The banzuke is a crucial element of any basho. It’s the ranking list for each tournament. While it’s formally decided a few days after the end of the previous tournament, it’s not printed out and provided to the public until two weeks before the tournament. One downside is, it’s static. It is not updated during a tournament with results and it shows a wrestler’s current position and not their history or trajectory. The illustrated banzuke is a way to put a face to a name (or a back-side to a name, depending on which illustrated version you’re looking at).
I’ve tried to address that here by taking the basic banzuke and adding more data on each wrestler’s career as well as their record. Their names are colored by whether they were kachi-koshi or make-koshi. It’s not clean and finished yet but I think it’s time for a public beta release. I’ve played around with it enough on my own so it would be nice to hear from others.
The important thing to keep in mind is that I am targeting every sumo fan with these dashboards, regardless of your love for data and technology. I joke about the Kyokai and their fax machines, yes. But I know a lot of technology freaks people out. That’s not what I’m here for. I’m here to use appropriate innovations to provide additional access to more information. In this case, the ability to mouse over a name on the banzuke gives more information about the wrestler. I’ve also put three dropdown filters to allow users to select a banzuke, a division, and/or a stable.
As I mentioned above, I have three dropdown filters under the title: banzuke, division, and stable. The default banzuke here is the most recent Nagoya basho while the other two are set to “All”. I don’t encourage setting the Division filter to all, unless you have selected a particular heya. When looking at a stable, it’s nice to view all their members in one screen. Please feel free to cycle through the multiple tournaments. I’ve got the banzuke from 1958 to present because that’s the start of the 6 basho era. I need to put a massive caveat there, that the data for wrestlers’ careers starts there, 1958. So if a wrestler was active beforehand, well, I don’t have that. I know that will be a bummer for folks interested in the careers of past Yokozuna.
If you mouseover the name of a rikishi, you’ll get a flyover screen with additional details about the wrestler, like their stable and hometown, as well as the length of their career. But for me, the part that I find the most useful is the line graph which tracks the wrestler’s path up, and down, the banzuke. I’ve had this visual on other dashboards before. What I’ve been able to add is the kyujo tournaments (in red) and yusho (the golden kanji character for YU).
We can see here that Ironman Tamawashi has not had a tournament kyujo. (He’s actually never had a day kyujo until this past tournament and the Covid kyujo.) He’s also won three yusho: in Makushita, Juryo, and the Makuuchi top division. I’m still working on getting kinboshi and special prize data but this is already pretty busy. If I get that data, I may just list it above the chart. Unfortunately, it’s a bit busy as it is.
I’ve called it the Kitchen Sink because I feel like I’ve throwing all the data into this, and I’ve got more to come. For active wrestlers, I have the height and weight data from the Kyokai as well as style preferences.
I am very interested in getting feedback for this visualization and any others. I’m thinking about hosting a Twitter Space or Zoom or something to help walk people through the dashboard as well as to talk about the data. At work, I use Teams and walk people through with the help of PowerPoint and screen shares. I don’t think PowerPoint would go over well here. I find sharing pdf and pptx files on the internet highly sus, anyway. So I’m not going to do that. If I post a video, it’s not very interactive and I can’t answer your questions, live. We record sessions at work but those aren’t as effective as live-learning. A Twitter Space would just be audio, I think, so that may not be the best option. But sometimes it’s nice to have a quick chat about data.
Well, until I figure out a better option, feel free to leave feedback in the comments. If you experience any problems, notice any bugs, let me know.