [Are you mad with joy?] Oh, yeah, you could say that! » Mainichi

Ama: « [On his withdrawal from the tournament, with a lower-back pain] At the moment, I hurt so much I cannot walk. I am glad to have had the time to get my kachi-koshi. » Sanspo

Day 15

Kitanoumi Rjicho: « [On Hakuho who managed 11 victories this tournament] His eleven victories seem like a solid performance. It is a good start, I think. [On a possibility of promotion to Ozeki after the coming tournament] There are real possibilities. (Kitanoumi hints that Hakuho’s 12-3 while ranked at Maegashira 1 wouldn’t be taken in account.) » Toonippo
« [On Asashoryu’s attitude at the end of this tournament] I admire his professionalism, which allowed him to remain focused until the end of the tournament. » Mainichi
« [On Asashoryu’s performance this tournament] He had the yusho in his pocket on the 13th day, but he didn’t relax and went after that zensho yusho. He has delivered us a significant yusho. He ended up alone in the world in this tournament, while those like Kaio and Wakanosato whose promotion we awaited disappointed us. » Sanspo

Oshiogawa Oyakata (chief judge): « [On a possibility of promotion to Ozeki for Hakuho in March, even though he was a Maegashira last November] That would seem utterly normal. It is a completely natural overall view. » Toonippo

Asashoryu: «[On his slow tachi-ai against Chiyotaikai] That was because I attentively observed my opponent. [On the pressure to complete his 3rd zensho yusho] This is not the first time I find myself in this situation, and I adore this type of pressure surrounding a bout. [On his tournament] I was focused from the beginning of the tournament till the end, looking to get the victories one after the other. It was very pleasant to do so. (In this bout, Asashoryu set a new record pocketing 44 kensho. The previous record was 40 kensho and that also was for a bout on the last day between him and Chiyotaikai in the Natsu basho of 2004.) » Mainichi
« [On his longest winning streak which stopped at 35 bouts last year] It is one of my goals for this year. This won’t be my first run, and I will rely on my experience from last year to improve myself. » Sanspo

Chiyotaikai: « [On his bout against Asashoryu, who ended up behind his back] I thought of launching a counter-attack, but he already got me nicely. » Sanspo

Takasago Oyakata (Asashoryu’s master): « [On Asashoryu] The zensho yusho is certainly a magnificent result, but I would want him to distinctly improve in his deeds and gestures outside the dohyo. I want him to stop causing talk with his escapades, and to become a Yokozuna whom the people will adore. » Mainichi

Kotooshu: « [On his victory over Jumonji by an arm-lock throw (kotenage)] My Sumo today was a bit too risky. But, for a debut in the higher part of the banzuke, I would say I came through very well with 9 victories. I am truly content. [On his best memory in this tournament] My victory over Ozeki Chiyotaikai was without a doubt my best bout this tournament. [On Hakuho who beat him on the 12th day] From now on he is my rival. » Mainichi
« [On his tournament] I am pleased to have managed to win 9 wins. [On promotion to Sanyaku in March] Hmm, I would say I have a chance, even a good chance. In any case, I intend to double my efforts in training. » Sanspo

Hakuho: « [On his victory by a frontal push-out (oshi-dashi) over Takamisakari] I didn’t expect to defeat him like that. I am delighted to have received the technique prize. This really is a good day! (Hakuho’s parents were present in Kokugikan today) [On his next tournament in Osaka in March, where he can already try for a promotion to the rank of Ozeki] I will go fighting with a knife in my teeth to tear out the 11 or 12 victories I need. » Sanspo

Kakizoe: « [On his kachi-koshi earned by beating Shimotori] Really, I have finally got this eighth victory. And you guys tell me, how many of you really believed that? » Sanspo

Tochiazuma: « [On his tournament which he finished with 11 victories], I have finally managed to fulfil the goal I set for myself, which was to finish fifteen days of fighting. I am proud to have succeeded. On the other hand, my body is a mess. » Sanspo

Toyonoshima: « [On his kachi-koshi decided on the final day] When I suffered my 7th defeat on the 13th day, I could no longer sleep a wink at night. I am truly happy. » Sanspo

Iwakiyama: « [On his return to Sanyaku in the coming tournament. In his first tournament as a Komusubi, he debuted with a series of 7 defeats and immediately returned to Maegashira] During this tournament, when I came out of the changing-rooms, I was terribly nervous, I even had palpitations. I won today and I am glad, but this time around I hope to have a good tournament in Osaka. » Mainichi