Kisenosato crashed to a second defeat at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament after the yokozuna was upset by top-ranked maegashira Endo on the fourth day of action on Wednesday.
Kisenosato, who is aiming for a third straight title, was made to pay for not finishing Endo off at Ryogoku Kokugikan and dropped two wins off the pace.
Fellow yokozuna Hakuho and Harumafuji both won to share the lead along with sekiwake Takayasu at 4-0 at the 15-day meet, but yokozuna Kakuryu fluffed his lines again and dropped to 1-3.
Kisenosato, who is recovering from left upper arm and chest injuries sustained at the Spring Basho in March, missed a golden opportunity to take Endo down after the maegashira lost his footing at the center of the ring.
Instead of pulling him down by the back of the neck, he allowed Endo (2-2) to surge forward and shunt him over the straw bales.
In the day’s final bout, Hakuho bided his time before resorting to brute strength to bump out second-ranked maegashira Okinoumi (0-4) and stay perfect.
Harumafuji made short work of Chiyonokuni (1-3), the Mongolian easily blasting out the top-ranked maegashira to retain his share of the lead.
But Kakuryu crashed to a third defeat, the retreating yokozuna stepping out of the ring in the face of a strong attack from komusubi Yoshikaze (3-1).
Yoshikaze claimed his second yokozuna upset of the tournament following an opening-day win over Kisenosato.