Banzuke Weekend!

It’s banzuke weekend sumo fans, with the Osaka basho now just a couple of weeks away. Sure, there is a nagging background worry that Covid-19 might partially derail the festivities, but for now let’s focus on the rankings for March. For sumo fans, this may be the banzuke to own, as it will feature seldom seen features, such as a Yokozuna-Ozeki, and Maegashira 18!

Stay tuned fans, the publication of the banzuke is just a bit more than 24 hours away, and we are eager to see who ends up where.

18 thoughts on “Banzuke Weekend!

  1. Bruce…
    Is the Banzuke posted at a specific time? we just check on our monday morning (Calif time)…
    Cheers, Mike n Carolyn

      • Nearer the earlier time than the later. I expect it will be 9pm here in UTC land, which works out at 1pm PT. The banzuke publication is one of the few occasions that North America gets its sumo news at a more convenient time than Europe does.

    • It stops being embargoed at 6am Japanese time and is usually on the website within 10 minutes after that.

  2. OT: things are looking not that great in terms of viewing options for the basho, other than the standard NHK highlights. Kintamayama has retired from producing his highlights package and now apparently Natto Sumo (excellent for comprehensive makuuchi and Juryo coverage) has had 2 copyright warnings so not sure that channel will be operating…

  3. According to Wikipedia (not my fave source, but still) Tokyo, Kanagawa, and even Chiba have more coronavirus cases than Osaka. The April jungyo and May tournament may be affected more than this one.

    • The public Japanese news still play things calm, but there is an increasing number of new cases without a clear trace. It’s literally all over the place in Japan now, albeit the official numbers are still low. A lot of the cases that are covered on TV (Japanese TV likes to make those detailed explanations like A got it from B, when on a 5 day trip to XY with a friend, where A showed first symptoms…then 3 more days in the office before getting high fever and seeing a doc.. ) the origin is unknown.
      It’s obviously hard to know, but common logic suggests that there are more unknown infections and since most cases show only light symptoms … well … its probably spreading. Japanese have this habbit of going to work until they are near death.
      The government has suggested for elderly people or those with preconditions to avoid crowds and stay home as much as possible. They also encourage companies to employ teleworking as much as possible, but public transportation is still crowded, at least in Tokyo.
      Things are still low profile atm, but the question is if and how fast things snowball. Needs only one person like the lady from Daegu who for whatever reason refuses tests and continues visiting very crowded places. Watch the numbers in south korea the last 2-3 days.
      Italy just put around 50.000 people in quarantine. I’m not sure they even had cases 2 weeks ago. Things can really move fast.

      • What would cancelling the basho really achieve? Are they stopping people from slurping noodles sitting close together on counters in ramen bars? Are they closing down Shinjuku station where 100s of thousands pass through every day? Are cinemas, theatres and other sports venues closed?

        The main reason they won’t cancel is that it would be the first stop towards cancelling the Olympics

        • If I can trust news from Europe, what you describe is kinda what happens in Milano atm, despite it not being quarantined. Seria A matches have been canceled too and the talk is to instead of canceling more matches to have them without visitors …
          The question was what the situation is in Japan atm. The answer is that it is spreading more and more, but so far the public is calm. Do I expect Osaka Basho be canceled? No, simply because Japanese don’t move so fast and someone would lose face. Do I expect Olympics to be canceled? Well it’s way to early, but it’s certainly not impossible. On the other hand the virus might spread way slower in summer or the chinese may have developed a treatment/vaccine by then …

          • I am watching with keen interest to see what the NSK decides in their March 1st meeting on the subject.

  4. Wait, what’s a Y-O and why are we having one? Is it a ceremonial distinction or will something be different in action?

    • Tradition holds that you need two Ozeki to write a Banzuke. When there is only one Ozeki, the west Yokozuna serves in both capacities. This is completely symbolic, has no additional duties attached, and does not require that the west Yokozuna participate in the basho. The Yokozuna-Ozeki’s column is basically fatter – takes up nearly the place of two columns, thus balancing the East side.


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