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On 3/9/2018 at 14:25, Yubinhaad said:

Kitajin-oyakata (former Sekiwake Kirinji) celebrates his 65th birthday today, the mandatory retirement age, and has retired from the Kyokai. He isn't staying on for the extra five years as a consultant - I think due to health reasons - and his myoseki is vacant now.

He certainly looks like he has been unwell, probably during 2016. A stroke possibly. 

Kitajin.jpg

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That stable (Nishonoseki) has been rather unlucky in recent times with Nishonoseki himself suffering a stroke and being in a coma over a long period.

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Posted (edited)

Futagoyama Oyakata (ex-Miyabiyama) has left Fujishima beya and will open his own heya-Futagoyama Beya on April 1st, it was announced today by the rijikai. He will be taking five deshi with him:  Sandanme 98 Tainaka (7 bashos), Jonidan 5E Hayashi  (4 bashos), Jonidan 44 Yabuoka (8 bashos) and Maezumo new recruits Morita and Soma .

Edited by Kintamayama
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Kintamayama said:

Futagoyama Oyakata (ex-Miyabiyama) has left Fujishima beya and will open his own heya-Futagoyama Beya on April 1st, it was announced today by the rijikai. He will be taking five deshi with him:  Sandanme 98 Tainaka (7 bashos), Jonidan 5E Hayashi  (4 bashos), Jonidan 44 Yabuoka (8 bashos) and Maezumo new recruits Morita and Soma .

Is it reasonable to suspect (I have not seen anything on this) that the new Futagoyama beya will be part of the Dewanoumi ichimon? My suspicion is because Fujishima beya is part of Dewanoumi.

Wasn't Takanohana beya originally Futagoyama beya (name change)?

(no, I'm not trying to become an expert at this, something I can't quite remember in the back of my brain is telling me this may be so)

Edited by Fukurou

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Futagoyama was Takanohana's heya when he was active, AFAIK yes, he inherited it from his father, and since he was granted the ichidai-toshiyori name of Takanohana, the heya changed the name to fit the new oyakata.

Man, that was long ago.

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[2017 changes2016 changes2015 changes, 2014 changes, 2013 changes, 2012 changes, mid-2011 changes (post-yaocho scandal), 2011 changes, mid-2010 changes (post-gambling scandal), 2010 changes...usually with further posts following the ones linked.]

With the Kyokai having posted the updated job assignments a couple of days ago, it's that time again to summarize all the changes. Starting off with the personnel moves in the top ranks, the first two sections already known since the election two months ago of course:

Riji (directors)

out: Nishonoseki (ex-Wakashimazu), [Isegahama (ex-Asahifuji), Takanohana]

All of these have been well publicized over the last few months - Isegahama and Takanohana were demoted to yakuin taigu iin over their respective handling of the Harumafuji/Takanoiwa affair before the end of their nominal two-year terms, while Nishonoseki did not run for re-election due to the health issues stemming from his bike accident last year.

continuing: Dewanoumi (ex-Oginohana), Hakkaku (ex-Hokutoumi), Kagamiyama (ex-Tagaryu), Kasugano (ex-Tochinowaka), Oguruma (ex-Kotokaze), Sakaigawa (ex-Ryogoku), Yamahibiki (ex-Ganyu)

in: Onomatsu (ex-Masurao), Shibatayama (ex-Onokuni), Takashima (ex-Koboyama)


Fuku-riji (deputy directors)

out: Shibatayama (voted in as director), Tamanoi (ex-Tochiazuma)

After his deputy duties were already reduced in scope two years ago (by choice?), Tamanoi did not seek re-election altogether this time.

continuing: Fujishima (ex-Musoyama)

in: Hanakago (ex-Daijuyama), Izutsu (ex-Sakahoko)

Izutsu was already fuku-riji for the 2014-16 term before he narrowly failed to be re-elected, falling to Tamanoi in a runoff vote. The board decided not to give him an executive position via a yakuin appointment at the time. Now he is back, having survived a challenge from his brother Shikoroyama (ex-Terao) in the latest balloting.


Yakuin taigu iin (appointed executives)

out: [Takanohana]

Takanohana's doghouse status as yakuin didn't last long as his appointment was not extended after the official end of the 2016-2018 term, and he's been demoted even further now in any case.

continuing: Michinoku (ex-Kirishima), Takasago (ex-Asashio), Yamashina (ex-Onishiki), [Isegahama]

in: Nishikido (ex-Mitoizumi), Nishonoseki, Takadagawa (ex-Akinoshima)

Unlike Takanohana, they've opted for kind treatment with fellow demotee Isegahama and made him a permanent appointed executive now, joining Michinoku and Takasago who also are former directors that had to leave those posts under involuntary circumstances a while ago. Yamashina has actually been part of these appointed positions for ability reasons, but he'll be turning 65 in September so this is just a standard courtesy assignment extension to get him through to his retirement date with a nice job title rather than as part of the regular crowd.

Nishonoseki's appointment is arguably a similar matter of courtesy while the former director continues his health rehab. It's likely to end up permanent anyway though, as he turns 65 in January 2022, before the end of the 2020-2022 term, and consequently won't be able to run for election back onto the board in two years.

Nishikido and Takadagawa are both first-time appointees to executive positions. Aged 55 and 51 respectively they still ought to have time to advance into the elected two ranks over the next decade. However, for Nishikido it looks like this is as high as he will go - being part of Takasago-ichimon his path to a director position is blocked by (younger) Hakkaku, and as one of the smaller groups their ability to sustain a fuku-riji nomination successfully is very much up in the air. (Dewanoumi and Nishonoseki are certain to continue to monopolize two of the three spots, with all other groups fighting over the last one.) Considering the recent reported upheavals in both Nishikido's heya and his personal life, it's arguably a bit of a surprise to see him here among the yakuin now to begin with. Takadagawa on the other hand probably won't be surprising too many people if he ends up in a fuku-riji or riji position before too long, perhaps as soon as 2022 when Nishonoseki-ichimon's riji Oguruma won't be able to run anymore.


So much for the preliminaries, now the executive position reassignments:
 

Role Old New
Rijicho (Chairman) Hakkaku
Operations director Oguruma
General Enterprises director Kasugano
(Kagamiyama)
Shibatayama
Public Relations director Kasugano Shibatayama
Guidance director Kagamiyama
Lifestyle Guidance director Kagamiyama
Crisis Control director Kagamiyama
Shimpan director (Nishonoseki) Onomatsu
Jungyo director Kasugano
(Takanohana)
Kasugano
Security director Kasugano
Competition Inspection chairman Kagamiyama Kasugano
Sumo School director Yamahibiki
Osaka Basho director Kagamiyama
(Isegahama)
Takashima
Nagoya Basho director Dewanoumi
Kyushu Basho director Sakaigawa
 
Museum Committee member Oguruma
Kagamiyama
Kasugano Shibatayama
Fujishima
Supporters Committee chairman Oguruma
 
Operations deputy director Fujishima
General Enterprises deputy director (Yamashina) ---
Public Relations deputy director Shibatayama ---
Guidance deputy director Michinoku
(Takanohana) Nishonoseki
Shimpan deputy director Fujishima
Yamashina
(Tomozuna)
Nishikido
Takadagawa
Jungyo deputy director Tamanoi Hanakago
Shibatayama Izutsu
Security deputy director Tamanoi Hanakago
Shibatayama Izutsu
Competition Inspection deputy chairman Takasago
(Isegahama) Yamashina
Sumo School deputy director --- Isegahama


Hopefully the format is intelligible. Legend to the names: Normal font = directors, bold-face = deputy directors, italics = yakuin.

I'll start off the notes with relevant quotes from earlier developments:

On ‎21‎.‎04‎.‎2016 at 01:18, Asashosakari said:

- Kagamiyama is the somewhat surprising new #3 in the Kyokai's hierarchy, taking over the lot from Takanohana.

 

On ‎28‎.‎01‎.‎2017 at 01:05, Asashosakari said:

In a surprising development, Kagamiyama (ex-Tagaryu) is apparently no longer the director for the General Enterprises department - that post has been taken over by PR chief Kasugano (ex-Tochinowaka) who now holds both the #3 and #4 jobs.

And now...

  • This combination of General and PR appears to be an intentional (if not permanent) thing now, with new riji Shibatayama taking over the lot from Kasugano. General used to be bundled with at least one of the two Guidance departments for as long as I can remember (and both of them between 2014 and 2017), perhaps on the idea that all of them broadly deal with Kyokai personnel-related matters. Having the business strategy guy also be in charge of public relations instead might not be the worst of ideas actually, especially nowadays that the Kyokai is employing civilian press and marketing staff and the oyakata members of the departments don't have to deal with the small day-to-day matters. On a side note, Shibatayama was previously deputy director of the PR department already so that part of his job assignments won't be new to him.
     
  • Kasugano for his part has become the new permanent head of the jungyo department after he already filled in for previous chief Takanohana on an interim basis since December. That's certainly a downgrade from General and PR as the jungyo job no longer holds the prestige that it probably did 20 or 30 years ago (with today's media landscape the focus has arguably shifted much further to the honbasho because they "matter"). On the other hand, as the rikishi are on tour for nearly a quarter of the year now with the jungyo scheduled having expanded so much since the dire days of around 2010-2012, it's probably the case that the jungyo department is now rather more important again, if still not "sexy".

    Anyway, they seem to have dealt with Kasugano's loss of importance by giving him some other departments for additional shiny job titles - that hadn't been done with the jungyo chief at any point since I started paying attention to this stuff nearly a decade ago. Anyway, that means he has kept his post as head of the security department and is also the new chairman of the Competition Inspection (aka anti-yaocho) committee, taking that over from Kagamiyama.
     
  • Kagamiyama has been on the board since 2010, but with Guidance, Lifestyle Guidance and Crisis Control to his name since last year he is down to arguably his least prestigious (and most maddening) set of responsibilities nowadays, and that hasn't changed in this round of reassignments, other than the aforementioned loss of Competition Inspection to Kasugano. He was previously in charge of Kyushu basho (2010-12), the chief shimpan (12-14), head of Osaka basho (14-16), plus his one-year intermezzo with General Enterprises (16-17).
     
  • Kagamiyama did also fill in as Osaka basho director ad-hoc to replace Isegahama at the start of this year, but that department has now been passed on to new riji Takashima. The other two regional tournament departments have kept the bosses they were assigned two years ago when Dewanoumi and Sakaigawa were themselves new directors. Yamahibiki also stays on as head of the sumo school for his second term.
     
  • Following his accident Nishonoseki had been chief shimpan in name only, with a revolving door of replacements being installed to get to the end of the 2016-18 term. Newly elected Onomatsu now gets to take on the post full-time. For reasons that may or may not become clear sometimes soon they have also decided to give him three deputies rather than the customary two. Something similar already happened briefly last year, but this time it appears to be a permanent thing as all three guys are young and don't look to be mere temporary fill-ins. Deputy director Fujishima continues in that role, and is now joined by new yakuin taigu appointments Nishikido and Takadagawa.
     
  • Takanohana's temporary designation as an additional deputy to Guidance director Kagamiyama has of course lapsed, but "regular" deputy Michinoku is now joined instead by Nishonoseki in what's almost certainly also just a pro-forma assignment for status reasons, at least until Nishonoseki is able to work again. If he does get back to being able to contribute, I suspect they'll give him a more important role in time.
     
  • Much the same thing has happened in the (even less important) Competition Inspection committee, which has been Takasago's banishment realm for the last few years. Isegahama joined him here for a brief period after his demotion from the board, and now it is soon-to-be-65 Yamashina who gets to finish out his executive career here with a for-show job title; his impending retirement means that he can no longer serve as deputy head shimpan.
     
  • Isegahama, meanwhile, has been parked in a completely new position as deputy director of the Sumo School. I'm not sure if that's good or bad for his future career prospects...
     
  • New fuku-riji Hanakago and Izutsu have directly taken over the responsibilities in jungyo and security previously held by outgoing Tamanoi and Shibatayama, but not Shibatayama's post as second-in-command of the PR department - which strangely hasn't been refilled at all.


Speaking of strange goings-on with the deputy department posts, I need to double back to another quote:

On ‎28‎.‎01‎.‎2017 at 01:05, Asashosakari said:

In a surprising development, Kagamiyama (ex-Tagaryu) is apparently no longer the director for the General Enterprises department - that post has been taken over by PR chief Kasugano (ex-Tochinowaka) who now holds both the #3 and #4 jobs. Further confusing the picture here is that new deputy head shimpan Yamashina (ex-Onishiki) was the deputy director for GE, so suddenly one of the most important sections in the Kyokai's hierarchy not only has a new guy on top, but also no deputy at all. All very odd, and I can only assume that it's just a temporary/interim measure.

That hasn't turned out so temporary after all, as General Enterprises still remains deputy-less now. I'm not quite sure what's going on there, especially now that General and PR have both been put under Shibatayama's command. Seems weird that he won't have any official right-hand man in either department. It's perhaps somewhat understandable for PR which hasn't been a large department (in terms of oyakata head count) for a while now, but the change to General still seems odd on the face of it. (Maybe I'm overestimating how much work is being required towards general planning, and/or perhaps some of its responsibilities have been moved into other departments, i.e. Operations and the three basho departments.)


In further scrapped-deputies (non-)news:

On ‎21‎.‎04‎.‎2016 at 01:18, Asashosakari said:

- The deputy post in Lifestyle Guidance seems to have been eliminated. This used to be a real job (of sorts), before it was given to Takasago several years ago mostly to placate him after he lost his ichimon's support as director. Two years ago they transferred it over to outgoing director Tateyama (ex-Tamanofuji), in one of those final-year yakuin assignments (he retired in November 2014), then did the same thing for Asahiyama (ex-Daiju) for his final two months last year after he departed from the shimpan leadership. The post was not filled again after Asahiyama retired in March 2015, and as it's still empty now after a "big" job rotation, I presume it's been made redundant altogether.

It's still not there again, so I've omitted it from the table entirely this time. However, we've had a bit of a development since then:

On ‎29‎.‎08‎.‎2017 at 20:17, Asashosakari said:
On ‎29‎.‎08‎.‎2017 at 19:58, Yubinhaad said:

Elsewhere, I notice that Nakadachi-oyakata (former Komusubi Oginishiki) is part of the lifestyle guidance department, having previously been a member of the Haru basho organising team. Maybe he's being prepped to replace Kagamiyama as director of that department at some point? All the other members are the over-65 re-employed oyakata. Not sure exactly when that change was made but I guess after the Haru basho (...)

The Oginishiki change was announced around May 14, so for the start of Natsu basho.

We didn't note it at the time (or maybe it was added later, I dunno), but Nakadachi's job in Lifestyle Guidance is listed as a headquarters job, so this might be an unofficial succession to the deputy position, without the job title.


And lastly, one slightly odd matter that may or may not be an error - in addition to his new responsibilities, new fuku-riji Hanakago has retained his listing as a regular member of the Fukuoka basho team. Perhaps they're still looking for someone to take over and didn't want to leave the department short-staffed for the moment.

Edited by Asashosakari
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Posted (edited)

Part two with the job changes among the rank and file. I forgot to note one thing earlier: The number of directors listed as members of "headquarters" (in addition to boss Hakkaku) is now up to 4 from the usual 3. Kagamiyama was able to keep his listing last year even though he gave up the job that was notionally responsible for him having it (the General Enterprises department), and now Kasugano has also kept the HQ designation even though Shibatayama has succeeded him in General and in Public Relations. (Both usually HQ positions separately, and Shibatayama of course has a HQ listing himself now.)

It's possible that Kagamiyama still "deserved" it anyway; it's difficult to say how Guidance and Lifestyle Guidance rate on the internal pecking order on their own as they were always bundled with other, high-profile roles before. But for Kasugano's current job lot of Jungyo/Inspection/Security it's definitely very unusual, and presumably it's part of compensating him for the apparent loss of relevance that moving to the Jungyo department has entailed.

Among the deputy directors only Fujishima has a HQ designation, for his role as second-in-command of the important Operations department.

With that out of the way... Like last time, if there's no "from" or "to" attached to an oyakata's job change listing, it means he previously had / now has no special assignment in the Kyokai's various departments. A summary of these oyakata can be found at the bottom in the "Guidance" section.


Shindeshi Examination committee (6 members):

Nothing too noteworthy here. Lots of new faces, but as always the oyakata in charge of handling the rookies are automatically determined by their other roles:

  • the new chief shimpan Onomatsu from the board of directors, 
  • deputy director Fujishima and the two new yakuin taigu Nishikido and Takadagawa in their roles as deputy chiefs of the Shimpan committee, and also
  • newly elected Hanakago and Izutsu via their positions as Kyokai deputy directors, not as part of the shimpan crew.


Competition Inspection committee (chairman, 1/2 deputies, 6 members):

Like two years ago, lots of changes among the oyakata who may or may not actually have anything to do in this role besides patrolling the dressing rooms during honbasho. As noted before it's now Kasugano as head of the committee, having replaced Kagamiyama, and he's flanked by continuing deputy Takasago and until September also by Yamashina. The regular members have changed as follows:

  • out: Takashima (riji) & Izutsu (fuku-riji) & Nishikido (yakuin) to their various new executive positions, Isenoumi (ex-Kitakachidoki) to Osaka
     
  • continuing: Musashigawa (ex-Musashimaru), Sadogatake (ex-Kotonowaka)
     
  • new: Chiganoura (ex-Takamisugi) from Shimpan, Kise (ex-Higonoumi) from Jungyo, Minatogawa (ex-Daitetsu) & Otake (ex-Dairyu) from Trustees

I suppose after they've had to supervise the board of directors for the last four years, supervising active rikishi will be a piece of cake for Minatogawa and Otake. ;-) Kise was already part of the Inspection committee until 2016 before spending the last two years in Jungyo.

Generally speaking this group is always heavy on stable-owning oyakata - Takashima the previous exception, Minatogawa the new one - presumably it's a relatively low-workload job and thus suited for those who already have lots on the plate at home.


Sumo School (director, deputy, 4 coaches)

Yamahibiki continues to lead the Kyokai's in-house teaching institute, and as mentioned he is now joined by Isegahama via a new position of department deputy. (Maybe Amajanai will be showing up for training after all?) We'll have to see how long that lasts. Probably not longer than two years; maybe Isegahama will get something else to do even in next year's mid-term changes already.

  • out: Shiranui (ex-Wakakoyu) to Osaka, [Otowayama (ex-Kobo)]
     
  • continuing: Inagawa (ex-Futeno), Kabutoyama (ex-Oikari)
     
  • new: Nishikijima (ex-Asasekiryu), Otowayama (ex-Daido)

More turnover than we're used to seeing at the Sumo School in one go. It had been short-staffed since ex-Kobo's untimely exit from the Kyokai at the behest of Takanohana three months ago, and in somewhat of an ironic twist his kabu successor ex-Daido is one of the two new oyakata who will now be coaching there. Former Asasekiryu is the other one, like Daido taking his first proper position in the Kyokai outside of the default assignment to "Guidance" which every oyakata is subject to.

Ex-Wakakoyu has been reassigned, ending a two and a half year stint with the school. That also started as a replacement for Kobo, incidentally, although Kobo later came back to replace Sekinoto (ex-Iwakiyama) in turn.

As always the four coaches also double as kimarite video officials during honbasho. Former long-time school coach Oyama (ex-Daihi), re-employed past age 65 since September, continues to help out in that secondary role.


Shimpan committee (director, three deputies, 20 members)

Joining the mostly new group of crew chiefs Onomatsu, Fujishima, Nishikido and Takadagawa is a lineup of regular members that has seen 6 changes:

  • out: Takadagawa (yakuin) promoted to deputy, Chiganoura (ex-Takamisugi) to Inspection, Irumagawa (ex-Tochitsukasa) & Shikihide (ex-Kitazakura) to Jungyo, Edagawa (ex-Aogiyama, has ended double duty assignment with Jungyo), Jinmaku
     
  • continuing: Asakayama (ex-Kaio), Azumazeki (ex-Ushiomaru), Hanaregoma (ex-Tamanoshima), Kataonami (ex-Tamakasuga), Kokonoe (ex-Chiyotaikai), Minato (ex-Minatofuji), Nakagawa (ex-Asahisato), Onaruto (ex-Dejima), Sendagawa (ex-Toki), Tagonoura (ex-Takanotsuru), Takenawa (ex-Tochinonada), Tatekawa (ex-Tosanoumi), Tokitsukaze (ex-Tokitsuumi), Urakaze (ex-Shikishima)
     
  • new: Takanohana (was riji/yakuin) & Tamanoi (ex-Tochiazuma, was fuku-riji) from their executive roles, Furiwake (ex-Takamisakari) from Public Relations, Futagoyama (ex-Miyabiyama) from Trustees, Nishiiwa (ex-Wakanosato), Tomozuna (ex-Kyokutenho)

The apparent trend set in motion two years ago has continued here: The Shimpan department has gotten even younger now, perhaps the youngest it has ever been. The three previously oldest members Irumagawa, Jinmaku and Chiganoura (all 57+ in age) are among those to depart, while all six newly added guys are 45 and younger. The senior member of the group is now Nakagawa at 52, all other regular members are aged 49 and below. Azumazeki continues to be the youngest of the bunch, still five weeks away from even turning 40. On average the 20 members are now just over 44 years old.

The customary requirement that all shimpan should be full iin members has fallen by the wayside over the last few years, and while Hanaregoma has in fact been promoted from shunin now, putting all 14 incumbent members at iin (plus three of the new ones), there are two new shunin in the lineup with Nishiiwa and Tomozuna. And one to be merely toshiyori-ranked - Takanohana, of course. Ironic twist, part two: The only oyakata to judge bouts from the lowest rank before was ex-Kobo.

While Edagawa has gone back to only working in the Jungyo group now, Sendagawa continues to pull double duty both there and here. Nishiiwa and Tomozuna meanwhile have their very first assignments.


Jungyo department (director, two deputies, 9 members)

Kasugano has taken over the touring department full-time from Takanohana, and will be assisted by new deputies Hanakago and Izutsu. The department had been short-staffed since Ikazuchi (ex-Kakizoe) was shuffled over to the Osaka team a little less than a year ago, which has been rectified now.

  • out: Onomatsu (riji) to the executive, Kise (ex-Higonoumi) to Inspection, Tatsunami
     
  • continuing: Edagawa (ex-Aogiyama), Onoe (ex-Hamanoshima), Sendagawa (ex-Toki), Tanigawa (ex-Hokutoriki), Tatsutagawa (ex-Homasho)
     
  • new: Irumagawa (ex-Tochitsukasa) & Shikihide (ex-Kitazakura) from Shimpan, Matsugane (ex-Tamarikido) from Kyushu, Asahiyama (ex-Kotonishiki)

Asahiyama holds a "proper" Kyokai job again for I think the first time since 2012, when a lengthy stint as part of the Ticketing/Gate group ended and he presumably began to concentrate on his efforts to get his own stable off the ground, which he eventually did in 2016.


Osaka Basho department (director, 5 members)

New head here is Takashima, leading a somewhat revamped squad:

  • out: Takasaki (ex-Kinkaiyama) to Public Relations, Ikazuchi (ex-Kakizoe) to Kyushu
     
  • continuing: Fujigane (ex-Daizen), Hatachiyama (ex-Tochinohana), Shiratama (ex-Kototsubaki)
     
  • new: Isenoumi (ex-Kitakachidoki) from Inspection, Shiranui (ex-Wakakoyu) from Sumo School

So, Ikazuchi's stint with the Osaka department didn't last long. I could be mistaken, but moving directly from one basho-organising team to another doesn't seem to be happening very often. Isenoumi has returned after two years on the Inspection committee.

As noted in the update two years ago, one regular member of each basho team carries the "headquarters" designation nowadays - departed Takasaki was the one for Osaka, and it is now Isenoumi.


Nagoya Basho department (director, 4 members)

Dewanoumi remains boss of this group, and his team also hasn't changed:

  • continuing: Iwatomo (ex-Kimurayama), Tatsutayama (ex-Sasshunada), Wakafuji (ex-Otsukasa), Wakamatsu (ex-Asanowaka)

This department had been increased to 5 members in the last reassignments two years back (as was Kyushu), but at the time I already surmised if Chiganoura (ex-Takamisugi) would be leaving soon as he had just become a new heya owner at the time. That change happened a year later when Chiganoura switched to the Shimpan committee, removing the last shisho from the basho teams. (Isenoumi's return has added one again now.) In any case, the fifth spot hasn't been refilled again, and it looks like the expansion from 4 to 5 in 2016 may have simply been to prep for Chiganoura's eventual departure.

Tatsutayama continues to be the designated HQ guy here.


Kyushu Basho department (director, 4/5 members)

Kyushu native Sakaigawa continues to be in charge of a slightly altered department:

  • out: Matsugane (ex-Tamarikido) to Jungyo
     
  • continuing: Mihogaseki (ex-Tochisakae), Tamagaki (ex-Tomonohana), Yamawake (ex-Buyuzan), [Hanakago (fuku-riji, still assigned here for now)]
     
  • new: Ikazuchi (ex-Kakizoe)

As mentioned in the executives summary, new Kyokai deputy director Hanakago continues to be listed as a member of this group; it remains to be seen what's going to happen with that as it's a decidedly unusual arrangement. If he is removed eventually and doesn't get replaced, the 5-oyakata era will have ended here nearly as quickly as it did for the Nagoya team. Let's hope Ikazuchi sticks around in one place for once, at least...

Mihogaseki remains Kyushu's HQ-assigned oyakata.


Ticketing/Gate (3 members)

No changes. For those wondering, Ticketing is listed as part of the Operations department, so the nominal bosses here are Oguruma and deputy Fujishima.

  • continuing: Hamakaze (ex-Gojoro), Katsunoura (ex-Kirinishiki), Sekinoto (ex-Iwakiyama)


Public Relations (director, 2 members)

Having taken over from Kasugano, it's now Shibatayama in charge of PR and marketing, and the solution to the disappearance of the deputy position might also be found here.

  • out: Furiwake (ex-Takamisakari) to Shimpan
     
  • continuing: Naruto (ex-Kotooshu)
     
  • new: Takasaki (ex-Kinkaiyama) from Osaka

Ever since the Kyokai began to have civilian staff handle the media work, oyakata assigned to this department have been limited to "Press Club" duties, meaning they're working as direct liaisons to the beat reporters etc. primarily during honbasho, rather than doing it as a desk job.

This has generally been a position for guys who were already media darlings during their active careers; both Furiwake and Naruto have been doing that for the last while, and Naruto continues to be listed as Press Club oyakata. Furiwake's replacement Takasaki does not, however. Instead it's a straight PR department assignment for him, and what's more, it's denoted as a HQ position, so he is arguably Shibatayama's deputy in all but job title now.

(Considering this comes on the heels of Takasaki having been HQ oyakata already for the Osaka department, one can get the impression that he's probably one of the more valuable behind-the-scenes workers in the Kyokai's administration. If so, it's a shame that his active career as a mere fringe top division rikishi is likely to limit his upwards mobility.)


These were the "proper" departments handling well-defined tasks, three sections of a more general nature follow.


Social Contributions department (17 members)

This is more a task force than a real department, and membership in it does not preclude holding a regular position elsewhere, or moving from one department to another. Consequently there are no changes to report here. The 17 young oyakata on standby to be sent out on all manner of goodwill event duties by the Kyokai:

  • Araiso* (ex-Tamaasuka), Furiwake (ex-Takamisakari), Hanaregoma (ex-Tamanoshima), Hatachiyama (ex-Tochinohana), Iwatomo (ex-Kimurayama), Kasugayama* (ex-Shotenro), Kimigahama* (ex-Hochiyama), Kiyomigata* (ex-Bushuyama), Mihogaseki (ex-Tochisakae), Nakamura* (ex-Sadanofuji), Onogawa* (ex-Kitataiki), Otowayama (ex-Daido), Sanoyama* (ex-Tosayutaka), Sekinoto (ex-Iwakiyama), Shiranui (ex-Wakakoyu), Takasaki (ex-Kinkaiyama), Takenawa (ex-Tochinonada)

The seven oyakata marked * do not have any ongoing Kyokai responsibilities in regular departments for now.


Lifestyle Guidance department (director, 9 members)

As Yubinhaad noted last year, Lifestyle Guidance has become the realm of the oyakata who are re-employed beyond age 65, outside of Kagamiyama leading the department and Nakadachi (ex-Oginishiki) apparently being some sort of quasi-deputy to him. For posterity the members (no real changes, of course):

  • Dekiyama (ex-Dewanohana), Kiriyama (ex-Kurosegawa), Matsuchiyama (ex-Banryuyama), Oshima (ex-Kaiki), Oyama (ex-Daihi), Takekuma (ex-Zaonishiki), Tateyama (ex-Tamanofuji), Tokiwayama (ex-Masudayama)

Oyama also has his kimarite video booth work as mentioned earlier in this posting, and Kiriyama filled in as shimpan for four tournaments in late 2016 to early 2017, but other than that it's been Lifestyle Guidance only for these guys, whatever that might entail (outside of picking up a nice salary for another five years).

(Oyama is technically a new addition for Lifestyle Guidance as his kimarite duties were previously his only listed item, but they seem to be treating the re-employed oyakata as Lifestyle Guidance members by default, so this might well have been an unintended omission until now.)

A few things are new in the updated duties list, however. For one thing, there's a new explanatory note at the bottom of the tables, roughly: "Heya owners are part of the Lifestyle Guidance department (Lifestyle Guidance regulations)." That seems like kind of an obvious thing - if shisho aren't guiding the lifestyles of other people, who is? - but they've felt compelled to add it anyway.

Furthermore, three of the eight re-employed oyakata have an expanded job description of "Lifestyle Guidance (in charge of etiquette education)" now, namely Dekiyama, Oshima and Oyama. I'm looking forward to finding out what that will entail specifically...

On a sidenote, Tateyama will be reaching the age of 70, the new definitive oyakata age limit, in November 2019 (within the current two-year executive term) and thus become the first retiree under these new oyakata employment regulations.


Guidance

For completeness, the Schrödinger's Cat of departments, as it's difficult to say whether it exists or not. Almost every non-executive oyakata has an assignment here, which presumably means little more than that they're (nominally) expected to be active in coaching rikishi. So, I'm limiting this to those oyakata whose only listed role is or was in Guidance (other than a possible involvement in the Social Contributions task force).

  • now with department job - veteran oyakata: Asahiyama (ex-Kotonishiki) to Jungyo
     
  • now with department job - entry-level oyakata: Nishiiwa (ex-Wakanosato) & Tomozuna (ex-Kyokutenho) to Jungyo, Nishikijima (ex-Asasekiryu) to Sumo School
     
  • continuing as Guidance only - veteran oyakata: Arashio (ex-Oyutaka), Kumegawa (ex-Kotoinazuma), Minezaki (ex-Misugiiso), Miyagino (ex-Chikubayama), Oitekaze (ex-Daishoyama), Shikoroyama (ex-Terao)
     
  • continuing as Guidance only - entry-level oyakata: Araiso (ex-Tamaasuka), Kasugayama (ex-Shotenro), Kimigahama (ex-Hochiyama), Kiyomigata (ex-Bushuyama), Nakamura (ex-Sadanofuji), Onogawa (ex-Kitataiki), Sanoyama (ex-Tosayutaka)
     
  • department job relinquished: Jinmaku (ex-Fujinoshin) from Shimpan, Tatsunami (ex-Asahiyutaka) from Jungyo

Unsurprisingly the Guidance-only veteran oyakata are generally stable owners. I suspect the exceptions Jinmaku (in Hakkaku-beya) and Kumegawa (in Sadogatake-beya) might also be majorly involved on the coaching side, but I can only speculate on that.

Among entry-level oyakata the reasons for being in this group are usually that they're either very recently retired and/or that they're holding their kabu on loan (everybody listed except ex-Kitataiki right now) - I presume it's because the borrowers are sitting on an ejection seat that could fire any day, and it's undesirable to give them a "real" job where their departure could leave a hole in the middle of important work. Ex-Bushuyama is the longest-tenured borrowing oyakata at a little over 5 years now, but he seems to be quite busy anyway - from what I recall he's been a near-daily regular as colour commentator on the honbasho webstreams for years now, even back on Ustream PPV before the more recent Sponavi and Abema efforts.

Edited by Asashosakari
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Posted (edited)
On 4/1/2018 at 15:12, Asashosakari said:

Fuku-riji (deputy directors)

Izutsu was already fuku-riji for the 2014-16 term before he narrowly failed to be re-elected, falling to Tamanoi in a runoff vote. The board decided not to give him an executive position via a yakuin appointment at the time. Now he is back, having survived a challenge from his brother Shikoroyama (ex-Terao) in the latest balloting.

1 hour ago, Asashosakari said:

Guidance

  • continuing as Guidance only - veteran oyakata: Arashio (ex-Oyutaka), Kumegawa (ex-Kotoinazuma), Minezaki (ex-Misugiiso), Miyagino (ex-Chikubayama), Oitekaze (ex-Daishoyama), Shikoroyama (ex-Terao)

I want to be sure I understand what's going on with Shikoroyama (ex-Terao). He ran for a Deputy Director position but did not win, and was then assigned to continue in Guidance (where seemingly everyone is assigned if they don't have something better to do).  Is Guidance the bottom of the barrel when it comes to assignments?  Am I completely misunderstanding things?

Also - Shikoroyama has had 2 makuuchi rikishi (Homasho and Seiro) from 49 (quick count) rikishi in that 14 years. Is that normal or not good?

Edited by Fukurou

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13 hours ago, Fukurou said:

I want to be sure I understand what's going on with Shikoroyama (ex-Terao). He ran for a Deputy Director position but did not win, and was then assigned to continue in Guidance (where seemingly everyone is assigned if they don't have something better to do).  Is Guidance the bottom of the barrel when it comes to assignments?  Am I completely misunderstanding things?

Not bottom of the barrel, more "busy with heya stuff". I can only speculate, but I think it's pretty much as Shikoroyama stated at the time of his candidacy - he wanted to offer an additional voice/opinion for people to consider during the election. If he'd been elected he would have made things work somehow, but now that he wasn't he's probably just as happy to go back to concentrating on his stable.

One shouldn't lose sight of the fact that he's not that young - he's only been oyakata for 15 years but he was active almost to age 40 so he actually already turned 55 two months ago. It's not that unusual for a heya-owning oyakata of that age to have no other Kyokai responsibilities anymore if he isn't (and never was) part of the elected two ranks. He did serve as shimpan for several years until some health issues last year, so him being Guidance-only is still a relatively new thing.

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8 hours ago, Otokonoyama said:

What about Abi? He's in Shikoroyama-beya.

You are correct sir! I must have misread Abi's Maegashira 7 as Makushita 7. (in the DB I restricted rikishi search to Shikoroyama, then sorted by Hatsu Dohyo so I could eliminate 3 19th century rikishi from my count.
 

35 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

Not bottom of the barrel, more "busy with heya stuff". I can only speculate, but I think it's pretty much as Shikoroyama stated at the time of his candidacy - he wanted to offer an additional voice/opinion for people to consider during the election. If he'd been elected he would have made things work somehow, but now that he wasn't he's probably just as happy to go back to concentrating on his stable.

One shouldn't lose sight of the fact that he's not that young - he's only been oyakata for 15 years but he was active almost to age 40 so he actually already turned 55 two months ago. It's not that unusual for a heya-owning oyakata of that age to have no other Kyokai responsibilities anymore if he isn't (and never was) part of the elected two ranks. He did serve as shimpan for several years until some health issues last year, so him being Guidance-only is still a relatively new thing.

Yes, his heart problems, I'd forgotten about that. I really liked him when he was an active rikishi. I suspect you're correct about him being happy to concentrate on developing his stable (I didn't know there was a Shikoroyama heya back in the 19th century!)

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15 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

Furthermore, three of the eight re-employed oyakata have an expanded job description of "Lifestyle Guidance (in charge of etiquette education)" now, namely Dekiyama, Oshima and Oyama. I'm looking forward to finding out what that will entail specifically...


It was mentioned in a short article about a week ago, which mentioned they will be giving instruction on attire and greetings. Oyama served at the sumo school for a long time, while Oshima was director of it in the last few years of his regular oyakata service if I recall correctly. Dekiyama is apparently known for his strictness.


Thanks a lot as always for the comprehensive write-up. (Iamnotworthy...)

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Yubinhaad said:


It was mentioned in a short article about a week ago, which mentioned they will be giving instruction on attire and greetings. 

(Semi-serious) Maybe they will concentrate on the rikishi from Takanohana-beya? 

(Actual serious) Will this take place only in Sumo school or will they be monitoring transgressions and dealing with them (e.g half-hearted or non-existent bowing)?

Edited by Sakura
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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Sakura said:

(Semi-serious) Maybe the will concentrate on the rikishi from Takanohana-beya? 

(Actual serious) will this take place only in Sumo school or will they be monitoring transgressions and dealing with them (e.g half-hearted or non-existent bowing).


A Yomiuri article I saw (now gone, it seems) was titled something like "guidance of young wrestler's behaviour", so I would guess it will be part of the work done at the sumo school. However it would be nice if they took referrals, as there are indeed a few sekitori who could benefit from a refresher course in my opinion.

Edit: The original article is gone but here it is thanks to Google cache.

And here's the Sanspo article I mentioned in my previous post.

Edited by Yubinhaad
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Posted (edited)

I still owe the last part of the updates, namely the oyakata rank changes among the rank-and-file:

shunin -> iin: Furiwake (ex-Takamisakari), Hanaregoma (ex-Tamanoshima), Ikazuchi (ex-Kakizoe), Iwatomo (ex-Kimurayama), Onoe (ex-Hamanoshima)

toshiyori -> shunin: none
 

Quoting a bit from two years ago:

On 4/22/2016 at 22:04, Asashosakari said:

More generally, it looks like some things in the handling of the shunin rank have changed altogether - it used to be normal that oyakata would be spending about three or four years at that level before moving on to their (more or less permanent) iin ranking, but many in the latest crop were promoted out of shunin very quickly - even the five oyakata who only reached shunin just a year ago, and this includes one guy (ex-Tochinonada) who doesn't even have any borrower time credit. He's now iin-ranked just four years after retiring from active competition, and a few others aren't far behind.

All in all, all shunin incumbents were promoted to iin this year, with the sole exception of Onoe (ex-Hamanoshima); probably still some residual effects from his previous promotion stop.

The promotions from toshiyori to shunin were more straight-forward - they were simply the five longest-tenured guys on the list, although even here things seem to have accelerated somewhat. Ex-Kimurayama only retired in early 2014, so had to spend just two years at the entry-level rank. (Compare to e.g. the aforementioned ex-Tochinonada who took three years to move on.) (...)

(My guess is that the regulations now state that it's meant to be two years as toshiyori and two years as shunin, but the guys who already spent more than two years as toshiyori got credit for that, and because of that we have so many one-year promotions from shunin to iin this time. If that theory holds, ex-Kimurayama will become iin in 2018 after four years total, not 2017.)

Seems to be largely confirmed that the shunin rank is for a two-year period now.

Onoe is now also finally back at iin, 7 years after his demotion (due to deshi yaocho issues and his drunk-driving incident). His full-on promotion stop was already cancelled back in 2014, and he was promoted back to shunin at the time. In fact, it looks as though he has received some sort of credit (possibly full?) for his past oyakata status and tenure, as he has been slotted into the jungyo department list above some guys who already were iin. (Unfortunately the current version of the Kyokai website no longer offers all the details about the many iin-ranked oyakatas' seniority status, unlike the pre-2013 site, so some of this is guesswork.)
 

Promoted to shunin in 2017 and thus likely to advance to full iin status next year: Nishiiwa (ex-Wakanosato), Shiranui (ex-Wakakoyu), Tatsutagawa (ex-Homasho), Tomozuna (ex-Kyokutenho)

These are, of course, all the oyakata currently holding the shunin rank, after nobody has joined them this year. That non-promotion round isn't much of a surprise as the toshiyori list consists of the following at the moment:

kabu owners: Nishikijima (ex-Asasekiryu, intai 2017.05), Otowayama (ex-Daido, permanent spot obtained 2018.01), Onogawa (ex-Kitataiki, intai 2018.01)

All three around for not nearly long enough to be in line for shunin promotion at this time. I'm not sure how much credit Daido will receive for the two years he spent as kabu borrower since his retirement in 2016.01, which decides whether or not he will move up in 2019 or 2020. Asasekiryu should be getting the promotion next year, I think, Kitataiki in 2020.

kabu borrowers: Kiyomigata (ex-Bushuyama, 2013.01), Kimigahama (ex-Hochiyama, 2014.01), Sanoyama (ex-Tosayutaka, 2016.01), Araiso (ex-Tamaasuka, 2016.11), Nakamura (ex-Sadanofuji, 2017.05), Kasugayama (ex-Shotenro, 2018.01)

As customary, these guys are not eligible for promotions.


Last not least:

Quote

Miyabiyama has been in the oyakata ranks for three years, so likely should be full iin now as well, but his move to the councillor position means he's no longer listed with an oyakata ranking so there's no official evidence for that "promotion".

Not that it was in any doubt, but Miyabiyama is now indeed ranked as iin with his return to regular oyakata status after his stint on the board of trustees was cut short at two years.

Edited by Asashosakari
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Is there confirmation that ex-Asasekiryu is the owner of Nishikijima, and not a borrower? (It was once thought to be Toyonoshima's, right?) Or will we only know for sure if he does get promoted next year?  

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On ‎11‎.‎04‎.‎2018 at 20:51, Asashosakari said:

Promoted to shunin in 2017 and thus likely to advance to full iin status next year: Nishiiwa (ex-Wakanosato), Oshima (ex-Kyokutenho), [...]

Oshima? Isn't he Tomozuna now?

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, orandashoho said:

Oshima? Isn't he Tomozuna now?

D'oh, that's what I get for copy-pasting that part from the 2017 updates. Thanks, I'll fix it.

 

On 4/11/2018 at 21:33, ryafuji said:

Is there confirmation that ex-Asasekiryu is the owner of Nishikijima, and not a borrower? (It was once thought to be Toyonoshima's, right?) Or will we only know for sure if he does get promoted next year?  

Definitely owner, he's listed as such on http://www.sumo.or.jp/IrohaKyokai/rijikai/. It might be a while longer until we learn what happened to Toyonoshima's ownership of it. (I've speculated before that he might be holding the Magaki share now instead.)


Edit: I should probably be more circumspect and say, Asasekiryu's definitely the owner at least as far as the Kyokai is concerned. As we've seen with the Kobo/Otowayama/Takanohana/Daido mess recently, recognized ownership doesn't necessarily mean that the oyakata is actually in position to make decisions about his "own" share. I don't see what would be gained from such a charade in the Nishikijima case though, especially as it would be happening across ichimon lines.

Edited by Asashosakari
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Posted (edited)

Two myoseki changes just reported. Sanoyama (ex-Tosayutaka) has switched to Magaki, while Araiso (ex-Tamaasuka) has switched to Kumagatani. Kyokai site isn't updated yet so it's hard to say if they are the owners, although Tosayutaka being in Tokitsukaze lends weight to the owned-by-Toyonoshima theory.

As for the vacated myoseki, Sanoyama belongs to Chiyootori and Araiso belongs to Kisenosato.

Edited by Yubinhaad
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1 hour ago, Yubinhaad said:

Two myoseki changes just reported. Sanoyama (ex-Tosayutaka) has switched to Magaki, while Araiso (ex-Tamaasuka) has switched to Kumagatani. Kyokai site isn't updated yet so it's hard to say if they are the owners, although Tosayutaka being in Tokitsukaze lends weight to the owned-by-Toyonoshima theory.

As for the vacated myoseki, Sanoyama belongs to Chiyootori and Araiso belongs to Kisenosato.

Sooo...if Kisenosato wanted to go intai his kabu would wait for him, nice and easy? Did i understand this correct? If yes, coincidence?

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Posted (edited)

Sorry for this confused post, but I have to confess that I have no idea what the exact difference is between "kabu", "ownership" and "myoseki". Or how these terms can be linked with toshiyori names.

Is kabu == Oyakata name?

So when a wrestler is planning to stay in the Kyokai as Oyakata, how exactly does he get the name, who plays which part in the passing of names, and which names are possible for him? Only names affiliated with his own ichimon perhaps?

Is kabu == (potential) ownership of a heya?

If we take "ownership" to mean possession of a heya's assets in the material sense, can there be ownership without kabu, or kabu without ownership?
Ownership could be a heavy responsibility for someone who is still active as a wrestler. Maintaining it as a suitable, financially healthy place to house and train rikishi is quite a job. Being shisho responsible for training and guiding rikishi is a completely different job.
There are heyas that are "dormant" -- these can presumably be reopened by an Oyakata of that name. Maybe these names are the only ones that can be easily swapped or traded because the heya ownership is only potential. Remains the question what happens to a heya's assets when it is closed -- such as happened when Oshima retired and when Kyokutenho took the name but remained active as a wrestler, did he also become owner? The building was sold when the heya merged with Tomozuna. He had been planning to reopen it, but then he became Tomozuna and someone else took the Oshima name... did the kabu pass on as well? Assets? It really depends on the definition of ownership and its rules, what "kabu" means, etc. And how the Kyokai fits in all this as the dispenser / guardian of the names.

Whenever I try to make sense of it I get confused.

Edited by orandashoho
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1 hour ago, Benihana said:

Sooo...if Kisenosato wanted to go intai his kabu would wait for him, nice and easy? Did i understand this correct? If yes, coincidence?

Kise's kabu would have been waiting for him anyway, with or without Tamaasuka holding it, so no, this change is definitely not a coincidence.

It's pretty standard that the borrowers are jumping off those shares that start to look like ticking time bombs, and Araiso is one now after Kisenosato's self-imposed ultimatum. Sanoyama being vacated is a bigger surprise - Magaki is hardly a long-term option for Tosayutaka either even if it's held by Toyonoshima, which seems to imply that things must look pretty desperate for Chiyootori. Would be a rather big shock if he were to retire at only age 25, but going from maegashira 4 to sandanme with 10 straight MK can probably do things to a rikishi's mind...

The Kumagatani share isn't far off from hitting its 3-year deadline - under 6 months left - up to which it needs to be sold/transferred/reassigned/whatever it is that happens to kabu nowadays in this great new "no money may change hands, sort of" world. I doubt the kabu has left Miyagino-beya (or at least Isegahama-ichimon), so I don't think Tamaasuka is its new owner, but the fact that it's being put back into use at all may indicate that somebody new owns it now - at least de facto, if not de jure. (I don't believe Hakuho would be allowed to actually own a myoseki at this point, but...)

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Posted (edited)

I remember when Tosayutaka jumped from Ajigawa to Sanoyama.  It seemed obvious at the time that Chiyootori was much less likely to retire before Aminishiki.  Right now though, that's debatable, especially given that he's spooked enough to jump off Sanoyama.

Chiyootori retiring soon would definitely feel extremely weird.  What's the youngest that a future oyakata has retired at?  I also wonder if it's somehow possible that Chiyotaikai retroactively decides that Chiyootori never owned it, but it was given to Chiyotairyu instead.

Edited by Gurowake

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http://www.sumo.or.jp/IrohaKyokaiInformation/detail?id=267

Surprise! The kabu acquired by ex-Tosayutaka and ex-Tamaasuka last Friday both turn out to be owned by them now. Also reflected in the duties list where they've moved ahead of the most senior borrower Kiyomigata (ex-Bushuyama) among the toshiyori-ranked oyakata.

I suppose that answers the "what's happened to Magaki-kabu" question, but not "what's happening with Toyonoshima"... The next obvious solution for him would be Takekuma-kabu, which will become available when his stable's affiliated oyakata ex-Zaonishiki retires for good at age 70. That's still four years away though, unless he decides to end his 5-year consultant role early.

The other change is rather puzzling, and I wonder if this is just a stopgap solution for Tamaasuka despite him being designated as owner. His former Kataonami shisho, ex-Tamanofuji, will be ending his own consultancy period as Tateyama-oyakata in a year and a half. I wouldn't be too surprised if that kabu turns out to be Tamaasuka's actual destination, and Kumagatani goes back where it came from next year, i.e. the Isegahama group.

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