POST Kyushu 2019
That's it, the last basho of 2019 is in the books, 34 y.o Hakuho won the cup for the 43rd time but the young generation did well overall, two of its members fought almost until the end for most wins during the year.
Takakeisho Mitsunobu (23) - Chiganoura beya
Highest rank : Ozeki 1 Yusho, 3 Jun Yusho , 8 special prizes (3 Gino-sho, 3 Shukun-sho , 2 Kanto-sho) 3 kinboshi
175 cm 169 kg Favourite style : Tsuki-Oshi
Record O2E 9-6 After his pectoral muscle injury at the end of last basho many of us questioned Takakeisho's choice not to take surgery, then later to enter the basho with so little training and with so little time taken to heal. The little man proved everybody wrong yet again and won 9, showing dominant sumo at times. We could argue that he "only" won 9 (so lost 6) with so many top guys out, but at least he was out there competing, secured a KK, and didn't get injured this time. Overall a positive basho for him.
Mitakeumi Hisashi (26) - Dewanoumi-beya
Highest rank: Sekiwake 2 Yusho, 8 Special prizes (2 Gino-sho, 5 Shukun-sho ,1 Kanto-sho) 2 kinboshi
180 cm, 177 kg Favourite style : Tsuki-Oshi
S1E 6-9 Mitakeumi is the young prospect who had the most on the line this time after his second yusho last basho. Once again he had a chance to realize his dream to become Ozeki and, once again, failed miserably. Not only did he failed to get the double digits he needed but he the failed to secure 9 to keep at least a bit of hope, failed to secure KK, and barely lost to Abi on Senshuraku for his 9th loss meaning his incredible sanyaku streak is very likely to come to an end. To his defense, Mitakeumi didn't look healthy at all and he probably wasn't. He didn't look the same after that head injury sustained against Meisei on day 3, his leg movement wasn't great so I suspect his leg was bothering him as well. It was a relatively good year for him as he stayed in Sanyaku all 6 basho and won one but that ending was terrible and anticlimatic. Hopefully he'll be back next year healthy and ready to bounce back.
Asanoyama Hideki (25)- Takasago-beya
Highest Rank: Komusubi 1 Yusho, 1 Jun-Yusho, 6 special prizes ( 2 Shukun-Sho, 1 Gino-sho 3 Kanto-sho) 1 kinboshi
188 cm 171 kg Favourite style : Migi yotsu-yori
K2W 11-4 JG After his 10-5 performance as a M2 last basho, the banzuke committee took the decision to create two more komusubi slots and Asanoyama finally made his sanyaku debut. He didn't dissapoint, getting 11 wins, his first jun-yusho, his first gino-sho, and clinching the record of most wins in 2019 while producing ozeki-level sumo. The only regret Asanoyama can have is that loss against Shodai on senshuraku that would have improved his record to 12-3 and his ozeki chances at the same time, but the future is very bright for him, I wouldn't be surprised to see him promoted to the second highest rank next year.
Abi Masatora (25)- Shikoroyama beya
Highest rank: Komusubi 2 kanto-sho 2 kinboshi
185 cm 152 kg favourite style : Tsuki/oshi
K1E 9-6 Things didn't look too good before the basho for Abi who was warned by the kyokai following an idiotic instagram post, luckily for him he wasn't suspended but his stupidity led to a SNS ban not only for him for everybody else... Still, Abi responded with another strong performance on the dohyo, securing 9 wins, his 6th KK of the year (the only rikishi with a KK all 6 basho this year), and therefore assuring his place in sanyaku for the 4th straight basho. Abi also finished second to Asanoyama for most wins this year.
Hokutofuji Daiki (27) Hakkaku-Beya
Highest rank : Komusubi 1 Jun-Yusho 1 Gino-sho 6 kinboshi
183cm 161 kg favourite style : Oshi
K2E 7-8 Just like Asanoyama, Hokutofuji was the beneficiary of one of the two extra komusubi slots created before the basho. Unlike Asanoyama though, Hokutofuji couldn't capitalize on this opportunity to start a run. The change of mawashi worked again as Hokutofuji won 3 of his last 4 but he had already lost 5 in row before that and it was already too late. Overall a disappointing basho from him although he produced some really good bouts as always (like his loss to Endo on day 8 for instance.)
Daieisho Hayato (26) Oitekaze-beya
Highest rank M1E 1 Shukun-Sho 2 kinboshi
182 cm 160 Kg Style : Oshi-tsuki
M1E 8-7 Another solid basho for the now 26 y.o at his highest rank ever, securing a 8-7 KK (though one of his wins is a fusen) and getting his second in two basho beating none other than Hakuho on day 2. Daieisho was the only rikishi capable of beating the GOAT and therefore earned his first Shukun-sho as well. Daieisho is no longer a rikishi without any accolades, and no longer a rikishi you should sleep on. He'll probably make his sanyaku debut next basho.
Tomokaze Yuta (24 ) Oguruma beya
Highest rank M3W 1 Shukun-Sho 2 Kinboshi
185 cm 181 kg Style : Tsuki oshi/ Hatakikomi
Nightmare basho for Tomokaze going down with a knee injury that will sideline him for at least a year. I wish him a full recovery and all the best for the future. He has the talent to come back, and hopefully he'll be back even stronger.
Meisei Chikara (24) Tatsunami beya
Highest rank M2W
179 cm 147 kg Style: Hidari yotsu-yori
M2W 6-9 Now 24 Meisei was back to the top of the banzuke and showed some good stuff at his highest rank ever, especially during the first week. He is a little green still and couldn't achieve KK, but he has talent and should be back soon.
Enho Akira (25) Miyagino beya
Highest rank M6W 1 Gino-sho
168 cm 98 kg Style : Acrobatic ninja ( hidari yotsu, shitatenage...)
M6W 8-7 The little guy made a big jump in the rankings after his performance last basho but still managed to get his KK on day 15 with a win against Daieisho - meaning he'll continue to climb the ranks. Enho benefited from the kyujo of many top guys and didn't face many guys ranked above him (only 4, one of them being the other M6) but he'll be ranked higher next basho and that will be a major test for him. I thought he was a little bit less inspired than usual but his shitatenage on Terutsuyoshi was a thing of beauty.
Shodai Naoya (28) Tokitsukaze-beya
Highest rank: Sekiwake 1Jun-yusho 3 Kanto-sho 1 Kinboshi
183 cm 167 kg Style : Migi Yotsu yori
M10W 11-4 JK At this low rank and at home Shodai did what was expected of him and bounced back from his terrible Aki performance racking up 11 wins (including a cool Uchari), getting his first jun-yusho, and his 3rd Kanto-sho with a win against Asanoyama on senshuraku. He should be back closer to the top next time, let's see if he can build up from this performance or if he'll get his ass beat again...
Onosho Fumiya (23) Oonomatsu- Beya
Highest rank : Komusubi 3 Kanto-sho 1 kinboshi
177cm 159 kg (-1) Style : Tsuki oshi
M6E 7-8 Another disappointing performance from Onosho, another MK and balance problems that are yet to be solved... No improvement whatsoever.
Yutakayama Ryota (26) Tokitsukaze Beya
Highest rank M2E 1 Jun Yusho, 1 Kanto-sho
184 cm 177 kg Style: Tsuki oshi
M9W 8-7 Ok performance from Yutakayama, second straight makuuchi KK, his sumo looked a bit more refined this basho but I think he can do better than 8-7.
Terutsuyoshi Shoki (24 ) Isegahama
Highest rank M9 E 1Jun yusho 1 Kanto-Sho
169 cm 116 kg Style : acrobatic ninja ( migi-maemitsu/nage )
M14E 8-7 Not his best basho for sure but Terutsuyoshi bounced back with a KK after his poor performance last time. He looked healthier too which is good to see.
Kagayaki Taishi (25 )Takadagawa
Highest rank M4w
M13W 10-5 Good performance from now 25 Kagayaki for a change, 10 wins ( well one of them was a fusen) let's see if it was not a fluke and if he can actually improve.
I dropped Yago and Takagenji who are down to juryo and underperforming there. Hopefully Kotonowaka and Kizakiumi will make the list soon, these guys are talented.