Juryo Banzuke Draft

As a bonus to my projection of the top-division rankings for September, here’s one for the second division. This one isn’t as carefully thought out (or as nicely formatted), but it should give a good idea of where everyone should end up when the official banzuke is released in two weeks.

  1. Nishikigi, Ichinojo
  2. Kotonowaka, Kotoyuki
  3. Chiyomaru, Chiyoshoma
  4. Wakamotoharu, Daiamami
  5. Daishomaru, Kyokushuho
  6. Chiyonoo, Akua
  7. Churanoumi, Tsurugisho
  8. Azumaryu, Mitoryu
  9. Chiyotoori, Hidenoumi
  10. Akiseyama, Midorifuji
  11. Oki, Hakuyozan
  12. Kizakiumi, Nishikifuji
  13. Daishoho, Chiyonokuni
  14. Fujiazauma, Kitaharima

Top-division dropouts are shown in bold; all are clustered right near the top of the rankings, with a chance to get right back up to Makuuchi with a winning performance. The rikishi I personally most want to see earn promotion is Ichinojo, who would have done it this time had he defeated Shohozan in their final-day “exchange bout.”

In italic, we have the promotions from Makushita. They will all be ranked toward the bottom of the second division, but I’m not sure of exactly where they’ll slot in relative to the incumbents, or how to rank Ms12 Chiyonokuni (7-0 Y) relative to the others, who at least should remain in the order of their current rank, since they all went 5-2. Welcome back to the sekitori ranks, Chiyonokuni!

19 thoughts on “Juryo Banzuke Draft

  1. Kokonoe stable is going to make sure the schedulers are entertained. A couple of them will be eyeing yusho if healthy but like you, I’m just happy to see Chiyonokuni back.

    • Only one Kokonoe man was added – the dropping Chiyomaru. (Dropping chiyomaru? That’s a greater danger than a tree of watermelons). Chiyonokuni was, alas, exchanged with Chiyonoumi.

      Who is with me on a yusho playoff between Chiyomaru and Chiyootori?

  2. It’ll be Azumaryu, worst rank in more than a year. Until recently he made sure to get a spot in the upper juryo ranks or lower maegashira. Let’s see if he can rebound this time.

    • Azumaryu has been one of those quadruple A wrestlers: too good for juryo but not good enough for maku’uchi. Mind you, we used to say the same thing about Tokushoryu. It is a bit sad that the man who won the four-way juryo playoff in November 2019 is down in mid juryo while the men he overcame are sitting pretty in the top division. He’s got the size, the strength and the technical skill to be a solid maegashira but something has always been missing. I don’t know, maybe he needed someone to light a fire under his bum to get him motivated back in the day and it never happened. And of course there is the unfortunate facial resemblance to Liberace.

      • I’ve noticed he started his makuuchi Basho quite well, but ends up terribly. Maybe some issue with his stamina.

        • “Stamina” is an odd concept in sumo. If I hired a laborer for my landscaping company who worked for 30 seconds and then wanted 24 hours to recover I would regard him as having zero stamina and would not hire him again. I don’t know if there is a word in English to express an ability to withstand repeated, extreme, but intermittent damage and expenditure of energy: resilience? durability? Whatever the right word is, Azumaryu often doesn’t seem to have enough of it.

      • I don’t know that he’s quite quad-A. He spent about 5 straight years in Juryo (with a stint in Makushita) in 2014-2019.

            • He made Komusubi! Maybe that’s like being a reliever who gets his first start, drops 18 earned in 1 and 2/3 innings of his first start and gets sent back to the minors? Or maybe I’ve taken this and run a bit too far, as is my wont?

              • I realised that he made komusubi about three seconds after I hit post! I suppose Quad A is not a permanent status and this guy should be a shining example to those wrestlers who can’t quite seem to establish themselves in the top division. I am also grateful for the fact that you and everyone else on Tachiai is prepared to put up with my frequently ill-informed and bizarre ramblings.

            • I would tend to think of quad-A as the makushita-juryo yo-yos like Akiseyama, or as an even more extreme example, Kizenryu. The pay differential between Triple-A and the majors is more like the makushita-juryo divide. Juryo are basically the substitute, near replacement-level players, while makuuchi wrestlers are those who go in the starting nine.

              Seriously though, the line between Triple-A and the big leagues is really stark salary-wise. A 10-year vet could be making either $60k/year as an all-star in AAA, or twenty times that for being a mediocre backup in the bigs. Just depends on whether they get lucky to match up with an organization that could use their particular set of skills.

              Guys like Jokoryu probably resemble former solid starters who might’ve made an All-Star game once (komusubi), but then had a major injury that turned them into the quad-A type.

            • One of the things that sometimes gets a quad-A pitcher over the hump is that they suddenly figure out a usable third or fourth pitch. All of a sudden, hitters have way more to deal with and can’t anticipate as well. It’d be interesting to see whether there’s an analogous jump in sumo, like an oshi guy who over the course of a year adds just a couple of yotsu techniques he can really rely on as his change-up and using that to move from upper juryo/lower makuuchi into the joi-jin.

              • Mitakeumi is often cited as an example of an oshi rikishi who greatly improved his performance by adding yotsu.


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