Popular maegashira Endo sentenced Kakuryu to a shock first defeat on his debut as yokozuna with a riveting performance at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday.
Endo (3-1) wasted no time in putting Kakuryu on his back foot with a flurry of neck thrusts and then went in for the kill, yanking the Mongolian around before sending him flying into the ringside cushions.
The other two yokozuna in the makuuchi division — Harumafuji and Hakuho — came through with wins, but ozeki pair Kisenosato and Kotoshogiku both suffered upset defeats.
Hakuho shares the lead at 4-0 with maegashira Aminsihiki, Takayasu and Kitataiki.
Looking like a strong contender for his 29th title even at this early stage of the 15-day meet, Hakuho blasted out third-ranked Chiyotairyu (1-3), while Harumafuji (3-1) had little trouble in forcing out fellow Mongolian Kyokutenho (0-4).
Bulgarian Aoiyama produced the day’s first shock against Kisenosato but fully deserved his first win. The No. 1 maegashira gained a slight edge with a quick attack at the charge that Kisenosato had no answer for.
Aminishiki produced a technically sound performance to see off Kotoshogiku (2-2), yanking the ozeki toward him before slipping aside to dump him over the edge of the ring.
It was a good day for sumo’s third-highest rank of sekiwake as Goeido (3-1) bumped out komusubi Chiyootori (1-3) and Tochiozan shoved komusubi Yoshikaze (1-3) out from behind to level his score at 2-2.
In the lower ranks, Egyptian No. 10 maegashira Osunaarashi got thrown to a second loss by eighth-ranked Takayasu.