Aki lower Makuuchi, Day 10

Iksumo has already done a stellar job of reviewing the top of Makuuchi, where all eyes are probably firmly glued to Tochinoshin and Mitakeumi’s struggle and to the Yusho race. Here, though, I’d like to take a moment to discuss the bottom of Makuuchi.

Who’s struggling to avoid demotion? Well, starting from the bottom of the Banzuke and working up, we immediately find M16w Ishiura in the very lowest spot, with a 3-7 record. Compounding his problems is the fact that, at the bottom of the division, his opponents generally come from higher and higher in Makuuchi as the basho goes on. If he doesn’t win every single one of his remaining matches, he’ll very likely be dropping back to Juryo just in time to meet his stable-mate Enho on the way up. He fights a fairly genki Nishikigi tomorrow, an opponent against whom he has a decent winning record of 7-5.

M16e Kotoyuki‘s 4-6 record puts him in nearly as much trouble, but it’s worth noting that he had a run of three losses at the start of the basho during which his sumo was, to put it frankly, terrible. He’s since sorted that out, and although he’s picked up another three losses, it’s possible that he’ll be able to scrape together a bare kachi-koshi. His opponent tomorrow is Ryuden, though, who is in good fighting form and against whom Kotoyuki has two losses and no wins. It’s not looking great for the owl.

M14w Chiyomaru‘s cuteness won’t save him, but the small buffer between his current position and the bottom of the division might. A 3-7 record isn’t good, but if he finishes at, say, 6-9, he might just about stay in Makuuchi. Worse than that, though, and he’ll be rolling back to Juryo.

The other thing that might save Chiyomaru is some minor disasters from higher up the banzuke. M11w Kyokutaisei is the eternally round one’s opponent tomorrow, he has only managed one win so far, and he is pretty obviously injured. If he can’t make a near-miraculous recovery, he’ll be back out of Makuuchi after holding on for three tournaments.

Glancing a little higher we have Aoiyama, who I would normally consider as safe as houses at M10e, but his 2-8 record and obvious knee injury put him in real peril. His opponent tomorrow is Onosho, which isn’t quite as bad for the Bulgarian as it sounds because Onosho hasn’t been fighting particularly well either this basho.

Juryo Yusho Arasoi

Out of these five in-trouble rikishi – plus new Makuuchi entrant Takanosho, who at 5-5 and M14e could go either way in the last few days – how many are likely to fall to Juryo? Well, frankly, your guess is as good as mine because seriously look at this nonsense.

To the right is the Juryo leaderboard for day 10. Basically everyone is either 6-4 or 5-5. There could be six or more prospective promotees, or there could be zero. Arawashi seems likely to make a Makuuchi comeback, since from his J1e position, he’ll now mostly be facing opponents from mid- rather than upper-Juryo, and Meisei and Yago seem well placed to accompany him. Although, of the three, only Arawashi has faced a Makuuchi opponent so far.

This would be Yago’s Makuuchi debut, and I know Herouth at least is very much looking forward to it. Plus, he’ll finally be allowed a shikona.

15 thoughts on “Aki lower Makuuchi, Day 10

  1. Herouth aint the only one – Yago is part of my Hokkaido hit-squad – poor Kyokutaisei needs to go kyujo now to prevent further damage to his right knee – Yago seems to be getting it together hopefully not just for kachikoshi but also promotion to makuuchi! how EXCITING!!!!! forward my little dragonfly, forward!!!

  2. I will piggy-back on your excellent post, with a few comments of my own. Thanks for the write up, first class stuff.

    Ishiura vs Nishikigi – The genki, battle rated Ishiura showed up for day 10 to save himself from the Juryo waterslide. He holds a 7-5 career advantage over Nishikigi, who started strong but is back to looking cautious and tentative each match. If Ishiura can recover and get a kachi-koshi, i may be forced to eat both my own buttocks in disbelief.

    Yoshikaze vs Daieisho – Yoshikaze takes his battle-rash up against Daieisho for day 11. Yoshikaze has never beaten Daieisho, but now that he has his PowerFungus(™), the game has changed. One more win and it an itchy kachi-koshi (itchy-koshi?) for the Berserker.

    Takanoiwa vs Kotoshogiku – Speed will stop the Kotoshogiku attack, and Tamawashi has plenty to spare. He will need to get underneath Kotoshogiku’s tachiai, or have a plan to immediately break contact. Kotoshogiku won their only prior encounter, but that was back when Kotoshogiku was an awkward Sekiwake 2 East.

    Shohozan vs Hokutofuji – Release the hounds! Hokutofuji needs one more for his kachi-koshi, and his fade upon reaching win #7 has been dramatic and disappointing. Both men enjoy a good brawl, but Hokutofuji is more of a jabber, and Shohozan more of a slugger. Both are highly mobile, so either a quick pull down or a raging battle around the edges of the dohyo.

    Kagayaki vs Endo – Can someone please get Endo to hang up the mawashi for September? He’s not really able to execute strong enough sumo to be competitive. Kagayaki would certainly welcome the win, but fans are hoping he will be able to repair whatever is busted in time for Kyushu.

    Abi vs Chiyotairyu – Chiyotairyu might be too enormous for Abi to arrest with his double-arm tachiai thrust. Abi won their only prior encounter, and Chiyotairyu is already make-koshi. Chiyotairyu’s tachiai alone might be forceful enough to fold Abi’s humerus like an origami crane.

  3. I was like, how are those Juryo records even possible, but I guess Akua and Seiro absorbed all the extra losses needed to make the math work.

    • The gap between top and bottom in juryo is often quite small. 11-4 and even 10-5 yushos are pretty common, whereas in makuuchi an 11-4 yusho is a once a decade occurrence. This time it looks like we are heading for a multiple play-off at 10-5 which would be fun, and I would like to see how they organise a five-way play-off.

      • By how Juryo has panned out so far, I wouldn’t even be surprised about a 9-6 playoff. Usually you have atleast 1 or 2 guys pulling ahead a little, but this time it feels everyone getting the leader spot feels obliged to lose his next fight.

      • The top 16 guys are either 7-4 or 6-5 after today! I wonder what the record is for the largest playoff (I know 5-way has happened even in Makuuchi).

  4. Latest news has Kyokutaisei withdrawing once again (thank goodness), so the ‘Maru will get a walkover win today.


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