Who is in Trouble on Day 9?

It’s too early to analyze the yusho race, or to look at possible changes in the san’yaku ranks (at the moment, only Takanosho’s record stands below .500 among the incumbents, and Daieisho and Takarafuji lead the queue of potential promotion candidates). And there are no Ozeki runs to talk about. So without enough material for a full “storylines” post, I thought I’d take a quick look at the division exchange picture.

Makuuchi demotion candidates

Absent M15w Kotoyuki will be dropping deep into Juryo. One-win M11w Enho and two-win M13w Ichinojo are in deepest trouble, looking for 4 wins apiece in the remaining 6 days to stay in the top division. Sadanoumi and Yutakayama each need 3, while Akua and Chiyoshoma should be safe with 2. Everyone else has either locked down a place in Makuuchi for January already, or will do so with one more win.

Juryo promotion candidates

J2e Midorifuji (7-2) leads the promotion race. He should secure a much-awaited top-division debut with two more wins, and even one might be enough. J1e Akiseyama (5-4) would earn promotion with 3 wins. J3e Ishiura (5-4) likely needs to go 4-2 or better for a quick return to Makuuchi, while everyone else needs to win at least 5 of 6, or rely on a large number of demotions from the top division.

Juryo demotion candidates

Still-suspended Abi will complete his drop out of the sekitori ranks. Winless J14e Fujiazuma got a one-basho reprieve due to the Tamanoi beya COVID situation, but will now be returning to Makushita. J13w Nishikifuji (1-8) needs to win out to avoid demotion. J8w Ikioi (2-7) likely needs to split his remaining 6 bouts to stave off a drop (or retirement). And the last man on the second-division banzuke, J14w Chiyonoumi (6-3) is looking to record 2 more wins. Everyone else is either already safe, or will be with one more win. And of course, another slot in Juryo will open up with Kotoshogiku’s intai. I’ll take a look at who might move up into these slots a little later in the tournament.

13 thoughts on “Who is in Trouble on Day 9?

    • Fairly often: there were 5 in January and 4 in July and September. Recent record is 7, January 2018, when Enho made it with a 4-3 from Ms6.

    • I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s remarkable how consistent he’s been. Except for one freakish 8-7 overpromotion from J5 to M16, he’s basically spent the entire past decade between J5 and Ms10. 37 Juryo appearances, of which only 3 have been above J5.

        • His career does make me wonder what is considered a “successful” sumo career by most wrestlers and fans. Simply becoming sekitori? Getting to makuuchi? Reaching 30 basho as sekitori? Reaching san’yaku at least once?

          To me, Akiseyama has clearly forged a reasonably successful career, even if it’s basically as a guy who fills out the roster. I wonder if he gets a little extra consideration in his promotions from makushita because the committee’s like “yeah, we know what we’re going to get from him. Nothing spectacular, but he won’t embarrass us.”

      • And he can say that he was a professional sumo wrestler even before he joined Ozumo!

        (“World Sumo Challenge” and “Fukao” for the Googles if you want to know/see more. TL;DR A short-lived venture to Westernize sumo for American audiences.)

  1. I am keen to see how the yusho race plays out, but since week 1, I am really thinking more and more about Hatsu. Shame there is zero chance to go to Tokyo and watch that thing in person. I hope they get that giant wheelchair tuned up and lubed.

  2. Hi! I’m not an English native speaker, Italian actually. But, I really appreciated your article,as it was really pleasant to read and made me notice a new point of view about the difference between an attack and a defensive style. I’m quite new on sumo, as I have been following it for two years only, since I visited the Ryogoku Kokugikan during the Aki basho in September ’18. My Japanese wife and I don’t lose any bouts nowadays. Thank you!

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