Ozeki Terunofuji got his yokozuna promotion bid off to a winning start on Sunday at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament, where returning grand champion Hakuho also earned a narrow win.

Terunofuji, who celebrated his return to ozeki in May with his second straight Emperor's Cup, dispatched a tricky opponent in No. 1 maegashira Endo, a title contender until the final day in May. Endo charged low and cautiously kept him off the long reaches of Terunofuji, but the ozeki was undeterred and used his superior frame to steer Endo to the edge before forcing the rank-and-filer out at Dolphins Arena, tying their head-to-head record at five wins apiece.

Hakuho, back after missing all or part of the past six tournaments, was tested throughout by debutant komusubi Meisei but also came out on top. With his surgically repaired right knee and both feet strapped, Hakuho battled Meisei to a standstill after the charge. It came down to a throwing battle near the edge, where Hakuho won it with a slick hooking inner thigh throw.

Ozeki Takakeisho, who beat Terunofuji on the final day in May but lost to him in a championship playoff, came out on top after trading shoves with January champion Daieisho. Takakeisho was gradually backing off against the No. 1 rank-and-filer but had enough room to pull off a beltless arm throw.

Ozeki Shodai was at his bullish best as he barged into No. 2 maegashira Takanosho and forced him out in a comprehensive win.

Sekiwake Takayasu, who went 10-5 in the last two tournaments, is sidelined with lower back pain. Although his stablemaster Tagonoura said he could be back in action sometime during the tournament, his chance for re-promotion to ozeki, normally requiring 33 wins over three straight tournaments, is all but gone.

The other sekiwake, Mitakeumi, fighting at the sport's third-highest rank for the first time in 15 tournaments, succumbed to giant Ichinojo after the No. 2 smothered his opponent at the initial charge.

Komusubi Wakatakakage, who earned his first promotion to the three "sanyaku" ranks below yokozuna, created chances to win but fell to No. 3 Hokutofuji.

Makuuchi debutant and No. 17 Ichiyamamoto marked his promotion to the top tier with a win, courtesy of a rare backward belt throw against No. 16 Ishiura.

Nagoya Basho: Day 1 Makuuchi Results