Aki Storylines, Day 8

The Yusho Race

Others have amply discussed the crazy state of the yusho arasoi on Nakabi. Let’s see if there’s any more clarity in the race for the Emperor’s Cup in a couple of days.

The Ozeki

Goeido needs 3 wins to clear kadoban, Tochinoshin needs 5, while Sekiwake* Takakeisho needs 4 to regain his Ozeki rank. The good news for this group is that the only upper-rank competition they have left is each other, plus the occasional bout against Mitakeumi, Abi, and Endo. The bad news? None is a sure bet against rank-and-file opponents. I’m just crossing my fingers that we don’t get a déjà vu desperation bout between a 7-7 Tochinoshin and a 9-5 Takakeisho on senshuraku.

The Lower San’yaku

So far all the incumbents are holding serve, racking up 5 or 6 wins in the first 8 days. Even if all four end the basho kachi-koshi, a slot could open if Takakeisho gets his 10, unless Tochinoshin fails to get his 8. The only rikishi with a good shot of forcing his way into an extra slot at the moment is M2w Asanoyama (6-2). Mitakeumi, Abi, Endo, and Asanoyma all still have the opportunity to launch an Ozeki run with double-digit wins, and Mitakeumi and Endo could even be looking to earn promotion in Kyushu if they can pile up enough victories here after going 9-6 at Sekiwake and 10-5 at M2 in Nagoya, respectively.

Demotion Danger

Takagenji (2-6) and Toyonoshima (1-7) are in deep trouble, probably needing to win 6 of 7 to stay in the top division. Tochiozan (3-5) is faring only a little better. Everyone ranked M8 and higher is safe from demotion, as are Meisei, Enho, and probably Sadanoumi, Shohozan, and Tsurugisho, while Ishiura and Kotoyuki can join them with a victory apiece. Juryo yusho co-leader Takanosho (6-2) has staked out the strongest claim so far for a return to Makuuchi.

11 thoughts on “Aki Storylines, Day 8

  1. I can’t see 10-5 at M2 counting towards an Ozeki run unless Endo somehow pulls of a couple of miraculous basho this time and next (13+ wins in both and at least one championship). Generally a Maegashira record is only counted when it featured a yusho, such as Tochinoshin’s 14-1 at M4 when he took the cup. Double digits in the joi is good, but that’s all it is. Endo will need to emulate, say, Terunofuji and get back-to-back yusho or yusho equivalent to force an Ozeki promotion with his July record in the mix.

    • It’s possible, if unlikely, that we could go into November with one ozeki, and an injured one at that. In those circumstances I imagine that we might see the bar being lowered.

      • Possibly, but if anything, the bar should be raised during times with a weakened banzuke since it theoretically becomes easier to make the rank. If you can’t put together 33 wins with hardly any meaningful competition, you don’t really deserve the promotion.

        • I think both Endo or Asanoyama (if starting this basho) would need at least 35 maybe 36 wins to have a promotion case. A bare minimum surely wouldn’t suffice, especially after Takakeisho had to wait an additional basho as well. For endo that probably means to go 15-0 next basho

    • Yeah, not saying it’s likely, but 10-5 is better than Terunofuji’s 8-7 (he really got it based on 2 basho, not 3). I guess the best precedent before that is Asashio, who went M1 9-6, S 14-1 D, S 12-3 J. There were a couple other promotions from 11-4 or 12-3 at maegashira in the first tournament, and they didn’t involve subsequent yusho.

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