NSK has announced the new sekitori for the September Basho. Due to the suspensions put in place before the Nagoya basho, there are some promotions that might seem a bit odd given rank and win count of the rikishi. keep in mind that this banzuke is gonna be a bit screwy. That being said…
Takarafuji – (One of my personal bubble rikishi. Glad to see him make it aboard.) 23 year old Aomori native who fights out of Isegahama beya. Got a 5-2 from makushita 5 in Nagoya. It only took this guy 10 basho to reach sekitori. 184cm tall, 15kg.
Tochinowaka – 22 year old Hyogo born ethnic Korean Ri Dewon, fights with Kasugano beya. Only posted a 4-3 from makushita 4, but back in May he posted a 6-1 from Makushita 11. 195cm, 170kg
Nakanokuni – 3rd Chinese rikishi in history. Fights from Minato beya, only posted a 4-3 from Makushita 2. 26 years old and has been in the game since 2002. He posted a sandanme yusho with a perfect 7-0 back in 2005. 185cm, 162kg.
Shironoryu – Mongolian, fighting in Sakaigawa beya. posted 5-2 from Makushita 4. This 25 year old mongolian, has been kicking around the lower divisions since 2003, but has 4 straight kachikoshi. I’m sure the NSK was a little leery of his promotion, as he had been found guilty of betting on baseball, but his participation was deemed not significant enough to garner a suspension. (although his stablemates Goeido and Toyohibiki’s certainly did.) 179cm, 115.2kg. Certainly a smaller lighter rikishi.
Ryuho, Sadanofuji, and Jumonji will make the return to Juryo from makushita as well.
From what I have been led to understand, all rikishi who were suspended in Nagoya will be bumped back to the next lower division*. Which means there is gotta be a lot of upward mobility on the Juryo/Makuuchi elevator. Lower Makuuchi is going to get ripped apart come September, and I would probably put money on someone getting a zensho in Juryo, we might even see a zensho playoff. here are some of my personal predictions.
* – I asterisk-ed this statement because it was something the NSK said about punishments for a bunch of Japanese rikishi, and is therefore subject to being a bunch of bullshit they said just to placate someone for a while.
Up to makuuchi: Unfortunately we didn’t have any stand-out performances, besides Masatsukasa’s 13-2. So it looks like we’ll get a bunch of schmucks up for one basho to feed to the guys who sucked it up in Nagoya. The x-factor here, I think is Sokokurai, who has gotten I think 10 straight kachikoshi (and seriously what’s cooler than a guy with only one name? Especially when that name is Enkhtuvshin.)
Kotokasuga, Sokokurai, Masatsukasa, Koryu, Kasugao, maybe Tochinonada, Tosanoumi, Kyokunankai, it all depends on how many makuuchi guys get the axe.
Down from makuuchi: There were some piss poor performances this time around. Some of that had to do with lower maegashira being pitted against too highly ranked rikishi, and some of it was just bad sumo. Looks like quite a few taking a season down in the minors.
Going own for gambling: (Goeido,) Toyonoshima, Miyabiyama, Toyohibiki, Wakakoyu, Okinoumi.
I put Goeido’s name in parenthesis for 2 reasons. 1.) Most rikishi ranked at M4 East probably would not take a tip down to juryo with a 0-15. They would still have a chance to hang on at M16 or something. 2.) NSK is in love with this guy. He always seems to get a rank that his record didn’t earn. I have a sneaking feeling we’ll still see him on the Makuuchi banzuke come September.
Going down for sucking: Shotenro, Tamaasuka (Gagamaru, Kakizoe)
Tenro and Asuka are gone, no doubt. But with the number of Rikishi already getting the boot, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gaga nd Zoe were able to cling on to the top division by the (lack of) hair on their chinny chin chins. (yes I meant chin chin as a double entendre)