November Storylines, Day 14

The yusho race

We could see this coming from about Day 5—it’s the lone surviving current Ozeki against the former one for all the marbles. Takakeisho can take the title outright by defeating Terunofuji in regulation; otherwise we’ll have our first Makuuchi playoff since last September, when Mitakeumi prevailed over none other than Takakeisho. Should the Ozeki claim the yusho, this will mark the start of a Yokozuna run for him; I expect that even a playoff loss would count as a “yusho equivalent” given the current state of sumo’s highest rank.

Lower san’yaku

The Sekiwake rank is set: it’ll be Terunofuji moving up, most likely to the east, and Takanosho (8-6) successfully defending his rank in his san’yaku debut. Both Komusubi slots are on the line tomorrow—Mitakeumi (6-8) and Takayasu (7-7) will occupy them if they win, and will drop into the rank-and-file if they lose. There are two contenders for promotion: M2w Daieisho (9-5) and M4e Hokutofuji (10-4). If one of them gets a better result than the other tomorrow, he’ll jump to the head of the line; otherwise, it’s not clear who’d get the slot if only one is open. I’m guessing that neither will have done quite enough even with a win to force the creation of extra Komusubi slots.

Makuuchi demotion candidates

There are two certain demotions: absent Kotoyuki and Enho. Yutakayama‘s win over Sadanoumi left him in the better position of the two to stay in the top division. Each should be safe with a win, and Yutakayama can probably survive a loss, while a loss by Sadanoumi to promotion-seeking Ishiura would see the two switching divisions in January. Everyone else is safe.

Juryo promotion candidates

The two open slots are spoken for by J2e Midorifuji (10-4), the sole leader in the Juryo yusho race, and J1e Akiseyama (8-6). J3e Ishiura (8-6) must win to move up, while J4e Chiyomaru (8-6) will be on the bubble if he wins and Yutakayama loses. Everyone else is out of luck.

Juryo demotion candidates

Four second-division slots are guaranteed to open: three via demotions of Abi, Fujiazuma, and Nishikifuji, and one with Kotoshogiku’s intai. Takagenji and Ikioi need final-day victories to stay in the paid ranks. Everyone else is safe.

Makushita promotion candidates

The four definite promotions are now clear: Ms1w Naya (6-1), Makushita yusho winner Ms15w Ryuko (7-0), Ms2e Yago (4-3) and Ms2w Shiraishi (4-3). Ms3e Kitaharima (4-3) and Ms4e Bushozan (4-3) are 5th and 6th in line, respectively, and will be hoping for losses by Takagenji and Ikioi.

9 thoughts on “November Storylines, Day 14

  1. Akiseyama – 35 years old, makushita as recently as January, only been in makuuchi once via massive banzuke luck… great underdog victory, well done big man 🥳

  2. Does Terunofuji’s ozeki run start now or would it include the 8 wins he earned at M1, in the event he gets 13 wins in January? Would a yusho help?

    • Personally I reckon it would count given he needs a 13 and a 12 to get to 33 which would demonstrate major form, and even more so if it includes a yusho

      • I’m not sure. He has quite the kyujo and kadoban history. Obviously, if he scores two consecutive yusho it will be hard to deny, but just 33 or 34 fins might not suffice. Don’t think they wan’t an Ozeki who will be kadoban every 2nd basho.

        • 13 and 13 might be hard to deny, but only Hakuho’s pulled that off in the 6-basho era, so not a lot of precedent.

  3. Day 15, Takakeisho is going to defeat Kaiju and go 14-1, and likely going to go big in January, Yokozuna by March, at the very least, by the end of 2021.

  4. I think a play-off loss for Takakeisho will be a big disappointment. No Yokozuna. No other Ozeki. A playoff loss will make the 3-year Ozeki title drought all the more troublesome.


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