Kyushu Storyline #4: Hokutofuji Debut

20150042Hokutofuji makes his makuuchi debut this Sunday. If you’re like, “Hoku-who-ji?”, you’re not the only one. He changed his shikona from Daiki. He’s a fast rising rookie, fresh off a Juryo yusho and has yet to have a losing record since entering sumo. In that manner, he’s very similar to Shodai except he’s spent one fewer tournament in Makushita. He’s making his debut at M11, one rank higher than Shodai’s debut. I expect some great things from him in the lower makuuchi but he’ll be contending with Ichinojo, Myogiryu, Kagayaki, and the always wily Sokokurai.

Along with Hokutofuji, Ishiura will make his debut, as well. He’ll start toward the bottom of the division at M15 with Toyohibiki and Gagamaru. He’s much smaller, has had a slower rise through Juryo, and hasn’t ever won more than 9 matches so I’m not expecting any special prizes out of Ishiura. But it will be great to see him up with the big boys.