As expected, four rikishi have been promoted to Juryo: crossing the heaven/hell boundary are Ms1w Takakento (5-2), Ms2e Bushozan (4-3), Ms3w Ichiyamamoto (4-3), and Ms5w Nishikifuji (6-1). This marks sekitori debuts for Takakento and Bushozan (pictured above) and returns for Ichiyamamoto, after an injury led to more than a year in Makushita, and Nishikifuji, who bounces back after a single tournament in the third division.
The corresponding demotions are not announced, but reading the tea leaves, it’s not hard to figure out that falling out of the salaried ranks are J14 Ryuko (6-9), J13 Ikioi (6-9), who’s been a sekitori for nearly a decade, J11 Oho (5-10), the wrestler formerly known as Naya, and J9 Kotoyuki (4-11), who, like Ikioi, hasn’t been ranked this low since 2011.
We can also look at who is likely to be fighting for Juryo promotion at Haru. Generally, there is a promotion zone, Ms1-Ms5, and it’s the 10 rikishi occupying these ranks who compete to reach sekitorihood. In very favorable instances, someone just outside this zone can move up, but typically, only a 7-0 record leads to promotion from the extended zone, Ms6-Ms15.
Nine of the ten slots in the promotion zone are clear: the four Juryo demotions listed above will be joined by two men with kachi-koshi records in the Ms1-Ms5 ranks who just missed out this time: Ms4w Daishoho and Ms5e Tochimaru, both 4-3. Also getting another chance will be Ms1e Kitaharima, who fell one win short at 3-4. And moving up into the promotion zone will be Ms8w Shohoryu (6-1), who came agonizingly close to the 7-0 record he needed, and Ms6e Hokutenkai (4-3), Takanoiwa’s nephew.
The last slot will go to either Ms2w Roga (3-4), or one of the following wrestlers with winning records further down the banzuke: Ms8e Murata (4-3), Ms13w Kaisho (5-2), or Ms17w Ryusei (6-1). My guess would be Ryusei, but I’m really not sure how to handicap the rank-record combinations in this part of the rankings. As commenter Jay points out, the 10th slot is presumably spoken for by Ms3e Kotokuzan—one of the Covid absentees from Arashio beya.