The banzuke committee met today, and while the full results won’t be released until October 26, we do get a few tidbits now to hold us over. In addition to Shodai’s promotion to Ozeki, the new promotions to Juryo have been announced. Four rikishi will receive sekitori status, none of the them for the first time.
The promotions are Ms1e Takagenji (4-3), who rose as high as M10 and is returning to Juryo after a one-basho absence, former Komusubi Ms1w Jokoryu (4-3), who’s spent the past 9 basho in Makushita, Ms2e Chiyonoumi (4-3), who, like Takagenji, is making an immediate return, and, wait for it, Ms5w Ura (6-1)!!!
It is a bit of a surprise that Chiyonoumi got the nod over Ms4w Naya (5-2), who will have to wait at least one more basho for his sekitori debut. Chiyonoumi lost to Daishoho on his visit to Juryo, while Naya defeated the same opponent, and such results have been weighted heavily in promotion decisions recently, but apparently the difference in rank proved decisive.
The corresponding demotions are not announced, but we can make some educated guesses. First, there are no new sekitori retirements. Second, we know that one slot opened due to Kizakiumi’s retirement prior to the basho, and that J13 Oki (0-15) and J14 Kitaharima (5-10) are certain demotions. That leaves one slot to account for. My guess is that the last man out is J12 Daishoho (6-9), and that the two sekitori members of Tamanoi beya, J7 Azumaryu and J14 Fujiazuma, who were held out of the basho with their entire heya as a COVID-19 measure, get to stay in Juryo, presumably with similar treatment for lower-division members of the heya. Otherwise, there should have been a slot for Naya, unless only the higher-ranked Azumaryu’s sekitori status has been preserved, and Fujiazuma will go down in place of Daishoho. Let’s see if any news trickles out; otherwise we’ll know in late October.