Hatsu Special Prizes Awarded

With Senshuraku underway in Tokyo, the Special Prize Selection Committee has announced the recipients of sansho prizes for the 2018 Hatsu Basho. Tochinoshin has been granted two awards for his tremendous performance this Basho and will receive the Shukun-sho Outstanding performance prize and the Gino-sho Technique prize. A Kanto-sho fighting spirit prize will go to Ryuden for winning ten matches in his Makuuchi debut. Ryuden was also in the running for a Gino-sho, but he did not gain enough votes from the committee to qualify. Fellow top division newcomer Abi will also receive the Kanto-sho if he can win his Day 15 match against Shohozan and finish with a 10-5 record.

Congratulations to all the Sansho winners!

Update: With a win over Shohozan, Abi has earned the Kanto-sho prize!


13 thoughts on “Hatsu Special Prizes Awarded

  1. The surprise for me is that Ichinojo didn’t get anything. He isn’t getting many breaks from the men in charge.

    • They might have considered the impending promotion to komusubi to be prize enough for a 10-5 score, although I agree they’ve been a little cheap.

      • 10 wins is rarely enough for an ex-sekiwake competing as maegashira, and his results were pretty mediocre in the meaty part of his schedule during the first week.

        • I can see that a win over Kisenosato in his current condition would not count towards the OP prize. I would point out that Ichinojo’s 10 wins saw him using six different kimarite, which I thought migh t have put himin the frame for Technique.

    • This statement is a valid complaint! Inchinojo faced the entire San’yaku and ended up with a solid, winning record.

    • Shoot, seems like my translation gave me the wrong impression. “As another candidate, Endo of the West Front 5 (27 = extraordinary win) in the case of winning the Tochino heart in the special prize by Chiakiaku” made it seem like he was up for one. Thanks for pointing that out!

  2. C’mon, you’re telling me they wouldn’t have given him the outstanding performance if he beat Tochinoshin after he beat Kakuryu!?

    • “the Shukun-shō is awarded to a wrestler who defeats the yokozuna or the eventual tournament winner, or who otherwise displays outstanding performance relative to his rank”

      Had he won Endo would have fit this description to a t.

      • *Eventual* tournament winner. The yusho was already decided, Endo’s win would have been meaningless for the story of the basho. Somebody on the committee nominated it for consideration anyway, but thankfully the idea was shot down.

        Similarly, his kinboshi over Kakuryu lost its luster when the yokozuna proceeded to lose so many other matches as well. (Ichinojo’s win over Kisenosato had no sansho value for the same reason.)

        Nothing out of the ordinary here. If it had been somebody other than press favourite Endo, that rikishi probably wouldn’t even have been nominated to begin with.

        • This is very informative, and really gives me a better understanding about what goes into the deliberation process and how to predict who will qualify. They really do take into consideration the circumstances and the narrative of the yusho.

          However, I do think that Shuken-sho selection can be a little wishy-washy. Take Takakeisho in Kyusho for example. He had a very similar basho to Ichinojo, where he was ranked M1 West, beat the majority of the San’yaku he faced, and finished with double digit wins. Also like Ichinojo, he failed to beat the tournament winner. However he did defeat Harumafuji and Kisenosato after both had given up multiple kinboshi and right before they dropped out. These wins were just as meaningless to the story of the basho as Ichinojo’s was, but it does seem like that one extra win over a Yokozuna played a role when it came time to determine the sansho.

          • Newbies don’t need to achieve as much as established rikishi do to receive sansho consideration, so comparing second-basho-in-the-joi Takakeisho and was-sekiwake-already-three-years-ago Ichinojo on a like for like basis doesn’t really work.

            That aside, the shukun-sho for Takakeisho was definitely a bit weird because his performance profile was much more that of a gino-sho or kanto-sho winner. I can only guess they didn’t want to award two gino-sho or three kanto-sho, so they shuffled off one of the candidates to the shukun-sho. In an alternate universe, we might be having the same conversation about Hokutofuji instead because they decided to give the shukun to him there and the gino to Takakeisho, which would have been equally puzzling.


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