But it’s time, here at the Kokugikan, for his first match of the hatsu basho , the first grand tournament of the year. Rikishi in sumo’s top division wrestle once per day during the 15-day derby; whoever has the best record at the end of the final day wins the Emperor’s Cup. Hakuho opens against Tochiozan, a Japanese komusubi — the fourth-highest ranking, three tiers below yokozuna . Tochiozan is known for outmuscling his opponents by gripping their loincloth, the mawashi . The wrestlers squat at their marks. The referee stands between them in shining purple robes, holding his war fan up. The crowd calls Hakuho’s name. There’s a roar as the fighters lunge for one another. Nothing Hakuho does looks difficult. He spins slightly out of the way as Tochiozan grabs, unsuccessfully, for his mawashi . Then he uses his rotation as a windup to smash the other wrestler in the chest. Tochiozan staggers back, and Hakuho presses the advantage — one shove, two, three, and now Tochiozan is over the barrier, the referee pointing his war fan toward Hakuho’s side to indicate victory. The entire match lasts four seconds.