Unfortunately, we saw that coming. Despite strong threats on his survival as a yokozuna, Kakuryu never made it clear he would actually participate in 2021’s first Basho, and raised lasting concerns about his body condition.
So the news just came. Yokozuna Kakuryu is kyujo for the Hatsu Basho 2021.
Fans wishing for a fantastic finale at the January tournament will be left disappointed. Indeed, we learned yesterday that the full Miyagino heya wouldn’t participate, too, meaning Hakuho is also sidelined. But contrary to his rival, Hakuho’s chance of having another free card, for now, are higher.
Kakuryu’s news also mean we’ll witness yet another nokozuna this tournament.
It may well not be the only one in 2021, unfortunately.