Congratulations to Yokozuna Terunofuji (14-0) on a well-deserved victory. With the yusho race decided, what else is on the line on Day 15? Two Komusubi slots, at least one Makuuchi-Juryo exchange, and two exchanges between Juryo and Makushita are at stake in senshuraku action.
Mitakeumi (10-4) will remain East Sekiwake, and needs a final-day win against Shodai to mount a credible Ozeki bid in January. West Sekiwake Meisei (6-8) will surrender his rank, and needs to beat Ichinojo to limit his fall to Komusubi. Both current Komusubi, Ichinojo (5-9) and Kiribayama (5-9), are assured of a drop into the rank-and-file.
M2w Takanosho (10-4) has locked up a return to West Sekiwake after a 3-basho absence (fun fact: this will be his 5th appearance at that exact rank without ever being ranked Komusubi).
The pecking order for the two Komusubi slots is as follows: 1. Meisei with a win; 2. M1e Daieisho (7-7) with a win; 3. M1w Wakatakakage (7-7) with a win; 4. M7e Ura (10-4) with a win; 5. M6w Tamawashi with a win (9-5); 6. Ura with a loss; 7. M4w Endo (7-7) with a win; 8. Tamawashi with a loss. It’s possible that Endo with a win could jump over Ura with a loss, and also that M15w Abi (12-2) with a win could jump over Tamawashi with a loss. So that’s as many as seven men with san’yaku hopes on senshuraku!
There will be at least three open slots in the top division: one due to Hakuho’s retirement, one due to Asanoyama’s suspension, and one to be vacated by the lowest man on the banzuke, M17w Shohozan (3-11). Their spots will be taken by Juryo yusho frontrunner J4w Ichiyamamoto (12-2), Wakatakakage’s bro J1w Wakamotoharu (10-4), and J1e Tsurugisho (8-6).
Will we see any other exchanges? If M14e Kagayaki (4-10) loses, he’ll be demoted for certain. He really ought to be demoted even if he wins, but he could yet be bailed out by his uncanny banzuke luck. M17e Kaisei (7-7) is probably already safe, and can make certain of that by defeating Endo, a tough ask by the schedulers.
J7e Oho (10-4) broke his 4-bout losing streak just in time, and should have the 4th-best promotion case. He’ll replace Kagayaki with a win or a Kagayaki loss. The decision is less clear if the choice is between a 10-5 Oho and a 5-10 Kagayaki, and I would guess might favor the incumbent, especially since this is Kagayaki we’re talking about.
Finally, I don’t think they’ll drop Kaisei with a loss in favor of J3w Bushozan (7-7) with a win, and J6e Kotoshoho (8-6) is even less likely to get the nod if he wins and both Kaisei and Bushozan lose, but it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility.
Three slots are definitely open in Juryo: one by Hakuho’s retirement, one by Hokuseiho’s withdrawal, and one by J9w Kyokutaisei (2-12). J14e Kyokushuho (6-8) and J10e Yago (4-10) will also finish with demotable records, but each could earn a reprieve with a win, while a loss would doom them to Makushita.
Ms1w Kotoyusho (4-2) should be making his Juryo debut win or lose. He is matched with Yago. Ms2w Shiba (5-2) will also finally become a sekitori after toiling in the unsalaried ranks since 2014. Ms4e Chiyoarashi (5-2) should also be in, as he is competing with Ms3e Kitanowaka (4-2), who is matched with Kyokushuho. A Kitanowaka victory would force down Kyokushuho, creating space for both himself and Chiyoarashi, while a Kitanowaka loss would place him behind Chiyoarashi. In that case, Kitanowaka may need to hope for a Yago loss. Finally, Ms4w Fukai (3-3) faces J8w Churanoumi (6-8). Should he pull off the upset, he would need both Yago and Kyokushuho to lose. If Fukai, Yago and Kyokushuho all lose, a spot would open up for someone outside the traditional Ms1-Ms5 promotion zone: either Ms6e Shimazuumi (4-3) or possibly Ms8e Tamashoho (5-2).