Lots of sumo news to cover this week.
Atamifuji and Shimazuumi were newly promoted to Juryo, while Takakento and Ryuden will make their returns. There is some intrigue still involving the placement of Shiden from Kise-beya, who we believe may retain his Juryo rank. He had been caught up in Hidenoumi’s gambling scandal. The two were shown to have visited an illegal casino so Kise-oyakata had pulled both from the Hatsu tournament, which was also to-be Shiden’s first in Juryo.
After the investigation, the Kyokai decided Shiden’s participation had been only in his capacity as Hidenoumi’s tsukebito, he had not gambled and therefore there would be no suspension. Since they can’t exactly rescind a suspension which has already been served, we think his rank will be retained. For his part, Hidenoumi’s suspension was the one tournament. He will likely fall into Juryo for the Osaka tournament.
Shimazuumi, formerly known as Nakazono, is from the new Hanaregoma-beya, pictured below with his dapper-looking shisho. He’s the third sekitori at the stable, joining Ichiyamamoto and Shohozan as a full-time, salaried wrestler. He’s been near the promised land for over a year and finally punched his ticket after three consecutive kachi-koshi basho.
You may remember the shifting of stable names after the Kyushu tournament which saw former Kisenosato acquire the name Nishonoseki from the retiring oyakata. The new Araiso has stayed on in a post-retirement sanyo position in the new Hanaregoma-beya. Hanaregoma-beya is now run by the former Tamanoshima who won five fighting spirit prizes and one technique prize in a career that reached Sekiwake.
Atamifuji, on the other hand, has had a swift rise from his Jonokuchi debut at the start of 2021. When Shimazuumi (then Nakazono) was already Ms4, Atamifuji won his first yusho in a playoff with Arauma and then followed it up with another in Jonidan. He has not had a make-koshi losing record, yet, and will hope to continue that streak.
This weekend has been jam-packed at Kokugikan with retirement ceremonies for Goeido (now Takekuma-oyakata) and Tochiozan (Kiyomigata-oyakata). The two came up together in amateur sumo before being rivals in Grand Sumo, so it was quite fitting to share their retirement weekend. This upcoming week will be Yoshikaze’s turn.
Takekuma-oyakata will split out from Sakaigawa stable and take three wrestlers along with him next month. There have been a lot of name changes and new stables lately, so this graphic is very helpful that Herouth has been so kind to translate. In fact, Yoshikaze (whose retirement ceremony is this upcoming weekend) will also be moving. He’s going with Arai—oops—, Nishonoseki-oyakata, to that mega sumo church in Ibaraki.
Stay tuned! We’re very eager to see this troupe make its way to Osaka for Haru basho.