Juryo Banzuke Guess, and a Look at Makushita

The most interesting man in Juryo?

Juryo Banzuke Guess

The following assumes that Nishikigi will stay in Makuuchi, Meisei will be demoted, and Tobizaru and Chiyoshoma will stay in Juryo. Those 3 all have a strong claim to J1, so someone will be a bit unlucky to be ranked J2. I did not worry too much about correctly guessing the East/West side, or even being off by a rank here and there, like I do with my Makuuchi banzuke projections. Still, this should give a good idea of what the second division will look like next time out.

  1. Meisei Chiyoshoma
  2. Tobizaru Tochiozan
  3. Azumaryu Daiamami
  4. Hidenoumi Kyukushuho
  5. Kyokutaisei Ichinojo
  6. Tsurugisho Hoshoryu
  7. Daishomaru Hakuyozan
  8. Daishoho Churanoumi
  9. Wakamotoharu Chiyootori
  10. Akiseyama Kizakiumi
  11. Akua Midorifuji
  12. Takagenji Asabenkei
  13. Mitoryu Choyonoumi
  14. Fujiazuma Chiyonoo

Makuuchi demotions in bold, Makushita promotions in italic. Several of the most interesting rikishi in Juryo should be up in the top division next time: Terunofuji, Wakatakakage, and Kotoshoho. If Tobizaru isn’t promoted this time, we can keep an eye on him, and with projected ranks of J5 and J6, Ichinojo and Hoshoryu are creeping up into promotion range.

Makushita Joi

Who will be ranked in the top 10 slots (Ms1-Ms5) in the third division, where a winning record can vault a rikishi to sekitori status? First in line is incumbent Ms2 Kotodaigo, who narrowly missed out on Juryo promotion despite a 4-3 record. Ms1 Sakigake should also hang around the promotion zone with his minimal 3-4 make-koshi.

Then we have the Juryo demotions: Yago and Asagyokusei. Absent Tomokaze will fall below Ms5. The remaining 6 slots should go to rikishi in upper Makushita with winning records. The likely list is Ms7 Oki (5-2), Ms8 “Prince” Naya (4-3), Ms9 Kaisho (4-3), Ms9 Chiyoarashi (4-3), Ms11 Jokoryu (5-2) and Ms13 Ryuko (5-2).

Bonus: Ones to Watch

Many of the “Ones to Watch” have hit the wall in upper Makushita (Ms8 Roga and Ms10 Oshoryu, the rikishi formerly known as Motobayashi, both 2-5) or further down the banzuke (Sd26 Hokutenhai, 3-4). Two interesting exceptions are Ms34 Kitanowaka (5-2) and Sd19 Yoshii (5-2). This was Kitanowaka’s 6th basho (not counting maezumo), and he’s gone 6-1 or 5-2 in each. He should be ranked around Ms20, so he’ll be in Makushita for a couple more tournaments at least, but he continues on a path that could see him become sekitori this year. And there’s an excellent chance that in the next tournament, Kitanowaka will meet none other than Ura, whose 7-0 yusho at Sandanme 30 should also see him ranked around Ms20!

Yoshii started at the same time as Kitanowaka, but he’s 3 years younger—only 16! He’s also never had a losing record, but his 4-3 last time left him somewhat behind. His record at Haru will see him promoted to lower Makushita, and he is an exciting prospect to keep an eye on.

20 thoughts on “Juryo Banzuke Guess, and a Look at Makushita

  1. Kyokusoten, although he is too old at 27 to be considered a future potential, has had an excellent basho, only losing to Nishikifuji, who won the Makushita yusho in that bout. 6-1 was his best result since a 7-0 in Sandanme in 2014. Which should place him around Ms8, a higher rank than he ever had. Since he is a nice guy, I hope it wasn’t a one-off.

    Hoshoryu worries me, though. Going kyujo on the last day for back problems – if he is injured at such an early age, the brilliant career everybody was expecting of him may just fade into a yo-yo between Makuuchi and Juryo. Which, alas, is what I expect Terunofuji’s fate to be. Last basho I was kind of hopeful, because Terunofuji looked unbeatable, that perhaps he will belie my initial prediction that bottom Makuuchi is the best he will do. But this basho his knees started acting up on him again.

    • Hopefully Hoshoryu can address the back issues—he’s not carrying a ton of excess weight, so some exercises could do the trick…

  2. I’m wondering when the real Ichinojo is going to turn up in juryo, he’s been lacklustre since he was demoted so presumably still suffering from back injuries

    • Yeah, 9-6 isn’t bad, but not what a healthy and motivated Ichinojo should be capable of in division two.

      • He’s lost a good 60 lbs. He should be okay back wise at that w at night loss. Ichi has been known to be very lack luster at times. They don’t call him ichi no go or Snorlax for nothing.

        • He is currently at 206kg. It’s too high. His back issues have been the main reason for that “lackluster” performance.

      • Yes, presumably he was still listed as 200kgs as they only weigh in before the Tokyo basho. Will be interesting to see what he’s coming in at now

  3. IS the human planetoid known as Gargamaru still going? I honestly liked him and felt horrible when he fell off Sekitori status, but I haven’t heard anything about retirement for him.

    • He was ranked Ms44 and sat out the basho, but I haven’t heard any news and there hasn’t been an intai announcement…

      • He continues to slide… I feel like he’s one of those Rikishi that have nothing beyond Sumo, so is sticking with it for the plain fact he has nothing else after it.

        • If there is an extended break (which is increasingly rumoured to be the case), it could give a chance for some of the walking wounded veterans to stage a late revival. Probably too late for Gagamaru but maybe for Tochinoshin, Ikioi, Chiyonokuni etc

  4. I’m excited to see in Jokoryu another veteran in promotion range once again, but I really hope that Naya can finally have his break through basho and compile at least 5 wins while in promotion range.
    I think there is a good chance that Nishikifuji makes it to Ms5 or even Ms4. Kaito just ended there in March coming from Ms51.

        • Naya should be up in the top 10 for sure, right? Is Kaisho definitely ahead of Ryuko? I’m not sure exactly how they value rank vs. wins in this part of the banzuke.

          • To be honest, I have no idea. :) Kotodaigo, Yago, Asagyokusei and Oki should occupy the first four slots (not necessarily in that order), but from Ms3e to Ms6w for all the remaining guys you mentioned + Nishikifuji/Kitaharima, I can imagine almost any order. You’re right, could also be Kaisho as the other one to miss the top 10. Or maybe it’s even Sakigake who’s on the chopping block…would be unusual based on recent decisions, but not impossible.

            Naya should be in, what with at least Kaisho and Chiyoarashi definitely being behind him. I’d be stunned if somebody we haven’t considered yet found his way ahead of the 4-3 trio (either Ms22w 6-1 Kyokusoten or Ms15e 5-2 Kairyu).

          • I pretty much agree with Asashosakari, but I’m pretty sure that Nishikifuji will get the nod at least ahead of Kitaharima and Ryuko, but I wouldn’t be surprised, if he makes it all the way to Ms4e. I have no clue where to place Sakigake thought. I would just put him at Ms3, but … Jokoryu will probably not be placed behind all the 4-3 guys, so my guess would be that Chiyoarashi ends up just outside the top 10, if Kitaharima gets in.

            • Sounds like we all agree there are 12 realistic candidates for 10 slots, of whom half a dozen are locks, another couple are likely, and then it’s a tossup among the rest.

            • So in the end, Nishikifuji made it all the way to M3e! And Kaisho and Chiyoarashi were the odd men out, with Chiyoarashi even getting passed by Kyokusoten for Ms6w.

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