Sunday, February 24, 2013

Behind the Curtain - March 2013

Sumo has arrived in Osaka, for the now that the cherry blossoms are beginning to bloom, and the cold winter has exited the stage, it is time for one rikishi to become a sekitori for the first time, along with two rikishi returning as sekitori.

First of all, it takes more than a great performance at the New Year basho to get ranked in Juryo. There needs to be others who fail to win the majority of their bouts or that outright leave sumo, to open the slots of above you to fill.

Big time fan favorite, Takamikasakari fell out of Juryo and went directly to intai, ending his entertaining career on the dohyo. Hochiayama and Kagamio also failed to win 8 and will slide down to the unpaid or low paid, rank of Makushita.

These three slots helped Tochihiryu to debut on the dohyo in Osaka as sekitori, as well Mongolians Oniarashi and Sensho to return to the silk mawashi wearing division.

Tochihiryu has been a mainstay in the top makushita ranks, being in the upper half since three years and in top ten for the last nine basho, and this basho the 25-year-old rikishi from Shizuoka finally had the breakthrough to get to juryo, making it six sekitori from Kasugano-beya next basho. He crowned the basho with a win over Chiyoarashi, making it the first 6-1 basho in three years for him.

Tochihiryu of Kasugano-beya, is the only Japanese national to step out of the curtain this tourney. Tochihiryu's aim for this basho is kachi-koshi. His kesho-mawashi will show the design of his Hiryu high school badge.

Interestingly enough, as you know, a sekitori gets the privilege of having a private room, no longer living in the one room dorm that all rikishi behind the curtain live in. But his heya has no enough single rooms for their sekitori. Already of Aoiyama and Tochinowaka share one room; and Kimurayama lives with his family in his own home.

In Tochihiryu's entire career, he has managed to get a yusho in the Sandanme division, twice, way back at this Osaka basho in 2007 and then at the 2009 Nagoya basho.

Onirashi from Ashiyama-beya has spent the summer last year in Juryo, both at Nagoya, where he debut as a sekitori, and the Aki Basho. Now he is back in the paid ranks for the hanami season. He was the Makushita champion at Kokugikan with a perfect 7-0 record, his first yusho ever!

Sensho from Shikihide-beya had debut as sekitori at Osaka last year, but quickly fell back behind the curtain since. He has had a respectable run so far, notching on Makushita yusho in November 2011 and one Sandanme yusho in October 2010.