Kakuryu won his fourth championship last Sunday. It was the yokozuna's first Emperor's Cup in eight tournaments and the relief on his face was visible as he accepted a stack of kensho (prize money) envelopes after downing Goeido on day 14 to take the title.
In fact, he was so happy that we had the rare sight of a yokozuna fist-bumping a spectator on his way back to the dressing room. Kakuryu confirmed as much in his post-tournament press conference, laughing that he had never felt so good waking up as he did the morning after taking the title.
The extent of the yokozuna's desire to win — especially after his collapse in the last basho — could be seen in his reversion to old pulling habits. Six wins by hatakikomi (slap down), even allowing for the fact that he was injured, is not a good look for a yokozuna. That's always been a feature of Kakuryu's sumo though. When under pressure, he reverts to bad habits.