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mikawa

High School Banzuke 2019

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Posted (edited)

Following on from the Middle School Banzuke, we now move on to the banzuke for High School wrestlers. There are more tournaments on the high school calendar, and there are both individual and team competitions, which naturally means a ranking for both. The red number for each rikishi denotes which year group they are in.

This banzuke takes into account the following tournaments:

 

Before I publish the actual banzuke tomorrow, here are the top 10 High Schools of the past year, based on their results in the team competitions:

1 - Buntoku High School (文徳高校), Kumamoto
2 - Tottori Johoku High School (鳥取城北高校), Tottori
3 - Hiryu High School (飛龍高校), Shizuoka
4 - Sanbongi Agriculture High School (三本木農業高校), Aomori
5 - Kaiyo High School (海洋高校), Niigata
6 - Kanazawa Technical High School (金沢市立工業高校), Ishikawa
7 - Takushoku University Koryo High School (拓殖大学紅陵高校), Chiba
8 - Wakayama Commercial High School (和歌山商業高校), Wakayama
9 - Mukainooka Technical High School (向の岡工業高校), Kanagawa
10 - Saitama Sakae High School (埼玉栄高校), Saitama

 

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The High School of the Year race in 2019 was essentially a straight shootout between Buntoku and Tottori Johoku. Both teams reached the quarter-finals or better in ALL FIVE national tournaments last year (I'm including the Kokutai Junior here), and shared the team titles between them.

In the end, Buntoku (or "Uto Junior Sumo Club All Grown Up" as I like to think of them) won three tournaments to Tottori's two, and that's what decided it. The following video, which is the team final at last year's Inter-High, pretty much sums up their rivalry throughout 2019. Buntoku are on the left.

 

Shizuoka's Hiryu High School have slowly been creeping up the high school ranking. There were 23rd in 2017, 5th in 2018, and now up to 3rd in 2019. The main reason for this rise is that the kids from Yaizu Junior Sumo Club have grown up now (a bit like their Kumamoto counterparts), and are starting to make an impact on the high school sumo scene. One of them, Okuwa Genki, even went on to become the High School Yokozuna last year.

They'll be there or thereabouts for the foreseeable future, but unfortunately for Hiryu High School, the Middle School Yokozuna from 2018, Yoshii Ko, turned pro a year ago. Chris Gould talked about Yoshii many times in his videos.

 

The rise of Hiryu High School mirrors the downfall of Saitama Sakae High School. The traditional powerhouse and best high school sumo club for both 2017 and 2018 could only manage a lowly tenth last year. An incredibly poor result (last 32) from the Inter-High only added insult to injury. However, with talents like Tebakari Taiki (Kotoshoho's younger brother and Chris Gould's favourite high school rikishi) joining their team, we can expect them to bounce back on the next high school banzuke (probably 2021 now due to You-Know-What).

Edited by mikawa
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Posted (edited)

East Yokozuna - Kawabuchi Kazuma (川渕 一意), Kanazawa Gakuin High School, Ishikawa (3)
West Yokozuna - Hanada Hidetora (花田 秀虎), Wakayama Commercial High School, Wakayama (3)

East Ozeki - Aryuunaa Dawaaninji (アリューナー ダワーニンジ), Tottori Johoku High School, Tottori (3)
West Ozeki - Mukainagano Shingo (向中野 真豪), Tottori Johoku High School, Tottori (2)

East Sekiwake - Okuwa Genki (大桑 元揮), Hiryu High School, Shizuoka (3)
West Sekiwake - Okada Akichika (岡田 晃周), Hiryu High School, Shizuoka (3)

East Komusubi - Goshima Masaharu (五島 雅治), Minoshima High School, Wakayama (2)
West Komusubi - Kamei Hayato (亀井 颯人), Toyo University Ushiku High School, Ibaraki (3)

East Maegashira 1 - Yamazaki Shoma (山崎 勝磨), Sanbongi Agriculture High School, Aomori (3)
West Maegashira 1 - Kurita Yu (栗田 裕有), Kaiyo High School, Niigata (3)

East Maegashira 2 - Sarukawa Sora (猿川 天嵐), Goshogawara Norin High School, Aomori (3)
West Maegashira 2 - Kaki Shuta (可貴 秀太), Kanazawa Gakuin High School, Ishikawa (2)

East Maegashira 3 - Yoshida Rion (吉田 利恩), Takaoka Koryo High School, Toyama (3)
West Maegashira 3 - Ikeda Shun (池田 俊), Kanazawa Gakuin High School, Ishikawa (3)

East Maegashira 4 - Kusano Naoya (草野 直哉), Buntoku High School, Kumamoto (3)
West Maegashira 4 - Kitano Taisei (北野 泰聖), Kumamoto Agriculture High School, Kumamoto (3)

East Maegashira 5 - Omura Yuta (小村 勇大), Kanazawa Technical High School, Ishikawa (3)
West Maegashira 5 - Ezure Haruki (江連 春樹), Mito Agriculture High School, Ibaraki (2)

East Maegashira 6 - Hanaoka Masaki (花岡 真生), Buntoku High School, Kumamoto (2)
West Maegashira 6 - Kawazoe Fuma (川副 楓馬), Buntoku High School, Kumamoto (1)

East Maegashira 7 - Ochiai Tetsuya (落合 哲也), Tottori Johoku High School, Tottori (1)
West Maegashira 7 - Shimoyama Kenshin (下山 謙信), Kogota Norin High School, Miyagi (3)

East Maegashira 8 - Tsuchiya Kazuya (土屋 和也), Hiryu High School, Shizuoka (3)
West Maegashira 8 - Kiyomiya Itto (清宮 一翔), Saitama Sakae High School, Saitama (3)

East Maegashira 9 - Ochiai Yuto (落合 優大), Kanazawa Technical High School, Ishikawa (3)
West Maegashira 9 - Yuki Daisei (行 大成), Shonan High School, Kagoshima (3)

East Maegashira 10 - Mita Taiki (三田 大生), Kurobane High School, Tochigi (3)
West Maegashira 10 - Sato Soya (佐藤 綜哉), Kogota Norin High School, Miyagi (2)

East Maegashira 11 - Sakamae Yuki (坂前 由基), Minoshima High School, Wakayama (3)
West Maegashira 11 - Arakawa Dairaku (新川 大楽), Nakatsuhigashi High School, Oita (2)

East Maegashira 12 - Matsuhashi Yuya (松橋 宙也), Gifu Norin High School, Gifu (3)
West Maegashira 12 - Matsunaga George (松永 ジョージ), Takushoku University Koryo High School, Chiba (3)

 

Sanyaku Photos

East Yokozuna - Kawabuchi Kazuma (川渕 一意), Kanazawa Gakuin High School, Ishikawa

Kazuma.jpg

 

West Yokozuna - Hanada Hidetora (花田 秀虎), Wakayama Commercial High School, Wakayama

Hidetora.jpg

 

East Ozeki - Aryuunaa Dawaaninji (アリューナー ダワーニンジ), Tottori Johoku High School, Tottori

Dawaaninji.jpg

 

West Ozeki - Mukainagano Shingo (向中野 真豪), Tottori Johoku High School, Tottori

Shingo.jpg

 

East Sekiwake - Okuwa Genki (大桑 元揮), Hiryu High School, Shizuoka

Genki.jpg

 

West Sekiwake - Okada Akichika (岡田 晃周), Hiryu High School, Shizuoka

Akichika.jpg

 

East Komusubi - Goshima Masaharu (五島 雅治), Minoshima High School, Wakayama

Goshima.jpg

 

West Komusubi - Kamei Hayato (亀井 颯人), Toyo University Ushiku High School, Ibaraki

Hayato.jpg

Edited by mikawa
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The winner of two of the five high school tournaments last year, junior world champion Kawabuchi Kazuma bulldozed his way to East Yokozuna. His entire style of sumo is based on blasting his opponents out with his power and large physique, which has so far proved to be effective. In fact, he loves pushing sumo so much that he's known to give his opponent an extra shove just to show them who's boss (which was what he did in the world championship final).

It was because of this that I decided not to award him with the High School Rikishi of the Year for 2019, but he did conquer high school sumo last year, and hence deserves recognition for it. His bouts usually go a bit like this (Kazuma is on the right):

 

Two years ago, Akinomaki shared a video introducing a rikishi from Wakayama called Hanada Hidetora. The speed and skill of this wrestler made him a force to be reckoned with. However, despite a truly amazing two years, Hidetora would always be beaten to the East Yokozuna spot by a single person. In 2018, it was High School Yokozuna Saito Daisuke. Last year, it was junior world champion Kawabuchi Kazuma.

His matches are always interesting to watch, though as one Japanese sumo fan pointed out, he does tend to take a long time with his pre-bout preparations. Here he is starting off the year by winning the Kanazawa Tournament, showing us what he's capable of. Hidetora is on the near side.

 

"Dawaaninji came to Uryu, Hokkaido at age 5 when his parents moved there for work. He's been drinking a litre of milk every day since and shot up from 170cm to 190cm across his final two years of junior high school. As a six-year-old he bumped into Hakuho by chance at a Korean airport and asked for a picture. Hakuho suggested he give sumo a try which he did upon returning to Hokkaido. The connection was maintained over the years and at the Yokozuna's recommendation he later went to Tottori Ritsunishi junior high school and then Tottori Johoku high school." - Yubinhaad, 2020

Yubinhaad's post nicely sums up the background of this towering rikishi. The three years at Tottori Johoku High School has turned him from an above average rikishi to now arguably a top 5 in the whole country (certainly top 10). His superior height and long reach means that Dawaaninji will nearly always be able to get a hand on the belt, but he has a tendency of giving away a double inside grip to his opponent.

Although, having said that, despite the many times that this had happened, Dawaaninji seems to know how to win from such a position. Tochinoshin does it by lifting his opponents out of the ring, but Dawaaninji usually tries an outer arm throw of some sort. He was responsible for on of the most memorable bouts of last year's high school sumo (note: I said memorable, not exciting). During this long long bout, the gyoji had to yell hakkeyoi! a full ELEVEN times before the result was decided. Dawaaninji is on the left.

 

It's somewhat surprising that the most successful rikishi from Buntoku High School could only manage a Maegashira 4 (16th) on this banzuke. They are the definition of their team being greater than the sum of its parts, as Buntoku were the most successful high school sumo team last year.

Contrast this to Saitama Sakae High School, where only one person (Kiyomiya Itto) managed to snatch a place on this banzuke. To find their next best wrestler, you'd have to go all the way down to 46th position (Tebakari Taiki). It was a year to forget for this once great club, but if anyone was going to make it onto this banzuke, at least it was Itto, a graduate from the famous Komatsuryu Dojo (John Gunning's club). During his many years at the club, maybe John has personally trained this boy?

I'll finish off this thread with Chris Gould's coverage of the Inter-High last year. In his video, Chris focussed on the aforementioned Tebakari Taiki (his favourite high school wrestler) and also the eventual High School Yokozuna Kamei Hayato. If you love Ura's sumo, how about watching TWO Ura in action?

 

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Posted (edited)

Dawaaninji has some of the ugliest sumo I've seen, but it sure was effective last year (vs usually far smaller opponents). I contrast him with Hanaoka, whose style is very skillful and easy on the eye; I hope he grows some more. Shame that the latter and the other 2nd years will likely have their senior year in high school ruined. I guess for the competitors going to university a year off might not be as damaging, as most don't feature prominently in the college scene as first-years anyway (some obvious exceptions, as I'm sure the university banzuke will show).

Hanada has joined NSSU and I believe Kusano is at Nihon--not sure on the others. Hanada seemed pretty eager to turn pro and was very confident when he talked about it in 2018, mentioning his goal of winning the All-Japans as a high schooler and then becoming an ozumo yokozuna. I wonder if 'only' winning 1 event last school year had any part in his decision to go to college instead...

Many thanks for these banzuke, they give a great shot of the amateur scene and we've already seen how interesting it is to look back when some of the competitors turn pro.

Edited by Katooshu
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6 hours ago, Katooshu said:

Most don't feature prominently in the college scene as first-years anyway (some obvious exceptions, as I'm sure the university banzuke will show).

Foreshadowing (Laughing...)

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Thanks so much for this Mikawa (Bow...)

May I suggest that you include for each guy their 'class-year' (meaning 1st, 2nd or 3rd for Middle and High School, ...) ? If it doesn't require too much work anyway of course.

Outside of the 3-4 amasumo experts here, I think it may help newbies like me to follow who is turning pro, going on with his life or on his way to top the next-year banzuke.

Thanks again.

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1 hour ago, Oortael said:

May I suggest that you include for each guy their 'class-year' (meaning 1st, 2nd or 3rd for Middle and High School, ...) ?

I've now added the rikishi's respective year groups to the banzuke.

I also do a "Class of ......" post, where middle school graduates are ranked according to their cumulative scores in both primary school and middle school national level tournaments. The Class of 2020, for those first eligible to join Ozumo this year, is in the plans once the University Banzuke is published.

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