I didn’t have enough time to post yesterday, but no matter. As we have seen, in the lower divisions, “rounds” are split over two days each, so I will just cover the whole “round 3”, days 5 and 6, together. So lots of matches today. The matches will be mixed, and the order haphazard, but no worries, it’s sumo!
It’s Day 3. And you know what happens on Day 3? Maezumo starts!
Only, not this time.
For the first time since the current system has been set up (in the ’60s), maezumo will not take place. Normally, maezumo consists of new recruits and rikishi who were off-banzuke and wish to make a comeback. This basho, there has been only one new recruit. Being Mongolian, however, he cannot enter the association until he receives the appropriate visa, which is expected to happen next basho.
This leaves us with off-banzuke rikishi. But only one such rikishi had plans to return this basho – Reon, of Shikihide beya. I have been joking on twitter about the sumo equivalent of “one hand clapping”, but this turned into reality. Reon will be declared “shusse” (passing), and will start next basho at Jonokuchi, without ever having mounted the dohyo this basho (except, perhaps, in the goyji toss? Not sure).
Which leaves us with nothing to do but cover the ranked matches of the day, which is the first day of round 2. Let’s get on with it, then.
Here we are again, in the second half of the first day, so to speak. The lower divisions matches are arranged to spread the rikishi’s 7 matches over 15 days. And other than near the end of the basho, this generally means that each pair of days is a “round”, in which each rikishi fights once. Then they pick the next round’s matches based on the standings at the end of the previous round – matching men of equal scores.
So today we will see matches of men who didn’t fight the first day. Let’s get moving!