Nagoya banzuke crystal ball part 1


Following mixed success in predicting the Natsu banzuke, I’m going to take a shot at Nagoya.

Upper San’yaku

Y1 Hakuho Harumafuji
Y2 Kisenosato Kakuryu
O1 Terunofuji Goeido
O2 Takayasu  

The ranks here are determined by performance at Natsu, with the exception of Shin-Ozeki Takayasu, who will need to work his way up from O2e. Although we no longer have three sekiwake, Andy’s OCD will have to cope with three Ozeki instead.


Lower San’yaku

S Tamawashi Mitakeumi
K Yoshikaze Kotoshogiku

I would not be shocked to see Shodai at K1w in place of Kotoshogiku–will the NSK favor the popular up-and-comer or the grizzled vet?


The Meat Grinder

I’m going to include the M1-M4 ranks here. Along with the San’yaku, this group makes up the “joi” or upper ranks, and regularly faces San’yaku competition. When none of the rikishi in the San’yaku ranks are kyujo, there are currently 11 of them, so they need  to face 5 wrestlers outside the San’yaku to make up their 15 bouts. This takes us down to M3e. But as commenter Asashosakari noted, M3w has to face at least Harumafuji, Terunofuji, Kisenosato and Takayasu, who can’t face a wrester from the same heya. At Natsu, the numbers of San’yaku opponents for the M1-M4 ranks was 11, 11, 8, 9, 9, 5, 6, 2. So there was the expected drop-off at M3w (Aoiyama), but he and Tochiozan (M4e) still faced quite a few San’yaku opponents as a result of the combination of same-heya wrestlers and withdrawals of Kakuryu and Kisenosato. Shodai faced 3 San’yaku opponents (and defeated two of them!), and no one else ranked at M4w or lower faced more than 2.

Why “the meat grinder”? Well, as a group, these rikishi went a horrific 8-51 against their San’yaku opponents, a 0.136 winning percentage. The only one with more than one win was Endo, who sort of held his own at 4-7. Excluding his performance, the rest of this group went an abysmal 4-44 (0.083 winning percentage). Not surprisingly, the M1-M3 ranks will turn over completely, as they did after Haru, and most of this group will fall far down the banzuke, although Endo should hang on at M4.

M1 Shodai Takakeisho
M2 Tochinoshin Hokutofuji
M3 Ikioi Ura
M4 Endo Kagayaki

Shodai will probably just miss out on a komusubi slot; one more victory would have sealed the deal. He and Ikioi and Endo are no strangers to this level of competition. Neither is Tochinoshin, who is dangerous if healthy. It’ll be interesting to see how Takakeisho and Hokutofuji acquit themselves at this level. I’m afraid Nagoya will be a “learning experience” for Ura, just like Natsu was for Daieisho. Kagayaki is just here to balance the columns and not needlessly trigger Andy’s OCD.

Part 2 will cover the lower maegashira ranks.

6 thoughts on “Nagoya banzuke crystal ball part 1

  1. Some interesting stats here! Do you think there’s any chance they could put both Mitakeumi and Yoshikaze up to sekiwake then have Kotoshogiku and Shodai at Komisube?

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    • Just my opinion here, but in general they try to have 2 Sekiwake and 2 Komusubi unless there is a good reason to do otherwise. There is a greater chance for 3 Komusubi for Nagoya than 3 Sekiwake. Kotoshgiku is being treated as a haridashi it seems (overhang) and as such is holding the rank outside of the typical allotment. That may change now that he’s demoted again, but we won’t find out until about 24 days from now.

      In general I don’t think Shodai is ready for a steady slot in San’yaku. He put on a nice burst at the end of Natsu, but I think one more basho where he is at upper Maegashira and can show some consistency in his sumo should do it. He also needs to fix is terrible tachiai.

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      • As far as I understand it, it would take 11 wins to “force” an extra slot, unless, as Bruce notes, both reigning s
        Sekiwake have winning records and an Ozeki is demoted to the rank.

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  2. I think you’re spot on with the sanyaku. I’m so far behind in my viewing of May’s tournament (still haven’t seen all of Day 14 or 15 – will do today!) I haven’t started to get my stuff together for maegashira yet.

    My only question regarding the sanyaku is whether Kotoshogiku’s surge and subsequent 7-8 record will give an excuse for the NSK to keep him at Sekiwake. Presumably, with 8-7 records from the komusubi, both are worthy of promotion and he’s worthy of demotion. But as we’ve seen maegashira preserve their position with 7-8 records, I’m curious if that has ever happened with Sekiwake or Komusubi? If there’s anyone that I believe the NSK will want to keep around, it’s Giku.

    As far as three ozeki, my OCD doesn’t bother me much there. I actually prefer 2-3 in the Yokozuna/Ozeki ranks over having four. Four is just overloaded and gets me wondering when someone’s going to retire because five would just be ridiculous (yet conceivable). My nightmare/fantasy is this: Terunofuji is able to rest and since he’s so close to healthy, he could pick up the 7月 and 9月 yusho, if injuries continue to plague the rest, and be Yokozuna by November. We know he’s capable, when healthy and when his mind is in the game. Then we’d have 5 Yokozuna, all recently hobbled with injuries, and a mere 2 Ozeki. Chaos! Chaos, I tell you! I love this sport.

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    • My sense is that someone only gets to keep their rank at 7-8 when there’s no plausible replacement candidate (e.g., if both komusubi had long records, and you had to go way down the maegashira ranks to find someone who made kachi-koshi). We’ll see if they make an exception for Giku.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Last time this happened, none other than Goeido went 7-8 at sekiwake at Natsu 2013, but the other sekiwake had an even worse record, both komusubi went make-kochi, there was one promotable M1 wrestler who got the S1e slot, and no other good candidates — they had to reach pretty far down to even fill the komusubi slots, so Goeido just moved from S1e to S1w.

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