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Nikoshoryu

East or West yokozuna

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Hi !

sorry if this has already been discussed somewhere else, but I realized that Hakuho, despite being Yokozuna West, did his dohyo-iri and fought from the East side.

From what I know, the rule says that in a bout, the higher ranked of the two rikishi enters the dohyo from his side on the banzuke.

That's why an ozeki West always goes to the west when facing lower ranked rikishi, no matter if his opponent is east or west on the banzuke.

Based on this, Hakuho should come from the West side.

So, why was he at the East side ?

Is there another "rule", that says there always has to be at least one yokozuna on the East side, even if it's not his banzuke side ? (in case of kyujo of the East yokozuna, or the current suspension of Asashoryu)

And would this rule also apply to all other rikishi : if the East rikishi of one rank is out (kyujo or other), does the West rikishi of the same rank get the right to enter the dohyo from the East side ?

Thank you in advance for your explanations !

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FWIW, they did the same thing in Asashoryu's only tournament as the west yokozuna (but only starting from Day 2, hmm). I have no idea if the practice goes back further than that.

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Thank you for this remark Asashosakari, now I think I remember it.

But the question is still there : why ?

Nobody's got an explanation, or even a little idea ?

Please, help me ! I won't be able to sleep until I'll know !!

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Thank you for this remark Asashosakari, now I think I remember it.

But the question is still there : why ?

Nobody's got an explanation, or even a little idea ?

Please, help me ! I won't be able to sleep until I'll know !!

The idea is pretty obvious. The east side is the side of higher rank, so it feels somewhat "empty" if the highest rank isn't from the east. I don't think it's more than that.

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I've checked (but only in "quick and dirty" fashion) all instances where two yokozuna were on the banzuke, the East one was missing the whole basho, and the West one was competing. Since WW2 there were only 8 occurrences of such an event (actually, only seven, the eighth case was a situation with 4 yokozunae and both East yokozunae missing).

You are right, in most cases the Y1w started all bouts from the West side. This was the case for Asashio in Haru 1961, Sadanoyama and Kashiwado in Hatsu 1966, Hokutokuni in Kyushu 1991, Akebono in Kyushu 1996, and Musashimaru in Nagoya 2001.

However, then they seemed to have the "rule" that Doitsuyama hinted at.

When Takanohana had his last basho (Hatsu 2003) he started on the West side, but switched to the East from day 5.

And as Asashosakari pointed out, when Asashoryu was Y1w in Haru 2003, he switched from West to East from day 2.

Now Hakuho starts from the East since shonichi.

Maybe they changed the rule in 2002, but forgot to implement it during the first days of the basho? Unlikely, but stranger things might or might not have happened.

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You are right, in most cases the Y1w started all bouts from the West side. This was the case for Asashio in Haru 1961, Sadanoyama and Kashiwado in Hatsu 1966, Hokutokuni in Kyushu 1991, Akebono in Kyushu 1996, and Musashimaru in Nagoya 2001.

May I ask how you checked that?

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Maybe they changed the rule in 2002, but forgot to implement it during the first days of the basho?

No idea whether there was a rule change, but the second part of your statement is probably true. Kobayashi-san's torikumi post for 2003.03 had Asashoryu on the West side for both days originally.

Edit:

When Takanohana had his last basho (Hatsu 2003) he started on the West side, but switched to the East from day 5.

Day 3, but that ended up being a fusen. I presume that Kyokutenho indeed entered from the West that day.

Edited by Asashosakari

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You are right, in most cases the Y1w started all bouts from the West side. This was the case for Asashio in Haru 1961, Sadanoyama and Kashiwado in Hatsu 1966, Hokutokuni in Kyushu 1991, Akebono in Kyushu 1996, and Musashimaru in Nagoya 2001.

May I ask how you checked that?

As I said, just quick and dirty. Well, maybe not quick, but certainly dirty. This query from an exceptional Website was my starting point, then I've been following the links to the respective banzuke, and when I found the pattern I was looking for, I checked for shonichi and senshuraku in the main results page.

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As I said, just quick and dirty. Well, maybe not quick, but certainly dirty. This query from an exceptional Website was my starting point, then I've been following the links to the respective banzuke, and when I found the pattern I was looking for, I checked for shonichi and senshuraku in the main results page.

Hmm, I feared so. May I inform you that I have no idea about older bouts who was on the west or east side? The bouts for makuuchi and juryo in Showa-era are taken from the excellent site of Gans-san, and I made an algorithm which determined east and west side (that's rather simple, but it also determined the order of bouts which is pretty difficult). For Heisei I have the bouts from Yubiquitoyama's site which thankfully already had the order, but no east and west designation (winner left, loser right).

Still, I think Musashimaru in 2001 indeed started all bouts from the West side, so it might or might not be true for all earlier examples too.

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