I got the composition of the Sanyaku right on the money, and missed only which side the two Komusubi would be ranked on, which was always a tossup (Mitakeumi got the more prestigious East side, although I’m sure Endo is content with finally making it into the named ranks). Similarly, the only discrepancy in the M1-M3 ranks is the side switch between Shohozan and Abi at M2. Tamawashi moves to one rung away from a Sanyaku return, and Kaisei, Abi, Daieisho, and Yutakayama get well-deserved big promotions. It will be interesting to see how Abi and Yutakayama fare in their first tournament in the joi (and Daieisho in his second; his first, exactly a year ago, also at M3e, ended in a 4-11 record).
In total, I predicted 16 of the 42 slots on the banzuke exactly, and for a further 13, I had the rikishi at the correct rank, but on the wrong side. An additional 5 misses were by half a rank (e.g., I had Shodai at M5e, while the official ranking has him at M4w), and 3 were off by one full rank. That accounts for 37 of the 42 slots.
In the Haru banzuke, the rikishi who finished at 7-8 in the previous tournament were dropped to a lower numerical rank. My predictions followed that pattern, but the banzuke committee allowed 7-8 Shodai to keep his M4w rank, and merely moved Kagayaki from M8e to M8w, while Yoshikaze, Okinoumi, Chiyonokuni and Ishiura all dropped in rank; hard to see the consistency there.
I knew the M4-M6 area of the banzuke would be difficult to forecast, and so it proved. In addition to keeping Shodai at M4w, which resulted in a lower rank for Ikioi, the committee also switched my rankings of Chiyoshoma (M10e, 9-6) and Chiyotairyu (Ke, 4-11). This resulted in two of my two-rank misses. The other came when the committee moved Aoiyama all the way from M17e to M13w, although he only went 8-7. Perhaps they were giving him credit for his “loss” to Myogiryu on Day 5?
The other big misses came at the bottom of the banzuke. I changed my mind multiple times on the promotion/demotion scenarios. To recap, there were six Makuuchi rikishi who deserved to be demoted, yet only three Juryo men clearly earned promotion. Beyond the obvious three, the banzuke committee opted to demote Onosho, who was kyujo for the whole tournament, yet kept in Makuuchi both Myogiryu and Nishikigi with records that had always resulted in demotion in previous tournaments. The beneficiary of Onosho’s trip to Juryo? Uncle sumo, Aminishiki.
Three rikishi benefiting the most from banzuke luck: Chiyotairyu, Takakeisho, Aoiyama. No rikishi really have a big complaint.