Hat-tip to Yohann at Dosukoi.fr for reminding me that the banzuke is out today.
The yokozunas are as expected: Hakuho leading the East, Harumafuji leading the West, and Kakuryu at Y2W. Harumafuji is coming off surgery on his arm so I doubt he’ll be competing. I hope Kakuryu is finally healthy.
I’m sure everyone’s been eager to see Terunofuji at Ozeki. As it happens, Kisenosato claimed the top Ozeki slot in the East while clutch Goeido got the top in the West. Kadoban Kotoshogiku is the second ozeki in the East while fresh Ozeki Terunofuji is the second ozeki in the West.
For the rest of the sanyaku, Tochiozan and Ichinojo moved up from komusubi to sekiwake on the basis of their 8-7 records in May. Takarafuji’s strong 9-6 record was rewarded with the East Komusubi position.
But, in a bit of a surprise, Myogiryu remains in the sanyaku as the West Komusubi and Tochinoshin shifts from top Maegashira in the West to top in the East. I think that’s a bit of a disappointment as he had a strong May at 9-6, where he not only beat Myogiryu, he also beat Ichinojo. Both wrestlers beat Kisenosato, effectively ending the Ozeki’s strongest hopes at a yusho. Perhaps it was Myogiryu’s victory over Harumafuji that kept him in the sanyaku, even though it was a visibly weakened Harumafuji? I thought perhaps they’d have a third komusubi but I guess not.
Sadanoumi joins as the top maegashira in the West. Takayasu and Aoiyama follow at M2, followed by Ikioi and Kaisei. All four had a strong Natsu basho and appear to be returning to form. Ikioi struggles when he has to face the sanyaku gauntlet, with 34 wins and 71 losses when ranked M4 or higher. So it may be a tall task for him to pick up 6-7 wins, much less a winning record. Here’s hoping he can turn it around and stay toward the top of the maegashira.
Terunofuji’s rise seems to have lit a fire under some wrestlers, notably Ichinojo, so I think we’ll see some strong sumo next month.