The current Jonokuchi cohort missed out on their maezumo experience due to the surge in Coronavirus cases. This meant their introductions were delayed until the start of this tournament. There’s also been a bit of reform in the “amateur” divisions as Sandanme has been reduced to 90 ranks and there may be further cuts. It also seems that most of Jonokuchi was promoted into Jonidan, including perenial cellar-dwellers Higohikari and Sawaisamu. So, virtually all of the Jonokuchi wrestlers are the new recruits who should have taken part in Osaka’s maezumo, with most of the remaining wrestlers made up of wrestlers returning from kyujo, and Takatairiku.
Since we’re really far too early to start talking about yusho contenders, I wanted to look at the current maezumo cohort. The press is having a field day with this particular class because it includes a wrestler named Suyama who joins the Kakukai (the Sumo World) from the prestigious Tokyo University. It also includes a wrestler from Nichidai named Imazeki and a young judoka named Yamada. Well, this particular group has three Yamadas — and there’s already another Yamada in Jonokuchi. Each of the newbies is introduced under a different shikona and I cannot make out the shikona used for Yamada Nelly. It sounded like “Wazachino” to me… As for Imazeki, his teammate Kayo debuted at Sandanme 90 with a glorious henka.
Kayo. Your first bout ever and you throw out a glorious henka.
I like this kid. https://t.co/iNosZSLTmq
— 立ち合い (@tachiai_blog) May 9, 2022
I only included a couple of competitive Jonokuchi bouts there at the end. Many of them on this first Match Day were rather one-sided but there were a couple of gems. Tanji looks like he may go pretty deep in the yusho race, for example. As the field narrows down, we’ll learn a bit more about these youngsters. I hope you enjoy!