With just two days remaining, it’s time for an update on how many wins various rikishi need to avoid losing rank.
The Named Ranks
We are down to at most three Sekiwake. One is soon-to-be-demoted Ozeki Mitakeumi (4-9). Another is incumbent Wakatakakage (9-4). Hoshoryu (7-6) should stay in Sanyaku no matter what, but needs 1 more win to remain Sekiwake. Daieisho (5-8) will lose his rank and needs to win out to limit his fall to Komusubi.
Absent Komusubi Abi will drop into the rank and file, as will Ichinojo (4-8). Kiribayama (7-6) is a win away from holding rank.
Depending on the results of Hoshoryu, Daieisho, and Kiribayama, anywhere from zero to two Komusubi slots may open up. Having secured his kachi-koshi at M1e, surprise of the basho Tobizaru (9-4) should get a promotion even if this means creating an extra slot. Yusho leader M3e Tamawashi (11-2) can also stake a claim with a strong finish, as could M4w Takayasu (10-3), so we may see an expanded lower San’yaku for the second straight basho.
M15w Tsurugisho (4-9), M14w Yutakayama (4-9) and M16e Mitoryu (5-8) now have demotable records, and need to win out and hope for very favorable banzuke luck to avoid a trip to Juryo. M15e Terutsuyoshi (5-8) can reach safety with 2 wins. M16w Hiradoumi (7-6) still needs one more victory, as does M13e Ichiyamamoto (5-8). Everyone else is safe for November. At the moment, Tohakuryu, Kagayaki, and Azumaryu lead the promotion race, followed by Atamifuji and, more distantly, Hokuseiho.
Lovable but ineffectual thruster J13w Tochimaru (2-11) is now certain to captain the Makushita barge. Absent J5w Asanowaka will in all likelihood join him, unless his withdrawal due to post-COVID effects (rather than active infection) receives unexpected leniency. Two more wins are needed to ensure safety for J12e Gonoyama (5-6), although one might be enough. Everyone else is safe. M1w Roga (4-2) should be the first Makushita rikishi to go up. Ms4e Tsushimanada (5-2) is the second, assuming at least two slots open. Tomorrow, Ms5e Fujiseiun (4-2) will try to state his case in a crossover bout against Gonoyama. Hanging on to faint promotion hopes are Ms4w Tsukahara (3-3) and Ms5w Shonannoumi (4-2).