Analysis: Kinboshi Rates for Current Yokozuna

*Update 6 (7/12/16): Okinoumi defeated Harumafuji. Tochiozan defeated Kakuryu.

*Update 5 (5/10/16): Ichinojo defeated Harumafuji again. I will recalculate the totals. He faces Myogiryu tomorrow, another maegashira who already has a gold star, so another update may be coming tomorrow.

*Update 4 (3/24/16): Several tournaments of updates. He gave up another kinboshi to Osunaarashi in November but still won the tournament. Another kinboshi to Shohozan in January and Kotoyuki in March. I still hope to expand this analysis but I need to figure out a way to automate these updates.

*Update 3 (8/6/15): Tochinoshin’s default win over Harumafuji does not count as a kinboshi but I wanted to make a note.

*Update 2 (5/19/15): I tried to go to sleep but had to wait to see if Gagamaru would get a gold star. Surprise, surprise! I’m trying to also keep the numbers in the article below up-to-date. Harumafuji was at almost 1 gold star per 10 bouts but after this streak it’s almost 1 every 9 bouts!
*Update 1 (5/18/15): Harumafuji has given up 2 more kinboshi in the May tournament…and counting. I will try to update this article to keep it current. The latest recipients are M5 Tamawashi and M3 Sadanoumi.

After Harumafuji gave up 3 gold stars in the Haru basho, I wondered how many he’d yielded overall and how his rate compared with the other active yokozuna. I found out Harumafuji is quite prone to losing to maegashira, yielding one for every 9.1 bouts. He’s given up 26 in all, in about 209 bouts as yokozuna. The kinboshi seem to come in spurts. Also, Takayasu and Toyonoshima have been particularly effective against Harumafuji, winning 3 gold stars each. However, against Toyonoshima Harumafuji still holds a big 35-10 lead in their rivalry but he’s lost 3 of their last 9 bouts. Against Takayasu he’s only lost 3 of their 12 bouts.

In comparison, Kakuryu has given up 5 gold stars in the 74 bouts he’s had as yokozuna – a rate of 1 per 14.8 bouts, or about one per tournament. *(3/24/16) He’s given up 2 more in the past year, one to Aminishiki and another to Yoshikaze.

However, superzuna Hakuho has an amazing record against maegashira. He’s given up half as many gold stars as Harumafuji has but he’s fought in about 700 bouts as yokozuna. That’s an astonishing rate of 1 gold star every 70 bouts, or 1 gold star in just under 5 tournaments. I hope to expand this analysis to look at where these yokozuna fit in with other yokozuna through history.

Plainly, if Harumafuji is going to win another tournament soon, he can’t give up any losses in the first 10 days. *update, not only did he lose on Day 2 and win the Kyushu basho, he gave up yet another gold star to Osunaarashi.

Here’s a list of the gold stars Harumafuji has given (up-to-date as of 3/24/16):
Okinoumi (2),
Ichinojo (2),
Toyonoshima (3),
Takayasu (3),
Yoshikaze (2),
Osunaarashi (2),
Shohozan (2),
Chiyotairyu (2),

13 thoughts on “Analysis: Kinboshi Rates for Current Yokozuna

  1. It doesn’t matter which stat you use – kinboshi, yusho, zensho yusho – they all point in the same direction, which is confirmation that Hakuho is something special.

  2. Absolutely. It’s amazing to go back through the historical data and see not only how dominant he is over everybody – but how healthy he’s been able to stay. I don’t think he’s had one fusen match since he became Yokozuna. It’s remarkable because he has great bouts with Harumafuji, like the one this past basho, and always seems to come out on top.

  3. I hate to say it, but it’s a bit of a shame that he doesn’t have more competition from the Ozeki rank. I think thats one of the main reasonshe’s stayed healthy too. Kisenosato is the only potential threat there in my opinion, and he does seem to be quite a way behind still (the way Harumafuji destroyed him last basho IIRC is a case in point). Hopefully guys like Terunofuji, Ichinojo or Tochiozan can develop into legit Ozeki over the next few years.

    • Agreed. I think the ozeki rank will be totally different at this point next year. I don’t know how much longer Kotoshogiku’s knees can hold up. Ichinojo was toying with him last basho. For him and Goeido, some of the wins are questionable to say the least and sadly reminiscent of the scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours days.

  4. My memory isn’t what it once was… has Goeido managed better than an 8-7 as an Ozeki yet? I like the dude, but he just isn’t up to it. He’s barely surviving, even with the helping hands he gets, and that just isn’t good enough.

    • Short answer: No. He’s had three basho at 8-7 and one at 5-10.

      Long answer: With technology, I never need a memory. The database at is pretty stellar.

      The link below should take you to Goeido’s career. He was a rock at sekiwake but still never could crack a yusho. He got those two 12 win tournaments and I think they jumped the gun. He’s never been able to consistently maintain doubl-digit wins in consecutive tournaments in the sanyaku, much less over multiple tournaments as an ozeki would be expected.

      His 13-win “guarantee” coming into the basho was a joke. He’s never had 13 wins, even in Juryo.

    • Anytime. It’s my goal to connect sumo fans with a lot of the resources out there to promote the sport. More information and more data makes it more interesting for me.

      It’s easy for me to spend hours going through the data on that site. The only drawback is many of the video links are dead since the Sumo Kyokai cracks down on people posting sumo highlights. I can understand to a certain extent but I think it would be good for the popularity of the sport if they weren’t so restrictive.

      Maybe if a site pitched in to the bounties of lower popularity wrestlers or something, they’d be allowed to host clips? I never get how some guys who are at like M3 or M4 don’t get bounties. They’re pretty cheap, too. Like $600/banner.

  5. I’m sure a crowd funding affair could raise that… personally I rely on Kintamayama, I’m not sure what I’d do if got shut down. I’d love there to be a way to reliably watch lower division bouts too.

  6. […] Americans would be familiar with Oprah and the giveaways that she had on her show. She kicked all of this off by giving away cars to her entire studio audience. Now, she’s been memorialized in 21st Century fashion by becoming a meme. Harumafuji will likewise be memorialized for his penchant for Gold Star (kinboshi) giveaways, the latest benefactor being Ichinojo who has now got two off the Yokozuna. At least he’s consistent. He’s yielded at least one kinboshi in every tournament since March 2014. […]


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.