Heya Power Rankings: Kyushu 17-Hatsu 18

We’re back with the Heya Power Rankings. A lot has happened since the last time we released a set of these rankings, and a lot of those things have influenced the direction of how these rankings will trend, not only for this edition, but also for probably the next several editions. Let’s get into it:


Usually with these rankings we see rises and falls attributable to basic stuff like winning a yusho one tournament or getting a special prize versus, well, not doing that in the next tournament. But when you have a heya that’s usually at the top which not only usually is in the yusho race or at least has a lot of high ranking rikishi grabbing kachi-koshi, and then their rikishi do not get kachi-koshi and a couple of them go kyujo, that does alter the landscape a bit.

So now let’s look at this in our usual “Billboard” style Top 20 chart form (ties broken by previous ranking with the most recently better heya ranked higher):

  1. (+5) Miyagino. 101 points (+61)
  2. (+13) Hakkaku. 95 points (+75)
  3. (-2) Isegahama. 83 points (-64)
  4. (+-) Tagonoura. 65 points (+10)
  5. (+2) Takanohana. 54 points (+6)
  6. (-4) Sakaigawa. 41 points (-26)
  7. (-4) Kokonoe. 40 points (-16)
  8. (+11) Kataonami. 40 points (+25)
  9. (-1) Oitekaze. 38 points (+2)
  10. (+-) Izutsu. 30 points (even)
  11. (-6) Oguruma. 28 points (-20)
  12. (+1) Sadogatake. 27 points (+3)
  13. (-2) Dewanoumi. 25 points (even)
  14. (-5) Kasugano. 23 points (-7)
  15. (-3) Onomatsu. 20 points (-5)
  16. (+2) Tomozuna. 20 points (+3)
  17. (**) Arashio. 20 points (+18)
  18. (+2) Tokitsukaze. 18 points (+3)
  19. (**) Isenoumi. 18 points (+5)
  20. (**) Minato / Minezaki. 15 points. (both +2)


3 or 4 stables got some great results last time out. Miyagino-beya has been here before and that’s because Hakuho wins a lot of championships. Ishiura comes back to makuuchi at Hatsu and they have another couple rikishi just outside the top two divisions, so there’s the possibility things could get better here before they get worse.

The former Hokutoumi jumps over his rival Yokozuna, the former Asahifuji’s heya in the charts as the now-Hakkaku climbs above Isegahama. Hakkaku is the greatest gainer this time out – usually this happens because one rikishi has had a crazy-good tournament. However, both Okinoumi and Hokutofuji grabbed the jun-yusho and special prizes and that’s a recipe for a lot of success on this chart. While the former has been inconsistent owing to injuries in the past year, one wouldn’t bet against a repeat from the latter if he shows up genki to the Kokugikan next week.

Kataonami and Arashio are 2 “feast or famine” stables reliant on the performances of just one rikishi – Tamawashi and Sokokurai respectively. So when one of those guys has a monster showing, their heya is likely to bound up the chart and fall down quickly when they don’t. Fortunately for Arashio, there are four very promising rikishi knocking on the door of the sekitori ranks (3 of whom we’ll talk more about later this week). That’s more rikishi than exist in total in Kataonami-beya, so it’s likely that Tamawashi will continue carrying the load for the foreseeable future.



Three stables again had absolutely miserable tournaments:

There’s no escaping the unfortunate, awful storm that beset Isegahama-beya. A pair of kyujo and a number of disappointing records meant that a heavy tumble (in terms of points) was always likely, and had it not been for Aminishiki’s inspiring performance, it could have been worse. And it likely will get much worse before it gets better, as the stable loses two sekitori (including one permanent Yokozuna retirement) for Hatsu, their former Ozeki has slipped to the middle of Maegashira, and we probably can’t count on another special prize from Uncle Sumo even though we’d clearly all love it.

Kokonoe, on the other hand, are due a bit of a rebound. Of their six sekitori, only J9 Chiyonoo posted the slenderest of winning records at 8-7. Their four top division rikishi will all be fairly comfortably placed in the middle of the Maegashira pack this time out, so we’d expect at least a couple of them to improve their showing.

Kise-beya falls off the charts entirely owing to a similarly poor tournament. Ura’s injury meant they only scored points from the Juryo ranks, and despite a number of rikishi hanging around the top end of Makushita, it’s likely going to be a couple of tournaments before they return to the charts. A final word for Sakaigawa-beya, whose decline is simply owed to Goeido putting up a yusho challenge in September and not November – they should continue to hang around the top end of the rankings.



Here’s a three tournament progression of the ichimon rankings, above. These are really going to need many tournaments for us to see any kind of true trends owing to the volatility of the charts and the amount of rikishi involved in the listings. However, a new wave of debutants in the top divisions – as established wrestlers decline due to age or retire – will change the shape of this chart as well.

Given the recent political issues involving Takanohana, it will be interesting to see if his stable as well as the group of stables bearing his name will continue their progression. Not only has the rise of Takakeisho given him a top 5 heya by our rankings, but in the twins Takagenji and Takayoshitoshi, he has two more rikishi tipped to entrench themselves in the professional ranks. Additionally, the ichimon features another budding star in Onosho, and the respective recent and upcoming Juryo debutants Takanosho and Akua. Continued success from those associated with Takanohana would be something to note as we continue to watch and speculate on his future ambitions at the center of the sport.

2 thoughts on “Heya Power Rankings: Kyushu 17-Hatsu 18

  1. Thank you. I always wait for these.

    Isegahama fell mightily. Thing is, this would have happened sooner or later even if Harumafuji had kept his hands stuck in his obi, because those injuries were not going away, neither for him nor for Terunofuji.

    Now all we need is for Takarafuji to win a special prize. :-)

    Comparing Izutsu to Isegahama, both Yokozuna heyas (well, until now), but Izutsu is pretty much dead. It cannot even support its own Yokozuna, and will be absorbed into some other heya once he retires. Izutsu says it’s hard to recruit youngsters these days, though I’d expect kids who are into sumo to want to be in a Yokozuna’s heya, especially one who is known to be nice to his tsukebito. Anyway, compare that or even Miyagino to Isegahama – it’s a huge heya. It currently has 32 wrestlers, including a crop of fresh recruits. I don’t think it is going to disappear into obscurity completely. I am going to keep an eye on the new little Fujis, to see if any of them has real talent. His only problem is that he can only recruit Japanese at the moment.

    I wouldn’t tie too much between Takanohana’s politics and his Ichimon’s deshi’s performance. He is not voted because of his teaching talent.

    • I’m glad you appreciate it! I need to get it out more in the in-between period next time

      The thing about these calculations is that somewhat like the banzuke it reflects the state of play by the numbers, but isn’t really a projection of the future…. in that projection of the future, Isegahama will fall much much much more mightily. It’s possible that by mid year they might not be in the top 10. So while they fell mightily by points this time (if not so much by chart position), it’s the first of many likely falls unless we see at least a jun-yusho from somewhere, and I can’t figure out where that would come from.

      The Izutsu point is well made and also kind of speaks to where I was going with Kataonami above. It’s interesting though – someone else made the point elsewhere that Tamawashi may well be ready for that Ozeki run even at his “advanced” age. But it’s kind of similar in that behind him there’s really isn’t anyone coming, so he doesn’t have the same opportunities presumably as others in the same position. But maybe like Kakuryu he can still reach the top 2 positions.

      Re: Takanohana, I accept that re: votes, but I do think it’s interesting that he is in a very controversial moment and in a moment where his politics will be under much scrutiny, and that moment may coincide with a period where not only his stable but the ichimon bearing his name is very much on the up. Even if the votes do not hinge upon that, surely it must be a welcome coincidence.


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