In the day's finale, Hakuho made mincemeat of rank-and-filer Tamawashi sending his opponent to the dohyo surface with a series of high-speed slaps for an 8-0 mark. Tamawashi, who slipped to 3-5, never knew what hit him.
The lone grand champion is seeking his 18th career Emperor's Cup here—a feat that would also make him only the third man in history to win six successive titles.
Ozeki pair Kotooshu and Baruto trail in a group of five wrestlers, one behind the leader, at 7-1.
Bulgarian Kotooshu overpowered Kisenosato (5-3) in a relentless attack, getting his left hand on the back of the sekiwake's mawashi and muscling him over the straw bales.
Estonian behemoth Baruto gave Homasho a wallop to the head with an elbow out of the crouch and abruptly sent the No. 4 maegashira over the ridge with a series of hard shoves.
Veteran warhorse Kaio, meanwhile, gave his fans a thrill when he grabbed Russian Aran (3-5) on the outside of the mawashi and grinded the No. 3 maegashira over the edge to improve to 5-3.
Demotion-threatened Harumafuji moved two wins from saving his ozeki rank after taking Mongolian countryman Tokusegawa (5-3) out of the ring with a lift out maneuver.
In an earlier bout, 36-year-old Tochinonada, a 16th-ranked maegashira who had shared the lead with Hakuho until the seventh day, was sent to his first defeat when he retreated after a hard hit at the face-off from Shotenro (5-3).
Aminishiki (3-5) made quick work of Georgian Tochinoshin (1-7) with a thrust out maneuver while Mongolian Kakuryu (4-4) won a battle of komusubi, sumo's fourth-highest rank, slapping down Tochiozan (2-6).
Kotoshogiku (7-1) mowed down little-man Toyonoshima, who fell awkwardly over the edge to his seventh defeat.
Sumo's court jester Takamisakari had no chance against the roly-poly Gagamaru, who steamrolled over his opponent for a frontal force out in a lopsided affair. Both men are at 3-5.