Yokozuna Kisenosato Kyujo from Kyushu

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NHK news just announced that Yokozuna Kisenosato will be absent from the basho as of day 5 of the basho. The official reason was not given, but it’s clear this is the result of losing four bouts in a row, which has not happened since 1931.

The Kyushu basho will now continue without a single Yokozuna, following the Nagoya basho, which fared the same.

Source: NHK

31 thoughts on “Yokozuna Kisenosato Kyujo from Kyushu

  1. Is this a sign that he will retire, or has the sumo association privately let him know that he can go kyujo and return in January?

    It seems ridiculous to expect a sportsperson to take months rehabilitating from serious injury, see him make a promising but tentative return, then send him on the road for the next two months, before immediately heading into the next tournament. Of course it’s tradition, and the conditions are the same for everyone, but it seems like most rikishi are jaded after jungyo, meaning those trying to rebuild from injury never really do so as they are constantly worn down.

    Having said that, the NHK World Sumopedia that followed the highlights was on yorikiri, and featured a match between Hakuho and Kisenosato in 2010. When you compare the powerful, dynamic rikishi of then to what we see now, perhaps it’s for the best that he retire.

    • I don’t think the sumo association informed him of anything, because no single oyakata can promise anything in the name of the association without consulting with the board first. They didn’t go and hold a meeting and make a decision about this – so if he got any advice, it was from individuals who were not representing the association.

  2. It’s my first day at the basho today so disappointed it’s now a nokozuna tournament.

    In September there were quite a few matches Kisenosato won which could have gone either way so to some extent this is his luck running out. Case in point yesterday’s close call. The NHK commentary called it as a rematch but I’m not sure about that as Kisenosato went down first and Tochiozan was the aggressor.

    In other news Hattorizakura lost (no surprises) but did again manage to generate some forward momentum so he’s performing slightly better.

  3. From Kisenosato’s statement “I am sorry for sumo fans because I was the only yokozuna going into the tournament. I am truly mortified… I newly injured my right knee during the bout on the first day… I want to return to the dohyo after my injury heals.” (Asahi Shimbun English edition)

    I’m sure the translation misses some of the subtleties, but it doesn’t sound like a retirement statement.

  4. I won’t give any top division spoilers, but one other thing of note today was a lower division rikishi got very badly injured. I can’t remember who but I think he was from sandame. He left in a chair and seemed like he broke his leg or something in his knee.

    Anyway my point is that it was quite shocking how everything carried on, with the usual rituals to the winner, while he lay on the floor writhing in agony. Except of course someone immediately threw salt on the ring to purify. But it took a while for anyone to come to the stricken rikishi’s assistance. And then the help that arrived seemingly wasn’t a medic but just helped the rikishi to hobble off until a wheelchair arrived. I do think in these instances sumo needs to catch up with the times and have proper medics attend to such injuries. What happens if someone breaks their neck, just help them to get up and hobble off?

    • Oh, my. Judging by the NSK list of absent rikishi, you are talking about Hokutoo. He is one of the backup yumitori performers. That is, he was. 😢

      The bad news is that his stablemaster, Hakkaku, is a strict believer in the healing power of keiko. That is, he believes that if an injured rikishi isn’t performing well, it’s because he is not doing enough keiko. Which means the poor man is pretty much toast.

      • I’m not sure it is him as the main sumo site says the news of his withdrawal dates to the 14th and this one happened on the 15th. I’ll keep an eye out for who it might have been.

        Will have to take notes next time!

        • Ah, I saw footage. Sorry, I’m not sharing the link as I don’t believe in sharing videos of people writhing in agony. It was a Jonidan bout between Toho and Hokutoryu – so the same heya, and the same conclusion. He was wearing a huge brace already.

          • very sad news for Hokutoryu – that’s not good at all. Hakkaku better revise his ideas on the healing power of keiko in relation to a smashed leg – this will be more like modern medical science that will hopefully be able to assist. pretty sure not doing enough training had nothing to do with this, twas just one of those freak landings that do the most damage

  5. What does Kisenosato’s withdrawal mean for the next Banzuke?
    Is the yokozuna ranking going to remain the same or is he going to move ahead, because at least he started?

    • Pretty sure it stays the same, the logic being you can’t move up the banzuke without a kachikoshi. Someone correct me if wrong!

    • I think he would have moved up if he’d picked up even one victory, but with him winless, I’m also betting on the rankings not changing.


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