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Longest ever tomoe-sen

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What has been the longest ever tomoe-sen, in any division?

If a division has 2 equal members, they fight, the match normally produces a winner (last draw in a bout was in 1974 or so, and that was not a kettei-sen for a yusho), and the winner gets the yusho.

If the division has 4 equal members, they are paired by lots, each pair fights and produces a winner, and the winners fight and produce a yusho winner.

If there are 8 equal members then again they are paired by lots, and the outcome of a single bout narrows the choice to 4, then 2, then 1.

If there are 7 equal members then 1 of the 7 gets to be among the 4 without fight, and then there are 4 left fighting as above.

But if there are 3 equal members, then there is a tomoe-sen: it can be won if any of the 3 wins two successive bout... but if every bout winner goes on to lose the next bout then tomoe-sen can go on indefinitely.

5 or 6 or 9...12 members of a division would likewise reduce to a tomoe-sen.

Now, there has never been more than 5 members of a playoff in makuuchi. But lower divisions have just 7 days to fight, and as many as 200+ fighters in a division (jonidan), so playoffs, incl. tomoe-sens, should be more common.

So what was the longest tomoe-sen ever, in number of bouts between 3 equal competitors?

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and another interesting query:

Rikishi with the most kettei-sen/tomoe-sen bouts (click Expand for details)

As expected, many Yokozuna on the list and this Dewanoshima guy in beetwen. The Japanese wikipedia has a short but informative article about him.

In short, a much heralded prospect who had to quit at the age of 26 because of a heart disease.

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the tomoe-sen in Makuuchi look like this

Asashoryu had half of his tomoe-sen bouts in non-sekitori ranks.

Musashimaru (unfortunately) was not very productive in such bouts ... Especially against Taka .... (probably a reason i never liked him (In jonokuchi...))

and this is how Juryo looks like in the tomoe-sen department.

and this a list for more yusho through the play-off system. Asashoryu and Chiyonofuji were true grinders on the dohyo, but Hakuho may go past them with another yusho through a kettei-sen.

Edited by aderechelsea

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As far as I know the longest tomoe-sen was Kyushu 1994 in jonidan.

Thanks - that´s exactly what I was interested in. 7 bouts before the match was resolved.

And a simple statistic for the general frequency of playoffs:

Since 2011, in 19 basho

makuuchi has had 3 playoffs, all simple kettei-sens

juryo had 5 playoffs, all simple kettei-sens

makushita had 2 playoffs, but both had exactly 8 contestants, so resolved by kettei-sens

sandanme had 10 playoffs, all simple kettei-sens

jonidan had 7 playoffs, of which Haru 2013, with 9 contestants, led to tomoe-sen which Kinunonami won in 2 bouts; the rest were simple kettei-sens

jonokuchi had 4 playoffs, all simple kettei-sens.

So, out of 114 yusho, 29 needed playoffs, only 3 had more than 2 contestants, and only 1 led to tomoe-sen, and that resolved in 2 bouts.

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Previous 18 basho, 2008...2010, makuuchi:

5 playoffs, all simple kettei-sens

24 basho, 2004...2007, makuuchi: 5 playoffs, all simple kettei-sens

24 basho, 2000...2003, makuuchi: 3 playoffs, all simple kettei-sens

18 basho, 1997...1999, makuuchi: 6 playoffs. 5 were simple kettei-sens, and Haru 1997 had 4 contestants, so resolved by kettei-sens.

24 basho, 1993...1996, makuuchi: 7 playoffs. 4 were simple kettei-sens, 3 tomoe-sens. Last makuuchi tomoe-sen was Kyushu 1996: 5 contestants reduced to tomoe-sen that resolved in 2 bouts. Haru 1994 tomoe-sen resolved in 3 bouts, and Nagoya 1993 tomoe-sen in 2 bouts.

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Wouldn't it be simpler to group all the contestants in the ring at the same time (like a Battle Royal) and have them duke it out until there's only one left standing? It would take less time, and I'm sure the crowd would love it.

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