Juryo Banzuke Forecast

Now that we know which rikishi will be moving up to the Juryo division in March, we can speculate on what the second-division banzuke will look like. My projection is based on the assumptions that there will be only two promotions from Juryo to Makuuchi (Nishikigi and Daiamami), only one demotion to Juryo (Kotoeko), and four demotions to Makushita: Sokokurai, Sakigake, Toyonoshima, and Irodori.

Green: Juryo kachi-koshi. Red: Juryo make-koshi. Blue: Makushita. Black: Makuuchi. Bold: career-high rank.

I feel pretty good about the top half of this projection (down to Mitoryu), but the bottom half was tricky to put together, and may be way off. The challenge is that there are simply not enough rikishi with sufficiently good records to fill the remaining ranks, even with 5 promotions from Makushita, subject to the provision that those with losing records don’t move up. I had to leave the 7-8 rikishi (Kyokutaisei, Takagenji, and Asagyokusei) at their current rank, but this still meant huge over-promotions of the lowest-ranked men with winning records (Churanoumi and Hoshoryu), as well as very high positions for the top two promoted Makushita wrestlers, Wakamotoharu and Midorifuji. (Kizakiumi and Yago get very lenient demotions).

I’m curious to see how some of the highly touted up-and-comers—Kotonowaka, Kotoshoho, Hoshoryu, Midorifuji— will fare at their new career-high ranks in Osaka. There are lots of other storylines to look forward to in the second division. Can Wakatakakage and Terunofuji continue their comebacks all the way to Makuuchi? How will Daishoho respond after his late-basho collapse that cost him what looked like a near-certain promotion? Can Kotoeko bounce back from a disastrous January performance? Will Ichinojo look any better in his second tournament back after sitting out much of Aki and all of Kyushu?

Let me know in the comments what you think of the projected rankings and which Juryo rikishi you’ll be watching in March.

UPDATE: Banzuke guru Asashosakari has a similar and probably more accurate guess over at Sumo forum. The main differences are dropping Chiyoshoma a rank and Yago a rank and a half, and moving Tomokaze up a rank.

14 thoughts on “Juryo Banzuke Forecast

    • Wow, I didn’t even notice that; they’ll in all likelihood drop him to J14, which should be good news for Akiseyama. In any case, there are only two lower rungs to move him to. Just surviving in Juryo with a 6-9 from J13 is a fairly rare feat, though Irodori pulled it off in September.

  1. Shame about Sokokurai dropping out obviously – I’d imagine Haru will almost certainly be his last basho as an active rikishi before he takes over from Arashio oyakata

    • Remember, this is just my projection, and I guess it’s not impossible, given the sentimental considerations, that they’d drop Chiyootori or Tomokaze instead.

      • Oh no, I don’t think they will make the decision on sentimental reasons – I fully agree with your assessment. When it’s your time it’s your time.

        I just think, in the circumstances, as a fan it’s tough to see him drop out. It would be nice to see him sign off as a sekitori, participating in a proper dohyo-iri every day, etc. But in all likelihood he has a good long career ahead of him in a blue jacket, so all good.

  2. My first thought was … wooooah … what an overpromotion tp Hoshoryu, but looking ore closely I don’t really see, whom of the other guys to put ahead of him. I think there is a bit of leverage in shuffling the other positions, like being more lenient to Tomokaze (he has a 2.5ranka dvantage to Kzakiumi and those 3 wins place Kizakiumi 5ranks ahead of him. thats 7.5ranks gain with just 3 wins …), Chiyotori could very well take the last spot and most Makushita guys could end up half a rank higher too. Kinda messy down there.

    • It’s pretty remarkable that at 7-8, Hoshoryu would’ve been looking at a return to Makushita (though maybe not with this banzuke), while at 8-7 he’ll end up in mid-Juryo.

  3. I should really download the sumodb so I can do sumo analytics. I’m very curious about which wrestlers in the past have records most comparable to Hoshoryu — their records would give a sense as to what is the plausible range of Hoshoryu’s possible future careers.

    • Unfortunately, the nature of sumo being what it is, the plausible range probably goes from “future ozeki” to “career-ending injury next tournament”. That aside, Harumafuji might not be far off; half a year younger on reaching juryo and a fairly similar build at the time. Kakuryu is an even better match age-wise, but he’d already started packing on weight by the time he was in juryo. Those are obviously best-case scenarios for the future, but generally speaking being 20 years old and already sekitori is a very good basis for a high-caliber career.

    • Just to add as a more cautionary tale: Dewaotori was also in juryo by age 20 and looked like a future sekitori mainstay for about six months, before his career imploded just like that. Diabetes was later cited as the main reason, though IIRC he also ended up picking up a variety of other related illnesses.

      And even more recently we of course had Rikishin, juryo debut at 21, retired less than a year later. Knee injury plus some general physical issues, says the Japanese Wikipedia article on him.

      http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Rikishi.aspx?r=6012
      http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Rikishi.aspx?r=11947

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