The November banzuke has been released, which means it’s only two weeks until sumo starts again! I didn’t manage a full prediction post this time, but in general, everyone ended up more or less where I expected them to, with no big surprises. My official Guess The Banzuke entry placed 32 of the 42 top-division rikishi at the exact rank and record, and two others (Shonannoumi and Kinbozan) at the correct rank but on the wrong side. Of the eight misses, four were by half a rank and four by one full rank.
As expected, the new banzuke has the same san’yaku structure as the previous one, with one Yokozuna, three Ozeki, three Sekiwake, and two Komusubi. The occupants of the three highest ranks are the same, and the only change is Takakeisho and Kirishima switching sides at O1. At Komusubi, Abi and Hokutofuji replace Nishikigi and Tobizaru.
At the bottom of the division, we have a whopping six promotions from Juryo—the most in four years. Four rikishi—Tohakuryu, Churanoumi, Roga and Kitanowaka—will make their Makuuchi debut. Juryo yusho winner Ichiyamamoto returns after a two-basho absence, while Tomokaze has finally climbed all the way back up to the top division after the horrific leg injury he suffered at Kyushu in 2019. Leaving Makuuchi to make room, in addition to absent Hakuoho, are Daishoho, Kagayaki, Chiyoshoma, Kotoshoho, and, most notably, Aoiyama, who’s had a twelve-year run in the top division except for a single basho in 2018. He lands at J1e, and we can hope that “Big Dan” can muster the 8 wins he needs for an immediate return. Hanging on by the skin of his teeth is Nishikifuji, who was saved only by the lack of even a borderline promotion candidate to replace him.
Let me know what you think of the November banzuke in the comments, and it’s on to the Kyushu basho!