Torikumi Forecast & Notes On The Kyujo Wave


Some fans may be wondering why Yokozuna Kisenosato and Kakuryu announced they were going kyujo Thursday morning Japan time. The fact of the matter is the NSK is building the torikumi (order of battle) for the start of Aki, and it was time for the walking wounded to decide if they wanted to give it a try, or sit out from the start.

Much to my surprise, Hakuho has not declared one way or the other yet. Just to be clear, I do not expect him to be present on day 1 of Aki, but I think that he may be struggling with that decision. He did in fact declare to his fans at Natsu “I am back!”.

I believe the Torikumi for days 1 and 2 are being published in the next 8 hours or so. Some of the matches we can expect in the first two days (my guess)

  • Hakuho vs. Tamawashi – If Hakuho starts Aki, we can see how banged up the dai-Yokozuna is early.
  • Tochiozan vs. Harumafuji – You might be tempted to assume that Harumafuji will fold and spindle Tochiozan, but Tochiozan has made some useful adjustments to his sumo.
  • Takayasu vs. Tochinoshin – Big and strong vs strong and big. This could be a sumo battle for the ages as these two love to use brute strength.
  • Goeido vs. Kotoshogiku – Goeido has been looking dailed-in back to his 2.0 setting, and a likely match against Kotoshogiku will be speed vs strength.
  • Terunofuji vs. Aoiyama – Terunofuji is a far cry from the light schedule Aoiyama enjoyed in Nagoya. This match will sort reality from fiction in about 5 seconds.
  • Mitakeumi vs. Chiyotairyu – Chiyo who you say? Believe it! I expect Mitakeumi to pick up where he left off in Nagoya.
  • Shohozan vs. Yoshikaze – Big guns vs the Berserker. Yoshikaze has been opening very strong in recent basho, before he gets banged up by the end of the first week. We might see some exotic kimarite.
  • Shodai vs. Ura – I am going to assume that Ura is in rough shape, and I am just going to hope that Shodai fixed has tachiai.
  • Ichinojo vs. Takakeisho – Ok Takakeisho fans, his road back can start with the huge Mongolian.

Please feel free to add your day 1 / 2 torikumi guesses in the comments.

13 thoughts on “Torikumi Forecast & Notes On The Kyujo Wave

  1. Day 1 predictions, based on the patterns from the last few basho:

    Hakuho, Kisenosato, and Kakuryu all out kyujo.

    Tamawashi vs Harumafuji: Harumafuji will be under a tonne of pressure given he’s the only yokuzuna in the basho. Tamawashi is, happily, a good first opponent for him.
    Takayasu vs Tochiozan: In which Tochiozan is incredibly glad that Hakuho is sitting this one out.
    Tochinoshin vs Goeido: Goeido is interesting and Tochinoshin is not, so I know who I’m rooting for.
    Terunofuji vs Kotoshogiku: GRUDGE MATCH.
    Mitakeumi vs Aoiyama: In which we shall see how much of the dohyo Aoiyama can fit in his mouth.
    Yoshikaze vs Hokutofuji: Ten-year age difference match.

    Lower Makuuchi predictions to follow after I’ve done a bit more analysis.

    • Mitakeumi vs Aoiyama: In which we shall see how much of the dohyo Aoiyama can fit in his mouth.” – ok commenters, going to be tough to beat this one, but feel free to give it a try.

    • If Hakuho is indeed out kyujo, I expect the rest of the day one torikumi to be just a straight-up east vs. west at every rank, with M16e Asanoyama facing J1e Sokokurai.

      If Hakuho is in, it gets a little more complicated. I THINK we get:

      Hakuho dismantles Tochiozan for the thirty-sixth time.
      Takayasu looks sad while fighting Kotoshogiku.
      Terunofuji reminds Aoiyama what being in the joi is like.
      Mitakeumi gets a fun new Onosho to play with (I am really looking forward to this one).

      The rest of the torikumi ought to be straightforward M4w-M3e, M5w-M4e and so on.

      I have a feeling day 2 also follows a predicatable pattern, but I haven’t really looked at past records yet.

  2. How is this done? Are these just match ups we’d like to see, or is there some underlying formula?

    Onosho – Yoshikaze is a tachiai I’d like to see. There could be blood…

  3. Just wanted to point out, as I added in an edit to a comment in the earlier post, that Hakuho stated he will announce his decision tomorrow morning Japan time. Which means we’ll know in about 8-9 hours.

    • Thanks for bringing that up. I think it’s just a formality at this point. The Boss needs to make that knee solid or it’s going to be a fast road to intai. I would also guess he told the NSK already but the public gets to know in the morning.

  4. Sanyaku predictions assuming Hakuho is out:

    Day 1

    Day 2

    Reasonably confident about Day 1, less so Day 2 (especially the ozeki matchups). Of course, if Hakuho competes this is all for the round file…

    • Hmm. You could well be right! I was assuming that the top bouts were always “up to eight Yokozuna, Ozeki, and Sekiwake vs. the eight-or-fewer guys below them”, but going back to Hatsu 2014, the top matches involve one Yokozuna, three Ozeki, both Sekiwake, and one lucky Komusubi, rather than being limited to just six guys.

      In which case:
      Tochiozan vs. Harumafuji
      Takayasu vs. Tochinoshin
      Kotoshogiku vs. Goeido
      Terunofuji vs. Hokutofuji
      Mitakeumi vs. Aoiyama
      Onosho vs. Yoshikaze (FOURTEEN year age difference)
      Tamawashi vs. Chiotairyu

      • The key is how they’re spreading out the intra-sanyaku bouts. With only 8 guys active there will be just 27 bouts to schedule, which normally means they’ll distribute them 11112 22222 22223 across the 15 days. So, no space to put both komusubi against yokozuna or ozeki on Day 1 as they normally would.


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