The first basho of 2016 is a special event for a pair of rikishi, stepping out in front of the curtain for the first time in their careers. While another pair of rikishi make at return visit to the paid ranks. Shogatsu basho is always special, with some women coming to Kokugikan wearing traditional kimonos. It is a wonderful basho to bring in the New Year!
Tsurugisho, formerly known as Abiko, notched a very nice 5-2 record in the Fukaoka basho, from the top of Makushita, Ms1e. He is a rikishi from Oitekaze beya Tsurugisho performed his mae sumo at the same basho two years ago. It must be nice coming back here the 3rd time as a sekitori.
Chiyoshoma did outstanding last basho, recording a 6-1 result from Ms3w. He hails from the Kokonoe beya, which will give him an edge, since there are several Kokonoe rikishi in Juryo, who he will not have to face. He is a native of Mongolia who started sumo over 5 years, finally reaching the paid ranks.
Dewahayate squeezed by with a 4-3 record sitting at Ms4e. As the first kanji in his shikona poitns out, he is from Dewanoumi beya. Dewahayate’s hometown is town of Okazaki, in Aichi prefecture. He is another long time rikishi, and making his 3rd visit to Juryo in the last 2 years.
Some of the sumo pundits have commented that Shotenro should have been promoted instead of Dewahayate. Shotenro posted 6-1 at Ms6w. You could factor in the win by Shotenro against Juryo rikishi is worth more that a win in the Makushita division. One does not know exactly what was doing through the mind of the Japan Sumo Association’s mind, when awarding the promotions from Makushita.
Chiyonokuni posted a respectable 5-2 score from Ms4w at the Fukaoka basho. He is yet another rikishi from Kokonoe beya. During the match-fixing scandal in 2011, he got a helpful bump up to the paid ranks. He did great there, working his way all the way to Makuuchi for Shogatsu basho 2014. Later, in 2014, he started slipping down the banzuke, till falling behind the curtain after the Aki basho in 2014. This basho is his returned to the paid ranks, after falling as far as Sandanme.
For the record, Shiba Ms31w defeated Ura Ms54w in a Makushita yusho playoff. Unfortunately neither rikishi was ranked Ms15 or above, otherwise, they would have been given automatic promotion to Juryo.