A yokozuna (grand champion) showdown will decide the championship on the final day of the New Years Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo.
Takanohana, seeking his 21st tournament title, won his 14th straight bout, beating ozeki Dejima.
Fellow yokozuna Musashimaru (Waianaes Fiamalu Penitani) was at 13-1 after overwhelming ozeki Kaio.
The two yokozuna will meet in the tournaments final bout. Musashimaru needs to beat Takanohana to force a wrestle off for the title.
Dejima nearly pushed out Takanohana off the initial charge, but the yokozuna forced his opponent back, then out of the ring.
Musashimaru had won his first 12 matches before losing to Wakanosato. Against Kaio, Musashimaru, who has won eight Emperors Cups, grabbed the ozekis belt and walked him backward out of the ring.
[back to top]