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Promotion/Demotion and Yūshō Discussion Kyūshū 2022

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4 minutes ago, Sumo Spiffy said:

Prepare for the unprecedented!

And make it double! 

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Welcome to the new normal. Times are changing.

Pretty interesting how this is happening across all sports. Many legends who've made history in the last 15 to 20 years are either on the wrong side of 30, or past 40 entirely - most of them are retired, while the other are on clear downward slopes. I can think of more than 10 in just a few seconds.

 

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I am just back from a very busy week that put me away from this forum, but now I hopefully can join the fray.

Before talking about san'yaku promotions, a little question: Wakatakakage (8-7) and Hoshoryu (11-4) are going to swap their east-west placement next basho? I checked how things worked in previous situations and it appears to be the case.

Back to the main topic, the san'yaku-joy situation is evidently messy, as many already pointed out. I concur that giving Takayasu a S2e spot would ease things up, especially considering that otherwise he would get the K1w spot (if not the K1e like Tamawashi did) whilst 9-6 Kotonowaka ought to be placed M1e numbers-wise - he cannot broker an extra Komusubi slot by himself. However, leaving the K1w slot open brings Kotonowaka up at the first eligible candidate. This however eases only part of the issue, and queuing down all the others in the maegashira ranks would require to be unfair toward multiple rikishi: Mitakeumi and Tamawashi would be put way down for a 6-9, and Ryuden would be stuck at M6w despite his 9-6 post (M6e is blocked by Nishikigi with his 8-7). In my opinion, we need yet another san'yaku to move everything up half rank.

But who? Kiribayama went 8-7 and cannot get a S2 spot. Ditto Meisei with his 9-6 for a K2 spot. The only one with enough wins to force anything is Abi, with his 12-3PP yusho. Number-wise, Abi would be M0w, that is a Komusubi candidate - although behind Meisei and Wakamotoharu. However, Abi has more wins than the other two, not to mention his yusho, and on top of that he was a Komusubi until the previous basho when he sat out for surgery rehab. Giving him back "his" position would be quite logical considered the situation - not to mention that would parallel Takayasu's much hoped generous promotion.

This would also solve many issues, like Ryuden to be put at M5w bypassing Nishikigi. The lower san'yaku would be getting still a lot of extra people (Hoshoryu, Wakatakakage, Takayasu, and Shodai, then Kiribayama, Kotonowaka, and Abi), but perhaps things will slim down as soon as the "Sekiwake conundrum" will solve itself with a few much-needed promotions to Ozeki. Takayasu comes first to mind, while Hoshoryu and Wakatakakage have an outside chance (14-1 or 13-2) and lastly Shodai just needs one of his miraculous 10-5 to bounce up. Whelp, if Hatsu goes crazy enough we could even get a new Yokozuna and up to three brand-new Ozeki for Haru. All we need is Takakeisho going 14-1Y (JY-Y), one between Wakatakakage and Hoshoryu going 13-2J (32), and Takayasu and Shodai going 10-5. Very unlikely, of course, but at least a couple scenarios could work out. But it's up to the NSK to make them to happen by promoting generously.

Edited by Hankegami
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6 minutes ago, Hankegami said:

Before talking about san'yaku promotions, a little question: Wakatakakage (8-7) and Hoshoryu (11-4) are going to swap their east-west placement next basho? I checked how things worked in previous situations at it appears to be the case.

Back to the main topic, the san'yaku-joy situation is evidently messy, as many already pointed out. I concur that giving Takayasu a S2e spot would ease things up, especially considering that otherwise he would get the K1w spot (if not the K1e like Tamawashi did) whilst 9-6 Kotonowaka ought to be placed M1e numbers-wise - he cannot broker an extra Komusubi slot by himself. However, leaving the K1w slot open brings Kotonowaka up at the first eligible candidate. This however eases only part of the issue, and queuing down all the others in the maegashira ranks would require to be unfair toward multiple rikishi: Mitakeumi and Tamawashi would be put way down for a 6-9, and Ryuden would be stuck at M6w despite his 9-6 post (M6e is blocked by Nishikigi with his 8-7). In my opinion, we need yet another san'yaku to move everything up half rank.

The 4 sanyaku ranks are rearranged each time in order of the results in the same rank, those promoted from below may be treated a bit differently

Sponichi calls Kotonowaka's sanyaku promotion definite http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2022/11/28/kiji/20221128s00005000224000c.html

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21 minutes ago, Akinomaki said:

The 4 sanyaku ranks are rearranged each time in order of the results in the same rank, those promoted from below may be treated a bit differently

Sponichi calls Kotonowaka's sanyaku promotion definite http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2022/11/28/kiji/20221128s00005000224000c.html

Off-topic, but I couldn't resist posting this google translation gem: From the painful position where Ryuden pulled the front honey and put my head on it, I rewound the left side and put my chest together with a sashimi and went forward and crossed over.

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41 minutes ago, Hankegami said:

But it's up to the NSK to make them to happen by promoting generously.

I have significant doubts there will be any generosity here. The only way Abi makes komusubi is if they're willing to spend extra money to watch him get his ass beat rather than potentially run it back with another relatively easy schedule.

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53 minutes ago, Akinomaki said:

The 4 sanyaku ranks are rearranged each time in order of the results in the same rank, those promoted from below may be treated a bit differently

 

1 hour ago, Hankegami said:

a little question: Wakatakakage (8-7) and Hoshoryu (11-4) are going to swap their east-west placement next basho? I checked how things worked in previous situations and it appears to be the case.

It depends on whether the west side Sekiwake did enough to deserve the east side compared to the west.  We've seen countless times that they do NOT reorder Sekiwake under normal conditions.  I can provide a list of such times in a few hours when I have more time.  They do occasionally put yusho-winning Sekiwake ahead, but we've also seen them not do this on occasion (again, example to follow).  You can use your own judgement as to whether they will rearrange them this time.

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1 hour ago, Hankegami said:

The only one with enough wins to force anything is Abi, with his 12-3PP yusho.

I would be shocked to see Abi as Komusubi.  It is very rare that a non-joi candidate gets a spot over a joi candidate; there has to be a major disparity in their placement by the numbers, and that's not the case here.

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4 minutes ago, Gurowake said:
1 hour ago, Akinomaki said:

The 4 sanyaku ranks are rearranged each time in order of the results in the same rank, those promoted from below may be treated a bit differently

 

1 hour ago, Hankegami said:

a little question: Wakatakakage (8-7) and Hoshoryu (11-4) are going to swap their east-west placement next basho? I checked how things worked in previous situations and it appears to be the case.

It depends on whether the west side Sekiwake did enough to deserve the east side compared to the west.  We've seen countless times that they do NOT reorder Sekiwake under normal conditions.  I can provide a list of such times in a few hours when I have more time.  They do occasionally put yusho-winning Sekiwake ahead, but we've also seen them not do this on occasion (again, example to follow).  You can use your own judgement as to whether they will rearrange them this time.

Interestingly not too many "clean" examples exist that didn't involve ōzeki promotions. The latest I can find is over 20 years ago: Asashōryū and Kotomitsuki swapped positions after the former went 11-4 and the latter 8-7.

http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Query.aspx?show_form=0&group_by=basho&having=2&form1_rank=s&form1_wins=8-15&group_expand=on&offset=350

Edited by Seiyashi

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54 minutes ago, Reonito said:

Off-topic, but I couldn't resist posting this google translation gem: From the painful position where Ryuden pulled the front honey and put my head on it, I rewound the left side and put my chest together with a sashimi and went forward and crossed over.

Ryuden's always getting up to no good - it's one thing to break COVID protocol, but putting Kotonowaka's head into the front honey is too much >:-(

Edited by Katooshu
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15 minutes ago, Gurowake said:

I would be shocked to see Abi as Komusubi.  It is very rare that a non-joi candidate gets a spot over a joi candidate; there has to be a major disparity in their placement by the numbers, and that's not the case here.

I think the placement of Abi is one of the keys to this banzuke, both for GTB and for the banzuke committee

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Exploring different possibilities...

1) Takayasu & Kirabayama are the only 2 Komusubi: Completely Infeasible

- Assuming no KK are demoted, Tamawashi (K1e 6-9) lands at M5e (only happened once to a K1w in 1940). Daiesho (K2w 7-8) lands no better than M3e (unprecedented) unless Mitakeumi (S2w 6-9) gets M3e instead (happened to an S1w in 1944) and that is if Wakamotoharu (M4e 10-5) is denied a promotion (anything below M2e unprecedented), otherwise Daiesho/Mitakeumi does no better than M4e.

2) Takayasu gets Sekiwake and Kotonowaka gets K1w: Infeasible

- Demotions all kosher, but that's only if nobody gets necessary promotions.
Meisei (M2e 9-6) M1w^, Wakamotoharu (M4w 10-5) M2e^, Midorifuji (M3w 8-7) M3e^, Sadanoumi can stay put (happened once in 1956), Nishikifuji (M5w 9-6) M4w^, Ryuden (M6w 9-6) M4w^
If promotions are kosher, demotions are even more bonkers than 1)

There's no realistic way to compromise here either.

Things only start to make sense with 7 lower Sanyaku, the 7th probably being Meisei.

Even then, it's going to be brutal pretty much across the board, weaker promotions, stronger than usual demotions.

Edited by Wakawakawaka
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I wonder how the banzuke committee deliberations will go. Do they first decide san'yaku, and then shove everybody else in the least bad slot, or do they look at the whole picture? A lot of our discussion assumes the latter. If they do the former, how ugly do things have to get for them to revisit san'yaku?

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57 minutes ago, Gurowake said:

It depends on whether the west side Sekiwake did enough to deserve the east side compared to the west.  We've seen countless times that they do NOT reorder Sekiwake under normal conditions.  I can provide a list of such times in a few hours when I have more time.  They do occasionally put yusho-winning Sekiwake ahead, but we've also seen them not do this on occasion (again, example to follow).  You can use your own judgement as to whether they will rearrange them this time.

I checked, they started to do this Haru 2017, I never noticed that change, reorder was a fix rule since I started watching sumo in 1988. Tamawashi stayed on the east with 8 wins while Takayasu had 12 on the west. Later yusho winner Tamawashi was kept on the west, with Takakeisho jun-yusho on the east.  http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Query.aspx?show_form=0&rowcount=5&form1_rank=s&form1_wins=8-15&form2_rank=s

Edited by Akinomaki
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1 hour ago, Wakawakawaka said:

2) Takayasu gets Sekiwake and Kotonowaka gets K1w: Infeasible

- Demotions all kosher, but that's only if nobody gets necessary promotions.
Meisei (M2e 9-6) M1w^, Wakamotoharu (M4w 10-5) M2e^, Midorifuji (M3w 8-7) M3e^, Sadanoumi can stay put (happened once in 1956), Nishikifuji (M5w 9-6) M4w^, Ryuden (M6w 9-6) M4w^

I mean this statement literally, not rudely: I have no idea what you're talking about.

For one, I don't know who's getting demoted where. Even assuming the unmentioned slots are for the sanyaku demotions (M1E, M2W, M3W, M4E), though, your shorthand looks like it's referring to where the wrestlers will be moved, but in that case it appears you're saying Sadanoumi, Nishikifuji, and Ryuden will all end up at M4W.

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1 hour ago, Akinomaki said:

I checked, they started to do this Haru 2017, I never noticed that change, reorder was a fix rule since I started watching sumo in 1988. Tamawashi stayed on the east with 8 wins while Takayasu had 12 on the west. Later yusho winner Tamawashi was kept on the west, with Takakeisho jun-yusho on the east.  http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Query.aspx?show_form=0&rowcount=5&form1_rank=s&form1_wins=8-15&form2_rank=s

On a broader scale, it's worth noting that if you look for winning sekiwake demoted from east to west, it's not that uncommon up through 2011. After that, it only happens once, when Mitakeumi went 13-2Y vs. Ichinojo's 8-7 in September 2018. 

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The first instance that I remember of them not reordering Sekiwake was after Natsu 2014.  At the time, the speculation was that Goeido had more wins in the last two tournaments, and thus was "closer" to Ozeki than Tochiozan (and in fact was promoted the next tournament).  However, when the the trio of Sekiwake after Haru 2017 were not reordered, it was clear that they simply weren't reordering them.  In that basho, you see Takayasu not moved to the east despite 4 more wins than Tamawashi.  Mitakeumi then was moved over to the east after his first yusho (13-2), past 8-7 Ichinojo, but 13-2 Y Tamawashi was not moved past 11-4 Takakeisho after Hatsu 2019.

I thought there were more occurrences than this, but that's apparently all the data we have.  If we extrapolate from after Haru 2017, we would expect the Sekiwake to not change order when Takayasu had an even better record than Hoshoryu does now, against the same score from the east Sekiwake.

Edited by Gurowake

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2 hours ago, Wakawakawaka said:

Even then, it's going to be brutal pretty much across the board, weaker promotions, stronger than usual demotions. 

One thing to keep in mind is that they have at least once not promoted an 8-7 when there was a reduction in the number of sanyaku, Terutsuyoshi from M14e after Kyushu 2019.  They also recently (after Natsu 2022) left Hidenoumi with an 8-7 in Juryo at the same rank, and clearly the ordinal rank of Juryo rikishi hasn't changed anytime soon, unless you count the first banzuke Hakuho was not on as a rikishi, which isn't really relevant to this.  In that case, it was 9-6 J3w Ryuden who took J1e over 8-7 J1w Hidenoumi, when there really was no reason that they couldn't have been swapped.  So clearly they can decide not to promote an 8-7, which makes it all the weirder that they didn't take that tack after Hatsu 2022 when Onosho was screwed over in order to get the necessary promotions for Ura, Ichinojo, and Tamawashi.

In thinking about it now, I think there might be a sense that an 8-7 in the joi definitely deserves promotion, because you're mostly fighting rikishi ranked higher than you, and normally most joi maegashira should average a 6-9 (though current times are not all that normal).  Also, at that point in time the sanyaku was expanding, so their ordinal rank didn't actually change and it was a promotion in name only, which would have made a standstill in name a demotion by ordinal numbering.   However, an 8-7 from J1 is probably the expected result, as they face mostly rikishi ranked lower than them, so it's more reasonable to not promote them.  The shrinking sanyaku for Terutsuyoshi explains why it's possible there even though at M14 he'd also have face rikishi above him more than below him (end of the division was M16e).

So that's something to keep in mind.  If they shrink the sanyaku too much, they'll clearly need to hold 8-7 steady in most of the top half of the maegashira.  Not promoting a 9-6 would also be awful, even with a huge sanyaku shrink, but half-rank promotions aren't out of the question there, especially if 8-7s are held steady.  Likewise, if they do that with 9-6s, you might find a 10-5 to only get a 2 step promotion.  And going by that logic, perhaps a 12-3 can be reasonably given a 4 step promotion, as daft as it may seem.

There's either going to be a lot of sanyaku or some very poor promotions.  One of those costs the Kyokai more money than the other, the other has a reasonable amount of precedent, even if not as nasty as may be required after this basho.

 

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10 minutes ago, Gurowake said:

If they shrink the sanyaku too much, they'll clearly need to hold 8-7 steady in most of the top half of the maegashira.  Not promoting a 9-6 would also be awful, even with a huge sanyaku shrink, but half-rank promotions aren't out of the question there, especially if 8-7s are held steady.  Likewise, if they do that with 9-6s, you might find a 10-5 to only get a 2 step promotion.  And going by that logic, perhaps a 12-3 can be reasonably given a 4 step promotion, as daft as it may seem.

Following up on this logic, if they keep the sanyaku at minimum 7, and work in the demoted sanyaku where they can fit, you'd have Mitakeumi or Daieisho at M4e, Tamawashi at M6w, and Abi lower than that.  Is that acceptable?  Who knows?

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Sure, maybe they save a couple thousand in sanyaku extra salary if they keep sanyaku small but they also only have to pay one ozeki.

There's also some detriment to having a bare bones sanyaku, trying to promote hatsu basho in Tokyo with no meat on the bones. Its been 7 a couple times in the past few COVID years but with Terunofuji guaranteed out that's pretty rough. And who wants to promote Takakeisho to yokozuna beating only 5 sanyaku and no O or Y? Gotta have more to make it seem legit.

I guess the big q is if Komusubi would be 4 or 5 then. Meisei has already been there and its pretty easy to see Kotonowaka is going up at some point - just a matter of time. Wakamotoharu - has never been there and had a 'not quite joi' schedule if you're being specific.

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The idea that we need to expand sanyaku to treat everyone fairly is off to me. Since we currently have 7 lower sanyaku, everyone is benefiting from much more generous placements than they would otherwise get. Shrinking back down to 5(and one of those being Shodai) is returning to normalcy; we don't need to increase sanyaku slots so that everyone can keep enjoying the benefits of expanded sanyaku.

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32 minutes ago, Gurowake said:

One thing to keep in mind is that they have at least once not promoted an 8-7 when there was a reduction in the number of sanyaku, Terutsuyoshi from M14e after Kyushu 2019.

Yutakayama was also stuck in place at M9W on 8-7 after that basho. In Yutakayama's case, he could have been moved had they given Tochinoshin a more mathematically appropriate demotion; Terutsuyoshi had no chance. (The matter of how they treat a 2-3-10 sekiwake is for another day.)

10 minutes ago, maglor said:

The idea that we need to expand sanyaku to treat everyone fairly is off to me. Since we currently have 7 lower sanyaku, everyone is benefiting from much more generous placements than they would otherwise get. Shrinking back down to 5(and one of those being Shodai) is returning to normalcy; we don't need to increase sanyaku slots so that everyone can keep enjoying the benefits of expanded sanyaku.

I agree with you in broad terms, but there's making moves to be fair and then making moves to keep from absolutely screwing guys over. A seven-man sanyaku would make several placements downright untenable, even accepting that movements aren't going to be rikishi-friendly. Eight should make it so that it's not awful for anyone except whoever gets plopped at M6W. Is that enough to make them go with nine? I don't know, but I wouldn't be shocked if they let one guy be the sacrificial lamb in order to not be excessive with their kindness.

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3 hours ago, Sumo Spiffy said:

I agree with you in broad terms, but there's making moves to be fair and then making moves to keep from absolutely screwing guys over. A seven-man sanyaku would make several placements downright untenable, even accepting that movements aren't going to be rikishi-friendly. Eight should make it so that it's not awful for anyone except whoever gets plopped at M6W. Is that enough to make them go with nine? I don't know, but I wouldn't be shocked if they let one guy be the sacrificial lamb in order to not be excessive with their kindness.

The current Sekiwake and Komusbi ranks (combined) are rather bloated, and they could do with reducing the numbers to avoid the problem of `what happens if they stick with 10 sanyaku and the M1s pull out great records and they have to expand some more'. Reducing down to 9 wouldn't be enough to cure that problem, but reducing down to 7 causes a lot of problems in ordering the Maegashira.

8 would be a resonable number as you say and I think they don't have a problem with giving rikishi awful banzuke luck.

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Hopefully this problem will resolve itself soon. Terunofuji will hopefully come back healthier and give away fewer wins, and MItakeumi and Shodai dropping out of the less moveable Ozeki rank should hopefully bring about some more fluidity.

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The following link shows the number of times a Maegashira has beaten a sanyaku member in the basho. Aki comes to with 40, and this basho has 36. (The median amount is 26). The difference between the two is that a lot more losses are coming from the large Sekiwake and Komusubi ranks, which now need thinning out. Aki of course had two 4-11 Ozeki and a 5-5-5 Yokozuna, which had the effect of the increased Sanyaku size.

In between we have Hatsu 2020, but that was an easy Sanyaku exchange. 

 

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