Promotion/Demotion Picture, Day 10

With 10 days of action in the books, let’s take a look at where things stand.


I don’t think we’ll see any Ozeki promotions this time, but if the NSK is desperate enough, they could consider S1w Hoshoryu (11-4, 8-7, 7-3, all at Sekiwake) or S2e Kiribayama (8-7 K, 11-4 K, 7-3 S) if either can really run up the score. With 7 wins apiece already, they’ll be ranked no lower than Komusubi in May, and one more win would keep both at Sekiwake. Top-ranked S1e Wakatakakage (4-6) needs to win 4 of 5 to maintain rank for the 8th straight basho, and 3 of 5 to stay in San’yaku.

Two of the four Komusubi, K1w Kotonowaka and K2e Daieisho, sport 8-2 records that will at least keep them at the rank; they can make Sekiwake either if spots open up or if they can reach 11 wins. K1e Wakamotoharu (7-3) is a win away from holding rank, while K2w Tobizaru (4-6) has a lot of work left to do.

It’s not clear how many, if any, regular San’yaku slots will open up. The yusho race leader M5w Midorifuji (10-0) is the clear frontrunner for one, with M1w Shodai (6-4) next in line.

Makuuchi-Juryo Exchanges

No one has confirmed a seat on the Juryo barge yet. M11e Azumaryu (1-9) is in the worst shape, needing 4 wins for safety. M17e Mitoryu (5-5) and M15w Oho (4-6) need 3 apiece, while M14w Bushozan (4-6), M12w Takarafuji (3-7), and M16w Tsurugisho (6-4) need 2.

J1e Asanoyama (9-1) has done more than enough to ensure a return to Makuuchi after two years. J3e Ichinojo (9-1), who is also in the second division only for disciplinary reasons, should likewise be on his way back up, unless there is absolutely no room. J6e Gonoyama (8-2) and J3w Shonannoumi (6-4) are in with a chance, while J1w Tohakuryu (4-6) and J5w Enho (6-4) are long shots who need a lot of wins and help.

I’ll take a separate look at the Juryo-Makushita exchange picture in the near future.

9 thoughts on “Promotion/Demotion Picture, Day 10

  1. The idea that Hoshoryu and/or Kiribayama could be on Ozeki runs if they win out…is just a bizarre concept to me but stranger things have happened. It will be interesting to see this play out on senshuraku, if they get that far. It will be wild if Ichinojo is kept from promotion due to no room at the inn.

    • My guess is they’ll wait until May to see if they really have to push the ozeki panic button. The risk with that approach is possibly having to promote a worse candidate than a 30-31 win sekiwake.

      They’ll try to arrange the matchups so that division exchanges are sensible, but it doesn’t always work out…

      • I guess I just want to know how big of a possibility is the “ranking tournament”. They’ve had basho that didn’t count, like the one after the yaocho scandal. It seems like the much more reasonable path to take, instead of promoting another Mitakeumi or Shodai.

        • Could you explain what “ranking tournament” means in this context? Or a basho that doesn’t count?

          Thanks from a newbie…

        • How long could they keep those going though, and would they get enough fan interest if it’s not a honbasho? It’s not like there haven’t been plenty of short-lived ozeki in the past, and who knows, some guys promoted with subpar runs end up excelling at the rank. Kitanofuji got promoted off 28/3 (8,10,10) and ended up making yokozuna and winning 10 yusho.

  2. In addition to the numerical situation around the Ozeki picture, I have to imagine they will also take into account the content of the sumo.

    Hoshoryu has a flair for the spectacular (well, they both do) but he has had a number of deeply unimpressive wins – and losses – this tournament and seemed well out of focus for the Nishikigi loss. He has all the makings of someone who could be an Ozeki but consistency-wise he doesn’t look like he should.

    The content of Kiribayama’s sumo looks better but I think this may be the second basho in the run for him. If sumo lost an Y/O overnight though and it needed to promote someone, I think he would have the best case in terms of someone you could count on to outperform recent Ozeki at the rank.

    Normally I would say Wakatakakage would make the best Ozeki but he can’t keep starting every basho in a 0-3 (or worse) hole if he ever expects to perform at a higher rank.

    • In fairness as I pointed out elsewhere, both Hoshoryu and Kiribayama have wins over ozeki Shodai during their current runs, with Kiribayama also having a win over Takakeisho. Given Terunofuji’s absence, those were the best wins to be had. The winner of their Day 12 head-to-head will be in the better position for sure.


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