With the basho set to kick off on Sunday, the top-division matchups for the opening two days have been released. Wakatakakage is absent, as expected, and Ichinojo’s surprise retirement leaves us with 40 wrestlers, so there is no need for cross-division bouts.
Yokozuna Terunofuji will mount his latest comeback from injury against Komusubi Shodai on Day 1, followed by M1e Abi on Day 2. Kadoban Ozeki Takakeisho will begin his quest for the 8 wins he needs to defend his rank against Abi on Day 1 (Abi leads the head-to-head 6-3) and Komusubi Kotonowaka on Day 2. Sekiwake Kiribayama seeks 10 wins for a likely Ozeki promotion; the first two could come against M1w Midorifuji on Day 1 and M2w Endo on Day 2.
S1w Hoshoryu has M2e Takayasu on Day 1 and Midorifuji on Day 2, S2e Daieisho fights M3w Nishikifuji and Takayasu, S2w Wakamotoharu faces Endo and M3e Tobizaru, and the san’yaku bouts are rounded out by Kotonowaka vs. Tobizaru on Day 1 and Shodai vs. Nishikifuji on Day 2.
I have a few other bouts circled. M14e Asanoyama marks his long-awaited Makuuchi return with matchups against M13e Chiyoshoma and M15w Tsurugisho. Down in Juryo, two of the top promotion contenders, J1e Gonoyama and J1w Shonannoumi, will face off on Day 1. Another mouthwatering fight features current super-prospect J8w Ochiai vs. recent super-prospect J8e Atamifuji, who got the better of their previous meeting in March. And speaking of super-prospects, white-hot amateur star Onosato will finally debut in Makushita against Ms11e muscleman Ishizaki.
11 thoughts on “Natsu Day 1 and Day 2 Torikumi Released”
Kotoeko gets Aoiyama and Hokuseiho for his first two bouts. I think he will win both.
With respect to Onosato’s bout on day one, this is “insider” information ? Writing this on Friday 12 May at 11.15 pm CEST, I only find the torikumi for div 1 and 2 ?
Our fearless leader Andy spotted the lower-division torikumi (in Japanese) on the NSK twitter feed. It also lines up that way based on the banzuke and Onosato’s Ms10TD rank.
My main questions before the basho:
– how many fights will be possible for Terunofuji and Takakeisho?
– can anyone (but Asanoyama himself) take the basho from Asanoyama, to whom it is practically given because of his much easier schedule?
– and, of course, which ozeki runs will be successful or at least go on into the next basho?
These are clearly the top storylines in Makuuchi coming into the basho. More specifically for question 1, can Terunofuji perform well enough to stave off retirement talk, and can Takakeisho get 8 wins to remain ozeki?
Re: Asanoyama, I think that analysis could be contested on a number of counts, not least:
All good points, but
– the man who took the yusho in Juryo is Ichinojo. therefore until he retired I had spoken of a „duel“ for Natsu
– yes, he lost to Ono and even looked very weak in that fight. funnily enough though it‘s an advantage to have one or two unexpected losses from the low ranks as it keeps the schedule easier! we had a great example in Abi recently, who „stole“ his yusho from M9 and who lost on days 4, 9 and 10 against non jo‘i rikishi. he then only had to fight M13, M15 (!), the two S1 and finally M1 (who was the then leader Takayasu, to tell the whole truth) on the deciding days
– I fully agree that 12-3 might win it and I expect Asanoyama to make 12 except he cracks under the pressure from the general expectations.
That said I really hope that one of the jo‘i will make it, because I think only those make really worthy basho winners!
I would add:
will Kinbozan be able to keep his kachikoshi streak going? (I would say a definite “Yes”)
Yes, and will the other Haru rookie grow (not in length, of course, as Hakuseiho is meant) with his task or will his clumsiness remain a pain to watch?
Personally. I’m looking forward to the day 1 bout between Hoshoryu and Takayasu. After the day 15 attitude and then getting dropped on his behind by Takayasu, I hope my boy has learned his lessons and just gets down to business.
good lord day 1 and 2 are loaded with heavy matches already!