Promotion/Demotion and Yusho discussion Hatsu 2021

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Day 8 (results, text-only results)

8-0 M1w Daieisho

7-1 ---

6-2 O1w Shodai, M7e Meisei, M8w Kiribayama, M16w Akiseyama

I think somebody needs to coin a term to describe when a pusher-thruster rikishi just has absolutely everything click in his sumo... Even accounting for the fact that Daieisho would have deserved to compete this tournament as komusubi instead of M1, it's hard to overstate how impressive his first week has been with seven straight wins over sanyaku-ranked opposition, plus today's survival of a brief scare against Kagayaki. Not sure how many people saw that coming after Day 2, when the conventional wisdom was probably more along the lines of "well, he's always dangerous so beating Asanoyama on shonichi can happen, and Takakeisho was just bad the next day"...

It's a surprising storyline in a tournament that was expected to be full of them, even before Covid-19 concerns resulted in 15 sekitori absences including that of yokozuna Hakuho. Kakuryu ended up also sitting out being injured and off form, and he may or may not actually make it to the March basho as an active rikishi now (assuming there's a March basho), given the recent approval of his Japanese citizenship. With the dual question of their career survival out of the picture for this month, all eyes moved over to ozeki Takakeisho's quest for the tsuna - which of course lasted all of three days or so thanks to the losing streak he opened the basho with. Things have improved only marginally since he found himself on 0-4, and at 2-6 and with the hard part of his schedule still to come it looks fairly certain that he'll be entering the next tournament kadoban.

This month's kadoban duo both find themselves in positive territory with Asanoyama at 5-3 and Shodai at 6-2, but the perceived difference in the quality of their sumo has arguably been a lot greater than one win. While Shodai has largely fought like a guy who should still be considered a yusho threat even trailing Daieisho by two wins, it looks fairly safe to say that Asanoyama's goals for the basho will be limited to reaching the 8-win mark.

Three lower sanyaku also stand at 5-3. That's a relatively pedestrian result for last basho's playoff runner-up Terunofuji, who will have to turn up the heat in week two if he wants to be considered an ozeki promotion challenger next time, while Takanosho and Takayasu have arguably looked very good compared to what one might have reasonably expected to see from them this month. Among them only Takayasu has faced an ozeki so far (a Day 2 loss to Shodai), so the downturn may still be coming, but kachikoshi appears to be well in reach for all three. It's harder to say where Mitakeumi is headed - his record is only 3-5, but he has already faced all three ozeki, and in fact that's where all three of his wins have come from. I'm not sure whether to rate that more highly than the five losses against lesser competition... If he goes MK this basho, you can put a large part of the blame on his three defeats at the hands of his fellow lower sanyaku.

Daieisho looks poised to reclaim a sanyaku spot for the next tournament, with or without Mitakeumi's cooperation in freeing up a slot, while other potential KKs are likely to get stuck on the maegashira side of the joi. We'll have to see if anybody actually does post an outrage-worthy record by senshuraku again, though.

    kyu-c Hakuho        Y    Kakuryu      kyujo
     2-6  Takakeisho    O1   Shodai        6-2
     5-3  Asanoyama     O2   ---
     5-3  Terunofuji    S    Takanosho     5-3
     5-3  Takayasu      K    Mitakeumi     3-5

     2-6  Hokutofuji    M1   Daieisho      8-0
     4-4  Takarafuji    M2   Wakatakakage kyu-c
(x)  0-8  Kotoshoho     M3   Onosho        5-3
     2-6  Tochinoshin   M4   Tamawashi     5-3
     4-4  Endo          M5   Okinoumi      4-4
     3-5  Ryuden        M6   Kagayaki      3-5
     6-2  Meisei        M7   Tobizaru      3-5
                        M8   Kiribayama    6-2
                        M9   Myogiryu      5-3
     5-3  Shimanoumi    M10


Nobody in the lower half of the maegashira ranks has been producing a breakout performance this basho (as much as I'm a fan, I can't count Akiseyama's good-but-fluky 6-0 start), but on the flipside we also haven't seen much in the way of uncompetitive sumo down there, which has made for a nice change of pace from most recent tournaments. The sole exception has been Akua, who has fought exactly as badly as his 1-7 record indicates, potentially making his top division stint short-lived at just two tournaments after all - given that he was widely tabbed for an immediate return to juryo two months ago, but surprised with a 9-6 for his debut.

Everybody else just might end up doing enough to save his rank - enough by the usual metrics at least, which may well not apply this time. With 7 of the top 10 juryo rikishi out due to Covid-19 and possibly getting to retain their ranks, there will be little to no space to promote KK records in the upper half of the division, and something may have to give. That something could be makekoshi maegashira who would normally get to stay in the top division. On the other hand, we could also arrive at a situation where the scattered crowd of upper-half juryo rikishi has produced no promotable records at all, and otherwise demotion-worthy maegashira will get to survive because of it. Either way, I'll probably be keeping candidate rikishi listed for longer than usual this basho (such as Ichinojo right now with a nominal zero-win target).

It's all very messy in juryo with just 19 rikishi available, of course, especially since only 3 of them are ranked between J1 and J5, with the other 16 all in the lower two-thirds of the division. Consequently, most of these 16 will end up facing the entire high-ranked trio. Most tricky is the scheduling of the 4 rikishi from Kise-beya (Churanoumi, Hidenoumi, Jokoryu and Ura). The higher-ranked two have already faced maegashira opponents during the first week, but Jokoryu at J9e and Ura at J10e are positioned such that they just might have to be scheduled exactly against their 15 available juryo opponents, since they're too low for makuuchi opponents and too high to meet anybody from makushita. Things are somewhat similar for Oitekaze-beya with 3 juryo division members as well, two of them (Tsurugisho and Daishomaru) ranked at J8. We'll see if those two will make visits to makuuchi; so far the schedulers have stopped at J7w Nishikigi for that, though he's probably done being used thanks to his 1-7 scoreline.

(1)  2-6  Tokushoryu    M8
    kyu-c Chiyonokuni   M9
                        M10  Aoiyama       4-4  (1)
    kyu-c Chiyotairyu   M11  Kotoeko       2-6  (3)
(0)  5-3  Ichinojo      M12  Terutsuyoshi  3-5  (3)
(5)  1-7  Akua          M13  Chiyoshoma   kyu-c
(3)  3-5  Hoshoryu      M14  Midorifuji    5-3  (2)
(2)  5-3  Yutakayama    M15  Kotonowaka    5-3  (2)
    kyu-c Kaisei        M16  Akiseyama     6-2  (2)
(4)  4-4  Sadanoumi     M17  ---

    kyu-c Ishiura       J1   Daiamami      4-4  (4)
    kyu-c Chiyomaru     J2   Chiyonoo     kyu-c
    kyu-c Enho          J3   Churanoumi    4-4  (5)
(7)  3-5  Shohozan      J4   Kyokushuho   kyu-c
    kyu-c Wakamotoharu  J5   Chiyootori   kyu-c
                        J6   Hidenoumi     6-2  (5)
    kyu-c Kyokutaisei   J7
(4)  8-0  Tsurugisho    J8   Daishomaru    6-2  (6)
(7)  5-3  Jokoryu       J9
(7)  6-2  Ura           J10  Mitoryu       5-3  (~)


The preceding basho produced four promotions from makushita to juryo, two of them marking debuts and the other two being returns. So far this quartet has performed in quite similar fashion, with an occasional strong bout punctuating a lot of fairly meh sumo, so all of Oho/Tohakuryu/Yago/Ryuko still have quite some work to do if they wish to avoid the immediate trip back to the unpaid ranks. Rookie Oho does hold the strongest cards by virtue of his high-ish ranking at J11w, but his sumo has arguably reverted back to what it was for the year that he was stuck in upper makushita, before November's 6-1 breakout. Fellow newcomer Tohakuryu has looked somewhat more impressive to my eyes and may well have a better shot at obtaining 4 more wins than Oho does at collecting 3. Returnee Ryuko even needs 5, and that may be too much to ask.

By far the weakest performances so far were shown by higher-ranked demotion candidates, however, and Azumaryu, Nishikigi and Kotoyuki can all count their lucky stars that their W-L targets are quite a bit less demanding. Of these three, only Nishikigi has been a bit unlucky to be only 1-7, while Azumaryu's 2-6 and Kotoyuki's 1-7 are completely in line with their sumo.

Given the uncertainties surrounding how the scheduling committee will handle the various restrictions on their match-making, it's really hard to offer any sort of credible prediction for juryo's lower half here. But unless they start mixing in makushita rikishi, a heck of a lot of the next 7 days will see demotion candidates either facing each other, or the three active high-rankers. That might make it almost inevitable that several of them will fail to achieve safe records.

Over in makushita there's no clear frontrunner for promotion yet, as the highest-ranked unbeaten record is not found within the top 5 ranks; it's surprise contender Shohoryu in his very first appearance in the makushita-joi at Ms8w. Experienced 25-year-old Bushozan (in his 36th makushita tournament!), who was already close to promotion last time, does sport a 3-1 score at Ms2e and may be only one more win away from the paid ranks.

(2)  2-6  Azumaryu      J6
                        J7   Nishikigi     1-7  (3)
                        J9   Kotoyuki      1-7  (4)
                        J10  Mitoryu       5-3  (1)
    kyu-c Chiyonoumi    J11  Oho           3-5  (3)
(2)  5-3  Hakuyozan     J12  Takagenji     3-5  (4)
(4)  3-5  Ikioi         J13  Yago          3-5  (4)
(5)  3-5  Ryuko         J14  Tohakuryu     4-4  (4)

     1-3  Kitaharima    Ms1  Takakento     2-2
     3-1  Bushozan      Ms2  Roga          2-2
    kyu-c Kotokuzan     Ms3  Ichiyamamoto  3-1
     1-3  Nakazono      Ms4  Daishoho      2-2
     2-2  Tochimaru     Ms5  Nishikifuji   3-1
                        Ms8  Shohoryu      4-0


Explanation of symbols used:

numbers = wins needed until favourable outcome (getting promoted / not getting demoted)
o = favourable outcome achieved
x = favourable outcome definitely missed
~ = favourable outcome missed "by the numbers", but still achievable through banzuke luck


Additional note: Operating under the assumption that the 15 involuntarily sidelined sekitori will all get to keep their ranks, I won't be listing them - Hakuho aside - on future daily updates in order to unclutter the tables a bit.


Juryo yusho race through Day 8:

8-0 J8e Tsurugisho

7-1 ---

6-2 J6w Hidenoumi, J8w Daishomaru, J10e Ura

Tsurugisho hasn't looked quite as dominant as he did during his Nagoya 2019 yusho campaign, but he's not far off, and this 8-0 start (matching his stablemate Daieisho) is well-deserved. We'll see if he manages to hold on. Normally I'd point out that things could get a little complicated here with the top 4 yusho contenders hailing from just two stables (Kise and Oitekaze), but the schedulers have much bigger issues to deal with this time, so that's just another drop in the bucket. It's of no concern after Day 9 anyway, since Tsurugisho-Ura is on the torikumi there and that will complete the four possible matchups among them. Hidenoumi, meanwhile, faces Takagenji (J12w 3-5), and Daishomaru goes against Churanoumi (J3w 4-4), another Kise-beya guy.

Lower divisions and ex-sekitori tomorrow...well, later today. Future updates should be a bit more timely.

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Churanoumi at J3w has above him covid-affected guys at J3e, J2w, and J2e.  If he makes KK and is normally booked for a rise of a level, but the level above him is filled with rikishi who must not be promoted because of covid, what's the process?  Do we have data on this from the last banzuke?  Similarly, if somebody goes 11-4 and is usually set to pass 12 or so guys on the way up, do they count the ones who are frozen or not when they decide how far up he goes?  Same thing of course happens in reverse: if Sadanoumi from M17e goes 7-8, the J1w slot is open, but with a 6-9, we'd expect him to land in a J2 slot, and there isn't one unless we move the covid guys slightly.  Is it even possible that banzuke luck could get one of the covid-frozen promoted by sheer chance?

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The former sekitori through Day 8...after a wave of retirements in 2020 we're down to fewer than 30 of them for the first time in half a decade or so.

Tomokaze (26), Daiseido (28), Nionoumi (34) and Sagatsukasa (39) celebrated birthdays in December. The only January birthday boy is Kaisho who turns 26 on January 28th.

Irodori and Sakigake were last seen in juryo exactly one year ago, while Toyohibiki is three years removed from sekitoridom.

No less than 6 ex-sekitori started the basho on the sidelines; Chiyoarashi and Asahisho are out due to Covid-19 regulations, while Toyohibiki (first absence), Kagamio (last completed basho March 2020) and Tomokaze (6th tournament out rehabbing his knee) are missing in action due to injuries, and Abi is serving the last basho of his suspension. In addition Masunoyama had to leave the tournament after his first match.

Conversely, Fukushima (formerly known as Gokushindo) is back on the dohyo after four missed tournaments.

Record   Rank   Shikona Heya Age Out
1-3 Ms1e Kitaharima Yamahibiki 34 2
3-1 Ms3w Ichiyamamoto Nishonoseki 27 6
2-2 Ms4w Daishoho Oitekaze 26 2
3-1 Ms5w Nishikifuji Isegahama 24 1
kyujo (c) Ms10e Chiyoarashi Kokonoe 29 44
0-4 Ms13e Fujiazuma Tamanoi 33 1
2-2 Ms13w Kaisho Asakayama 25 6
2-2 Ms15e Asabenkei Takasago 31 3
susp. Ms16e Abi Shikoroyama 26 1
3-1 Ms19w Sakigake Shibatayama 34 5
3-1 Ms20e Asagyokusei Takasago 27 4
1-3 Ms28w Nionoumi Yamahibiki 34 44
2-2 Ms29e Amakaze Oguruma 29 16
kyujo Ms31w Toyohibiki Sakaigawa 36 17
1-3 Ms35w Keitenkai Onomatsu 30 49
3-1 Ms36e Oki Shikoroyama 24 2
3-1 Ms41e Daiseido Kise 28 10
0-4 Ms42e Higonojo Kise 36 39
kyujo (c) Ms42w Asahisho Tomozuna 31 21
1-3 Ms56w Irodori Shikoroyama 28 5
0-1-3 Sd4w Masunoyama Tokiwayama 30 34
3-1 Sd27w Takaryu Kise 28 32
0-4 Sd35w Sagatsukasa Irumagawa 39 40
2-2 Sd41e Dairaido Takadagawa 40 85
3-1 Sd62e Kaonishiki Azumazeki 42 55
kyujo Sd73w Kagamio Kagamiyama 32 27
kyujo Sd95w Tomokaze Oguruma 26 4
4-0 Jd27e Yoshiazuma Tamanoi 43 37
4-0 Jd46w Fukushima Nishikido 24 12

Fujiazuma... :-(

Edited by Asashosakari
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Day 9 (results, text-only results)

8-1 M1w Daieisho

7-2 O1w Shodai

6-3 O2e Asanoyama, Se Terunofuji, M3w Onosho, M7e Meisei, M8w Kiribayama, M10e Shimanoumi, M12e Ichinojo, M15e Yutakayama, M15w Kotonowaka, M16w Akiseyama

Excellent defensive sumo by tough customer Takarafuji today to end leader Daieisho's winning streak. The pursuers didn't have a particularly glorious day either with one win and three losses, but the one winner was arguably the one who counts, namely our best-performing high ranker Shodai, and we should be having a proper yusho race now. The trio of 6-2 losing rikishi was joined by no less than 7 winners from 5-3, so a whole third of the division is now technically in the hunt for the title.

Of course, while it's quite conceivable that Daieisho and Shodai could go to 3 (or more) losses before all is said and done, any of the other pursuers would still need to win 6 straight from here. I do suppose it's not out of the question that at least one of those 10 could do it by the sheer force of numbers, but I'd honestly be more surprised by it than by nobody finishing better than 11-4 (including Daieisho and Shodai).

While Shodai and Asanoyama performed in convincing victories over Tamawashi and Takayasu, it was another forgettable day for fellow ozeki Takakeisho who just seems to lack any sort of oomph in his thrusting this basho and is predictably getting outmaneuvered by his opponents when the bout goes on too long. 2-7 means it could be curtains on his kachikoshi hopes as early as tomorrow's matchup against Okinoumi.

Terunofuji quietly continues to keep himself in range of a sufficiently good basho score to maintain his ozeki run, beating Ryuden today for his third successive win. I remain unconvinced that he's in good enough shape to trouble Shodai, Asanoyama and even Takanosho though. We'll know better after tomorrow as he faces the latter for the tournament's sekiwake duel. Takanosho, for his part, suffered a very questionable loss to Kagayaki today, one which hopefully won't be the difference between KK and MK in the end. Komusubi Mitakeumi had one of his more impressive outings of the basho in defeating Hokutofuji, who hasn't come close to duplicating his November performances so far.

    kyu-c Hakuho        Y    Kakuryu      kyujo
     2-7  Takakeisho    O1   Shodai        7-2
     6-3  Asanoyama     O2   ---
     6-3  Terunofuji    S    Takanosho     5-4
     5-4  Takayasu      K    Mitakeumi     4-5

     2-7  Hokutofuji    M1   Daieisho      8-1
     5-4  Takarafuji    M2
                        M3   Onosho        6-3
     3-6  Tochinoshin   M4   Tamawashi     5-4
     5-4  Endo          M5   Okinoumi      5-4
(x)  3-6  Ryuden        M6   Kagayaki      4-5
     6-3  Meisei        M7   Tobizaru      4-5
                        M8   Kiribayama    6-3
                        M9   Myogiryu      5-4
     6-3  Shimanoumi    M10


Sadanoumi is fighting quite a bit better this month than he did in November, but it may all be too little anyway after the 5-10 record he scored there sent him to the very bottom of the top division for this one. At 4-5 after today's loss to Shimanoumi it's starting to be an uphill battle to avoid his first trip to juryo in three years. Sophomore makuuchi member Akua remains in even bigger trouble after he clinched the first makekoshi up here, losing to Tobizaru. Terutsuyoshi, down in the demotion zone after back-to-back 5-10's in September and November, is also increasingly in danger after his fourth loss in five days, today against Hoshoryu (who has been going the other way, from a disappointing 0-5 start to 4-5 now).

Crunchtime for unfortunate makuuchi MKs came a little bit closer today as the top four promotion contenders in juryo were all successful. Daiamami, ranking juryo 1 on the West side, defeated hapless Kotoyuki, and may need to go only 3-3 from here to force a promotion as the East slot is blocked by Covid-absent Ishiura. Churanoumi, Hidenoumi and Tsurugisho will probably need to do more than that, but just by virtue of trending towards (or, in Tsurugisho's case, being) kachikoshi they're already putting up question marks on how the next banzuke-making session can possibly work out. Ugh.

Unlikely to have to worry about all that is Ichinojo who should certainly be safe in his top division slot after he clinched his 6th win against fellow Mongolian Kiribayama in their first-ever meeting. Aoiyama is another heavyweight veteran likely to retain his makuuchi position from here, having defeated Akiseyama for the latter's third straight loss. Low-ranked Yutakayama and Kotonowaka were victorious as well and both have kachikoshi in their sights from 6-3.

(1)  2-7  Tokushoryu    M8
                        M10  Aoiyama       5-4  (0)
                        M11  Kotoeko       3-6  (2)
(o)  6-3  Ichinojo      M12  Terutsuyoshi  3-6  (3)
(5)  1-8  Akua          M13
(2)  4-5  Hoshoryu      M14  Midorifuji    5-4  (2)
(1)  6-3  Yutakayama    M15  Kotonowaka    6-3  (1)
                        M16  Akiseyama     6-3  (2)
(4)  4-5  Sadanoumi     M17  ---

                        J1   Daiamami      5-4  (3)
                        J3   Churanoumi    5-4  (4)
(~)  3-6  Shohozan      J4
                        J6   Hidenoumi     7-2  (4)
(3)  9-0  Tsurugisho    J8   Daishomaru    6-3  (6)
(~)  5-4  Jokoryu       J9
(~)  6-3  Ura           J10  Mitoryu       6-3  (~)

Great opportunity for Akiseyama to turn things around again tomorrow as underperforming Azumaryu (J6e 2-7) has been tabbed for his second makuuchi visit of the tournament despite his craptacular record.


In line with yesterday's assessment Day 9 saw a well-deserved second shiroboshi for Nishikigi with a convincing performance against rookie Tohakuryu. Things didn't go so well for Azumaryu who lost to low-ranked Ikioi, nor for Kotoyuki who finds himself makekoshi early after losing to promotion contender Daiamami. It's not getting any easier for them with the aforementioned makuuchi trip for Azumaryu and another strong opponent in Churanoumi for Kotoyuki. Could the 29-year-old Sadogatake man truly be headed to makushita for the first time in almost a decade?

A pair of head-to-head matches between demotion candidates was seen in the low ranks, duly won by Yago against Oho, and Mitoryu against Ryuko. That'll be enough for Mitoryu to extend his reign as the longest-serving current juryo rikishi (jointly with absent Kyokushuho; both have been in the division since Hatsu 2018). With 6 losses in 7 days, bottom-ranked returnee Ryuko finds himself in major trouble and his second stint in the paid ranks just might end as quickly as the first one did, after just one basho.

Meanwhile, Hakuyozan looked good against Jokoryu and has taken a big step towards retaining his salary spot with win #6. In an odd coincidence, his results for the first 9 days are exactly the same as they were two months ago (WLLLWWWWW). Let's hope the similarities end here, as that basho closed with a 6-day losing streak...

Down in makushita Day 9 saw the first KK as well as the first MK among the top 5 ranks. It hasn't done much to clarify the promotion situation though. Ms4w Nakazono was unlikely to be part of the race from 1-3 even if he didn't drop to 1-4 today (in a match against Kitaharima that really could have used a second look on the replays), and Ms5w Nishikifuji is ranked low enough that his work is far from done at 4-1.

The nominal frontrunner is now top-ranked Takakento at 3-2 after a defeat of former maegashira Daishoho. One more win for the 24-year-old to give himself an excellent present for his upcoming birthday in February. Erstwhile promotion queue leader Bushozan, who had his own 25th birthday just last month, found himself on the losing end of Nishikifuji's KK clincher, but he remains in a good position to secure his long-awaited juryo debut for March as well. 2-2 duo Tochimaru and Roga were also matched up inside the promotion zone, with the better end for the Kasugano-beya veteran.

Undefeated co-leader Shohoryu prevailed over oldie Ryusei in a spirited match and moved up to 5-0 to keep himself in the promotion conversation. We've had three low-ranked 7-0 promotions to juryo in just the last six tournaments, but the others who did it (Terunofuji, Chiyonokuni and Ryuko) had quite a bit more name value and of course they were returning to juryo, not making a debut, so this would be a rather less expected achievement if Shohoryu pulls it off.

(2)  2-7  Azumaryu      J6
                        J7   Nishikigi     2-7  (2)
                        J9   Kotoyuki      1-8  (4)
                        J10  Mitoryu       6-3  (o)
                        J11  Oho           3-6  (3)
(1)  6-3  Hakuyozan     J12  Takagenji     3-6  (4)
(3)  4-5  Ikioi         J13  Yago          4-5  (3)
(5)  3-6  Ryuko         J14  Tohakuryu     4-5  (4)

     2-3  Kitaharima    Ms1  Takakento     3-2
     3-2  Bushozan      Ms2  Roga          2-3
                        Ms3  Ichiyamamoto  3-2
(x)  1-4  Nakazono      Ms4  Daishoho      2-3
     3-2  Tochimaru     Ms5  Nishikifuji   4-1
                        Ms8  Shohoryu      5-0


Juryo yusho race through Day 9:

9-0 J8e Tsurugisho

8-1 ---

7-2 J6w Hidenoumi

Tsurugisho took out pursuer Ura on his own today, and quite decisively so, while Daishomaru was dropped from the 2-loss group by promotion-seeking Churanoumi. Hidenoumi survived a spirited attack by low-ranker Takagenji to keep his slight yusho hopes alive.

The schedules are getting exactly as weird as expected, as the leader's next challenge will be provided by that same Takagenji despite his 3-6 record. Hidenoumi faces the rather more presentable 6-3 Mitoryu and will probably get another makuuchi fill-in appearance the day after that, so it's conceivable that Tsurugisho's lead may soon be even larger than 2 wins. But of course we're still talking about juryo here so both being 9-2 in a couple of days would hardly be shocking, either.

(Sorry, still no lower division leaders write-up; I didn't get to record their Day 9 matches yet and without those there's not much point in doing it now as opposed to tomorrow when the standings will still be the exact same.)

Edited by Asashosakari
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1 hour ago, Asashosakari said:

We've had three low-ranked 7-0 promotions to juryo in just the last six tournaments, but the others who did it (Terunofuji, Chiyonokuni and Ryuko) had quite a bit more name value and of course they were returning to juryo, not making a debut, so this would be a rather less expected achievement if Shohoryu pulls it off.

Personally, Shohoryu has "name value" to me as one of the rikishi making their (Maezumo) debut in Aki 2014, the one basho from which I made up videos of all the lower-division results, including Maezumo.  I remember Shohoryu's name quite clearly as there was discussion on the board as to exactly what the gyoji were saying.  It's strange the kinds of things one remembers, as I had no idea who any of the other Mae-zumo participants were until I just looked it up, and Takakeisho made his debut then.  There just wasn't anything nearly as memorable about his debut compared to the discussion as to what Shohoryu's shikona actually was.  That also was the tournament that Hokutoryu set a record (at the time) of oldest Maezumo participant, and while I remembered that he did that at some point, I hadn't connected it to Aki 2014 like with Shohoryu.

He also seems to have a decent career as a sekitori ahead of him, assuming he keeps things up, having only turned 24 in October.

Edited by Gurowake
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While I admit it's unlikely, I'd love to see Fujimusashi, the youngest rikishi on the banzuke, win the Jonidan yusho. The closest I can find to that happening in the last ~30 years is Hokutenzan's 6-1 play-off loss in 1995 Hatsu.

A Shohoryu yusho would also be welcome - only two have been won by the yumitori-shiki performer since 1952, the last by Koganefuji in 1986 Kyushu.

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Day 10 (results, text-only results)

9-1 M1w Daieisho

8-2 O1w Shodai

7-3 O2e Asanoyama, M7e Meisei, M12e Ichinojo

Hokutofuji can be a tricky opponent even when he's having an off-basho, and today was no exception, but Daieisho rebounded nicely from yesterday's disappointment to retain the lead. Shodai had a couple of big scares against Endo and barely came out on top of their mutual throwing attempt at the tawara that ended the match. The large 6-3 pursuit group decided to start crumbling early with 7 rikishi making their departure, despite only one head-to-head meeting where an exit was assured. Meisei prevailed over Kiribayama in that one, and he was joined at 7-3 by ozeki Asanoyama after a strong display against Tamawashi, as well as Ichinojo who patiently outmuscled small top division rookie Midorifuji.

Struggling Takakeisho decided to not take the full make-koshi on the dohyo and will have to watch the remaining five days from the sidelines after today's fusenpai against Okinoumi. A tough turnaround from what was supposed to be a tsuna challenge, but has now ended in kadoban status for the next tournament. Shodai got himself out of that same predicament with today's KK-clinching 8th win, and Asanoyama will almost certainly follow him soon. It remains to be seen if they're capable of switching their mental approach from rank survival to yusho chase now.

The sekiwake duo had an entertaining match with junior rank holder Takanosho keeping himself on the tawara just long enough to win by a whisker. (At least they didn't deny him the mono-ii for the second day running...) Hard-luck fourth loss for Terunofuji whose ozeki ambitions have taken a bit of a hit here, considering Shodai and Asanoyama are still on his slate and standing in the way of a 10-5 or better finish. Meanwhile, both komusubi improved their kachikoshi chances with a victory on Day 9.

    kyu-c Hakuho        Y    Kakuryu      kyujo
     2-8  Takakeisho    O1   Shodai        8-2
     7-3  Asanoyama     O2   ---
     6-4  Terunofuji    S    Takanosho     6-4
     6-4  Takayasu      K    Mitakeumi     5-5

(x)  2-8  Hokutofuji    M1   Daieisho      9-1
     6-4  Takarafuji    M2
                        M3   Onosho        6-4
(x)  3-7  Tochinoshin   M4   Tamawashi     5-5
     5-5  Endo          M5   Okinoumi      6-4
                        M6   Kagayaki      5-5
     7-3  Meisei        M7   Tobizaru      4-6  (x)
                        M8   Kiribayama    6-4
                        M9   Myogiryu      5-5  (x)
(x)  6-4  Shimanoumi    M10

We're entering the basho home stretch, where it's going to be interesting who they will throw at Daieisho to try to derail his yusho campaign. Unlike a lot of recent tournaments there aren't any other particularly overperforming maegashira, so it seems reasonable to expect mostly joi opposition for him. Onosho gets the call tomorrow, the likes of Okinoumi and Tamawashi will probably follow. Perhaps Ichinojo would still make for a good opponent despite his relatively low rank? He does hold a 5-2 H2H advantage over Daieisho, but they haven't met since mid-2019. The other current pursuer, Meisei, might be a lot more up the leader's alley, with a 4-0 career score tallied in Daieisho's favour - though also no meetings in 2020.

With Takakeisho's exit there are only 6 remaining intra-sanyaku matchups for the last 5 days, and if they're going to save any for the final weekend they're not doing so tomorrow as Asanoyama-Takanosho has appeared on the Day 11 torikumi. We'll see if they keep doing one each day and then two on senshuraku (where Shodai-Asanoyama could be joined by Takanosho-Takayasu), or if they opt for a different solution with a gap on either Day 12 or 13.


Three low-ranked maegashira entered Day 10 with the opportunity to save themselves (at least by the numbers), but neither managed to do it. Tokushoryu-Akua was a long but not overly pretty match, eventually won by Akua with a shitatenage countering Tokushoryu's (sort of) forward movement. The latter thus joined the former on 2-8 and makekoshi. Elsewhere, Kotonowaka ran into surging Hoshoryu and found himself leg-tripped into the ground after a brief tussle, and Yutakayama completely failed to get his pushing game going against upper-ranked Ryuden.

Sadanoumi did well against big Aoiyama and at 5-5 his chances of survival are looking a little better again. Terutsuyoshi was also successful but barely managed to dispatch Myogiryu to the outside before he got slapped down himself, and Kotoeko rounded out the list of low-ranked winners after a highly entertaining slapfest with Tobizaru. All in all a decent day down here, which made it quite a bit more likely that the list of demotable rikishi will end up relatively short in the end.

Victory #4 in a row for top-ranked Daiamami in juryo, today against Ura; the bout ended with an amusing belly bump that sent the retreating Ura on his butt. Daiamami is the nominal frontrunner for a promotion, too, after Tsurugisho had to take his first loss of the basho, getting slapped down unceremoniously by Takagenji. In the hypothetical promotion queue he's even behind Churanoumi now, who didn't have a lot of trouble against hapless Kotoyuki.

(1)  2-8  Tokushoryu    M8
                        M10  Aoiyama       5-5  (0)
                        M11  Kotoeko       4-6  (1)
                        M12  Terutsuyoshi  4-6  (2)
(4)  2-8  Akua          M13
(1)  5-5  Hoshoryu      M14  Midorifuji    5-5  (2)
(1)  6-4  Yutakayama    M15  Kotonowaka    6-4  (1)
                        M16  Akiseyama     6-4  (2)
(3)  5-5  Sadanoumi     M17  ---

                        J1   Daiamami      6-4  (2)
                        J3   Churanoumi    6-4  (3)
(x)  3-7  Shohozan      J4
                        J6   Hidenoumi     7-3  (4)
(3)  9-1  Tsurugisho    J8   Daishomaru    7-3  (5)
(x)  5-5  Jokoryu       J9
(x)  6-4  Ura           J10  Mitoryu       7-3  (~)

No more juryo rikishi will be visiting makuuchi for now, after Takakeisho's withdrawal evened up the numbers in the top division.


Speaking of visits to makuuchi, a big win for Azumaryu against fading Akiseyama today leaves him just one shiroboshi short of retaining his juryo spot. He joins Hakuyozan in that position, who was unable to come through and save himself against Yago. All rikishi ranked after Hakuyozan - the bottom five in the division - were victorious today, so things are looking quite a bit less dire than they did 24 hours ago. Takagenji and Ryuko ended 3-day losing streaks in the process. Still lots of work left to do, however, with plenty of rikishi needing to win 3 (or even 4) out of 5 to close out the basho.

Winning two matches consecutively for the first time this basho, Ikioi is back at an even record again after six days, and the former top division mainstay may well get to survive for another basho after all as he just needs two more wins now. (Getting through the whole of 2021 will be a different matter.) Fellow veteran Kotoyuki is drifting ever closer to demotion, on the other hand, and it's hard to see how he's going to turn things around sufficiently to avoid the trip to the unsalaried ranks.

No changes in makushita as everybody of relevance was already in action on Day 9.

(1)  3-7  Azumaryu      J6
                        J7   Nishikigi     2-8  (2)
                        J9   Kotoyuki      1-9  (4)
                        J11  Oho           3-7  (3)
(1)  6-4  Hakuyozan     J12  Takagenji     4-6  (3)
(2)  5-5  Ikioi         J13  Yago          5-5  (2)
(4)  4-6  Ryuko         J14  Tohakuryu     5-5  (3)

     2-3  Kitaharima    Ms1  Takakento     3-2
     3-2  Bushozan      Ms2  Roga          2-3
                        Ms3  Ichiyamamoto  3-2
                        Ms4  Daishoho      2-3
     3-2  Tochimaru     Ms5  Nishikifuji   4-1
                        Ms8  Shohoryu      5-0

Goodbye juryo rikishi in makuuchi, hello makushita folks in juryo. It may be Day 11, but we're getting started off with the usual first pairing, namely the bottom-ranked juryo (Tohakuryu) against the #1 from makushita (Kitaharima). Ryuko-Takakento to continue the pattern for Day 12 wouldn't be unexpected, but perhaps only if Takakento drops to 3-3 against Ichiyamamoto tomorrow. After that they'll likely switch to the usual need-based pairings that are typical of the final three days, in any case.

Further intra-promotion zone action will see Bushozan against Tochimaru in another KK decider, as well as one non-domestic hopeful dropping to MK in Roga-Daishoho. Nishikifuji will go against Murata (Ms8e 4-1) who is riding an 8-basho kachikoshi, and Shohoryu's yusho hopes will be challenged by 30-year-old veteran Ms25w Asakoki.

Edited by Asashosakari
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48 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

We're entering the basho home stretch, where it's going to be interesting who they will throw at Daieisho to try to derail his yusho campaign. Unlike a lot of recent tournaments there aren't any other particularly overperforming maegashira, so it seems reasonable to expect mostly joi opposition for him. Onosho gets the call tomorrow, the likes of Okinoumi and Tamawashi will probably follow.

I currently have Okinoumi poised to face the rest of the sanyaku for the rest of the tournament.  If Okinoumi himself isn't in the yusho race, I don't see the point of them skipping his match against a sanyaku other than maybe Mitakeumi if he were MK by the time their match was scheduled, while no other sanyaku can end up MK before they would be scheduled against Okinoumi unless they do day 14's schedule late.

Tamawashi also will have sanyaku opponents Days 12 and 13 most likely, and so they're going to need someone other than Meisei (who will be the top-ranked available choice for Day 12 assuming they skip over Kotoshoho still) for Day 13, which will depend on how well everyone is doing at that point.  Ichinojo or Kiribayama?  Tochinoshin is a possibility for Day 14 if not already MK and Ryuden likely be free day 15 (I'm seeing Mitakeumi Day 12 and the Ozeki 13 and 14, with the 2 free sanyaku on Day 15 having already faced him) if not already MK as well.  If those guys don't have good enough records, we'll slip down to whoever does well in the latter half of the banzuke i guess.

Edited by Gurowake
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Juryo yusho race through Day 10:

9-1 J8e Tsurugisho

8-2 ---

7-3 J6w Hidenoumi, J8w Daishomaru, J10w Mitoryu

Maybe we're getting a "proper" juryo yusho race for week two... Tsurugisho looked oddly indecisive against Takagenji, and received a quick hatakikomi for his troubles. Hidenoumi didn't take the initiative against Mitoryu either, and the heavyweight Mongolian wasted no time taking advantage of it. Mitoryu moved himself up into the race with that, while Daishomaru returned to contention with a strong defensive performance against young newcomer Oho's pushing attempts.

With his closest pursuer failing to close the gap, Tsurugisho remains firmly in the driver's seat for now.

Up for tomorrow, an almost acceptable-looking lineup of matches for our quartet:

J8e  Tsurugisho (9-1)  -  J12e Hakuyozan (6-4)

J14e Ryuko (4-6)       -  J8w  Daishomaru (7-3)
J13e Ikioi (5-5)       -  J6w  Hidenoumi (7-3)
J10w Mitoryu (7-3)     -  J1w  Daiamami (6-4)

As it's a slightly different configuration from two days ago (Mitoryu instead of Ura), there's actually a possible intra-contenders match-up again: Tsurugisho has not faced Mitoryu yet.

Lower division yusho races (Day 7-8 results for how we got to this lineup after the first week; and finally the Day 9 results with video, also available as playlist):

5-0 Ms8w Shohoryu (Tokitsukaze)
4-1 Ms17w Ryusei (Kagamiyama)
5-0 Ms25w Asakoki (Takasago)
4-1 Ms30e Yutakasho (Sakaigawa)
4-1 Ms33e Tsushimanada (Sakaigawa)
5-0 Ms48w Hamayutaka (Tokitsukaze)
5-0 Ms57e Wakanoumi (Nishikido)

4-1 Sd13w Oginosho (Dewanoumi)
5-0 Sd16w Sasakiyama (Kise)
4-1 Sd29w Shinohara (Fujishima)
5-0 Sd38w Roman (Tatsunami)
4-1 Sd47e Hagiwara (Naruto)
5-0 Sd54e Oginohama (Dewanoumi)
4-1 Sd63e Hodaka (Onoe)
4-1 Sd77w Mihamaumi (Tamanoi)
5-0 Sd78w Teraoumi (Shikoroyama)
5-0 Sd91w Shimoyama (Tokitsukaze)
4-1 Sd96w Sadanohikari (Sakaigawa)

5-0 Jd15e Nogami (Oguruma)
4-1 Jd17w Kenshin (Sakaigawa)
4-1 Jd27e Yoshiazuma (Tamanoi)
5-0 Jd35w Hakuomaru (Tokitsukaze)
4-1 Jd46w Fukushima (Nishikido)
5-0 Jd57w Hatooka (Kise)
4-1 Jd62e Tabara (Musashigawa)
5-0 Jd72w Fujimusashi (Musashigawa)
5-0 Jd81w Ryutsukasa (Irumagawa)
4-1 Jd91e Kirizakura (Michinoku)
4-1 Jd102e Asanoshima (Takasago)

5-0 Jk7e Okanojo (Dewanoumi)
4-1 Jk17e Ryuseiyama (Dewanoumi)
5-0 Jk25w Arauma (Isenoumi)

Disappointing round for Sakaigawa-beya which entered with 4 undefeated rikishi and left with zero. Conversely, Tokitsukaze-beya's 4 contenders all moved on. That includes the makushita division where we just might end up with two of them at 6-0. Wouldn't be great news for Shohoryu, in all likelihood, as it would mean they'll have to give him a different and likely tougher opponent for his yusho decider. But of course, he'll need to win his 6th match for that in the first place. 30-year-old mid-makushita regular Asakoki is far from a pushover, and has the experience of no less than four career 7-0 performances resulting in two sandanme and one jonidan yusho, and one jonidan runner-up. The other round 6 matchup between Hamayutaka and Wakanoumi is a similarly close call - both are youngish (25 and 23) mainstays of the lower makushita half who have not quite managed to break out yet.

Tokitsukaze also provides the only rookie in the 5-strong sandanme field with high school grad Shimoyama. Only two career losses so far, to the two Naruto-beya rikishi Ofukasawa and Osuzuki who contested last basho's jonidan playoff (and who are just 3-2 and 1-4 in sandanme this time). Tatsunami's Roman is the other still reasonably fresh entrant in his third year of professional sumo - he had an impressive victory over collegiate newcomer Hagiwara in this round. The other trio comprises veterans with 10+ years experience each. The biggest name among them is 29-year-old Sasakiyama, who came in with a strong high school pedigree way back when, but never quite lived up to the early hype. His only career yusho was achieved in jonokuchi in his banzuke debut.

In jonidan the field of contenders is led by Nogami, a now 30-year-old veteran who also was a fairly big name back in high school (and even earlier, triple wampaku winner in elementary school). He is the reigning jonokuchi champion as he attempts to come back from a full year missed through injury, and should be the odds-on favourite to repeat here in jonidan. His main obstacle should be Hatooka, who was also in mid-makushita before missing a similar amount of time with an injury of his own. He's back in action for the first time, having not fallen quite as far as Nogami did. This section of the yusho race featured two former sekitori in 43-year-old Yoshiazuma and 24-year-old one-time juryo Fukushima (formerly Gokushindo), but both failed to retain their undefeated records on Day 9.

And lastly, the jonokuchi race involves two quite different contenders. Okanojo is just 17 but already finishes up his second professional year this month, and hasn't been overly successful yet. 24-year-old Mongolian Arauma is making his banzuke debut, having gone through the university system to quite some acclaim. You can probably guess who's the favourite for the title here. This race previously also included Okanojo's stablemate Ryuseiyama, a sandanme regular with (of course) recent injury woes that sent him down the rankings.

No surprises in the scheduling so far, all 16 remaining contenders are currently in action on Day 11 and paired up in banzuke order, including a cross-divisional matchup between Nogami and Shimoyama which will see one of the bigger favourites eliminated.

Edited by Asashosakari
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4 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

Three low-ranked maegashira entered Day 10 with the opportunity to save themselves (at least by the numbers),

Isn't winless Kotoshoho also still in danger of demotion, despite being all the way up at M3?

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The ex-sekitori through Day 10.

new KK: Nishikifuji, Sakigake

new MK: Nionoumi

Record   Rank   Shikona Heya Age Out
2-3 Ms1e Kitaharima Yamahibiki 34 2
3-2 Ms3w Ichiyamamoto Nishonoseki 27 6
2-3 Ms4w Daishoho Oitekaze 26 2
4-1 Ms5w Nishikifuji Isegahama 24 1
kyujo (c) Ms10e Chiyoarashi Kokonoe 29 44
0-5 Ms13e Fujiazuma Tamanoi 33 1
3-2 Ms13w Kaisho Asakayama 25 6
3-2 Ms15e Asabenkei Takasago 31 3
susp. Ms16e Abi Shikoroyama 26 1
4-1 Ms19w Sakigake Shibatayama 34 5
3-2 Ms20e Asagyokusei Takasago 27 4
1-4 Ms28w Nionoumi Yamahibiki 34 44
2-3 Ms29e Amakaze Oguruma 29 16
kyujo Ms31w Toyohibiki Sakaigawa 36 17
2-3 Ms35w Keitenkai Onomatsu 30 49
3-2 Ms36e Oki Shikoroyama 24 2
3-2 Ms41e Daiseido Kise 28 10
0-5 Ms42e Higonojo Kise 36 39
kyujo (c) Ms42w Asahisho Tomozuna 31 21
2-3 Ms56w Irodori Shikoroyama 28 5
0-1-4 Sd4w Masunoyama Tokiwayama 30 34
3-2 Sd27w Takaryu Kise 28 32
1-4 Sd35w Sagatsukasa Irumagawa 39 40
3-2 Sd41e Dairaido Takadagawa 40 85
3-2 Sd62e Kaonishiki Azumazeki 42 55
kyujo Sd73w Kagamio Kagamiyama 32 27
kyujo Sd95w Tomokaze Oguruma 26 4
4-1 Jd27e Yoshiazuma Tamanoi 43 37
4-1 Jd46w Fukushima Nishikido 24 12


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30 minutes ago, Reonito said:

Isn't winless Kotoshoho also still in danger of demotion, despite being all the way up at M3?

With him having 14 ranks to spare, I'm refusing to acknowledge that as a possibility.

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19 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

With him having 14 ranks to spare, I'm refusing to acknowledge that as a possibility.

Tick-tock. (I like him and sincerely hope he can pick up the one win he requires, and ideally a couple more for good measure.)

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Day 11 (results, text-only results)

9-2 O1w ShodaiM1w Daieisho

8-3 O2e Asanoyama, M7e Meisei

7-4 Se Terunofuji, Ke Takayasu, M3w Onosho, M12e Ichinojo, M15e Yutakayama, M15w Kotonowaka

Daieisho came into today's bout as the yusho leader, but his aite Onosho held an 8-5 H2H advantage over him, so what happened was perhaps not the greatest surprise. Getting rocked back fast from the tachiai, Onosho made a split-second recovery to sidestep the charging Daieisho and slapped his shoulder to direct him across the tawara for his second loss of the tournament. That opened the door to pursuer Shodai, but the ozeki made hard work of it against Okinoumi as well, requiring two matches and as many mono-ii to claim the win. Watching the replays of the initial match the first time I was all ready to be in the "Okinoumi was robbed" camp, but on further consideration it's reasonable to say that he wasn't in control of his body anymore either (Shodai was clearly shinitai, of course), so the rematch was a justifiable decision. Shame about the really close loss overstepping the tawara on the second go, but them's the breaks.

Daieisho's loss has made a 12-3 yusho score quite a bit more likely now, and in a turnaround from the first week it's now arguably Asanoyama who looks like the more in-form ozeki who could be taking it. Straight win #5 came today at sekiwake Takanosho's expense, although he did provide a strong challenge to the ozeki. Asanoyama is now also kachikoshi and rid of his kadoban status.

The 7-3 maegashira duo was split up with only Meisei grabbing a spot in the new pursuit group with a very controlled victory over troublesome Takarafuji. Ichinojo dropped to 7-4 in a quick loss against nemesis Myogiryu (career history now 4-10) and continues to be 2 wins behind the lead - now joined by no less than five other rikishi. I still wouldn't rule out the possibility of an 11-4 yusho, but I dunno if any of these six will rattle off the required 4-day winning streak from here to be part of such a decision.

As the above list already showed, that 7-4 group includes the ex-ozeki lower sanyaku pair Terunofuji and Takayasu who defeated Tamawashi and Endo, respectively, and are now very likely to feature in the titled ranks for a third straight tournament together. Mitakeumi holds a positive record at 6-5 for the first time since he was 2-1 more than a week ago and also has a good shot at KK against his remaining maegashira opposition. Takanosho finds himself in a somewhat worse position with the same score but Shodai and Takayasu still to come.

    kyu-c Hakuho        Y    Kakuryu      kyujo
    2-8-1 Takakeisho    O1   Shodai        9-2
     8-3  Asanoyama     O2   ---
     7-4  Terunofuji    S    Takanosho     6-5
     7-4  Takayasu      K    Mitakeumi     6-5

                        M1   Daieisho      9-2
     6-5  Takarafuji    M2
                        M3   Onosho        7-4
                        M4   Tamawashi     5-6
     5-6  Endo          M5   Okinoumi      6-5
                        M6   Kagayaki      5-6  (x)
     8-3  Meisei        M7
                        M8   Kiribayama    6-5  (x)

The intra-sanyaku matches continue apace with Asanoyama-Terunofuji, which will complete the ozeki's slate against the sekiwake and komusubi. Shodai, conversely, will still have to face Takanosho and Terunofuji on Days 13 and 14, but for tomorrow it's Ryuden (M6e 4-7) first. The major wildcard of the day will be the meeting of leader Daieisho and pursuer Meisei, however. As mentioned yesterday Meisei has yet to win that matchup in four attempts. Ichinojo and Onosho are also paired up among the 7-4's, so one of them will be departing the race for good.


The new low man on the totem pole is Tokushoryu who hasn't won in a full week now and stands at only 2-9; today it was rookie Midorifuji's pleasure to pick up a win against last year's Hatsu basho champion. Long-suffering Akua managed to win for a second day running and improved to 3-8. Could he actually do enough to retain his top division spot? It's still quite unlikely of course with 3 more wins almost certainly required. The same remains true of bottom-ranked Sadanoumi, who was the one to find himself on the losing end of that Akua match, squandering a major opportunity in the process. Akiseyama lost for the fifth straight day, this time to Kotoeko, and it's anybody's guess if he's closer to KK or to demotion at 6-5.

A whole bunch of others picked up the last required win to be safe numerically, but it still remains to be seen what records they will need to actually be safe in this Covid-affected basho. However, with four days left to go it shouldn't be difficult for them to win at least once more and leave no doubt about it.

Down in juryo we still stand at least two days away from finding a credible enough promotion contender after J1-ranked Daiamami failed to secure his 7th win against Mitoryu. Better performances were had by Churanoumi (against struggling newcomer Oho) and Tsurugisho (against Hakuyozan), while Hidenoumi had a potentially crucial loss versus Ikioi. With as crunched as makuuchi looks likely to be in the end, even winning out for an 11-4 record may not be enough for him now. Daishomaru has the same problem and is ranked even lower, but he did prevail over Ryuko today to at least keep open up the possibility.

(1)  2-9  Tokushoryu    M8
                        M10  Aoiyama       5-6  (0)
                        M11  Kotoeko       5-6  (0)
                        M12  Terutsuyoshi  5-6  (1)
(3)  3-8  Akua          M13
(0)  6-5  Hoshoryu      M14  Midorifuji    6-5  (1)
(0)  7-4  Yutakayama    M15  Kotonowaka    7-4  (0)
                        M16  Akiseyama     6-5  (2)
(3)  5-6  Sadanoumi     M17  ---

                        J1   Daiamami      6-5  (2)
                        J3   Churanoumi    7-4  (2)
                        J6   Hidenoumi     7-4  (4)
(2) 10-1  Tsurugisho    J8   Daishomaru    8-3  (4)
                        J10  Mitoryu       8-3  (~)

Akiseyama and Akua are not only the first two sekitori in an alphabetical listing, they're also opposite each other on tomorrow's torikumi, and the loser of that will be in big trouble. Endangered Sadanoumi goes against Kotoeko, and Tokushoryu faces his highest-ranked opponent of the basho. That sounds pretty mean for a guy on a 2-9 record, but it's winless Kotoshoho.


Youngster Oho finds himself newly makekoshi after the mentioned loss to upper-ranked Churanoumi, and having looked fairly outclassed in a lot of bouts it appears increasingly likely that he'll have to regroup in makushita next basho. (Maybe they can give him the Taiho shikona on his second promotion.) Demotion contender #1 continues to be Ryuko, though, who can't afford a single further loss now after today's against Daishomaru. Kotoyuki avoided that situation for now, courtesy of a win over fading Jokoryu - I don't expect it to last.

Azumaryu's fortunes have turned around since the middle Sunday with 3 shiroboshi in four days, and he should be safe for another juryo appearance after today. Ikioi even managed to win for the third day in a row - that hadn't happened since March last year - and will survive with just one more successful day. Hakuyozan wasn't able to convert on his opportunity to do that, but it was always going to be difficult with Tsurugisho standing on the other side of the dohyo today.

The day's juryo torikumi was started off with a bout that was important to both aite - Tohakuryu is hunting for a successful juryo debut performance, while Kitaharima guns for yet another trip to the salaried ranks, which would tie Kizenryu's all-time record of 9 such promotions. Alas, it won't be happening this time as Tohakuryu won their match in speedy fashion. Kitaharima finds himself makekoshi after this and can only hope to cushion his fall with another win in a couple of days.

The first claim to a promotion has been staked, however, with Takakento securing his kachikoshi with a quick slapdown of opponent Ichiyamamoto. There's no space in juryo for him quite yet, but today's other results ensured that he is certain to be at least the second-best rikishi in the promotion queue, and that really ought to be enough given the many troubled juryo rikishi.

Not coming up to the salaried ranks for now: Russian prospect Roga, who was defeated by Daishoho after a lengthy yotsu battle. Like Kitaharima he'll need another win to hopefully cling onto a top 5 slot and not have his aspirations set back completely. Yet another head-to-head match in the promotion zone, this one between two rikishi without prior juryo experience, was decided in favour of Tochimaru over Bushozan. Tochimaru is kachikoshi, but 4 wins are unlikely to be enough from Ms5e. He'll probably be facing Takakento for his last match, which would be a tough assignment.

Nishikifuji finds himself at 5-1 after a messy win over Murata and he actually holds the second-best promotable record at the moment, but no less than three (maybe four) others can still push him down. One of them is yusho-seeking Shohoryu who continued his winning ways, and in quite impressive fashion with a powerful oshidashi victory.

(o)  4-7  Azumaryu      J6
                        J7   Nishikigi     2-9  (2)
                        J9   Kotoyuki      2-9  (3)
                        J11  Oho           3-8  (3)
(1)  6-5  Hakuyozan     J12  Takagenji     5-6  (2)
(1)  6-5  Ikioi         J13  Yago          5-6  (2)
(4)  4-7  Ryuko         J14  Tohakuryu     6-5  (2)

(x)  2-4  Kitaharima    Ms1  Takakento     4-2
     3-3  Bushozan      Ms2  Roga          2-4  (x)
                        Ms3  Ichiyamamoto  3-3
                        Ms4  Daishoho      3-3
     4-2  Tochimaru     Ms5  Nishikifuji   5-1
                        Ms8  Shohoryu      6-0

Not a big surprise as to who is going to feature in tomorrow's juryo-makushita crossover bout: It's Ryuko with his back against the wall, and he's going against the highest-ranked 3-3 makushitan Bushozan. Similarly troubled Oho gets another unfortunate call against a high-ranker, this time Daiamami. Major underperformers Kotoyuki and Nishikigi have been paired up for a crucial match as well.

Edited by Asashosakari
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20 minutes ago, Reonito said:


(Laughing...) What? I'm not refusing to entertain the notion that he could finish 0-15, but that he could actually get demoted on it. Losing today, or tomorrow, or the day after, isn't going to change that.

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8 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

What? I'm not refusing to entertain the notion that he could finish 0-15, but that he could actually get demoted on it. Losing today, or tomorrow, or the day after, isn't going to change that.

I see. Recent precedents aren't super-encouraging, but they all involve withdrawals, so who knows.

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Generally those with absolutely terrible scores are not demoted as many ranks as their win-loss difference.

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1 hour ago, Gurowake said:

Generally those with absolutely terrible scores are not demoted as many ranks as their win-loss difference.

The record is incomplete, since no one has received a 1-14 or a 0-15 from M3 before.  But the trend does seem to be nonlinear: 5-10 gets you ~M7, 4-11 gets you ~M8, 3-14 gets you ~M8-M12 and 2-13 goes to M9-M13.  So your assumption seems solid.

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1 hour ago, Yamanashi said:

The record is incomplete, since no one has received a 1-14 or a 0-15 from M3 before.  But the trend does seem to be nonlinear: 5-10 gets you ~M7, 4-11 gets you ~M8, 3-14 gets you ~M8-M12 and 2-13 goes to M9-M13.  So your assumption seems solid.

1-14 has at least happened a number of times from M2, landing between M10-M15. I wonder if the determining factor on a 0-15 from M3 might actually be somewhat more to do with the san'yaku composition. If Daieisho picks up 2-3 more wins and/or yusho to force an extra K slot, M17 isn't going to exist next basho. With one of the M16 spots presumably "frozen," I wonder if that makes it more possible that the 0-15 is demotable.

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I think Tokushoryu is more likely to be demoted than Kotoshoho with Sanyaku expanded.

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Juryo yusho race through Day 11:

10-1 J8e Tsurugisho

9-2 ---

8-3 J8w Daishomaru, J10w Mitoryu

Back to dominating sumo for Tsurugisho to reach double digits and maintain his lead with today's win over Hakuyozan. Pursuer Daishomaru posted a fast victory against over-eager Ryuko, while Mitoryu had to work for a while to defeat Daiamami. Hidenoumi went long against a tenacious Ikioi as well, and eventually found himself flung to the ground, so he's now out of the race for sure.

Up for Day 12, a pretty good lineup considering what little is still available:

J8e  Tsurugisho (10-1)  -  J13w Yago (5-6)

J10e Ura (7-4)          -  J10w Mitoryu (8-3)
J13e Ikioi (6-5)        -  J8w  Daishomaru (8-3)

Still no Tsurugisho-Mitoryu for now, but a different stern test for the latter. And Ikioi has to face another pursuer after Hidenoumi today, that's kinda rough.

Potential remaining opponents:

Tsurugisho - Mitoryu, Oho, Ikioi, Ryuko
Daishomaru - Shohozan, Azumaryu, Takagenji, Tohakuryu
Mitoryu - Shohozan, Azumaryu, Nishikigi, Tsurugisho, Yago, Tohakuryu

Lower division yusho races (Day 11 results with video, also available as playlist):

6-0 Ms8w Shohoryu (Tokitsukaze)
5-1 Ms25w Asakoki (Takasago)
6-0 Ms48w Hamayutaka (Tokitsukaze)
5-1 Ms57e Wakanoumi (Nishikido)

5-1 Sd16w Sasakiyama (Kise)
6-0 Sd38w Roman (Tatsunami)
6-0 Sd54e Oginohama (Dewanoumi)
5-1 Sd78w Teraoumi (Shikoroyama)
5-1 Sd91w Shimoyama (Tokitsukaze)

6-0 Jd15e Nogami (Oguruma)
5-1 Jd35w Hakuomaru (Tokitsukaze)
6-0 Jd57w Hatooka (Kise)
5-1 Jd72w Fujimusashi (Musashigawa)
6-0 Jd81w Ryutsukasa (Irumagawa)

5-1 Jk7e Okanojo (Dewanoumi)
6-0 Jk25w Arauma (Isenoumi)

Dominant victories for both Tokitsukaze-beya contenders in the makushita division, well recommended viewing. That'll mean the first basho since Haru 2017 without a 6-0 deciding match in makushita, although back then it was because only one rikishi was left standing at 6-0. Prior to that we had Natsu 2016 with three undefeated rikishi (the top two were paired up), and finally Hatsu 2016 with a pair of 6-0's from the same stable, like we do here. Both were in the top 15 back then, and the higher-ranked one found himself placed against a juryo opponent. All "left-over" 6-0 rikishi in these three basho were placed against higher-ranked 5-1's.

Both options are viable for Shohoryu, either one of the many juryo rikishi on the bubble or the sole 5-1 ahead of him, promotion zoner Nishikifuji - which would essentially be a promotion playoff as the loser would most likely not make it. (Although Nishikifuji at 5-2 may still get there if the rest of the top 5 rankers screw up sufficiently...) An even more direct playoff approach used to be done in the more distant past, namely putting the 6-0 against a top-ranked 3-3. There's a pair of candidates for that with Ichiyamamoto and Daishoho, too, but my guess would still be Nishikifuji. As for who they might put against Hamayutaka, your guess is as good as mine. Some 5-1 somewhere between Ms16 and Ms30, in all likelihood.

Roman posted another impressive victory over experienced veteran Sasakiyama, and it wasn't particularly close. His yusho-deciding opponent will now be Oginohama, a former makushita semi-regular under the name Aomihama who has run into some injury issues in recent times. He also produced a convincing win to go 6-0, and I can't venture a guess as to who's the favourite here for Day 13. 

Possible third sandanme contender Shimoyama found himself taken out by his jonidan opponent Nogami - quite easily in fact, which surprised me. Nogami thus continues to aim for a second straight divisional title, for which he'll be challenged by fellow makushita-caliber Hatooka who also had no trouble winning today.

There is of course a third undefeated rikishi here in jonidan with sandanme regular Ryutsukasa, back in action after two missed basho, so Nogami-Hatooka won't necessarily be a straight-up decider. However, I suspect they'll do the easy thing and put Ryutsukasa against jonokuchi's unbeaten Arauma, the predictable winner of the day's 5-0 matchup down there. I would rate the collegiate newcomer as the favourite for that, and a win by him would reduce the jonidan race to just two contenders after all. We'll see.

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10 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

However, I suspect they'll do the easy thing and put Ryutsukasa against jonokuchi's unbeaten Arauma

This kinda stood out to me, and shows just how many rikishi are missing this tournament - there's usually enough that there's someone else above jonokuchi who is 6-0.  With so many absences, one of the 6-0s we've seen the past several years (decade) is just missing.

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Day 12 (results, text-only results)

10-2 O1w ShodaiM1w Daieisho

9-3 ---

8-4 O2e Asanoyama, Se Terunofuji, M7e Meisei, M12e Ichinojo, M15w Kotonowaka

The two leaders marched on, but in wildly different fashion. While Shodai showed dominant sumo in dispatching Ryuden out of the dohyo and to makekoshi, Daieisho required a mono-ii against Meisei and may have gotten away for a reason that wasn't even under discussion by the men in black. I tend to agree with the "that hairpull didn't look intentional but they have called hansoku on others for less" opinions, so this was arguably a get-out-of-jail-free moment for the co-leading maegashira.

A sudden two-win gap has appeared to the pursuers, although it doesn't come as that much of a surprise since Meisei losing was one of just two components required to make it happen. The other was an Asanoyama loss against Terunofuji, and we all can be excused for thinking that we must've seen that one before...several times. (Dare I compare him to an artistically challenged small horse, or does that only get to be said about that other ozeki who's currently not here?) In any case, that win clinched another kachikoshi for Terunofuji, his 11th in a row or two full years since he returned from injury.

The other lower sanyaku rikishi look very likely to follow him now. Komusubi Takayasu wasn't able to grab the KK in a see-saw battle with Okinoumi today, while the West siders Takanosho and Mitakeumi had convincing wins over Endo and Tamawashi to move up to 7-5 as well.

    kyu-c Hakuho        Y    Kakuryu      kyujo
    2-8-2 Takakeisho    O1   Shodai       10-2
     8-4  Asanoyama     O2   ---
     8-4  Terunofuji    S    Takanosho     7-5
     7-5  Takayasu      K    Mitakeumi     7-5

                        M1   Daieisho     10-2
     7-5  Takarafuji    M2
                        M3   Onosho        7-5
                        M4   Tamawashi     5-7  (x)
(x)  5-7  Endo          M5   Okinoumi      7-5
     8-4  Meisei        M7

As the active #1 on the banzuke it's time for Shodai to enter his personal basho home stretch with him facing the two sekiwake and ozeki Asanoyama in ascending order over the next three days. Obviously that's a much tougher lineup than what Daieisho will be seeing, so it's far from clear who's the favourite for the yusho here. I still wouldn't totally rule out an 11-4 scoreline, but of course a lot has to go wrong with the two leaders for that to materialize. So, for tomorrow it's Shodai against Takanosho and Daieisho against Ryuden (M6e 4-8). Asanoyama's hopes to backdoor his way into the yusho race again will be tested by Okinoumi, while Terunofuji - who also has his ozeki run to worry about - will face Endo.


The deck is starting to clear in the low makuuchi ranks. Hoshoryu should be completely safe now after he ran his winning streak to 7 days against Myogiryu, and Kotoeko's win over Sadanoumi, his 4th in a row, likewise ought to be enough. Kotonowaka has left no doubt about it at all, as he's kachikoshi now having defeated mid-ranked Kiribayama.

On the flipside, things are getting rather dicey for Sadanoumi with three losses in four days, and he now cannot afford a single kuroboshi anymore. The same is true for Akua whose recent run of good (or at least better) results was stopped dead in its tracks by Akiseyama, winning for the first time in 6 days. Tokushoryu wasn't so fortunate and his losing streak was extended to 8, with joi member Kotoshoho picking up his very first win at last.

The juryo promotion contenders failed to keep up the pressure today with losses all around for the top three candidates. Daiamami found himself defeated by an uncharacteristically energetic Oho in an excellent match, Churanoumi failed to overcome the history of a 1-5 H2H career against low-ranked Hakuyozan, and Tsurugisho ended up in a long and ultimately losing yotsu battle with Yago. Outside contenders Hidenoumi and Daishomaru were successful, on the other hand, so this race has become quite a bit more complex again. With two spots likely to open up in the top division and the uncertainties surrounding all the Covid-absent rikishi, we could still be in for a surprise or two here.

(1)  2-10 Tokushoryu    M8
                        M10  Aoiyama       5-7  (Ø)
                        M11  Kotoeko       6-6  (o)
                        M12  Terutsuyoshi  5-7  (1)
(3)  3-9  Akua          M13
(o)  7-5  Hoshoryu      M14  Midorifuji    7-5  (Ø)
(Ø)  7-5  Yutakayama    M15  Kotonowaka    8-4  (o)
                        M16  Akiseyama     7-5  (1)
(3)  5-7  Sadanoumi     M17  ---

                        J1   Daiamami      6-6  (2)
                        J3   Churanoumi    7-5  (2)
                        J6   Hidenoumi     8-4  (3)
(2) 10-2  Tsurugisho    J8   Daishomaru    9-3  (3)
                        J10  Mitoryu       8-4  (x)

In the interest of alleviating some potential reader confusion between 0 = "zero wins needed" and o = "totally safe", I've decided to culturally appropriate a certain Scandinavian letter as replacement for the zeros in the table. (No, you won't be seeing ranks M1Ø and J1Ø...)

With their backs to the wall, Sadanoumi and Akua will be facing Ichinojo (M12e 8-4) and Kotoshoho (M3e 1-11) tomorrow, respectively.


We have probably found our first demotee of the basho, as even a henka attempt didn't help Ryuko avoid first his opponent Bushozan and then the makekoshi. There's still some theoretical hope that he could be safe with a 7-8 finish since there is no shortage of other rikishi potentially ending with even worse records, but a whole lot would have to go right for Ryuko, not least him nearly doubling his win total across the final three days.

Nobody stands at risk of clinching a demotable record tomorrow after Kotoyuki unleashed a - still rather slow-moving - version of his good self to defeat Nishikigi. The latter now holds the very worst record in the division at 2-10 and suddenly it might well be him who ends up filling the "unexpected trip to makushita by a sekitori regular" role. Kotoyuki is far from safe himself, of course, and Ikioi still needs a win as well after his brief three-day winning streak was ended by yusho-chasing Daishomaru today.

Last not least, Hakuyozan finally managed to have a basho day with a different result than two months ago, and with win #7 he has secured another juryo appearance for himself.

Bushozan's win over Ryuko has concluded his Hatsu basho campaign with kachikoshi after all (he went from 3-0 to 3-3...), and as the second or third in line for promotion there is a decent chance that we will get to welcome the 25-year-old to the salaried ranks next Wednesday. Gonna be some nervous three days for him, however, as he is forced to wait for further slots to become available after the one he opened up today himself.

                        J7   Nishikigi     2-10 (2)
                        J9   Kotoyuki      3-9  (2)
                        J11  Oho           4-8  (2)
(o)  7-5  Hakuyozan     J12  Takagenji     5-7  (2)
(1)  6-6  Ikioi         J13  Yago          6-6  (1)
(~)  4-8  Ryuko         J14  Tohakuryu     6-6  (2)

                        Ms1  Takakento     4-2
     4-3  Bushozan      Ms2
                        Ms3  Ichiyamamoto  3-3
                        Ms4  Daishoho      3-3
     4-2  Tochimaru     Ms5  Nishikifuji   5-1
                        Ms8  Shohoryu      6-0

With no juryo rikishi in immediate danger of securing his demotion, Day 13 will only see some decisions on the makushita side: Shohoryu's yusho quest will see him face off with Nishikifuji as expected - should he clinch the zensho record he would automatically be the top promotee, while a victorious Nishikifuji would most likely get slotted in third behind both Takakento and Bushozan. The only other contender in action is Ichiyamamoto who has received the call-up to the juryo torikumi, where he meets Yago.

Edited by Asashosakari
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looks like you need to trim some text from yesterday's post from the end of today's

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