Mongolian ozeki Terunofuji turned the tables on komusubi Tochinoshin on Friday to grab sole possession of the lead on the sixth day of action at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.
Aiming for his second Emperor's Cup after winning his maiden championship title at the Summer Basho in May, Terunofuji watched overnight co-leader Tochiozan fall to his first loss and took full advantage with a clinical win to improve to 6-0 at Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Tochinoshin (2-4) worked Terunofuji toward the straw bales but the ozeki countered and spun the Georgian grappler around before bulldozing him over the edge.
Kakuryu, the only yokozuna competing in the 15-day basho following the withdrawals of Harumafuji and Hakuho due to injury, came back from the brink to see off komusubi Okinoumi (2-4) and is tied for second at 5-1 with Tochiozan, ozeki Kisenosato and rank-and-filers Ikioi and Sokokurai.
Kisenosato rebounded from his first defeat of the tournament in style against Osunaarashi (1-5), taking the Egyptian No. 2 maegashira down with a textbook uwatenage overarm throw.
Ozeki hopeful Tochiozan surrendered his share of first place after he was barged out by Mongolian giant Ichinojo (4-2).
Tochiozan went 10-5 in Nagoya in July, beating two yokozuna along the way.
But he will need to post double-digit wins again here to give himself a shot at promotion to ozeki at the next tournament in Kyushu in November.
In other bouts in the upper echelons of the top makuuchi division, ozeki Kotoshogiku gained the upper hand against Bulgarian-born No. 1 maegashira Aoiyama (1-5) and twisted him down to for a fourth win, but Goeido was upset by giant-killing No. 1 maegashira Yoshikaze.
Yoshikaze (4-2) used an oshitaoshi front push-down technique to floor the ozeki. He has now beaten two yokozuna and two ozeki at this tournament.