Day 1+2 Torikumi Posted

Natsu 2018 Banzuke

Do you love sumo? Of course, we all do!

Want see who fights whom on Sunday, day 1 of the Natsu basho?  Set thy web address thusly!

http://sumo.or.jp/EnHonbashoMain/torikumi/1/1/

Some tasty sumo goodness, right off the bat, including:

Mitakeumi vs Daieisho – Team Oitekaze calling, would you like a nice oshidashi today, sir?

Abi vs Ichinojo – He who can lift this boulder shall be the ruler of Yamaguchi Prefecture!

Tochinoshin vs Shohozan – Big Guns vs the man that has the strength of a bear, that has the strength of two bears.

Kaisei vs Goeido – Señor Goeido, your side of Brazilian beef is here.

Tamawashi vs Hakuho – Ya feel’n genki, boss? I made ya some cookies…

Kakuryu vs Endo – Start big, finish hard.

[I’m going to be cheeky and hijack Bruce’s post to discuss the Day 2 torikumi, which was also released today. –PinkMawashi]

And, since the banzuke committee work two days in advance, the day 2 torikumi is up as well! Endo gets Yutakayama who, while a perfectly capable rikishi, probably feels like a day off after Kakuryu. Komusubi schedules are weird.

“Lucky” Abi gets to move from big&strong to strong&big, fighting Ozeki-hopeful Tochinoshin on his second day. Ichinojo gets Kaisei, which is probably not going to be a terribly fast-paced bout.

Goeido faces Shohozan, a match we’ve seen many times before in the past five years, with the history 11-7 in Goeido’s favour. Shohozan can never be counted out and Goeido is not the most reliable of rikishi ever to hold the Ozeki rank, so it’s anyone’s guess who’ll win this one.

Maegashira 1e is the toughest spot in sumo. Tamawashi faces his second Yokozuna, Kakuryu. He beat Kakuryu three times in 2017, with force-out techniques each time, and I fully expect him to stick to what worked then and maybe even pick up his third Kinboshi.

It’s Komusubi Mitakeumi‘s turn to have a go at a Yokozuna today, facing Hakuho in the musubi-no-ichiban. In six meetings, Mitakeumi has only triumphed over the Boss once. Personally, I rather hopes he manages it a second time, it would be a fantastic morale boost in his quest to regain that Sekiwake status.

16 thoughts on “Day 1+2 Torikumi Posted

  1. Abi vs Ichinojo is my pick of this round. Can Abi prove that he’s the real deal or will Ichinojo splat him like an angry yak stomping on a stick insect? I’m hoping for the latter.

  2. Question: can we say with a fair amount of certainty that komusubi or M1 is a tougher schedule that ozeki? K or M1 always face fresh Yokozuna whereas ozeki face them at the end of the basho where they may be worn out or withdrawn. Are there any compensations, ie do komusubi and M1 get to face slightly lower ranked maegashira than ozeki?

    • The flipside of this is that it may be easier to beat a yokozuna on days 1-4 when he is still settling in to the tounament rather than on days 13-15 when he is likely to be gunning for the yusho.

      The thing that makes M1 such a pig of a rank is that you are usually going to have 8 or more bouts against higher ranked opponents, which means you need at least one upset win and no slip-ups against lower-ranked opponents to get a kachi-koshi. That’s why we so often see vacant komusubi slots taken by wrestlers with good winning records at lower ranks.

      • Of course, komusubi being a revolving door means that it’s usually not an upset if one of them gets beaten by a Maegashira 1 because there’s no difference in quality between them anyway. So the slate of underdog matches for an M1 is usually “only” those against Y / O / S. (Likewise for a komusubi, of course.)

        Strictly by (relative) strength of schedule the toughest task is what the last guy in makuuchi has to deal with, since nearly all his opponents will be higher-ranked.

        As for K / M1 versus maegashira – since those bouts happen almost exclusively in the second week, when each rikishi’s record is taken into account for much of the match-making, the exact pairings are pretty variable from one basho to the next. You can be 3-8 and get some lucky matchups against low-ranked maegashira who have done badly, but you could also end up facing all your fellow underperforming high-ranked maegashira for a tougher schedule.

    • It’s an interesting point. I’m not sure when I want to face Hakuho, both of us fresh Day 1 or Day 13-14 with yusho on the line.

      • There’s no good time to face Hakuho. The reason I say M1e is the toughest spot in Sumo is that you face all the Yokozuna right at the start, and then go into the rest of the basho 0-2 or 0-3 and probably bruised. Morale is important and being absolutely pasted in your first two matches can’t be good for it.

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