Analysis: Kinboshi Rates for Current Yokozuna

*Update 6 (7/12/16): Okinoumi defeated Harumafuji. Tochiozan defeated Kakuryu.

*Update 5 (5/10/16): Ichinojo defeated Harumafuji again. I will recalculate the totals. He faces Myogiryu tomorrow, another maegashira who already has a gold star, so another update may be coming tomorrow.

*Update 4 (3/24/16): Several tournaments of updates. He gave up another kinboshi to Osunaarashi in November but still won the tournament. Another kinboshi to Shohozan in January and Kotoyuki in March. I still hope to expand this analysis but I need to figure out a way to automate these updates.

*Update 3 (8/6/15): Tochinoshin’s default win over Harumafuji does not count as a kinboshi but I wanted to make a note.

*Update 2 (5/19/15): I tried to go to sleep but had to wait to see if Gagamaru would get a gold star. Surprise, surprise! I’m trying to also keep the numbers in the article below up-to-date. Harumafuji was at almost 1 gold star per 10 bouts but after this streak it’s almost 1 every 9 bouts!
*Update 1 (5/18/15): Harumafuji has given up 2 more kinboshi in the May tournament…and counting. I will try to update this article to keep it current. The latest recipients are M5 Tamawashi and M3 Sadanoumi.

After Harumafuji gave up 3 gold stars in the Haru basho, I wondered how many he’d yielded overall and how his rate compared with the other active yokozuna. I found out Harumafuji is quite prone to losing to maegashira, yielding one for every 9.1 bouts. He’s given up 26 in all, in about 209 bouts as yokozuna. The kinboshi seem to come in spurts. Also, Takayasu and Toyonoshima have been particularly effective against Harumafuji, winning 3 gold stars each. However, against Toyonoshima Harumafuji still holds a big 35-10 lead in their rivalry but he’s lost 3 of their last 9 bouts. Against Takayasu he’s only lost 3 of their 12 bouts.

In comparison, Kakuryu has given up 5 gold stars in the 74 bouts he’s had as yokozuna – a rate of 1 per 14.8 bouts, or about one per tournament. *(3/24/16) He’s given up 2 more in the past year, one to Aminishiki and another to Yoshikaze.

However, superzuna Hakuho has an amazing record against maegashira. He’s given up half as many gold stars as Harumafuji has but he’s fought in about 700 bouts as yokozuna. That’s an astonishing rate of 1 gold star every 70 bouts, or 1 gold star in just under 5 tournaments. I hope to expand this analysis to look at where these yokozuna fit in with other yokozuna through history.

Plainly, if Harumafuji is going to win another tournament soon, he can’t give up any losses in the first 10 days. *update, not only did he lose on Day 2 and win the Kyushu basho, he gave up yet another gold star to Osunaarashi.

Here’s a list of the gold stars Harumafuji has given (up-to-date as of 3/24/16):
Okinoumi (2),
Ichinojo (2),
Toyonoshima (3),
Takayasu (3),
Yoshikaze (2),
Osunaarashi (2),
Shohozan (2),
Chiyotairyu (2),

March Tournament 2015: Toyonoshima Gold Star!

Toyonoshima (Harumafuji)

Toyonoshima’s Gold Star was move of the tournament so far. Harumafuji started with a nodo-wa then aggressively shoved Toyonoshima to the edge…but in an instant he had over committed and Toyonoshima deftly spun around, sending the yokozuna flying into the second row. My words don’t do it justice. It was a truly astonishing turn of events. Thanks to Jason for the video.

Screenshot (60)

March Tournament 2015: Day 8 – Hakuho leads alone

Gold Star for Tochinoshin! Harumafuji has now given up two this tournament…granted they’re to LEGIT wrestlers, Ichinojo and Tochinoshin…but he still needs to get these wins if he’s to get another yusho. He’s a yokozuna so he doesn’t get the luxury of Stay-Puft marshmallow pushovers.

Tochinoshin (Harumafuji)

Hakuho stands alone at the top of the leaderboard. He’s plainly invincible. A few days ago, against Takayasu, he seemed bored – basically inviting the hapless maegashira to try something, anything to take him down. Perhaps afraid of making Hakuho angry, Takayasu just landed a couple limp-wristed slaps to his face before Hakuho finally pulled him down. The next day, against Tamawashi, Hakuho was able to quickly get a right-handed belt grip and he threw the komusubi across the ring. Today, more of the same. He met Toyonoshima with a strong tachiai and then quickly forced him out behind what must be a killer nodo-wa throat grab. Tomorrow, he faces Aoiyama. Someone he’s never lost to in 10 bouts. Also someone who’s looked out-of-sorts for most of this tournament….seems perfect (almost poetic) setup for an upset.

Harumafuji’s loss to Tochinoshin effectively takes him out of contention. After each of his last two bouts, he’s been flexing his right arm in pain. Seems his elbow may be giving him issues and I won’t be surprised if he goes kyujo tomorrow. Meanwhile, the ozeki have been worthless. Goeido went down again today against Aoiyama. I was very disappointed with Kotoshogiku the other day, not being able to just push Ichinojo over the bales. It seemed the Mongolian was inviting him to try a yorikiri win but just leaned on him and then walked him out the other side. Ozeki need to be able to contend for championships. It looks like at this point next year, certainly by summer 2016, there will be a raft of new Ozeki.

Terunofuji (potentially one of the ozeki-in-waiting) and Aminishiki have been providing great story lines with their undefeated runs. Unfortunately, both lost today, several days before we could really start talking about yusho contention. Meanwhile, Osunaarashi and Gagamaru have been looking great among the lower maegashira. Osunaarashi’s been finding different ways to win, mostly on the belt instead of his forceful slaps. It’s been refreshing.