Keiko Peers

A few days ago I posted a visualization about Heya. I gave it the “Banzuke Dashboard” slot under the Data Tools menu above. I will also embed it at the end of this post but I wanted to play around with an idea reader Bbbut had in the comments section. This visualization digs further into the issue Herouth raised about worthy practice opponents for the heya-gashira (部屋頭), or top-ranked rikishi of a stable.

I set two baselines, one at approximate Juryo level, the other at approximately the Makuuchi level. A few interesting things come out. While Sadogatake stable doesn’t have any sanyaku wrestlers and seems to have faded a bit with the decline of Kotoshogiku and the yo-yo rise and fall of Kotoeko and Kotoyuki, the stable has a slew of fairly even ranked wrestlers. Kokonoe stable is also duking it out with Sadogatake and Oitekaze for “The Dawg Pound” moniker as the dog-eat-dog internal competition for status must be fierce.

With the default setting I used for the visualization, Ishiura is a peer of Hakuho and Hoshoryu is a peer of Meisei. In the latter case, we get a sense of the difference in quality from Herouth’s tweet below. Use the slider feature at the bottom to tighten or relax that “peer buffer.”

This is also useful to look into competition at stables with no sekitori, like Otake, Shibatayama and Naruto. I’m interested in what feedback you all may have for how to tweak the buffer. Looking at Sakaigawa, for example, I got the idea for a “veteran boost” calculation. Toyohibiki has been in makushita division for a while now but he has serious sekitori experience, having won three Juryo titles and spending nearly a decade in the top ranks. Despite the injuries and lack of mobility, he will still have a wealth of technique pointers to offer many of the youngsters. Myogiryu is a grizzled vet himself, though.

I have not updated this for the Natsu banzuke or with the various retirements. Toyonoshima, for example, is still in my Tokitsukaze listing. Even in retirement, though, he will still have a lot of experience to offer Shodai and Yutakayama.

Sumo Fan Survey!

Our friends over at GSB have created a survey (link here and in the embedded Tweet below) to learn more about rikishi popularity. We all know Ikioi is the greatest but NOW is when you fill it in to a survey and see it actually reflected in data. As people may be aware with the Tableau dashboards around the website, Leonid’s prognostication and the encyclopedic knowledge of Bruce, Herouth, and Josh, we love data. Metrics are good. Sometimes it’s just because they make pretty pictures but often there are interesting things to learn. Mostly, I just like pretty graphs that move when I click and I expect the numbers will shift quite a bit next year when Terunofuji returns to Juryo…and hopefully Makuuchi soon after!

Seriously, though, who wouldn’t love a stats-based approach to running a heya? Even if it is just my armchair heya? I’m particularly interested in the heya popularity data.

The Empire Strikes Back is always the best Star Wars movie, and Terunofuji is Lord Vader. When he beat Kisenosato…or perhaps when he beat Kotoshogiku…and knelt to accept his kenshokin, was anyone else struck by how his oicho-mage evoked Vader’s kabuto-inspired mask? Or maybe it was the evil of the victory…I dunno. He’ll always be Vader to me and now he’s back! Dun, dun, dun…

Wow. Post-basho delirium is in full swing. (Send help.) Thank God for that amateur tournament in a few days.

Nagoya ’19: Visual Banzuke

The banzuke is out. Leonid has broken down his prediction. In the coming days we’ll be dissecting the new ranking list, tracking notable wrestlers, pointing out winners and losers. I have updated the interactive banzuke for Makuuchi and Juryo in Nagoya. I can never keep straight which wrestlers are in which heya (unless their names start with Koto) so if you click on the name of an ichimon or a heya, the banzuke will filter to just those wrestlers. I hope you all enjoy!

Kimarite Visualization Update

I updated the kimarite visualization with data from Hatsu 2019. I also took one of Herouth’s suggestions from before and tried to add oyakata. Some predate the data I have entirely, others don’t have complete data for what I have but some of the younger cohort, including Kotooshu, are in there. Note that the charts use the shikona, not the oyakata’s current name. (As a usability note, I usually click on the “full screen” view option, available at the bottom right of the visualization, rather than scroll, and I’m not a fan of how it bleeds over the widgets on the right.)

Kotooshu as Yotsu Specialist

A few other things that I quietly changed before the tournament are the date slider and the use of percentages rather than outright counts of bouts. This will let you see the wrestlers’ kimarite ratios in annual chunks, or for their career (back to 1985 for the older ones). It is interesting to compare Kotooshu to Akebono to see how versatile Akebono was. Kotooshu wasn’t a one-trick-pony as he certainly had a reliable uwatenage there in his back pocket. For sumo wrestlers, perhaps “up their sleeve” is a better phrase since their pockets are in their sleeves?