Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Behind the Curtain - Nov 2012

It is November, taking us to our last basho of the year, at the lovely Fukuoka Kokusai Center. This basho will not only be the first for the 70th Yokozuna, it is also the first basho for one newly promoted sekiori. Along with the new juryo rikishi, four other rikishi are returning to the 2nd division from behind the curtain.

Our lucky debut sekitori is Ryuden. He is also the first sekitori from Takadagawa stable. He is also the first sekitori raised by ex-Sekiwake Akinoshima. He is the first sekitori from Yamanashi prefecture in the last 22 years. Both the new sekitori and the oyakata had some interesting thoughts to share after the annoucement.

Ryuden started out, "As soon as I heard of the promotion, the excitement of it all began to hit me. I hope to be able to reach the Makuuchi division in two or three basho." Ryuden has already figured out where he can borrow a silk mawashi, which only sekitori may wear. He has been Kisenosato's tsuke-bito, and believes he can borrow some red mawashi from his senpai.

Kyokushuho from Mongolia started 2012 in the Makuuchi, found himself in Makushita for the Aki basho, and can end 2012 as a sekitori again. Kyokushuho was originally a rikishi at the Mongolia sumotori factory, Oshima beya, which merged with Tomozuna beya. With his return to Juryo, he joins his stablemates Kaisei, Kyokutenho (on of the original 6 Mongolians) and Asahisho.

Masakaze spent half of 2012 in the paid ranks. He was promote to Juryo at the Natsu basho in May, but fell back behind the curtain for the Aki basho. In September unfortantely, his stableman, Kimikaze only won 3 bouts in Juryo, so in essence these two are trading places, one behind the curtain, one into the paid ranks. Ogurama oyakata will still only have 3 sekitori at Fukuoka; Masakaze, Takekaze, and Yoshikaze. And yes, the Ogurama oyakata is former Ozeki Kotokaze, hence all the wind in these rikishi's names.

Homarefuji will have spent 4 out of 6 of the 2012 bash in the paid ranks. He started 2012 at the Hatsu basho as a first time sekitori and he has fought his way back to sekitori to end the 2012. This is icing on the cake for former Yokozuna Asahifuji and current Isegahama oyakata, since he not only has 4 sekitori, but he has the new 70th Yokozuna, Haramafuji It has been an exceptional year for Isegahama oyakata and his stable, along with their supporters.

Finally we have our last returnee, Akiseyama. He first appeared in front of the curtain way back in November of 2010, followed by 3 consecutive appearances in Juryo, until he fell back to Makushita for the September 2011 tourney. This November he finally gets to wear the silk mawashi again. It looks like former Maegashira #1 Higonoumi and current Kise oyakata will have a total of 5 sekitori, since his lowest ranked sekitori, Tokushinho, did just get 7 wins at Juryo 12, to most likely just barely stayed ranked in the paid division.