Juryo Promotions Announced

The Japanese Sumo Association has announced that four Makushita wrestlers are being promoted to Juryo for July’s tournament. Kotokuzan from Arashio-beya (apparently NOT from Sadogatake-beya) will make his Juryo debut. Yago, Kaisho, and Abi return to the salaried ranks.

The headline here is that Abi, and his shiko?, will return to Sekitori status after serving a suspension for breaking Covid protocols with Fukushima (then Gokushindo). He has stormed back in the most rapid fashion, scoring 14 straight regulation victories, including a victory over Kaisho. While Abi was away, Ichiyamamoto returned and has established himself as a solid Juryo rikishi with a very successful Natsu. I am eager to see if the two of them go toe-to-toe at some point.

Abi’s redemption comes at an awkward time as current Ozeki Asanoyama is facing down a similar scandal, though the facts in his case are still being investigated and thus a punishment has yet to be determined.

Yago will be eager to finally find a permanent foothold in the division. He is talented but has struggled with injuries, seemingly yo-yoing between Juryo and Makushita. Kaisho reached Juryo briefly in 2019 for two tournaments before falling back into Makushita. For Kotokuzan, his promotion has been a long struggle. He has been in Makushita since the end of 2016, back when Terunofuji was an Ozeki the first time ’round. It will be interesting to see if he’s got a spark in his sumo that can keep him around for a while.

21 thoughts on “Juryo Promotions Announced

  1. Yago actually had a 4-basho run in Makuuchi in 2019, going 9-6 in his debut but following it up with three straight losing scores to send him back down to Juryo.

  2. Kotokuzan is also a half-Filipino rikishi and is actually very fluent in Tagalog, owing to his spending his childhood years in the Philippines. Arashio beya really is leveling up! Next up hopefully we see the 3rd Onami brother rise up to the sekitori ranks.

  3. I caught a glimpse of Abi’s shiko when watching a twitch stream this basho, I had forgotten how lovely it is.

    • it’s extremely elegant. One way in which he and Ichiyamamoto differ…love IYM but he has probably the worst shiko in the whole world. Actually good at sumo as it turns out, but not the most graceful lad

  4. Good catch on Kotokuzan, he’s one I’ve been eyeing for a while, but it’s been a real plodding road to get here the last couple years. Unlike Sadogatake beya where the Koto comes from the first kanji, I believe his is ko(u)-toku-zan

    Also nicely played on the Abi-Ichiyamamoto matchup as I’m not sure if there will be two sekitori whose styles are as similar as each other at the moment

      • Yes however neither of us mentioned that he will surely be sumo’s first sekitori named Jasper

      • Good shout…. Similar body shape and style but I don’t know if I think Bushozan has the same kind of chaos/wave action thing going on quite yet. Whereas Ichiyamamoto for me pretty much straight from the tachiai reads Abi (albeit maybe shorter and with less lateral movement)

  5. Kotokuzan’s name is constucted differently in kanji from the Sadogatake crew. Instead of Koto-Whatever it’s Ko-Toku-Zan.

  6. Yeah i’m also curious about what Ichiyamamoto got into trouble for. He seems like a good boy!

  7. I feel somehow responsible for yagos bad luck. In april 2019 were we in Japan and visited the spring jungyo.
    We saw several rikishi upp close ( photo op with yoshikaze, aminishiki and kotoshogiku 😜).
    Yago wanted to hold our one year old ( and very bald) baby for luck. She does not look very happy om the pics….
    After that went yagos luck down.

  8. Does this mean Asanoyama remains on the banzuke as an Ozeki? With the expected demotions of Akiseyama, Ryuden, Midorifuji, and Akua, five slots would be opened up if Asanoyama is removed. But only four Juryo promotions means Asanoyama will remain as the O2W in July, rather than getting kicked out of sumo altogether?

    • Yes, and given Ryudens 3 basho suspension, I would expect something similar for Asanoyama. He would still be Ozeki in July but kadoban. Sekiwake in September.

    • The only way he wouldn’t have been on the July banzuke is if he had decided to retire, or was kicked out, before the banzuke meeting that took place on Wednesday. He could still retire or get booted, but that would only be reflected on the September banzuke.

      • If he were to retire at this point in response the scandal, it’s quite possible that his spot would just be left blank. They can’t change the rest of the banzuke after the Wednesday meeting, but they can simply leave him off the final printed and published versions. There’s plenty of precedent in doing that in case of scandals.


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