Final Look at the Yusho Race and Promotion/Demotion Picture

Yusho Race

We have a 3-way tie at 11 wins among M9w Hokutofuji, S1e Hoshoryu, and Ms17w Hakuoho (!!!). Hoshoryu and Hakuoho are matched up on Day 15, which means that the winner will have 12 wins, eliminating all the 10-4 rikishi from the race. Hokutofuji must beat former leader Nishikigi to enter a playoff with the winner of the other meaningful bout, who otherwise would claim the yusho outright.

Ozeki Watch

Absent Takakeisho will be kadoban at Aki, needing 8+ wins to save his rank. Despite fighting valiantly since his late entry, shin-Ozeki Kirishima (6-6-2) will be joining him; his 6 wins are worth exactly as much as zero would have been. S1e Hoshoryu (11-3) has to win on senshuraku to reach the nominal Ozeki promotion target of 33 wins over 3 basho, while the henka-ing duo of S1w Daieisho and S2w Wakamotoharu, both 9-5, can do no better than 32 and 31, respectively, and certainly did not display “Ozeki sumo” today.


All three Sekiwake have done enough to at least hold their ranks, meaning that the only way for Sekiwake slots to open is via Ozeki promotion, and at this point we’re unlikely to see more than one. At the Komusubi rank, K1e Kotonowaka (10-4) has ensured a return, and could force a Sekiwake promotion by winning his final bout to reach 11. K1w Abi (5-9) will vacate his rank, which should be occupied by M1e Nishikigi (10-4), who is a lock to make his san’yaku debut at Aki. If a second slot needs to be filled, it will almost certainly go to M1w Tobizaru (8-6), whose higher rank should give him precedence over Hokutofuji even if the former loses and the latter wins tomorrow.

Makuuchi-Juryo Exchanges

Dropping to Juryo will be absent M12w Wakatakakage and M16w Bushozan (3-11). Their places in the top division will be taken by J1e Kagayaki (9-5) and J1w Atamifuji (10-4). As I predicted yesterday, the final Makuuchi slot will be decided in a straight-up exchange bout between M14e Daishoho (5-9) and J2e Roga (8-6).

Juryo-Makushita Exchanges

This is also quite straightforward. We have 4 clear open slots in Juryo: absent J6e Fujiseiun, J14e Yuma (5-9), J14w Chiyonoumi (4-10), and J11w Tsushimanada (3-11). Their spots will go to Ms1e Tokihayate (7-0), Ms3e Onosato (4-3), Ms3w Mukainakano (4-3) and Ms5e Ishizaki (5-2). Just like in Makuuchi, the final Juryo slot will come down to a a straight-up exchange bout between Ms4w Takahashi (4-2) and J12w Hidenoumi (5-9). That’s a pretty exciting crop of new sekitori, especially if Takahashi can win to join Onosato, Mukainakano, and Ishizaki!

3 thoughts on “Final Look at the Yusho Race and Promotion/Demotion Picture

  1. I hope Takahashi will win, because even a possible 6-9 for Hidenoumi from J12w seems pretty demotable to me and because Takahashi is ten years younger.

    • Yeah it would be more fun to see Takahashi is juryo, and it’s bad enough that Shimanoumi may once again survive with a demotable record

  2. I think Hoshoryu will claim the title AND get his promotion. Pretty exciting! It’s tempting to pick the upstart Hakuoho but I think Hoshoryu will be ready.


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