Tachiai’s Countdown to Kyushu


As of this morning, there are 5 days left before the Kyushu banzuke is posted, and then it’s a mad dash to the start of what may be the highlight basho of the year. Given the events during the jungyo, I am starting to be cautiously optimistic that we may in fact see a full card of Yokozuna, as well as many favorites in fairly good fighting form for November.

As we wait for Sunday’s (US time) banzuke announcement, here are some of the stories leading up to Kyushu we are trying to research:

Takayasu – He was injured at Aki, and has not been part of the PR tour. He will enter Kyushu as a kadoban Ozeki for his first time, and we really don’t know how healed his thigh injury is.

Terunofuji – Demoted to Ozekiwake, he has to score 10 wins to regain his rank. There have been encouraging signs from jungyo, so fans of the big kaiju are hoping for success.

Ura – News sources have been very quiet about the condition of the man in pink. Everyone wants to see him back and healthy, but how damaged was that knee?

Wakaichiro – First time in Sandanme, the competition is going to be tough, will the man from Texas prevail?

14 thoughts on “Tachiai’s Countdown to Kyushu

  1. I think another story for Kyushu is how the younger rikishi will fare in the Makuuchi division. Onosho and Asanoyama are the “bigger names” to watch in this group, but as a whole the Angry Tadpoles will be an intriguing group to keep an eye on. Personally, I also look forward to a Aminishiki/Takekaze match. I really hope it happens just to see how the Old Guard tries to outfox each other!

  2. Really nothing about Ura? Assume “no news is good news “? To me it’s better let the knee heal then make it worse by jumping back to dohyo…

    • It’s the unwritten rule of silence: a wrestler who is not in the Jungyo does not make a peep. Note how Enho got injured while on the Jungyo, made a comment to the press, but as soon as he hit Tokyo, we heard no more of him. We don’t know if it’s a sprain, a broken ankle, a damage to some bone or tendon, nothing.

      This is not because we don’t have access to Japanese news outlets. I scan about 8 different online news sites every day. There is nothing.

      My assumption is that as soon as the Jungyo ends, Oyakata will start releasing information about the progress of their deshi. And of course, by torikumi day we’ll know who’s out and who’s in.

    • You should brace yourself – Ura’s injury was quite serious, and in fact he may not ever be able to compete as a rikishi again. His path to repair is both long and painful. He did in fact significantly damage the ligaments in his knee. This means surgery, physical therapy, and a lot of work to regain strength enough to walk, let alone compete in sumo.

      While many folks adore Ura, he was right when they put him in the ambulance, where he said “This is probably the end”.

      • Bruce, I would have given your comment ‘thumbs up’ except I can’t quite bring myself to thumbs up such bad news about Ura. Thanks for your insights. Thank goodness he has his degree and celebrity to fall back on should it play out as you say.

        • Ura is a fighter, and clearly a person who does not give up. If Endo can walk that difficult path, I am sure Ura is going to give it a shot as well.

        • It’s important to remember here that “full recovery” doesn’t equal “able to do sumo”. Never mind “performing at the same level in sumo”. I hope his surgery goes well and he takes care of himself so he heals as well as possible.

        • Basically says exactly what you said earlier. We knew already that he tore his ligament. We knew what kind of surgery and rehab it takes because ACL tears are a common sports injury. And the last update from his heya was that he was weighing his options.

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