Osaka Day 11 Preview

Welcome to the start of act 3, the final five days of a basho. In act 3, we sort everyone into make-koshi and kachi-koshi, and crown the yusho winner who takes home the Emperor’s Cup. The final act is where we get to see more matches that pair high performing rikishi against each other, and in this tournament, we should see Midorifuji take on a spread of named rank opponents. Sadly there is no Ozeki or Yokozuna to challenge this Maegashira 5 upstart who looks like he very well could take it all the way to day 15 and bring home the trophy to Isegahama.

We have six rikishi up for a possible kachi-koshi today: Hoshoryu, Kiribayama, Wakamotoharu, Takayasu, Kinbozan, and Chiyoshoma

Haru Leaderboard

The closest competitor is 2 wins behind Midorifuji, making the odds of him being challenged for the cup fairly long. It has happened before that a red hot rikishi from the middle or lower ranks suddenly faces stiff competition and falters, but the “stiff competition” is not very potent right now, so I am expecting him to completely dominate the next few matches. He still has not faced Daieisho though…

Leader: Midorifuji
Hunt Group: Daieisho, Endo, Kotonowaka

5 Matches Remain

What We Are Watching Day 11

Oshoma (4-6) vs Tsurugisho (6-4) – Oshoma visits from Juryo to work on getting himself back into winning territory. He won his only prior match against Tsurugisho which happened on day 11 of Kyushu last year. I expect Tsurugisho to win this one.

Daishoho (6-4) vs Kinbozan (7-3) – Looking forward to both of these rikishi hitting their 8 wins (or more) and making a lasting mark in the top division. I think Kinbozan has had some stand out matches this March, and I think if he can stay healthy we will see him continue to grow in power and strength. Daishoho has won 2 of their 3 prior matches, but it was Kinbozan who won their last match in January on day 2 of Hatsu. A Kinbozan win will be kachi-koshi for him.

Kotoeko (6-4) vs Takanosho (6-4) – Both have matching 6-4 records, and I think at least for this tournament, this is a very even match. They have a six match record, but only two matches were fought since 2020, with Takanosho taking them both. The most recent being day 2 of Aki 2022.

Azumaryu (1-9) vs Mitoryu (5-5) – With his 1-9 score, Azumaryu is very much at risk of being relegated back to Juryo not long after his first career kachi-koshi in the top division. He managed his first win on day 10, to everyone’s relief, and now the question is: can he claw his way back with enough wins to make the case to stay near the bottom of the Makuuchi banzuke? He has a career record of 9-3 against Mitoryu.

Chiyoshoma (7-3) vs Nishikifuji (6-4) – An interesting match, as you have Chiyoshoma fighting for kachi-koshi against another high agility rikishi in Nishikifuji. Nishikifuji took both of their matches last year, in an overall 1-2 career match up history. I still think Chiyoshoma can find his 8th win today, but he is going to have to work for it.

Myogiryu (4-6) vs Hokuseiho (6-4) – A first ever match, with both rikishi presenting mirror image scores of the other one. Myogiryu has lost 3 of the last 4, which is only slightly worse that Hokuseiho, at 2-2. The more I watch him, the more it seems that Hokuseiho is still trying to figure out what “his brand of sumo” really means. There are just not that many enormous, plodding rikishi to model your fighting techniques after.

Bushozan (4-6) vs Hiradoumi (5-5) – Hiradoumi has this odd “win on even days, lose on odd days” pattern going on. Given that 11 is an odd number, I expect a loss today against Bushozan, which will make Bushozan quite happy.

Aoiyama (4-6) vs Oho (4-6) – With both rikishi starting the day at 4-6, the one who wins this match will take a step closer to a possible Darwin match on day 15, and the loser will move one loss away from make-koshi. Ugly position to be in, but sumo is a brutal, zero-sum sport. It forces every outcome to be tallied toward a final reckoning on day 15. It’s both terrible and glorious at the same time.

Ichiyamamoto (3-7) vs Kagayaki (4-6) – Ichiyamamoto had a nice 3 match win streak bracketed by a swarm of black stars, which resumed with his surprising day 10 loss to Azumaryu. I think we will see Kagayaki step up and hand Ichiyamamoto his 8th loss for a make-koshi today.

Takarafuji (3-7) vs Sadanoumi (3-7) – Both of these long serving top division stalwarts are teetering on the edge of make-koshi. The loser today will seal the deal, and the winner will survive for another day. The 14-6 career record would seem to heavily favor Takarafuji, but with Takarafuji fighting poorly this March, it’s tough to know how to sort this one.

Kotoshoho (2-8) vs Ryuden (1-9) – Both are already make-koshi, so this content is to see how far they will drop down the ranks for May. Frankly, I think Kotoshoho has a bit of an edge here, as I think he is somewhat less injured.

Abi (5-5) vs Nishikigi (2-8) – Nishikigi is already make-koshi, but if he get a solid hold of Abi, may force Abi to execute some rarely seen yotsu-zumo. That would be quite the treat! Abi holds a 5-2 career advantage in their match ups.

Ura (5-5) vs Shodai (6-4) – I am a bit disappointed that Shodai is not going to make a bid for the yusho this March. Him losing Ozeki rank, then winning the yusho would be a perfect “20202s sumo” theme. It’s always crummiest just before it gets dumb. Ura holds a narrow 4-3 edge in their career match ups, but given how they are fighting this tournament, I think I would pick Shodai as the more likely winner.

Tamawashi (2-8) vs Mitakeumi (4-6) – Thirty three (33) career matches between these two, and its Mitakeumi who is heavily favored, 27-6. Add to that that Tamawashi is already make-koshi, and seems to be injured, and it looks like Mitakeumi may find a much desired 5th win to bring him closer to the make/kachi koshi line today.

Hokutofuji (6-4) vs Kotonowaka (8-2) – It’s Hokutofuji’s turn to visit some san’yaku rikishi. He still needs two more wins the reach the safety of 8, and he’s got his work cut out for him today against Kotonowaka, who is already kachi-koshi. Kotonowaka has won every match against Hokutofuji in the past year, so this is a tall order for “ole Stompy” today.

Wakamotoharu (7-3) vs Midorifuji (10-0) – It’s Wakamotoharu’s turn to try and put dirt on Midorifuji. They share a 2-2 career record with the last bout being a Midorifuji win on day 12 of Hatsu 2023. I would expect that if Wakamotoharu can get a working grip, his power sumo will take hold and he should win the match. If Midorifuji can stay mobile, I think the white star will go to him. Should be a fun opening few seconds.

Daieisho (8-2) vs Takayasu (7-3) – Takayasu is fighting for kachi-koshi today, with a generous side helping of knocking Daieisho out of any hope to take the cup. Whatever hope there is is on the paltry side, as Daieisho is 2 wins behind Midorifuji at the start of day 11. He has a 6-11 career record against Takayasu.

Wakatakakage (4-6) vs Tobizaru (4-6) – Both are 4-6, and two losses away from make-koshi. At one point, recently, Wakatakakage was hoping to elevate his record that he might be considered for promotion to Ozeki. But an 8-7 finish in November, a 9-6 finish in January, and a possible make-koshi in Osaka have run these hopes aground. Now he has to fight Tobizaru for a chance to brawl his way up to a likely Darwin match. Ouch.

Kiribayama (7-3) vs Meisei (4-6) – Kiribayama is trying for his 8th win today, and kachi-koshi against Meisei, who seems to have some magic power over Kiribayama, holding a 6-3 career advantage. With Meisei’s score, he really could use the win.

Endo (8-2) vs Hoshoryu (7-3) – If Hoshoryu wants a kachi-koshi today, he will need to take a white start from already 8-2 Endo, who is having one of his “good” basho, an increasingly rare event. They have an even 3-3 career record, and they last ought on Aki day 15 in 2022, where Hoshoryu won by oshitaoshi.

3 thoughts on “Osaka Day 11 Preview

    • It appears that the henka is not the way to go against Hoshoryu this basho. Two attempts, 2 loses,

      • I don’t even know what that was. If it was a henka, it is in the running for worst henka, ever.


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