Heya Power Rankings: Hatsu-Haru 18

 

Tochinoshin Victorious
“Look at all those points you’ve got in the Tachiai Heya Power Rankings,” presumably.

Before the opening of another tournament, let’s check in with the latest Heya power rankings. This time out we’ve seen some wild variance in the results of a few stables, while many stables following a period of much change have consolidated amongst some more consistent performance. Are you ready for some charts? Me too:

Heya power rankings hatsu 2018

There are a few major stories from the various stables’ performance last time out as we identify areas of improvement ahead of Haru, but let’s look at this in “Billboard” style Top 20 chart form:

  1. (+3) Tagonoura. 95 points (+30)
  2. (+12) Kasugano. 94 points (+71)
  3. (+3) Sakaigawa. 60 points (+19)
  4. (+3) Kokonoe. 49 points (+9)
  5. (+4) Oitekaze. 46 points (+8)
  6. (-5) Miyagino. 45 points (-56)
  7. (+3) Izutsu. 45 points (+15)
  8. (**) Takadagawa. 30 points (+20)
  9. (+4) Dewanoumi. 25 points (even)
  10. (**) Shikoroyama. 24 points (+18)
  11. (+5) Tomozuna. 23 points (+3)
  12. (-9) Isegahama. 21 points (-62)
  13. (-11) Hakkaku. 20 points (-75)
  14. (-6) Kataonami. 20 points (-20)
  15. (+3) Tokitsukaze. 20 points (+2)
  16. (-11) Takanohana. 19 points (-35)
  17. (-6) Oguruma. 19 points (-9)
  18. (-6) Sadogatake. 19 points (-8)
  19. (+-) Isenoumi. 18 points (even)
  20. (**) Kise. 16 points (+5)

Movers

Takadagawa and Shikoroyama rejoin the ranks with decent scores due to good debuts and special prizes for Ryuden and Abi respectively.

It’s all change, however, at the top with Tagonoura regaining top position basically off the back of Takayasu’s jun-yusho. While this may seem unfair in light of the fact that he’s the only Tagonoura rikishi to have finished the tournament, the heya scores points for having a competing Yokozuna – if Kisenosato doesn’t show up and goes full-kyujo for Haru, it’ll be tough for them to maintain this position short of a Takayasu yusho.

Of course, there’s no surprise in seeing the enormous gain for Kasugano-beya, off the back of Maegashira 3 Tochinoshin’s incredible yusho and double special prize winning performance. While that wasn’t quite enough to vault the stable to the top of the chart, given that they have a few rikishi in the banzuke who could be primed for good tournaments next time out, they should still remain in the top 10 even if they don’t score an unlikely consecutive yusho. And in a “No-kozuna” scenario, Tochinoshin should still be a good bet to perform well as a Sekiwake.

Losers

Miyagino falls here owing to the loss of its usual yusho threat Hakuho to kyujo status. Should he show in Haru, the stable could be due a nice rebound with Enho joining the sekitori ranks, especially if Ishiura can turn up genki enough to threaten a kachi-koshi.

Of the three other big stables to tumble, Hakkaku takes a drop due to Hokutofuji and Okinoumi’s inability to register even a winning record following their dual jun-yusho/special prize winning Kyushu. Takanohana, meanwhile, should be a decent rebound candidate if Takakeisho can get back to winning ways and Takanoiwa can return to action as he should be a real yusho threat in Juryo, but that remains unclear.

Finally, there’s no glossing over the incredible fall from grace for Isegahama-beya on our rankings. This is the first tournament where they’ve not featured a Yokozuna even for part of the tournament since we’ve put the Power Rankings together, and of course Terunofuji continues to tumble down the banzuke, Aminishiki was partially kyujo and Terutsuyoshi had dropped from the professional ranks in Hatsu. While it would have seemed improbable not long ago, over half of the stable’s points were registered by Takarafuji and, with most of their rikishi now in Juryo, it may be up to him to arrest a further slide. Let’s take a look at all this in visual form:

isegahama power rankings 2018.1

Incredibly, the recent high performance water mark for Isegahama was just three tournaments ago as Harumafuji won Aki, showing just how severe the slide has been. Obviously our metrics for performance measurement have not been the end-all-be-all, but this does at least give some reflection of the stable’s banzuke presence and on-dohyo performance in the last year, relative to itself.

8 thoughts on “Heya Power Rankings: Hatsu-Haru 18

  1. As usual, I’ve been waiting for these. Thank you!

    I remember speculating in the past that when Harumafuji retires, Isegahama will look much like Kokonoe in the power ranking. This, alas, has not happened. The circumstances of his retirement have had a real evil influence all around, and what’s happening to Terunofuji is really inexplicable, as it is going way beyond “damaged knees”.

    • Yeah it’s interesting. I think they are shaping up a little more like Kise at the moment, in that you still have a lot of rikishi (and they do have some promising reinforcements on the way in Makushita who could be a year out), who if they can each put it together can put up some decent points, but the fitness just isn’t there.

      I don’t remember who said it on Twitter, maybe it was you or Bruce, but Terunofuji is ranked alongside Gagamaru and can he beat Gagamaru even? It’s an interesting question we’ll probably get to witness the answer to on day 1. On the plus side, Terutsuyoshi is back as a sekitori again, so if the Juryo gang can all keep themselves fit for 15 days they should get a little bit of a bounce next time out. This could have just been the worst case scenario low-water mark.

      Kokonoe are kind of much of a muchness. Chiyonoumi could be up soon to replace Chiyootori, but you look at everyone else they’ve got in the top ranks and their basho-over-basho performance and it’s difficult to see overall improvement. Chiyotairyu at his best seems to be composed enough to put together a sustained Komusubi/Sekiwake run, it’s just that you don’t always get his best.

      • Chiyoootori, by the way, seems to be on the mend, though I haven’t seen him actually practicing or anything. Takes time. It’s true that Kokonoe hasn’t moved forward much, but it has stability at a high level – they seem to avoid the big snakes in the snakes and ladders game that is Grand Sumo.

        I love Terutsuyoshi, but he is not much different than Enho: highly motivated pixie (or rather, one of Pratchett’s Nac Mac Feegle…) . And it doesn’t seem that any of Isegahama’s younger deshi has the physique for Makuuchi. I’m hoping that now that Isegahama is no longer busy in the board, he will be doing some scouting – preferably at basketball school clubs rather than sumo clubs.

        • Good point re: Kokonoe. It seems right now to be the stable that Kise should be aspiring to be. Kise has an unbelievable number of rikishi in and around the bottom of Juryo/top of Makushita but after a few tournaments ago when they all got kachikoshi, they’ve been pretty wildly floundering all over the place.

          For Isegahama, I think Nishikifuji and Midorifuji will get up to sekitori level (probably Nishikifuji first), but it may be mid 2019 before that happens. If not for that flu circulating the heya last time out, Nishikifuji would probably be closer to the middle of the division this time out. I think he’s actually got a decent physique, we’ll see how he develops. His loss against Kiribayama a couple tournaments back was interesting in so much as he was totally outplayed and physically was on the back foot but still nearly pulled off an impressive leg trip. Re: Terutsuyoshi, what I do like about him is that he’s one of the guys you think about at that level when you reference John Gunning’s comments about rikishi who hate to lose. But this level is a test of composure, he’s only young but with all the other upstarts in this next wave that have joined Juryo he’s got an important couple of tournaments here to consolidate his status.

  2. The Isegahama implosion is dramatic and depressing. But honestly, I am keeping my eye on Takarafuji for now. There is a bit of a “middle brother syndrome” with that guy – he was below Harumafuji and Terunofuji, and above Uncle Sumo. Now it’s all him. The guy is strong, competent and patient. I have to imagine that we may see a strong basho from him this time.

    I also note the Oguruma fade. There is not much chance we are going to see Amazkae back in the top division, as he seems quite comfortable to ride out in mid-juryo, and I think we either see a big basho from Yoshikaze this basho, or we start looking for him to bow out.

    • I tend to agree with you here – also I see a lot of Kakuryu (and to an extent Kisenosato) in Takarafuji in so much as he tends to be a little more reactive. To your point, I do wonder whether he will be able to take charge a little more often now.

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