Kakuryu to be absent from Kyushu Basho

Izutsu Oyakata announced today that his deshi, Yokozuna Kakuryu, is going to be kyujo from the Kyushu 2018 basho.

This announcement shortly follows Hakuho’s similar announcement. As a result, Kisenosato is going to be sole Yokozuna for the first time in his career.

Kakuryu has been complaining for a few weeks now about his old right ankle injury, which caused him to absent himself from the 2017 Nagoya tournament. Until recently, that old injury has been manageable, in the sense that any swelling following extended activity soon settled, and the Yokozuna could function as normally as any veteran rikishi with cumulative damage can.

However, since the middle of the most recent Jungyo, the swelling would just not go away. Although the Yokozuna participated in daily practice with other sekitori, and seems to be able to do high-level sumo, his stablemaster notes that he cannot stomp shiko with force, and that the doctor said that the type of action he is supposed to face in the second half of the basho might be too harsh.

Tachiai wishes Kakuryu good health, and hopes that he takes appropriate steps to heal himself. We also wish Kisenosato much success handling sole Yokozuna duties in the coming basho.

19 thoughts on “Kakuryu to be absent from Kyushu Basho

  1. This means that jo’i goes down to M5 (remember that Kisenosato v Takayasu and Tochinoshin v Tochiozan can’t happen except in a play-off). Tough luck for Chiyotairyu and Asanoyama, whose schedules just got a whole lot tougher. On the other hand, Tochinoshin will be a near certainty to end up with most wins in 2018 and Mitakeumi’s path to ozeki looks clearer. And of course, Ichinojo is now Mongolia’s #1 which might have interesting conseuences.

    • I believe Mitakeumi has to start a fresh Ozeki campaign. The numbers won’t do it.

      And oh, wow, Ichinojo top Mongolian? Sigh….

      • While I’m no numbers master like lksumo, I think if he can sandwich his 9-6 Aki record between two yusho or a yusho and a jun yusho then he might be able to salvage his run (still a tall order). For example, Terunofuji and Goeido both had bare bone kashi koshi in their ozeki runs, but their yushos and jun yushos helped them secure their promotion. But I think that if he fails this time he won’t be able to take advantage of his Nagoya record and he’ll definitely be starting from scratch.

        • My claim is that his Yusho is already void due to low quality, no matter the numbers. His only hope this basho would have been if he secured double digits, and some Yokozuna slays. With two Yokozuna gone, his chances of getting quality wins are very very slim. Of course, if he happens to get a zensho Yusho, maybe the shimpan department will reconsider, but other than that, he will not have shown the “continuous strength” they are looking for.

          • Yeah, not getting those Yokozuna wins does not look good for his chances. I’v been sitting here wracking my brain and the more I try and think about all the boxes he’d have to tick the more I have to agree with you. He has to beat Kise, no getting around that. He can’t lose to anyone bellow him, including Ichinojo, and he can’t lose to any of the Ozeki if he wants to convince the Shimpan department that he’s worthy to stand among them. I think you are corrector and a zensho yusho may be his only chance.

          • I bet a yusho gets him promoted. I’m also going to predict that if he gets 11+ wins to accumulate 33, they promote him despite all the talk about the quality of his sumo. While there are no exact precedents, in the 20 previous instances where a sekiwake accumulated 33 wins over 3 basho, and no fewer than 9 in any of them, there was only one instance of non-promotion (Miyabiyama in 2006), and that was with a line of 14-1, 10-5, 9-6. http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Query.aspx?show_form=0&n_basho=3&sum_wins=33&show_sum=on&form1_rank=S&form1_wins=9-15&form2_rank=S&form2_wins=9-15&form3_rank=S&form3_wins=9-15&columns=4

            • Well, first let him get double digits, and then you and I can get into our virtual mawashi and settle this argument. 😝

              • Ha ha, my confidence in him getting the nod with 11+ is definitely higher than my confidence in him winning 11+. Maybe if he does, the shimpan department will decide to tighten the criteria, but with all the fragility in the upper ranks, they sure could use another Ozeki.

            • I think the fact that Miyabiyama had proved a bust in his previous ozeki run,never making 10 wins, counted against him. Mitakeumi is otoh untainted by failure.

          • Interesting comparison with Goeido who was promoted with 12-8-12 (32 wins) and no yusho but did claim 3 wins over yokozuna, I think 12-3 including a win over Kisenosato would do it. 13-2 would, I think, be enough regardless of who he beat. 35 wins over 3 tournaments at sekiwake and no promotion would be a vanishingly rare stat. We shall see.

            • I think so too. 13-2 should definitely clinch the deal and a 12-3 should be enough unless he is totally listless against the other top guys. 11-4 with atleast 2 wins against the Ozeki/Yokozuna Corps should also do the deal, he just cant completely falter against the jusho competition.

          • 11 straight tournaments in sanyaku, including a yusho. Has beaten all 3 Ozekis in the past two tournaments. Has beaten both Hakuho and Kakuryu in the past year. Is a highly popular Japanese rikishi. Would boost a rickety Ozeki/Yokozuna corps that could see retirements at any time.

            I would fall off my chair in surprise if Mitakeumi gets 33+ wins and does not get promoted.

  2. Not good for kakuryu! but ichinojo as top mongolian – wow – that’s as sweet as his beloved icecream!

    • So after the feast of top-rank matchups at Aki, we’re back to a low diet of one a day: Kise-Takakeisho on Day 1, Goeido-Takakeisho on Day 2.

        • Note that Kaisei’s kyujo is temporary – Tomozuna oyakata says he’ll be attending the basho after some three days of rest.


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