Makushita Sweet 16

After 6 days and 3 rounds of bouts, let’s take a look at the action in Makushita, where exciting newcomers mix it up with veterans for a shot at the salaried ranks.

As a reminder, the Makushita yusho race is essentially a seven-round single-elimination tournament in which the 120 or so rikishi are reduced by half over two-day rounds until one man with a 7-0 record takes the title (occasionally, same-heya rikishi and other wrinkles throw a wrench into the works, and we end up with a playoff and a 6-1 champion). A 7-0 record from Ms1-Ms15 is a near-guarantee of promotion to Juryo, which otherwise usually requires a winning record from Ms1-Ms5. Three rounds have been completed so far, and we are left with 14 undefeated wrestlers. The next round, unfolding over Days 7 and 8, will reduce the number to 7, after which the lowest-ranked 4-0 man is likely to be matched with the highest-ranked undefeated Sandanme rikishi.

The undefeated group ranges from Ms1e Tokihayate, who’s looking to bounce right back up after his unsuccessful Juryo debut in May, all the way down to the Ms54 duo of Marusho and Tochiseiryu, who fight tomorrow. Notable names include injury-plagued Naruto beya hope Ms16w Oshoumi and Kotoshoho’s younger bro, Ms18e Kototebakari. Half of the 3-0 group hail from just 3 heya (3 from Tatsunami and 2 apiece from Naruto and Nishonoseki) so scheduling could get complicated down the stretch.

After only 3 rounds of bouts, all 8 active wrestlers in the Ms1-Ms5 promotion zone are still technically in contention for a Juryo spot (demoted veterans Enho and Chiyonokuni are sitting this one out, and it’s anyone’s guess when and if they’ll be back). After today’s loss in Juryo to Shiden, promotion is a long shot for Ms2e Kiryuko (1-3), who must win out just to have a chance. Everyone else is either 2-1 or 1-2 aside from the aforementioned Tokihayate. The 2-1 records belong to Nishonoseki prospects Ms3e Onosato and Ms4w Takahashi, who were dropped from the undefeated ranks by Tokihayate and Hayatefuji, respectively, and Miyagino prospect Ms3w Mukainakano, who was bested by Onosato. Tokihayate can clinch re-promotion tomorrow by beating Hayatefuji, and the winner of the bout between Takahashi and Mukainakano will be in a strong position heading into the final 3 rounds.

I’ll try to keep these reports coming every two days or so, as additional rounds of bouts are completed.

3 thoughts on “Makushita Sweet 16

  1. Thanks for making these reports, Lksumo. I really appreciate being able to keep tabs on this level when I don’t have time to catch everything when it happens.


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