Natsu State of Play, Day 12

The Yusho Race

Kakuryu outlasted Ikioi, and Tochinoshin prevailed over Hakuho in an epic battle. Congratulations, Shin-Ozeki! Going into the final three days, Tochinoshin leads at 12-0, followed by 11-1 Kakuryu and 10-2 Hakuho. Tochinoshin obviously controls his destiny: win out, and he claims a zensho yusho. He also has the easiest remaining schedule. Kakuryu also controls his destiny: if he can win out, defeating Tochinoshin on Saturday, the yusho would likely come down to a playoff between the two on senshuraku. Hakuho needs a lot of help to get into a playoff: even if Kakuryu defeats Tochinoshin, he needs the Georgian to pick up a second loss in one of his other two matches. If Tochinoshin defeats Kakuryu, he’d have to drop both of his other matches, which seems unlikely.

Remaining matches

Day 13: Tochinoshin vs. Shodai, Hakuho vs. Ikioi, Kakuryu vs. Ichinojo

Day 14: Tochinoshin vs. KakuryuHakuho vs. Ichinojo

Day 15: Tochinoshin vs. Ikioi (?), Hakuho vs. Kakuryu

The San’yaku

Two San’yaku slots will open up with Endo’s demotion and Tochinoshin’s promotion. Mitakeumi lost today and still needs to pick up a win to make sure it’s not three. A lot is on the line: if he can win one of his remaining 3 matches, he’ll move up to Sekiwake; if not, he’ll drop out of San’yaku altogether. Ichinojo also lost, and needs one more win to ensure that he remains Sekiwake. One of them is guaranteed to pick up a win when they face off on senshuraku, and this may be Ichinojo’s best chance, as his other remaining bouts are against the two Yokozuna. Mitakeumi has Kotoshogiku tomorrow, and likely Shodai on Saturday.

Ikioi and Shodai lead the promotion candidates for now, followed by Kotoshogiku and, surprisingly, Tamawashi, whom we’ve written off but who may yet get back to San’yaku if he can win all three of his remaining matches. Shohozan and Abi dropped off the paces with their losses today, and also need to win out to have a chance.

The Line Between Makuuchi  and Juryo

One slot in the top division will open up with Aminishiki’s demotion. Ishiura won today, but still needs to win out to survive, while Takekaze lost, putting him in the same position. Arawashi probably needs to win twice to be safe, while Daiamami and Ryuden need one win apiece. Everyone else has done enough to remain in Makuuchi in July.

Kotoeko has guaranteed a top-division debut, while Onosho has locked up a quick return to Makuuchi. Meisei still needs a win to join them, and that rounds out the list of legitimate promotion candidates in Juryo.

24 thoughts on “Natsu State of Play, Day 12

      • Thank you. Good for him. It will be interesting to see how the fans and other wrestlers treat him if/when he gets back his former ranking back again.

        • The reception to him in the Kokugikan from the fans has been very warm. As for me personally, I wish him all the best, and I mostly feel sorry that he’s being held hostage by that cockamamie oyakata of his.

  1. I mean I really miss Harumafuji since he retired and I’ve always tried to NOT blame Takanoiwa but, some days, I find that somewhat difficult.

    • I do. I absolutely blame Takanoiwa. Pick any Rikishi, I love them all, but not Takanoiwa. Not after the loss of Harumafuji.
      I blame Takanohana as well.
      Personal beliefs aside about the way Harumafuji handled the situation, Takanoiwa should have resigned as well. How can he enter the ring and look others in the eye with so much shame on his head?

      • Why should he be blamed? Haru’s behavior was out of control by all accounts, turning on Terunofuji, Kakuryu and others, going way overboard on Takanoiwa…I hope Harumafuji has given up drinking.

            • Sure, I guess I could… But there’s plenty of stuff already out there you can probably find on your own if you use google. Just tell me what reading level you’re at and I’d be happy to give you some links, though.
              Apologies for the late reply.

              • Google is not a source, but I would be happy to review all of the links you have, regardless of reading level.

  2. I have been surprised by Kotoshogiku this tournament. I have to wonder if he is finally feeling a bit healthier / less injured. His sumo is still very good, but his body went through a period where it could not deliver power required to win.

  3. Takekaze about 2 years and Aminishiki about 5 months reach age 40. Are they planning to reach that age then retire?

    • You never know. Aminishiki is totally banged up this basho. A 3 year old could shove him off the dohyo. I’m pretty sure he will wait a little more to see if he can get a little bit more genki again.
      Takekaze doesn’t look that bad. He could still manage to stay in Makuuchi. My guess would be that both will retire if they can’t keep up with Juryo anymore.

    • I’m recalling Takekaze saying that he’d like to stay active through the 2020 Olympics for the exhibition. Hope he can stay strong enough to reach that goal.

  4. Even if Mitakeumi finishes 7-8 he could remain a komusubi, being moved from the east side to the west side as his demotion. This would depend on how many rikishi in the jo’i end up with records worthy of promotion to the sanyaku. It’s probably a moot point, as Mitakeumi is quite likely to win one of his final three bouts, but it could easily happen otherwise.

  5. So Shodai beat Tochinoshin, which re-shuffles the cards. If the resurgent Kakuryu also beats Tochinoshin, Hakuho is back in the game.

    The tournament just got more interesting…

  6. I wonder if Hokutofuji is really safe. As of now there is only one clear demotion candidate and we could end up with 3 Rikishi finishing 12-3 in Juryo. Don’t think they could be denied promotion if that happens. Actually both Onosho and Kotoeko should be locks already.

    • He should be, with 4 wins at M9. Though perhaps not 100%, if both Ishiura and Takekaze win out.


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