Haru Matches for Days 1 and 2 Posted

Time to get psyched for the basho!

Day 1 sanyaku matches:

M3 Kotoshogiku vs. K Ichinojo

M2 Takarafuji vs. S Tochinoshin

S Mitakeumi vs. M2 Arawashi

M1 Tamawashi vs. O Goeido

O Takayasu vs. M1 Endo

Y Kakuryu vs. K Chiyotairyu

Day 2 sanyaku matches:

M3 Kotoshogiku vs. K Chiyotairyu

S Mitakeumi vs. M2 Takarafuji

M1 Tamawashi vs. S Tochinoshin

O Takayasu vs. K Ichinojo

M2 Arawashi vs. O Goeido

Y Kakuryu vs. M1 Endo

With this slate of early bouts, we’ll quickly find out who is genki and who isn’t.



16 thoughts on “Haru Matches for Days 1 and 2 Posted

  1. For my money Mitakeumi has got to be licking his lips at that opening two matches. For sure, there are no easy matches at this level. But, again it’s a tournament with only one, below strength Yokozuna. The other Sekiwake is carrying some kind of knock. Goeido is a world beater on his day but is inconsistent. This is a glorious chance to go up 2-0 early and get himself situated at the front of the pack.

    • I would be so confident: Arawashi beat Mitakeumi in January with a pretty nifty tottari in a nice display of brains over brawn. And of course Arawashi isn’t above pulling a henka if necessary. Mitakeumi really should win but he will have to be careful not to over-commit at the start.

  2. One thing that can be seen only on the official printed torikumi form and not on the NSK web site is that the yumitori shiki is no longer to be performed by Satonofuji (Isegahama beya). As expected, with the retirement of Harumafuji the heya is no longer a Yokozuna’s heya.

    The bow goes into the hands of 33 years old Kasugaryu of Nakagawa beya. If you wonder, Nakagawa is not a Yokozuna’s heya, but Kakuryu’s heya, Izutsu, can’t really provide his needs and so all his tsukebito come from his ichimon, and this logic seems to apply to the yumitori performer as well.

    (Interestingly, most of his tsukebito are actually from Shikoroyama beya, which has recently disconnected itself from Tokitsukaze. So there could be a change of guard there, too, though I think it is less likely).

    It surprises me, though, that the NSK sees Kakuryu as likely to stick around for a while… I wonder why the yumitori performer never came from Miyagino beya – not even when Hakuho was the sole yokozuna.

    Edit: it appears I didn’t research this deeply enough. Despite belonging to Tokitsukaze ichimon, the Yokozuna Kasugaryu is attached to is actually Hakuho. He has been his Tsukebito since his days in Kasugayama beya. And he has been practicing the bow twirling since at least 2016.

    So no need to wonder. It’s with the Yokozuna who’s most likely to stick around.

    • Does it come from the heya of the leader of the wrestlers’ union? Rather than strictly a yokozuna?

      • No, no connection. The head of the rikishi-kai from 2010 to 2016 was Hakuho. At that time, the yumitori performers were:

        Until March 2010: Minanosato from Takasago (Asashoryu’s heya)
        May 2010 through Jan. 2011 – Chiyonohana from Kokonoe.
        May 2011 through Nov 2012 – Shoho from Kasugayama
        Jan 2013 – Satonofuji
        Mar 2013 – Shoho
        May 2013 through Nov 2014 – Satonofuji
        Jan 2015 – Shoho (now called Mizuguchi)
        March 2015 and on – Satonofuji

        So absolutely no correlation to rikishi-kai. Kasugayama did belong to the Isegahama ichimon, so it may have stood in for Miyagino in the same way that now Nakagawa stands in for Izutsu. But Shoho only took on the duty after Chiyonohana – who had no connection to any active yokozuna – retired from sumo.

      • Well, I edited my comment above. Apparently Kasugaryu is associated with Hakuho, not with Kakuryu, despite belonging to the Tokitsukaze ichimon. He is Hakuho’s tsukebito. Well, one of the 7.

      • To the best of my knowledge, nothing. The spectators will miss the Yokozuna dohyo-iri, but the yumitori will still be performed.

        • This is so sad. I guess we have to hope this is a transition period and in the end we will have a new bunch of at least temporarily healthy Yokozuna.

          • Oh, we definitely will. There might be a brief period where we have none, but it won’t be long until someone steps up their game and gets those two yusho-equivalents in a row.

            • I want to see someone dominant rise from this crop of youngsters…Mitakeumi, I’m looking at you! Time to skill up!

      • Saw a comment somewhere (maybe here) that they need at least one Ozeki to open (A Yoke counts as Ozeki for this purpose).

        Not sure what, if anything, would happen if zero Ozeki and zero Yokozuna were present.

        • Yeah, could have been here. As long as you have two Ozeki, you can convene a Honbasho. So we are close to the lower limit right now.

          • That’s why I think they might not be too strict on the ozeki promotion criteria over the next couple of basho. Tochinoshin, Ichinojo, Mitakeumi- that big gold ring is dangling right in front of you: go grab it!

          • I assume if there aren’t two Ozeki, and no Yokozuna to fill those roles, they’d just promote the next-highest-ranked rikishi, like they normally do to fill the two Sekiwake and Komusubi slots? Don’t know if this has ever actually happened…


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