Featured

My-Dohyo on Social Media!

My-Dohyo is now on Social Media!

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a tough year for all sumo-loving fans around the world. However, the strength of the sumo world has by no means been broken – on the contrary, it is growing stronger: fans were allowed to attend live sumo in September for the first time since March in a limited capacity, with spectatorship expanded for the spectacular season finale at half capacity in November.

This season has provided a mixed bag of emotions, with the cancellation of the April tournament and the tragic death of sandanme rikishi Shobushi, after contracting the novel coronavirus in May. Conversely, strong performances from Maegashira #17 wrestlers Tokushoryu and Terunofuji to win the January and July tournaments respectively, set the tone for the class of sumo to expect from the 2020 season. Later victories from Shodai and Takakeisho promoted the former to Ozeki and provided a solid platform for the latter to seek Yokozuna promotion at the start of next season.

As a result of the pandemic struggles that have impacted the entire sporting-world, social media has been a great way for sumo fans to continue sharing their support and engaging with professional sumo. Therefore, it is our pleasure to announce that My-Dohyo is now available on Social Media platforms!

As a My-Dohyo follower on Instagram and Twitter, you will be able to see the latest and greatest news from the world of sumo, engage with the My-Dohyo social media family, as well as having the opportunity to share your love of sumo with all of your social media friends.

With the 2021 season of sumo wrestling starting in January, there is no better time than the present to become part of the My-Dohyo social media family – you really don’t want to miss the sumo-fun!

Click here to follow us on Instagram!

Click here to follow us on Twitter!

If you don’t have social media, then not to worry – you can always find the latest sumo-news on this website!

We wish you a very (Sumo) Christmas and New Year!

Stay safe!

2021 January Basho – Days 3-6: Review

Daieisho and Akiseyama lead the yūshō charge with a 6:0 win record!

The sixth day of Sumo bouts at the 2021 January Sumo Tournament has now concluded, with two wrestlers on the opposite side of the ranking spectrum deadlocked on perfect win-to-loss records. Those fighters are none other than: the formidable Daieisho (Maegashira #1) and the underdog for the title, Akiseyama (Maegashira #16).

Daieisho looks to be in the form of his life in the 2021 January event. After having
begun his conquest for the yūshō with three spectacular victories against the top-ranked Ozeki fighters (Takakeisho, Asanoyama and Shodai), Daieisho has displayed his desire to be crowned victor at the first Sumo event of the year. However, he must keep his cool if he wants to continue with his perfect streak, as tomorrow he must face the talented Sekiwake fighter, Takanosho, who currently holds a respectable 4:2 score in this basho.

As mentioned above, Daieisho is not alone in his bid for first place at the Championship – he is joined by his much lower-ranked counterpart, Akiseyama.

Although his Maegashira #16 ranking is lacking compared to his new rival – Daieisho -Akiseyama has proved himself to be a powerful and fearless competitor. With his most successful kimarite being the Yorikiri (frontal force out), 35-year-old Akiseyama has managed to defeat all of his opponents, manoeuvring his way through the event perfectly as of the end of play on Day 6. That being said, Akiseyama is yet to fight an Ozeki, so we must await his toughest bouts of the tournament with keen interest if we are to truly gauge the Maegashira #16’s winning potential!

As Daieisho and Akiseyama find themselves neck-and-neck with each other in yūshō contention, there is a growing threat close on their heels; leading the trailing campaign group, is none other than Ozeki Shodai, who currently boasts a 5:1 record.

With Shodai’s victory at the 2020 September Sumo Tournament – which resulted in the then Sekiwake ranked rikishi from Kumamoto prefecture being awarded the kanto-sho ‘Fighting Spirit’ award for the second consecutive time and secured his promotion to Ozeki – he has shown his inner strength in competition of late and is looking to secure his first yūshō as an Ozeki. However, winning the January tournament will not be an easy task for Shodai: trailing the top two wrestlers by a victory and possibly still nursing his ankle injury from November, it will be difficult for the Ozeki to maintain such pressure on Daieisho and Akiseyama throughout the next 9 Days.

Sharing Shodai’s strong win-to-loss ratio are the two Maegashira competitors – Meisei
(Maegashira #7) and Kotonowaka (Maegashira #15).

With wins over the higher ranked Maegashira rikishi (Ryuden and Kagayaki) Meisei has shown his mettle so far in the January Sumo event. Known for his fairly consistent results throughout 2020, Meisei looks set to score another kachi-koshi (more wins than losses), in this basho, signifying a strong and successful start to his 2021 season. Tomorrow, Meisei will face his toughest opponent of the event so far: Maegashira #3, Endo. If he can overcome Endo, then Meisei may just have what it takes to compete for the January yūshō!

Maegashira #15 Kotonowaka joins the yūshō trailing group along with Meisei and Shodai’s, scoring a defiant 5:1 record so far. After enjoying consistent success in recent events and with his strong start so far in the 2021 Season, Kotonowaka will be looking for a promotion to the upper Maegashira ranks in the near future. Tomorrow the young wrestler will be facing a tough Midorifuji; we can’t wait to see how he fares against his higher-ranked Maegashira #14 rival!

2021 January Basho – Days 1-3: Review

After three thrilling days of exciting sumo bouts and in keeping with the excellent 2020 season, the 2021 January event has got off to a suitably unpredictable start!


With the top two Yokozuna wrestlers (Hakuho and Kakuryu) having withdrawn from the
tournament prior to its start, Sumo fans across the world would have
been forgiven for predicting that one of the three Ozeki rikishi would lead the results list going into the opening few days. However, January’s top ranked wrestlers have so-far been beaten to the top spot after just three short days by their lower-ranked Maegashira rivals.


One of the new favourites for the Yūshō is none other than Daieisho, a Maegashira #1
ranked competitor with a current 3:0 win-to-loss ratio. Having achieved a career-high rank of Sekiwake, Daieisho has proved himself to be a fearless fighter on numerous occasions over the years: having collected a number of kinboshi gold stars and outstanding performance awards from previous tournaments. It is then perhaps not so much of a surprise to see the 27-year-old perform so well in the January event.


The biggest surprise in the 2021 January Sumo Tournament has without-a-doubt been the Maegashira #16 wrestler, Akiseyama. With a perfect record so far in the event, Akiseyama now stands in stark contrast to the top Ozeki Takakeisho – who was hopeful for Yokozuna promotion prior to the commencement of this basho, but is now suffering from a 0:3 record! Nevertheless, the Maegashira #16 rikishi will have his work cut-out for him if he wants to aim for the title; there are three further competitors with a perfect record as of the end of play on Day 3: Meisei, Midorifuji and Onosho.


Meisei (Maegashira #7), is a tough nut to crack even for the best of fighters. Most commonly using the oshidashi (‘frontal push-out’) technique to overcome his opponents, avid Sumo fans should keep a keen eye on the 25-year-old as the tournament progresses – he could be one of the top contenders for the title!


Making his Makuuchi debut, Midorifuji (Maegashira #14) will be highly motivated to unleash his best Sumo throughout the event, in an effort to make his claim for the upper echelons of Maegashira. Midorifuji, is a competent wrestler whom the other Yūshō contenders will have to watch-out for!

Onosho (Maegashira #3) is yet another rikishi with a promising basho ahead of him – having scored a perfect 3-0 record after his opening bouts. It was not long ago that Onosho’s Sumo abilities were called into question, after suffering an astonishing 13 losses and just 2 wins back in July 2020. However, his fighting spirit appears to have been reinvigorated in 2021, by firmly defeating three of the best in his opening bouts: Takayasu (Komusubi), Terunofuji (Sekiwake) and Takakeisho (Ozeki).

With a small handful of fierce-looking fighters taking centre stage since the offset of the 2021 January Sumo Tournament, fans of Sumo will be wondering which of the competitors will be able to continue their win-streaks. We will just have to wait and see!

Sumo 2021 – January Tournament Preview

Happy New Year!

With a hopeful and brighter 2021 replacing the gruelling year that was 2020, it’s fair to say that fans of Sumo around the world will be immensely looking forward to the first Sumo tournament of the year. The world’s best wrestlers will fight it out in the ring for the chance of being crowned champion at the 2021 January Sumo Competition.

Hakuho Test’s Positive for Covid-19

Fans of the world-famous Mongolian born Yokozuna wrestler, Hakuho, were met with sad news earlier this week, as the thirty-five-year-old tested positive for Covid-19, forcing him to withdraw from the January tourney. 

Still yet to post any update on Social Media as to how he is faring, we can only hope and pray for his quick recovery; the team at My-Dohyo is with you, Yokozuna Hakuho!

Kakuryu Pulled Out From The event With Lower-Back Problems

Hakuho’s withdrawal from tomorrow’s tourney wasn’t the only upset for sumo fans across the globe, as yet another Yokozuna has been plagued with misfortune; this time it is the injury-prone Kakuryu who was pulled out of the upcoming tournament earlier this week by his stable-master Michinoku, since he is suffering with lower-back pain. 

Kakuryu, who last won a Sumo tournament one and a half years ago (July 2019 was his last yūshō), had hoped to be fit for the January event. However, continued lower-back pain – in addition to an elbow problem – have shattered those hopes for the Mongolian competitor. 

The thirty-five-year-old wrestler is said to be pinning “his career on the line at the next tournament (in March) and is working to regain his fitness so he can resume training as early as possible,” – stablemaster Michinoku

Favourites for the yūshō!

With the two Yokozuna ranked sumo wrestlers unable to participate in tomorrow’s basho, the title will surely be keenly looked-upon by the next highest-ranked rikishi, the three Ozeki wrestlers: Takakeisho, Shodai and Asanoyama. 

Having been crowned Makuuchi division champion in the 2020 November tourney, finishing the competition with an outstanding win-record of 13-2, it is the twenty-four-year-old Takakeisho who is perhaps the favourite for the January Championships. His outstanding career record of 288-150-30 certainly boosts his winning expectations heading into tomorrow!

Close on Takakeisho’s heels is the twenty-nine-year-old Shodai. Five years Takakeisho’s senior, the Kumamoto born Ozeki, Shodai, certainly has an advantage in terms of experience over his younger fellow wrestler. After having been awarded the 2020 September Makuuchi Division Champion Shukun-sho (Outstanding Performance Award), as well as the Kanto-sho (Fighting Spirit Prize), the newly-found favourite Takakeisho will have to keep a close and watchful eye on the powerful Shodai!

With regards to Asanoyama, questions are raised as to how competitive he will prove to be in January: with poor results in the recent Sumo competitions, such as the 2020 November tournament where he finished with a lowly win record of 1-2-12, Asanoyama will have to be on top-form if he wants to prove a challenge for the other two dominant Ozeki fighters. 

Bouts You Need to Watch!

From the long list of Makuuchi Division bouts ready to take place tomorrow in Japan’s capital, the attention must be on the three Ozeki bouts:

  • Asanoyama (Ozeki) VS Daeisho (Maegashira #1)
  • Hokutofuji (Maegashira #1) VS Shodai (Ozeki)
  • Takakeisho (Ozkei) VS Mitakeumi (Komusubi).

After these three bouts have concluded, we will have more of an understanding of the level of Sumo the top ranked wrestlers are bringing into the new year. 

Bring on the Sumo!

November 2020: Days 12 to 15 (5/5)

Welcome back to the fifth and final installment of our 3-Day review series of November’s Sumo basho! In this review, we shall be looking at the closing stages of the November meet and assessing the yusho winner

Too little too late for Enho

It was a poor tournament for the Maegashira #11 and fan favourite, Enho; after suffering a win drought from Day 1 through to Day 8, the young rikishi clawed back some impressive victories against Aoiyama (6-9) and Chiyotairyu (9-6) on Days 9 and 10, only to once again relapse into a losing streak until Day 15 (final day), where he overcame Tobizaru (6-9) in an extraordinary bout!

Enho’s recent lack of form appears to be linked with the relagation of his stablemate, Ishiura, from Maegashira #13 to Juryo #3 in November, in addition to the loss of another high-class practice partner in Yokozuna Hakuho – who was absent from this tournament since he is still recovering from an injury.

Enho is reportedly being relagated down to Juryo, along with Kotoyuki (source: Tachiai.org)

A consolation for Enho will be that his relagated stablemate Ishiura has put in a strong performance for promotion within Juryo, finishing with an 8 win and 7 losses record and should therefore be representative of the top Juryo standard and be perfect for Enho to train with.

Enho ends the tournament with a 3 win and 12 losses make-koshi (more losses than wins).

Decent Basho for top Maegashira rikishi

Hokutofuji (Maegashira #4) had an excellent tournament this November, finishing with 11 wins and 4 losses. Hokutofuji has fought well against top rikishi, defeating the likes of Komusubi Takayasu (8-7) and Maegashira #2 Daieisho (10-5) and marking his highest scoring tournament since January – where he also achieved a tournament record of 11-4 (ranked Maegashira #2).

Maegashira #10 Ryuden and Maegashira #7 Tochinoshin both enjoyed a well-deserved 9 wins and 6 losses kachi-koshi (more wins than losses) tournament record. Ryuden, after losing his opening bout against Maegashira #9 Kotoeko (6-9), scored a 5 Day winning streak, suffered another defeat against Maegashira #16 Akua and then finished winning 4 out of the final 8. For Tochinoshin, November was his second highest scoring tournament of 2020, with the July basho being the only tournament where he scored more wins (10 wins and 5 losses). Both rikishi will be pleased with their kachi-koshi records and will be hoping to carry their forms through to the January meet.

November Delight for Takakeisho – Tough Defeat for Terunofuji

November’s two top yusho contenders, Ozeki Takakeisho and Komusubi Terunofuji faced off in the final bout of Day 15: both rikishi had a close bout, with Takakeisho seeming to have had the early momentum over his lower ranked challenger, however, a resurgent Terunofuji struck back against the Ozeki, got him on the back foot and took him down to win by abisetaoshi (backward force down)!

Terunofuji’s win in the final bout on Day 15 against Takakeisho placed both rikishi on an equal tournament record of (13-2), forcing the pair to replay the bout in a final “play-off”: this time around Takakeisho had a much better tachiai (initial charge) and got Terunofuji onto the backfoot from the onset. It was a relatively simple task for the Ozeki to force his opponent out of the ring thereafter and he won the play-off by oshidashi (frontal force out) to take the yusho.

Terunofuji will be looking for Ozeki promotion in January, whilst Takakeisho has been touted as the next Yokozuna, so long as he fights well at the next tournament.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this series of review and that you will join us again when Sumo resumes in January!

November 2020: Days 10 to 12 (4/5)

Welcome back for MyDohyo’s fourth installment in our November review series, where we’ll provide another update on the yusho in addition to the significant highlights from the previous 3-Days of action.

Disappointing basho for Enho and Kiribayama

Well, it’s been a frustrating tournament for Maegashira #11 Enho and Maegashira #1 Kiribayama, with both men scoring at the very bottom of the Makuuchi leaderboard, with 2 wins and 10 losses (as of Day 12).

As covered in our previous installment of the 3-Day review series, Enho managed to secure his first victory of the basho against Aoiyama on Day 9. In our review, we outlined that Enho would need to capitalise on that victory if he was to have any hope of achieving a more respectable make-koshi (losing record) than finishing bottom of the division. Despite his best efforts in defeating Chiyotairyu on Day 10, Enho’s form has not returned and he lost subsequent bouts against Sadanoumi (3-9) and Ichinojo (5-7) on Days 11 and 12.

Ichinojo is still fighting to secure a kachi-koshi (winning record), with tough bouts to come against Kotoeko (6-6) and Aoiyama (4-8) on Days 13 and 14. A victory in both of these bouts would draw the Mongolian rikishi to an even 7 wins and 7 losses tournament record, meaning that his make-koshi or kachi-koshi deciding bout would come down to the final day.

Maegashira #1, Kiribayama is another rikishi at the bottom of the November leaderboard, with only 2 wins and 10 losses as of the end of play on Day 12. His first victory was scored on Day 4 against Sekiwake Mitakeumi and showed signs of early promise, however, a subsequent 7 Day losing streak had left the top Maegashira with a disappointing make-koshi losing record. There is some consolation for Kiribayama, as Day 12 saw him overcome Maegashira #11 Sadanoumi and post his second win of the basho.

Both Kiribayama and Enho are on the same 2-10 tournament record as of the end of play on Day 12. Enho is currently on a 2 Day losing streak and is looking unlikely to improve his tournament record over the next 3 Days. Kiribayama on the other hand, showed some promise in his Day 12 bout against Sadanoumi and contrary to Enho, has some momentum to capitalise on going forwards. As things stand, it is looking likely that Enho will finish bottom of the leaderboard in November.

Title fight intensifies between Ozeki and Maegashira #17

We mentioned the extraordinary nature of this season’s tournament winners in our November 2020 preview, however, the prospect of a third Maegashira #17 rikishi winning in November has us excited!

Maegashira #17 Shimanoumi (11-1) and Ozeki Takakeisho (11-1) have maintained their perfect records throughout the last 3-Days of play.

Shimanoumi overcame: Maegashira #14 Chiyonokuni (8-4), Maegashira #13 Hoshoryu (7-5) and Maegashira #10 Ryuden (9-3) on Days 10, 11 and 12 respectively.

Takakeisho – in a similar manner to Shimanoumi, although all Shimanoumi’s opponents were ranked higher than he was while all Takakeisho’s are ranked lower than him – won all his bouts since the last review against: Maegashira #5 Myogiryu (3-9), Maegashira #5 Kotoshoho (7-5) and Maegashira #6 Takarafuji (8-4).

Day 13 will prove pivotal to Maegashira #17, Shimanoumi’s title hopes, as he will face our last surviving Ozeki rikishi of the November basho (with both Shodai and Asanoyama out with injuries) in an all or nothing bout!

If both Shimanoumi and Takakeisho lose one game apiece during any of the final 3 Days, there could be a 3-way fight for the title between the Maegashira #13, Ozeki, and also Komusubi Terunofuji – who is closely following the leading pair with 10 wins and 2 losses as of Day 12.

Although this November tournament is entering its final stages of play, the yusho is still all to play for between the highest and lowest ranked rikishi, with the victor of Day 13’s bout – Takakeisho vs Shimanoumi – in pole position to take the yusho.

November 2020: Days 7 to 9 Review (3/5)

Welcome back to MyDohyo for the third in our series of five tournament review articles! Today we shall take a look at the action from days 7 up until the end of play on day 9, providing our highlights in addition to an update on the yusho title contention race.

Sore consolation for Make-Koshi Enho

This has certainly been a tournament to forget for the young Maegashira #11: Enho currently sits with a tournament record of 1 win and 8 losses – make-koshi – and his loss of Makuuchi (top division of professional sumo) training partners in Ishiura (demoted to Juryo #3) and Hakuho (absent through injury) appears to have had a devastating impact on the youngster’s form.

After 8 winless days, Enho finally picked up his first win on Day 9 against Maegashira #8 Aoiyama (3-6) – an opponent whom he has defeated 3 out of the last 4 times they have fought. This will surely do little to console Enho, however, does serve as an opportunity to capitalise on his success against Aoiyama and bring some positive form into his Day 10 bout against Chiyotairyu!

Upsets for Yusho contenders!

In a seemingly startling turn of events, the top three rikishi vying for the November yusho race have all dropped bouts since the last tournament review: Takakeisho suffered a defeat to Maegashira #4, Tobizaru, on Day 9 (whose tournament record now tallies at: 3-6). Terunofuji has dropped two bouts since the last review, losing to both Maegashira #2 Daieisho (6-3) and Komusubi Takayasu (5-4) on days 8 and 9 respectively. Chiyonokuni – another of our prospective title contenders – has also fallen into a spell of poor form, losing on Days 7 and 8 to Maegashira #13 Hoshoryu (one of the few rikishi we stated to “keep an eye on!” in the first review) and Maegashira #7 Endo.

What do Shimanoumi, Takarafuji and Takakeisho all have in common?

When looking at rankings alone, one would think Shimanoumi, Takarafuji and Takakeisho are worlds apart, however, a surprising run of excellent performances – along with the dropped bout from Takakeisho – have put all these men on 8 wins and 1 loss in November.

Takakeisho’s performances and rank speak for themselves, however, neither of those factors mattered to Tobizaru (whose ringname translates to English as “flying monkey“) in his bout on Day 9, where he threw the great Ozeki to the floor to win by Hatakikomi (slap down).

Takarafuji is one we would consider a “steady” wrestler, whose tournament records mostly tend towards the make-koshi and kachi-koshi (7-8 or 8-7) borderline. His last five tournament records are: November 2019 (6-9), January 2020 (7-8), March 2020 (9-6), July 2020 (5-10), September 2020 (7-8). It is somewhat of a surprise to see the Maegashira #6 doing so well in November – so much so that we hadn’t assessed his yusho contention challenge in any of our reviews until now!

In another surprise, Shimanoumi – currently the lowest ranked rikishi at Maegashira #17 – has defeated all his opponents apart from fan-favourite, Ichinojo and is currently also on 8 wins and 1 loss. To put this into appropriate context, he appears to be emulating the stunning sumo seen from Tokushoryu in January and Terunofuji in July: two tournaments which saw Maegashira #17 rikishi fight their way to win the yusho. Is Shimanoumi set to repeat history and take this November basho?

Conclusions

This has certainly been an eventful 3 Days of sumo action, with rikishi performing better and worse than expected since the last review. Now, at the stage where make-koshi and kachi-koshi have been awarded, the yusho race is becoming clearer:

As it stands, the following 3 rikishi are at the very top of the scoreboard, with 8 wins and 1 loss apiece:

  • Ozeki, Takakeisho.
  • Maegashira #6, Takarafuji.
  • Maegashira #17, Shimanoumi.

Following closely behind are 3 rikishi with 7 wins and 2 losses:

  • Komusubi, Terunofuji.
  • Maegashira #10, Ryuden.
  • Maegashira #14, Chiyonokuni.

Any of these 6 wrestlers are in with a chance of winning this yusho, however, 2020 dictates that the most likely winner of this tournament will be Shimanoumi – after all, two Maegashira #17 rikishi have won in 2020 so far!

Day 10 will, in a sense, affirm whether the lowest ranked wrestler in the top division has what it takes to go on and win the competition outright since he shall be up against Chiyonokuni (7-2) – one of the highest scoring rikishi this tournament. As for Takarafuji and Takakeisho, their Day 10 bouts are a little more straightforward, facing: Hokutofuji (5-4) and Myogiryu (3-6) respectively. It is too early to call all the shots yet – with 6 more days of play ahead, anything could happen (injuries, etc.) – however, if Shimanoumi takes the victory against Chiyonokuni on Day 10, he sits as our firm favourite to win the basho and become the third Maegashira #17 of 2020 to win!

November 2020: Days 3 to 6 Review (2/5)

Welcome to the second installment of MyDohyo’s tournament review series, where we’ll be looking at how various rikishi have performed compared to expected (based on previous reviews and pre-existing tournament data) and provide an update on the yusho title race contention.

Day 5 marks the end of the line for Shin-Ozeki Shodai’s November yusho hopes.

In an injury riddled tournament with both Yokozuna absent from Day 1, we could take some consolation in the stunning line up of 3 Ozeki rikishi, going into November’s meet. However, November has so far proven less straightforward than we had anticipated for our Ozeki trio: Asanoyama pulled out on Day 3 after sustaining a right shoulder injury and now Shodai has been forced to withdraw from play on Day 5, leaving Takakeisho. Takakeisho is not only the final Ozeki in play, but also the highest ranked wrestler left in the competition!

Shodai finishes the November tournament on a 3-1 record, after losing to Daieisho on Day 4. His reason for absence is an ankle injury he sustained in an earlier bout – likely linked to the bout he had with Takayasu on Day 3, where he was seen hobbling away from the Dohyo.

Yusho update

As of the last installment in this review series (Days 1 to 3), we had listed a group of 10 rikishi who were on perfect 3-0 scores: Shimanoumi, Chiyonokuni, Hoshoryu, Kotoeko, Endo, Hokutofuji, Terunofuji, Okinoumi, Takakeisho and Shodai.

Since then one of our favourites to win the title, (newly promoted to) Ozeki Shodai, suffered a defeat against Daieisho and has now withdrawn from play.

Of the 10 highlighted rikishi, only the following 3 now remain with a perfect 6-0 tournament record:

  1. Ozeki, Takakeisho.
  2. Komusubi, Terunofuji.
  3. Maegashira #14, Chiyonokuni

As for the other 6 rikishi:

Shimanoumi is on a 5-1 record after losing to Ichinojo (2-4) on Day 6.

Hoshoryu (3-3) has lost all of his subsequent matches since Day 3 – losing to Chiyotairyu (4-2) on Day 4, Chiyoshoma (3-3) on Day 5 and Tokushoryu (4-2) on Day 6.

Kotoeko currently has a 4-2 record after losing to Terutsuyoshi (2-4) on Day 5 and Tochinoshin on Day 6 (3-3).

Endo has had a decent start to the November meet, with a tournament record of 4-2. His losses were to Takarafuji (5-1) on Day 5 and Kotoshoho (3-3) on Day 6. It’s vital for Endo to stem his losses over the next few days so as not to fall too far behind the perfect scoring yusho group.

Hokutofuji is another on a 4-2 record as of the end of play on Day 6. He lost on Day 5 and 6 to Terunofuji (6-0) and Takanosho (4-2) – both very tough opponents – respectively. As with Endo, Hokutofuji must return to winning form from Day 7 onwards to be in with a fighting chance for the yusho.

Okinoumi, also on a 4-2 tournament record, has suffered defeats to Komusubi Terunofuji (6-0) and Sekiwake Mitakeumi (4-2) on Days: 4 and 6.

For the direct yusho contenders, the next few days may prove crucial in terms of their ability to win the November tournament: Takakeisho will face Okinoumi (4-2) on Day 7, Terunofuji will fight Wakatakakage (1-5) and Chiyonokuni will be up against Hoshoryu (3-3). Takakeisho and Terunofuji ought to win both of their respective bouts, although Okinoumi appears to be in relatively decent form and there is also somewhat of an outside chance for a surprise win from Wakatakakage – keep in mind though that his only win of this basho so far, is a win by default after Asanoyama withdrew with an injury. Chiyonokuni will face a difficult opponent in Hoshoryu, however, it is noted that Hoshoryu has lost every bout since the last review (Day 3) and appears to be off form.

How will the yusho shape up going forward? It’s still too early to predict a winner of this tournament, however, the next few days could prove critical for the 3 top scoring rikishi, since a “silly” loss here and there would demote them into a swathe of rikishi who are closely following and on 4-2 records.

Join us again on Day 9 for another installment of MyDohyo’s 3-Day tournament review series, where we’ll have a closer look at the yusho contention group and attempt to draw some conclusions from their tournament form and experience so far to see which direction the title race might go!

November 2020: Days 1 to 3 Review (1/5)

We’re now a fifth of the way through the November basho, which means it is time for MyDohyo’s first 3-Day review: Throughout the course of this tournament, we are striving to provide you with as much meaningful content as possible and aim to provide you with a series of 3-Day reviews to help get your head around the latest happenings within the world of professional Sumo.

Ichinojo off to a poor start in November

In the September basho, Ichinojo won 2 out of his 3 opening matches, bringing down the likes of Kyokutaisei and Shohozan, but losing to Hoshoryu in his opening bout. Like Ichinojo, Hoshoryu finished the tournament with an 8-7 kachi-koshi record and was promoted from Maegashira #16 to Maegashira #13 – the same rank as Ichinojo, albeit East Maegashira for Hoshoryu.

Unfortunately, November has not been so kind for the Mongolian rikishi, who is now suffering from a 3-Day losing streak against: Chiyonokuni, Kotonowaka and Chiyotairyu. Ichinojo faces a tough opponent in Sadanoumi on Day 4, however, both men have lost all of their opening bouts, so there is not much momentum behind either wrestler.

In complete contrast to Ichinojo, Hoshoryu has won all of his opening bouts this tournament, beating: Kaisei, Yutakayama and Enho. He faces Chiyotairyu on Day 4

And then there were two…Ozeki: Asanoyama pulls out with a deltoid injury.

Asanoyama’s tournament was brought to an abrupt end after suffering from a right shoulder (deltoid) injury. His stable master told reporters that Asanoyama had “hurt himself when he was struck in the (right) arm in his first bout (against rank-and-filer Kiribayama),” and that “He competed yesterday but he’s in pain and in no condition to wrestle. He needs to heal fully,” (source: Mainichi).

Asanoyama’s fellow Ozeki peers, Shodai and Takakeisho, have opened this tournament well with 3-0 perfect records apiece. Shodai had a close fight against former Ozeki Takayasu on Day 3, with both men on the tawada (straw bales marking the ring around the dohyo). A late twist by Shodai afforded him the opportunity to thrust down Takayasu, thereby winning him the match by tsukiotoshi (thrust down).

Yusho contention: 10 rikishi with perfect scores!

Now, it’s still far too early to call the yusho race since we are only on Day 3 out of 15, however, we can attempt to draw some knowledge from the current standings when cross-referencing with previous tournaments.

Currently, the 10 rikishi with perfect 3-0 records are as follows: Shimanoumi, Chiyonokuni, Hoshoryu, Kotoeko, Endo, Hokutofuji, Terunofuji, Okinoumi, Takakeisho and Shodai.

We’ve already mentioned Hoshoryu with regards to his contrasting performances when compared with Ichinojo, so we shall go no deeper with this rikishi for now then to say: “keep you eye on Hoshoryu”!

Endo, Terunofuji and the Ozeki pairing (Takakeisho and Shodai), from a technical and “recent performances” point of view are the most likely grouping within these 10 rikishi to continue in the yusho race until the final days of the November tournament.

Endo has had a mixed year, being bandied back and forth between Maegashira and Komusubi rankings since November 2019. In September 2020, he had to withdraw after 10 bouts, citing issues with “fluid building up in his right knee” (linked to a previous injury). Despite this see-sawing between ranks, he earned kinboshi (gold star award given to record a Maegashira’s win over a Yokozuna) back to back in the January tournament beating both Hakuho and Kakuryu. Additionally, his start to this November basho has been positive, overcoming the likes of January winner Tokushoryu, Terutsuyoshi and Aoiyama already, so don’t write the Maegashira #7 off the yusho race just yet!

For Terunofuji, Takakeisho and Shodai, not much introduction is needed. All of these rikishi have been Ozeki at somepoint in time (Takakeisho and Shodai still are) and all of them are in decent fighting spirits. It is worthy to note that Shodai had a close match against Takayasu on Day 3, where he appeared to have hurt his leg and was seen hobbling slightly on his way back to the dressing room. Hopefully this is nothing serious and that he comes back on Day 4 as strong as ever!

For the other rikishi with 3-0 wins, their paths going forward are much less certain as of yet and it will remain to be seen whether any one of them can carry their momentum forward to the latter stages of the basho. However, if the 2020 season has taught us anything, having no Yokozuna present and already having lost an Ozeki (possibly 2 if Shodai turns out to be injured), can cause quite a stir within the Sumo rankings with rank-and-filers being full of belief that the tournaments are theirs to win.

So it all remains open as of the end of play on Day 3 in this November basho. Only time will tell who will take the finale to this year of surprises in the top-tier of professional sumo!

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and that you will join us again on Day 6 for the second in our series of 3-Day reviews.

November Basho – 2020

MyDohyo are returning for the November basho to bring you the latest information from the world of professional Sumo, with tournament progression updates every three days and live tweets to guide you along as the action unfolds!

After a lengthy absence from our calendars, Grand Sumo is set for a spectacular return to our screens on November the 8th. We’ve already seen an incredible 4 tournaments this year, with each providing plenty of twists and turns – including the stunning Yusho victories from Maegashira#17 rikishi Tokushoryu (January), Terunofuji (July) and the Ozeki promotion winning performance by former Sekiwake Shodai in September.

The only Yokozuna to win a yusho so far in 2020 is Hakuho, who won the march basho in a close fight against the West Yokozuna, Kakuryu. Both wrestlers have struggled attaining match fitness since this tournament, with Hakuho undergoing surgery on both knees after the July competition drew to a close while Kakuryu suffered from an elbow injury at the same time. Unfortunately, Kakuryu’s spell of bad luck will continue until the end of the 2020 season, as the Japan Times are reporting that the West Yokozuna has withdrawn from the November tournament, citing a “lower back complaint” (source). The same news outlet have reported that Hakuho has also pulled out from the November basho and will therefore end the season with 1 yusho (source). As can be seen in Figure 1, for Hakuho to win less than two tournaments within a season is a rare occurrence – to the end that it has only happened now twice in the last 14 years.

Figure 1: The Wikipedia listing of Hakuho’s professional sumo career.

Looking ahead to the November basho, there are numerous rikishi to keep a close eye on, all of whom are in good form and in with a chance at taking the yusho: Firstly, Shodai was the winner of the September tournament and secured promotion to the prestigious Ozeki rank and therefore cannot be taken lightly going forwards. Secondly, Former Ozeki Takayasu appears to be making somewhat of a comeback of late, with a new promotion to Sekiwake coming off the back of the September outing, where he finished with an impressive 13-2 kachi-koshi winning record and will be fighting to maintain his position.

All being said, there are so many rikishi that have done surprisingly well in recent tournaments, that it would be a crime to rule them out of yusho contention, the likes of: Mitakeumi, Onosho, Terunofuji, Wakatakakage and Tobizaru are well within a fighting chance of causing an upset during this basho and are worthy of mention.

Finally, regardless as to whether they are match fit or not, the trio of fantastic Ozeki present in this tournament in the forms of: Asanoyama, Takakeisho and Shodai, look set to light up our screens with excellent sumo action right from Day 1!