Yokozuna Kakuryu Withdraws From Nagoya


Announced this morning – Yokozuna Kakuryu has withdrawn from the Nagoya basho. As we had surmised, his poor sumo form over the past two days has been the result of a (as of present) unspecified injury. This is the first time in 19 years that all Yokozuna have been absent from a honboasho. As mentioned earlier, the “Nokazuna” status is nothing to worry too much about, but it does signal the next phase in the slow decline of the long serving members of sumo’s top echelon.

Update: the doctor’s certificate is for arthritis of the right elbow, requires immediate two-week rest. The Yokozuna was checked at a local hospital, and now plans to leave Nagoya and get re-examined at a hospital in Tokyo. (Source: Nikkan Sports – Herouth)

As with Hakuho’s withdrawal, the biggest beneficiary is kadoban Ozeki Goeido.

NHK News Article

27 thoughts on “Yokozuna Kakuryu Withdraws From Nagoya

  1. I’d say another major beneficiary is Mitakeumi, who now has the best shot he’s ever had to line up double-digit wins and start an ozeki run. His second week now has no yokozuna, 1 strong ozeki, and 2 dubious ozeki. His sumo looks strong and deliberate so far, I hope he’s able to maintain momentum.

    Too bad about Kakuryu though, I’ve really enjoyed watching his sumo for the last several basho.

  2. Sad for the basho as a whole, good for some rikishi.
    The aforementioned Goeido, Takayasu and I’d guess Tochinoshin too.

  3. Well, Tochinoshin’s path to another basho victory,barring yet another unforeseen injury, is suddenly wide open. No one is going stop him. Pooh Bear appeared ailing following his win today and everyone else, including Goeido, cannot handle him. Stunning last two days. No one answered Janet’s question at the top. Who indeed?

    • Sorry, Yokozuna dohyo-iri are not required to conduct a honbasho. They are “nice to have” rather than “must have”.

      • Ahhh, alrighty; these are the things that wind up less than clear when all you get to watch is NHK World’s highlight reel ^.^;;;

        • I”m recalling reading or hearing somewhere that at least one Ozeki is needed (one Yokozuna would count), maybe to start the basho. I’m no expert, so wonder if there is anything to the “one ozeki or higher” requirement.

          • My understanding is that you need to have two ozeki (and a yokozuna is a special type of ozeki) to hold a basho. BUT the ozeki don’t have to fight: as long as they are on the banzuke it’s fine… I think…

  4. Also let’s not forget Chiyonokuni as a beneficiary – that’s two fusen-sho now

    Obviously a lot depends on results elsewhere and the ranking committee may well take it into account but you can only beat what’s in front of you and at his rank in the joi, that’s priceless.

    The likes of Kotoshogiku may feel a little aggrieved!!!

  5. Sad. He seemed pretty determined to tough it out as the sole yokozuna in January despite injury, but I guess it was just a bit too much this time.

    Takayasu might benefit too, if his arm is going to make the road out of kadoban much harder.

  6. Aminishki is going to have more wins that Hakuho and Kakuryo combined.
    Who put money on that prop bet?

  7. While I feel sorry specially for Kakuryu, I kind of like this youkozuna less tournament. At the moment there are 3 previous tournament winners, Tochinoshin, Goiedo and Kotoshogiku. While Goiedo might have a fighting chance (big might) I think we can safely rule out Kotoshogiku as a possible winner. That leaves us with Tochinoshin. He is kind on a roll now so he might be one of the safest bet. Then we have Mitakeumi and perhaps Takayasu who might win their first ever tournament.
    So its a exciting situation, we have two yokozuna hopefuls in Tochinoshin and Takayasu, whom might have a compelling case if they win big. And an ozeki hopeful in Mitakeumi.
    I find that this could be a very exciting basho.

    • Sadly its now being reported that Tochinoshin may have re-injured his knee, and is considering going kyujo. This is basho is going to be absolutely brutal.

  8. Kyoto News says it’s all elbow injury
    I just hope that Takayasu didn’t also injure his elbow in his Thursday match too.

  9. Surely there should be some kind of rule or procedure in place to prevent any single Rikishi receiving more than one Fusen win in a Basho? I like Chiyonokuni a lot but this is majorly unfair on everybody else

    • Grogg, as I understand it, a fusen win is awarded because the schedule has already been set when an opponent withdraws. Rather than recompute the entire schedule at the last moment, one guy gets the win. Chiyonokuni just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I don’t see what they could do about it.

  10. So terribly sad. I would love Tochinosin to win, but this would devalue it to some extent. I think he could have pulled it off with both active yokozunas participating, as his sumo has been not only strong but much more versatile than in the past. His performance this basho looks like a yokozuna….. but he’s thirty years old. And Haku hurts himself in the dressing room, which feels ominous to me. As for Pooh, he was clearly in pain yesterday and I am worried about him. I am the Eeyore of sumo fans this morning. :(

    • I don’t think it would devalue it at all. You can only fight who shows up. At some point soon a bunch of these kanban / high value upper ranked folks are all going to be out at the same time (that is probably going to be this basho), and you are going to get some wide open lanes to grab a yusho. We may see a spot in 2019 where there is only one Yokozuna remaining, and he’s kyujo, and only one Ozeki and he’s banged up.

      This is how you suddenly get a wave or promotions to refill the top ranks. I think Mitakeumi, Endo, Tamawashi and a few others smell this one coming, and so they are getting their sumo together and fighting for their future.

  11. Hmmm. I guess I was thinking that based upon the the way promotions have been decided upon, such as whether or not the basho that Tochinosin won was not good enough since he was in a lower rank. Thanks for talking me back from the ledge a few feet!


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.