Kyushu Storylines, Day 11

The yusho race

No changes from yesterday; Yokozuna Hakuho remains the sole leader at 10-1, followed by Komusubi Asanoyama (9-2) and Ozeki Takakeisho (8-3). Hakuho now enters a four-day stretch of fighting what upper-rank opponents are still around, starting with Endo tomorrow (10-1 head-to-head), to be followed by Abi (1-1), Mitakeumi (9-2), and Takakeisho (4-1). The main pursuer, Asanoyama, has Mitakeumi tomorrow (1-2), while his remaining 3 opponents will come from the rank-and-file (most likely Tamawashi, Kotoyuki, and Aoiyama).

The Ozeki and aspiring Ozeki

Takakeisho secured his kachi-koshi, ensuring that we will have one non-kadoban Ozeki in January. Asanoyama now has 19 wins over the last two tournaments; he probably needs two more to be on a realistic Ozeki run at Hatsu. Mitakeumi (5-6) now needs to win out to keep his run going.

The San’yaku ranks

Tochinoshin’s “probation” Sekiwake slot, which he inherited from Takakeisho, will now pass to Takayasu, setting the dubious record of 3 straight basho (and 4 out of 5) featuring an “Ozekiwake”. Asanoyama looks like an increasingly good bet to join him at that rank, either by taking over Mitakeumi’s slot, should the latter fail to pick up 3 more wins, or by forcing an extra slot with 11 victories. Mitakeumi needs 2 wins to extend his san’yaku streak to 18 tournaments. With a 6-5 record, Abi’s chances of promotion are slim, as he’d need 3 more wins than Asanoyama over the final four days, and still has the Yokozuna, the Ozeki, and the Sekiwake on his dance card after his date with Tamawashi tomorrow.

Abi needs to at least split his remaining bouts to remain Komusubi. Of the other two incumbents, Endo (5-6) needs to go 3-1 or better, while Hokutofuji (4-7) needs to win out. Endo, of course, faces Hakuho tomorrow for his last ranked opponent, while Hokutofuji is done with the san’yaku portion of his schedule.

M1e Daieisho (6-5) continues to lead the promotion queue, followed by M1w Okinoumi (5-6), M2e Myogiryu and M2w Meisei, both (5-6), and M4e Tamawashi (6-5).

Demotion danger

M15w Daishoho (2-9) has punched his ticket for the infamous Juryo barge. M14w Nishikigi (3-8) joins him at make-koshi and needs to win out to avoid making the trip down, while M15e Daishomary (4-7) staved off his 8th loss and needs 3 more victories to stay. M9e Kotoshogiku (3-8), M14e Terutshuyoshi (6-5), and M10e Shimanoumi (4-7) each need one more win for safety; everyone else still competing is guaranteed to be back in the top division in January.

Your Juryo promotion queue after Day 11: J1e Azumaryu (7-4), J3e Ikioi (8-3), J2 Tochiozan (7-7), J5e Kaisei (8-3), and J7w Kotonowaka (9-2).

12 thoughts on “Kyushu Storylines, Day 11

  1. So Mitakeumi will have to take two wins from Asanoyama, Abi, Takakeisho and Hakuho just to stay in San’yaku? Not much room for error there. It’ll be a real disappointment if his Ozeki run turns into a return to the rank and file.

    • Yes, a 6-9 Sekiwake has never been ranked higher than M1e on the next banzuke in 68 instances in the modern era.

  2. I’m not sure even 11 wins puts Asanoyama on an Ozeki run, to be honest. He’s had one basho in the most junior of the sanyaku ranks and his Aki record of 10-5 at M2 wasn’t a jun-yusho. Takakeisho got 33 wins all within sanyaku, including a yusho and a jun-yusho, and still got turned down since two basho were at Komusubi and not Sekiwake, which seems to count for more even if their schedules are identical. The only thing I see going in Asanoyama’s favour is the current state of the Ozeki corps. There’s an outside chance the kyokai might hasten his promotion for fear of Takayasu losing his rank permanently and Goeido being close to retirement.

    • I think 11, with the accompanying Sekiwake promotion, would put him on a run, but possibly with a high target, like 13-2 or better. And yes, there have been some “soft” promotions in the past when the Ozeki ranks were depleted.

      • One thing they tend to like is when the ozeki candidate gets better as the run progresses. I wouldn’t expect 10-11-12 to be enough given the first result came as maegashira and it’s his first ever attempt to become ozeki, but they’d certainly have an excuse to pull the trigger on that.

        10-12-12 or 10-11-13 would look pretty good given the state of the ozeki incumbents, I reckon.

    • Aw, yeah – are there any somewhat-informed guesses on how long Wakatakakage might be out? I was enjoying watching him a lot.

      • I feel like I read that his medical report stated a month of recovery, but I’m not 100% certain about that. Maybe 80-85% certain that I’m recalling correctly. There have been an awful lot of medical reports to keep track of this time ’round!


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