Day 1 Torikumi Published, Yokozuna Hakuho Kyujo for November

A short time ago, the Japan Sumo Association published the match list (torikumi) for the top division days 1 and 2. Notably missing is Yokozuna Hakuho, who has chosen to be kyujo from the November tournament. While he was active in joint practice leading up to the tournament, he is just a few weeks past surgery. It is quite likely that following the practice sessions, he realized his body could not yet endure 15 days of full power sumo, and wisely chose to bide his time.

This makes the second “No-kazuna” tournament in a row, and once again the door is open for an enterprising Ozeki to open a bid to ascend to sumo’s highest rank. We can expect ultimatums from the YDC, threatening corrective action against both grand champions should they fail to mount the dohyo for 15 days in January. This lies in stark contrast to some recent Yokozuna. But I admit it seems clear to this sumo fan that the Hakuho and Kakuryu are nearly at the end of their fighting careers. We wish them both good health and a return to dominance in the new year.

10 thoughts on “Day 1 Torikumi Published, Yokozuna Hakuho Kyujo for November

  1. Hakuho and Kakuryu are just postponing the inevitable. If you look at the last 3 years it’s a quite obvious trend for both of them. I just hope kakuryu gets his citizienship soon enough, would be a shame if the sumo world lost this man.

    • I agree the end is near.. These old battered bodies are just about done.. But at the same time, in the pile of kyujos, they’ve both won more bashos in the last 3 years (4 for the goat, 3 for Kakuryu) than that just about everyone else on the torikumi has won in their career. Still very respectable. I hope hakuho wins again. Then makes it to the Olympic ceremony.

  2. I wish them both good health but not a return to dominance. Having one or other of them descending from Mount Olympus once in a while when they are good and rested has held up the emergence of a new order in sumo, IMO. The path to the future is much more open when they are not around.

  3. There is an underlying feel that Hakuho pulled out not for himself, but to help protect Kakuryu. Because of Kakuryu’s injuries last Basho, him not being quite ready and well, having to endure the loss of his Stable master AND now his stable being demolished. There would be no way for him to be in any frame of mind to compete. With so much riding on his next Basho, there is no way he could risk coming back.

    That said, I tend to Agree with Chris Sumo on this. Hakuho pulled out because for him to compete ( and there is some pressure on him to do so ) it would place even more pressure on Kakuryu. By pulling out, it keeps the pressure on him lower from both his own stand point and the Sumo Council and Yokozuna Council.

  4. Bad news, but exciting for the ozeki! Would be really interesting if one of them could win the yusho this time … BTW, I enjoy the term «nokozuna», but why spell it with an «a»? Why «nokAzuna»? Where does the «a» come from? Sorry about being so nerdy, but that just bugs me! 😅

    • Bruce has some “interesting” spelling tendencies and the rest of the team doesn’t always have time to edit 😉

    • Well, from my own ignorant side, I have to ask why you would spell it with an A? 😁 Not speaking Japanese, No Yokozuna becoming Nokozuna makes sense 😁

  5. Day One and there’s the Yutakayama vs Enho bout. Both are nursing injuries, though, so I expect it to be a quick one. It reminds me that so many kyujo rikishi tumbled out of the dohyo last basho that it adds to the scrum, no yokozuna and all. The Mitakeumi-Takanosho-Onosho-Daieisho square dance on the first two days is interesting. I feel like the Kyokai is testing Asanoyama with Kiribiyama and Terunofuji. And who doesn’t feel for Kakuryu? No one wants the last vision of him a repeat of his tumbling from a failed leg sweep. While I initially thought Hakuho wouldn’t choose to stay out of a basho to help Kakuryu, recalling the concern and care the wrestlers provided Kotoshogiku, it could be possible. Individually and collectively only they know what it is like to rise to and be in the top ranking positions.


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