January Banzuke Posted


Moments ago, the Nihon Sumo Kyokai posted the New Year’s tournament ranking sheet. In a departure from some expectations, the banzuke features a single Komusubi and single Sekiwake rank, with Takakeisho and Onosho taking Komusubi and Mitakeumi and Tamawashi taking Sekiwake.

Terunofuji drops to Maegashira 10, which he shares with stable-mate Aminishiki. At the bottom end, the ranks extend down to Maegashira 17e, with a healthy crop of rikishi making the leap from Juryo, including Ryuden, Ishiura, and Sokokurai.

31 thoughts on “January Banzuke Posted

  1. Takarafuji finds himself in unfamiliar territory, as the leading sekitori for Isegahama. And the last time Terunofuji was at Maegashira 10 was when he was shin-nyu-maku (new promotee to Makuuchi). And alas, Terutsuyoshi will indeed be switching to a black cotton mawashi and part with his tsukebito. Let’s hope it’s only temporary. He is a tough cookie.

    Hokutofuji is still maegashira, so he has a chance to get that kinboshi from Hakuho.

    Asanoyama ranked below Yutakayama.

    And we’ll get to see Abi’s beautiful shiko!

  2. Well, there were a lot of prediction land mines, and one of them got me: I thought 11 wins would be enough to earn Hokutofuji the extra Komusubi slot, so all of my maegashira rankings are off by one. My mock banzuke won’t fare well in the GTB game, but I got quite a few things right, including the tricky Sekiwake slot, Terunofuji’s rank, and the entire composition of Makuuchi. Full postmortem to come.

  3. I was VERY curious to see how this banzuke would turn out after November, and its release is the final “present” of my Christmas :)

    I have been following Sumo seriously for about a year now, and I’m always fascinated by the intricacies of the creation of the banzuke.

    The one thing that I noticed was that Onosho is still at the exact same rank as the November basho, which is West Komosubi. While I realize that his 8-7 record was just barely earning his kachi-koshi, I would have thought moving him up–even if only to the East Komosubi position–would have occurred rather than Takakeisho jumping over him from M1, even though Takakeisho had the better record.

    I guess there are some cases where a winning record does not necessarily guarantee a gain in rank (not counting those that have other special requirements like Ozeki, Yokozuna).

    It’s all very interesting and I am quite excited to see the upcoming basho!

    • Indeed, a winning record does not guarantee promotion, though it does guarantee no demotion (and the converse for a losing record)

        • Takekaze keeping his rank is more the fault of the rikishi below him than anything else. This was a really weird basho with several solid performances, but besides Sokokurai no one really stood out and was dominant. That’s why Takekaze was left alone in my opinion.

    • I think that Onosho has the right to feel a bit peeved about this. When you get 8 wins and the three men directly above you on the banzuke all post losing records you would expect to go up a notch. Additionally he beat both the men who have now leapfrogged him.

      On the other hand I might just be annoyed because I had him at sekiwake in my prediction.

  4. I am really curious to see Uncle Sumo battle the Kaiju for the fate of Tokyo. I hope the injured and embattled Aoiyama, Ura, Terutsuyoshi and Takanoiwa can claw their way back up soon afterwards.

    Best of luck to the brand new crop of little mountains, in their struggle to outrank the famous Hattorizakura.

    • Uncle Sumo battle the Kaiju? You are dreaming that both of them will make the yusho playoff? Big dreams, you have. :-)

      I only dream that Terunofuji somehow manages to get through to day 15 without using the giant wheelchair. Uncle is too smart to get himself in that chair again except by accident, but I do wish he’ll have enough for another kachi-koshi.

      • I really need to make that Dream Basho game so we can set up multi-era yusho battles. Though at that point I’d go for non 2017 uncle vs kaiju battle. Or even some Akebono vs Ichinojo action.

  5. I suppose I should have checked the schedule,but this caught me on the hop. What was the reason for the banzuke being released a week earlier than usual- 20 days before the opening day instead of 13.

  6. Bruce – Will you be posting your basho spreadsheet for those of us keeping score at home? It is really helpful for following the action and now that the January banzuke is posted the last one provides a guide as to the current rankings.

    Keep up the good work.

  7. Is it just me or does it seem like Takakeisho is rocketing up through the ranks over the last few basho?

    • He had a few setbacks, but he’s really genki these days, and I expect he is going to push hard to stay in or near San’yaku for 2018. His challenges to advancing past Sekiwake are his limited “tadpole” style of sumo, and of course the great wall of Hakuho, that few can cross.

      I expect in 2018 we are going to lose both Kakuryu and Kisenosato, so that will loosen up the promotion lanes somewhat. I will be curious to see who gets a credible Ozeki campaign started.

      • Meanwhile, Takayasu seemed in good shape by the end of the Jungyo, wisely choosing to practice frequently with Tochinoshin (though I would have preferred Ichinojo…). If he keeps working with strong aite, lowering his dependence on his damaged ani-deshi, he might find himself in a rope run pretty quickly.

        • Takyasu has a 4-1 record against Ichinojo, and may feel insufficiently challenged by the Mongolian castle. His record against Tochinoshin is a lot more even at 7-6.

      • For his brand of oshi zumo, Takakeisho has a truly remarkable amount of strength – he absolutely launches back a high number of rikishi with his pushing, even if they are enormous. And he has had a pretty good amount of success so far against the upper ranks, for someone who doesn’t use much yotsu zumo. If I remember correctly, he employed a pretty impressive throw (maybe more than one) last basho, so perhaps there is more mawashi ability than we’ve seen so far.

        • The other thing to remember about Takakeisho (and I’m sorry if I’ve said this a bajillion times before) is that he is very young and probably won’t reach his peak until sometime around 2024. That’s plenty of time for the kid to develop a more varied repertoire.

          I quite like his “hit, retreat, hit again” technique as it’s a pretty smart way to keep the yotsu guys off his belt. It also reminds me of the way my cat Bob (who also has a somewhat spherical physique) attacks my feet when he wants attention.

  8. Ishiura’s BACK baby! People kept telling me I was nuts when I said I saw the potential for greatness in him. And then he got demoted so I shut up. But now he’s he’s back, hopefully ready to rumble and (finally) prove me right!🤞🏼

    • I hope Ishiura has learned to vary his moveset in his matches. The reason he ended up in Juryo is because everyone in the top division had an answer for his “submarine tachiai”. He went to that well far too often and it cost him his place on the banzuke.

  9. We will just have to wait and see how the Kyujo list will turn out. I hope that everyone injured (I am looking at you Kise and Kaku) will swallow their pride and sit this one out to get back in shape.

    • Kakuryu doesn’t have that option anymore. If he can’t appear in this basho, he’ll get an intai recommendation he wouldn’t be able to refuse. That is, if his oyakata doesn’t make him retire first.

      Takanohana in his days was kyujo seven consecutive tournaments, and got a “get back on the dohyo or else” warning from the YDC. He actually did so and got the jun yusho, but that was his swan song.


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