Makushita Final Four

Please see this post for background on the Makushita yusho and promotion races. Last time, we had a group of six rikishi leading the yusho race at 4-0: Ms6e Takerufuji, Ms21e Asashiyu, Ms27w Asahakuryu, Ms39e Oshoryu, Ms47w Chiyoarashi, and Ms50e Daiseizan. They were paired up in rank order on Day 9, and Asashiyu, Asahakuryu, and Chiyoarashi prevailed.

Normally, the two highest-ranked 5-0 rikishi would be matched up, and Chiyoarashi would fight Makushita veteran and occasional Juryo visitor Sd2w Kitaharima, the highest-ranked undefeated rikishi in Sandanme. But as the “Asa” prefix suggests, both Asashiyu and Asahakuryu hail from Takasago beya, which means that they can’t face each other. This probably means that Asashiyu will get Chiyoarashi instead, with Asahakuryu facing Kitaharima, although Asahakuryu is ranked higher than anyone who’s gotten a Sandanme opponent in a similar situation in recent memory. Should the two Asa’s go 6-0, they’d have to face 5-1 opponents, raising the possibility of a big 6-1 playoff for the title, which we last saw at Hatsu 2021, with a whopping 9 rikishi involved. Anyway, we’ll find out how this all plays out on Day 11.

After 5 rounds of bouts, 6 wrestlers in the Ms1-Ms5 promotion zone are still mathematically in contention for a Juryo spot. Ms3w Hitoshi is the only one who is already kachi-koshi at 4-1. Ms1w Yuma, Ms2e Hidenoumi, and Ms5w Kiryuko are all 3-2, while Ms2w Tsushimanada and Ms3e Kaisho are 2-3. The only action tomorrow will see Yuma visiting Juryo for an important bout against J13w Asakoryu (5-4). At this point, it’s hard to tell who might get a coveted sekitori promotion, especially with only one spot currently open in Juryo due to Wakatakakage’s absence, and only the hilariously favored J12e Shimanoumi (2-7) mathematically needing more wins than losses to stay (I fully expect him to escape demotion yet again with a 6-9 record, and perhaps even with a 5-10).

Look for the next update after Day 11 action.

2 thoughts on “Makushita Final Four

  1. I’m definitely routing for a massive playoff. It would be neat to see Kiryuko promoted. He’d be the first of the two brothers, I think.


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