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  • Fantasy Basho

25 Under 25, 2024 Edition

Updated: Jul 11

As you wait for sumo to actually begin for the Nagoya basho, you can do two things. 1) Read this overview of some exciting young sumotori. 2) Sign up for Fantasy Basho on Fantasizr.

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What matters is who can win the yusho next time. That’s always the conversation before a basho. For Nagoya, can Terunofuji come back healthy enough to dominate again? Is Hoshoryu going to make the leap into someone who will dominate? Can Onosato prove he is the best in sumo now?


It is Onosato who brings up the other constant conversation. Who will be the next Yokozuna? Or even more expansively, who will be the rikishi we see at the top of Makuuchi for the next few years? Who are the youngsters to keep an eye on?


This piece is an attempt to make a list. 25 Under 25 is an arrangement that works mostly because it provides some structure. This isn’t a definitive account or any kind of ranking (everyone is listed by highest career rank.) But by saying everyone here has not yet hit their 25th birthday AND 25 had to be on it, an interesting list could be made.


So why the 25 year old age limit? In some ways, it is arbitrary. Any cutoff would be somewhat arbitrary. Yet it also makes sure anyone on this list has not yet entered their prime. Like most sports, a sekitori’s prime age is somewhere around 27 or 28, and they fall off after turning 30. Each competitor is different, but that pattern is generally true.


Look at the current rikishi who won a yusho before turning 25. It’s Terunofuji, Takakeisho, Hoshoryu, Takerufuji, and Onosato. That’s it. Asanoyama and Mitakeumi just missed. Doing anything of note before turning 25 is worthwhile. That even means something of note in the lower divisions. Here are ones to watch as they make their way to the top.


Onosato

Onosato Daiki | 大の里 泰輝

Nishonoseki | Ishikawa

Birthdate: June 7, 2000

Height: 192 cm | 6' 4"

Weight: 177 kg | 390 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Sekiwake

Career Record: 68-21; 1 Yusho, 1 Jun-Yusho, 5 Special Prizes

What else is there to say about Onosato? He secured his first Yusho in May, and he now has 34 wins in three Makuuchi basho with one Yusho, one Jun-Yusho, and 5 Special Prizes. That is an Ozeki run, except that the first basho was his debut in the top division at Maegashira #15. His ceiling is dai-Yokozuna, and he’s already hit Sanyaku for two basho. That would be his career floor, and his current status.


Onosato might actually be blazing a new path for sekitori. The last Yokozuna to attend University was Asahifuji, who attended for a year, and got promoted in 1990. The last and only University graduate to earn the rope was the singular Wajima. University wrestlers often start behind the eight-ball when they join Grand Sumo, even with the Makushita Tsukedashi system. Entering the sport at 22 and needing to climb up even just the top few divisions


Onosato was not just a University graduate. He was the all-time greatest University sumo competitor, winning a mind-boggling 13 Amateur Yokozuna titles. In professional sumo, all he did was win three-quarters of his matches. Those matches were also all against top professionals, since he began with a rank of Makushita #10 thanks to his amateur dominance. 


All of that may essentially be the table setting for the rest of his career. Another 11 or 12 win basho likely gets him to Ozeki for September. Keeping up double-digit wins will make an Ozeki promotion happen sooner or later. That doesn’t require hitting a new level, just maintaining his current form. If he gets to Ozeki before next May, he’ll still make it before his two-year anniversary in sumo.


The guideposts here are Miyabiyama or Dejima, fellow Amateur standouts who needed little time to make Ozeki from their debuts. But Miyabiyama took two years and Dejima took four years. Even all-time greats like Akebono and Hakuho took over two years from top-division debut to Ozeki promotion. Onosato’s already on a crazy pace.


And there is room for growth. His three losses in May were to Takayasu, Hiradoumi, and Hoshoryu. Takayasu showed him what a grade A shoulder blast can be. Hiradoumi 1) is listed immediately below, and 2) got a jump that surprised Onosato at the tachiai. Hoshoryu has won all three of their matchups by shitatenage. While tough for Onosato, that means he is losing to the Ozeki who is also the best thrower in the division.


Onosato figures out how to handle the very best sumo from some of the best rikishi, and he is pretty much in favorite-every-basho territory. He also turned 24 between the May and July basho, and he has only been in sumo for a little more than a year. He is entering his prime, already an excellent sekitori, and positioned for growth.


Hiradoumi

Hiradoumi Yuki | 平戸海 雄貴

Sakaigawa | Nagasaki

Birthdate: April 20, 2000

Height: 177 cm | 5' 10"

Weight: 135 kg | 298 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Komusubi

Career Record: 255-201-8

Following Onosato, Hiradoumi can seem uninspiring. He is neither a multiple-time Amateur Yokozuna nor a Yusho winner with numerous Special Prizes to his name.And from a purely aesthetic standpoint, he is also not a model sekitori on spec. Onosato also has 15 cm and 40 kg on Hiradoumi.


So you must consider Hiradoumi on his own terms. This is a 24 year old rikishi just making his Sanyaku debut. He made his Makuuchi debut two years ago, and has 7 winning records and 5 losing records. He has slowly climbed the Banzuke to make it to the named ranks. Additionally, he’s won more by yorikiri than anything else, but has quite a few pushing victories.


He’s not on a shortlist of future Yokozuna or Ozeki. Compared to many rikishi listed below him here, he can seem unexciting. What he does deliver is a good first step, as well as a conviction to what he’s doing. He can get inside on anyone, and he will take an advantage when it appears. Maybe his ceiling isn’t as high as the younger ones below him, but he is already a Komusubi. Winning just a little more than he loses for two years has already given Hiradoumi a career highlight for many rikishi. And he’s just entering his prime.



Atamifuji

Atamifuji Sakutaro | 熱海富士 朔太郎

Isegahama | Shizuoka

Birthdate: September 3, 2002

Height: 185 cm | 6' 1"

Weight: 176 kg | 388 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Maegashira #1

Career Record: 155-100-4; 2 Jun-Yusho, 2 Special Prizes

Atamifuji has gone 21-24 in his last three basho. So let’s remember his previous three basho, when he had three straight 11-4 records. The first was a Juryo yusho, and the second two were Makuuchi Jun-Yusho. And that middling record over the last three basho was at Maegashira #1 and #2. Atamifuji has held his own against the very best rikishi in sumo.


Oh, and he won’t turn 22 until September. Atamifuji is an odd figure, a wide-bodied monster of a power sumotori on the dohyo. Off, he is a smiling, lovable young man bringing a sense of cuteness to the top division. His career has also been strangely stop-start. He made his Makuuchi debut in November 2022 as a 20 year old. Then he went 4-11 and pulled out of his next tournament in Juryo with an injury. By May, he began storming up the Banzuke again. In January, he was a Maegashira #1.


Then he stalled out again. Just remember he is a very young and extremely powerful rikishi who could hit another gear and start beating Sanyaku men regularly. That is, essentially, the definition of an Ozeki. If he doesn’t do that soon, remember that time is on his side.


Oho

Oho Konosuke | 王鵬 幸之介

Otake | Tokyo

Birthdate: February 14, 2000

Height: 190 cm | 6' 3"

Weight: 179 kg | 395 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Maegashira #3

Career Record:  232-187

Oho was highly touted when he joined sumo as a teenager. He began his career going 19-2 over his first three basho. He also is the grandson of the 1960s Yokozuna Taiho, generally considered the best ever while active. Most strikingly, he is built like the model sumotori the JSA would construct if asked.


His two-and-a-half-years in Makuuchi have been underwhelming. He is at 102-108 as a Maegashira, with one Kinboshi and no special prizes. He has also made it to Maegashira #3 before, and he has won 11 matches in a basho. There is a very good rikishi in here. He just needs to find a way to show that rikishi more often.


His brand of sumo is largely thrusting, with his most common winning kimarite being oshidashi. It is also his most common losing kimarite. Oho tends to get his best performances when he gets the other guy sideways, winning matches by things like hatakikomi, katasukashi, or hikiotoshi. Oho often looks like he’s lost on the dohyo, but maybe he should look to hit and shift rather than going head on. After all, one improvement puts him in Sanyaku before he turns 25.


Kotoshoho

Kotoshoho Yoshinari | 琴勝峰 吉成

Sadogatake | Chiba

Birthdate: August 26, 1999

Height: 191 cm | 6' 3"

Weight: 161 kg | 355 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Maegashira #3

Career Record: 255-212-15; 1 Jun-Yusho, 1 Special Prize

The good version of Kotoshoho is very good indeed. A tall, athletic rikishi who can grab any wrestler and spin him around, Kotoshoho is a dangerous competitor at his best. Yet he has a strange weakness. Quite frequently, he just loses all semblance of decent footwork. If you want to show someone engaging and dynamic sumo that demonstrates the competitor’s fitness, watch Kotoshoho’s wins. If you want to have an idea of what sumo on ice might look like, watch Kotoshoho’s losses.


As he is turning 25 between the July and September basho, no one should expect tremendous growth from Kotoshoho. He is pretty much who he is. On the other hand, he has a Jun-Yusho to his name already. Who he is is a very good rikishi who can put things together. That last bit of polish as he gets into his prime could make him a Sanyaku regular. 


Hakuoho

Hakuoho Tetsuya | 伯桜鵬 哲也

Miyagino | Tottori

Birthdate: August 22, 2003

Height: 181 cm | 5' 11"

Weight: 162 kg | 357 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Maegashira #9

Career Record: 61-24-34; 2 Special Prizes

Think back almost a year to the end of Nagoya 2023. Hakuoho won 11 matches in his debut Makuuchi basho as a not-quite 20 year old. He had only entered pro sumo in January 2023, after a Corporate Yokozuna title the year after graduating high school allowed him to enter with Makushita Tsukedashi status. The press dubbed him the “Reiwa Monster,” an honoriffic that said he was the signature wrestler of a new era.


Instead, he got shoulder surgery for a long-term problem. That saw him sit out the last two basho of 2023, and a return to Makushita. He came back with a 6-1 Makushita performance and a bounce up to Juryo. And in the last two basho, he has won 13 matches in Juryo with four fusen losses. Behind the scenes, his stablemate Hokuseiho was forced to retire for insane levels of bullying to a lower-ranked rikishi. That made Miyagino-beya merge (temporarily?) with Isegahama. It hasn’t been a great year for Hakuoho.


Can the Reiwa Monster return as a monster? On his side, especially, is youth. Hakuoho will only turn 21 in August. Additionally, his incredible frame–he is a square of bulk on tree trunks–is still present. Hakuoho’s sumo was never spectacular, focused more on grabbing the belt quickly and going straight ahead with maximum force. Maybe he needs to get better variety to his sumo. Or maybe he just needs a few months of health and off-dohyo tranquility.


Kitanowaka

Kitanowaka Daisuke | 北の若 大輔

Hakkaku | Yamagata

Birthdate: November 12, 2000

Height: 190 cm | 6' 3"

Weight: 146 kg | 322 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Maegashira #14

Career Record: 181-142-7

Kitanowaka has done very little to make himself an exciting future star. What he has done is already make Maegashira, won more than he lost, and prove he can handle grappling or pushing matches. 


He just hasn’t dominated in any one way. Kitanowaka has ideal size, and he can make it to the top division. He does need to gain consistency, but he is 23 and already in a place where securing a regular Makuuchi spot is one improvement away. He will almost certainly not be a future star. You will be seeing him on Makuuchi banzukes for a few years.

Onokatsu

Onokatsu Kazuhiro | 阿武剋 一弘

Onomatsu | Mongolia

Birthdate: May 5, 2000

Height: 184 cm | 6’0”

Weight: 160 kg | 353 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Juryo #1

Career Record: 29-7

Onokatsu is a Mongolian who did well enough as a competitor at Nippon Sport Science University to start as a Makushita Tsukedashi in November. Since then, he has gone 5-2, 6-1, 5-2, and 13-2 in his first Juryo basho in May. By the standards of his university teammate Onosato, that’s not so impressive. By the standards of others, he is a rising star. 


Overwhelmingly, Onokatsu is a yorikiri man. The simple force out accounts for a staggering 58.62% of his wins. He grabs other rikishi, and he sends them to the edge fairly quickly once he has the grip. He is also able to work against opponents to establish that grip. He can be a bit of a monster, and he looks different as he does it. His pre-match habit is to cross his arms in front of himself. He’ll be a fun one to watch.


And we’ll likely watch him in Makuuchi soon. He’s at Juryo #1 West for Nagoya. He goes 8-7, and he’s a Maegashira. He posts double-digit wins, he gets a cushion against a return to Juryo. If he repeats his May performance of 13 wins, he shoots to mid-Maegashira.


Oshoumi

Oshoumi Seiya | 欧勝海 成矢

Naruto | Ishikawa

Birthdate: May 12, 2001

Height: 183 cm | 6’ 0”

Weight: 140 kg | 308 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Juryo #11

Career Record: 105-59-28

Oshoumi turned 23 in May and just dropped back to Makushita. That may sound unimpressive considering what is above him in this piece, but take a broader picture. If someone has made Makuuchi and is not 25, they are included here. If a rikishi has made Juryo before turning 24, he is listed here. (Thus Kayo, who is not-quite-25 and making his Juryo debut in July, is not here.)


No, Oshoumi isn’t on a rocketship to Sanyaku. He is someone who has come back from injury during his lower-division career to post a lopsided winning record over his career. He so far hasn’t handled Juryo, posting a 19-26 record in three tournaments. But he could bounce right back from Makushita in one basho. He is also still ahead of the curve. Just barely.


Nabatame

Nabatame Tatsuya | 生田目 竜也

Futagoyama | Tochigi

Birthdate: February 22, 2002

Height: 177 cm | 5’10”

Weight: 152 kg | 335 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Juryo #14

Career Record: 104-65-6

Nabatame will be making his Juryo debut at 22, which makes him relatively young for a new sekitori. He’s not record-setting young, but the only sekitori younger than him are Atamifuji and Hakuoho. He is also here on the back of four straight Makushita kachi-koshi, but nothing better than a 5-2. There is also a notable lack of lower division yusho.


So don’t expect Nabatama to be a superstar, but he’s been good. Nabatama is also in the category of “knows what he wants to do out there.” He is overwhelmingly a pusher/thruster, to the point where only 1 of his 104 wins in his career is by yorikiri. A featured part of Futagoyama-beya’s YouTube channel, Nabatame may already have a fan base in his first Juryo basho. 


Kiryuko

Kiryuko Hirokaru | 木竜皇 博一

Tatsunami | Tokyo

Birthdate: October 31, 2002

Height: 177 cm | 5’10”

Weight: 133 kg | 293 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Makushita #1

Career Record: 80-46

Kiryuko is on the precipice of Juryo, sitting at Makushita #1 West. He has really been on the precipice for the last year, after his Makushita yusho in May 2023. Stuck in the Makushita to Juryo bottleneck, he has gone 23-19 over the last year. But the last two are 5-2’s, so now he’s in a spot where a 4-3 gives him sekitori status.


Kiryuko has all the makings of a solid, long-term Maegashira. He’s not huge, but isn’t undersized either. He’s shown some ability both with grappling and pushing. This is all befitting of the son of a former Maegashira. (Tokitsuumi, who was Tokitsukaze-oyakata until 2021 when he was dismissed for violating COVID protocols. This also spoiled Kiryuko and his brother Shunrai having their father as they stablemaster.) Kiryuko seems destined for a solid career at a minimum.


Kototebakari

Kototebekari Taiki | 琴手計 太希

Sadogatake | Chiba

Birthdate: July 8, 2003

Height: 184 cm | 6’0”

Weight: 128 kg | 282 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Makushita #2

Career Record: 63-34-1

One year ago, Kototebakari was a just-turned 20 year old with a great lower-division record coming into upper Makushita with a chance at breaking into Juryo with one good basho. After a year, he’s still got a chance at breaking into Juryo with one good basho. He will be Makushita #8 for Nagoya, the sixth straight basho he has been ranked above Makushita #9 without getting to Juryo.


So the shine is a bit off of him, but many of the positives are still there. He is an athletic rikishi with some skill, using a variety of kimarite. He has a hugely positive career record in the lower divisions as well. He is also still relatively young, as he only turned 21 this month.


Maybe the worries, that he is small for sumo and can be overwhelmed, are larger. He also doesn’t look like he’s going to storm past older brother Kotoshoho. But this is someone who should be good moving forward, and he could easily join his brother in Makuuchi in a few years.


Satorufuji

Satorufuji Teppei | 聖富士 哲平

Isegahama | Shizuoka

Birthdate: May 29, 2004

Height: 178 cm | 5’10”

Weight: 169 kg | 373 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Makushita #3

Career Record: 42-14

Satorufuji right now pretty much has everything you’d want in a prospect, but height. He just turned 20, has won 75% of his matches, and already earned two lower division yusho. Although he doesn’t tower over others, he is large even for sumo with a widebodied frame. He has 14 wins by oshidashi and 12 by yorikiri so far in his career, with 7 uwatenage and 4 katasukashi in there. So he’s got skills, too. Oh, and he’s at Isegahama, so his everyday practice is of an extremely high level.


January and March saw him get his first ever losing records. They were identical 3-4 records in upper Makushita. Falling back to Makushita #14, he went 6-1. Maybe he won’t be in Juryo immediately (read about Kiryuko and Kototebekari above for examples of how tough upper Makushita can be for youngsters.) But he is still very, very young. He has also been very, very good. 


Wakaikari 

Wakaikari Seigo | 若碇 成剛

Isenoumi | Tokyo

Birthdate: February 22, 2005

Height: 176 cm | 5’9”

Weight: 112 kg | 247 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Makushita #5

Career Record: 41-15

Wakaikari is 19 and has blazed his way to Makushita #5 without picking up a losing record in 10 career basho. He has also won over 80% of his matches in pro sumo. More tantalizingly, he has also produced some throws and trips for wins in his short career.


So why shouldn’t we be super-excited about Wakaikari’s future? For starters, he is small for sumo. Second, he is only just now engaging with the absolute meat grinder that is the top of Makushita. Kototebekari can be a bit of a cautionary tale. He, too, once seemed like an athletic rikishi who overcame his slim build to shoot up to the top of Makushita. But Kototebekari is still on this list, because he is still promising.


Yet do not sleep on Wakaikari. He is even further ahead of the age curve than almost anyone else.


Wakanosho

Wakanosho Eido | 若ノ勝 栄道

Tokiwayama | Tochigi

Birthdate: August 22, 2023

Height: 178 cm | 5’10”

Weight: 130 kg | 286 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Makushita #7

Career Record: 64-34

Wakanosho is knocking on the door of Juryo before his 21st birthday. Odds are he won’t get there before then, however. Over his career, he seems to need a period of adjustment at a new level. He went 2-5 in his first Makushita basho, but did immediately rebound from Sandanme. He also spent a year muddling around the middle of Makushita before a 5-2 in March and a 6-1 in May. He has kept going forward eventually.


Wakanosho is one of the most overwhelmingly oshi sumotori you will see. In his 64 wins, he has gained victory by yorikiri exactly once. Of course, if you want to learn how to succeed by only going for pushing and shoving, having Takakeisho as your stablemate can help immensely.


Kotokenryu

Kotokenryu Takeaki | 琴挙龍 武明

Sadogatake | Mongolia

Birthdate: January 19, 2004

Height: 186 cm | 6’1”

Weight: 155 kg | 342

Highest Career Rank: Makushita #11

Career Record: 63-34-1

Kotokenryu is Sadogatake’s resident Mongolian. A 20 year old who joined sumo two years ago, he doesn’t have the kind of wildly lopsided record that other prospects have. He’s never even won a yusho in the lower divisions. (He debuted with a 7-0, but lost the Jonokuchi yusho to stablemate Kototebekari.) 


What he does have is a steady record of success. He’s only had two losing records in his 15 competitive basho. He also uses a mix of kimarite, which is always nice to see. Interestingly, he seems to have grown since joining sumo. Perhaps there is growth in Kotokenryu, even if he already has a nice floor. He’s in shouting range of a Juryo promotion, but he might need a few more shots. He’s got time where another year in Makushita before making it to Juryo keeps him a young sekitori


Aonishiki

Aonishiki Arata |  安青錦 新大

Ajigawa | Ukraine

Birthdate: March 23, 2004

Height: 180 cm | 5’11”

Weight: 125 kg | 275 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Makushita #17

Career Record: 26-2

Aonishiki would be an amazing sumo story if he was middling on the dohyo. Born Danylo Yavhusishin in Ukraine, he is a war refugee who encountered sumo in his home country. After fleeing his hometown, a connection from Junior Sumo international competition got him a chance to come to Japan. After some tryouts, he 

 His parents are currently in Germany, while he pursues sumo dreams in Japan.


And if Aonishiki was born Sanada Tetsuya in Saitama, his feats on the dohyo would be worth paying attention to. Joining Ajigawa stable, recently reincarnated by the former Aminishiki, he became their first lower division yusho winner in his debut in January. He followed up his Jonokuchi yusho with a Sandanme yusho. In his next two basho, he has had back-to-back 6-1 records. He’s a 20 year old who is already in mid-Makushita with a 91% winning percentage over his career.


He also isn’t just tossing around smaller rikishi. Aonishiki has average height but is currently built more like a rugby player than a sumotori. He pops when you watch him because of how much more athletic he is than opponents. And he can and almost certainly will get bigger. He’s 20 and has been on a chankonabe diet for less than a year.


But it’s not just raw talent for Aonishiki. He  has his own bag of tricks, fitting for someone trained by Aminishiki. In his 26 wins, he has 7 by oshidashi and 7 by yorikiri. Also, he has won by kirikaeshi (the twisting backward knee trip), uwatehineri (the twisting over arm throw), and the quite rare susoharai (the rear foot sweep). This is a youngster dominating the lower divisions with more than pure strength and speed. He could turn out to be truly special, and it’s the next few basho that will prove it.


Tanji

Tanji Jun | 丹治 純

Arashio | Fukushima

Birthdate: June 5, 2006

Height: 184 cm | 6’0”

Weight: 132 kg | 291 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Makushita #22

Career Record: 56-33-2

Tanji just turned 18, and is going to be in his fifth Makushita basho. That’s enough to keep an eye on. He is both young and well into the Third Division. He doesn’t have the outstanding record of other prospects on this list, but he’s won much more than he’s lost over his career while always being among the youngest competitors in his current level.


Tanji clearly prefers the mawashi. He has won by yorikiri in over 50% of his career victories. His second most common winning kimarite is a yoritaoshi. Anyone this young will change, and he may even physically grow a lot more. The key thing is he is already doing well as a professional sumotori as a teenager.


Kusano

Kusano Naoya | 草野 直哉

Isegahama | Kumamoto

Birthdate: June 25, 2001

Height: 184 cm | 6’0”

Weight: 150 kg | 330 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Makushita #29

Career Record: 6-1

Why is Kusano here? Because he entered sumo with Makushita Tsukedashi status and went 6-1 in May. You only earn any kind of tsukedashi the hard way, and Kusano was a champion at Nihon University. Still, he has had seven matches, so we don’t know that much. He was the sole man to beat Aonishiki in the Natsu basho.


We will learn much more about Kusano in the next few months, but keep in mind he is older than Atamifuji, Hakuoho, and even Nabatame. They are all sekitori already. Kusano needs to keep the strong records going.



Anosho

Anosho Yamato |  安大翔 大和

Ajigawa | Miyagi

Birthdate: March 2, 2005

Height: 175 cm | 5’9”

Weight: 159 kg | 351 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Makushita #30

Career Record: 31-11

Anosho, somehow, is the second most promising youngster at Ajigawa beya. Almost any other stable would love to have a prospect like this. Anosho is a square shouldered youngster who shot himself into mid-Makushita just after his 19th birthday. 


At Makushita #30 in May, Anosho did get his first losing record. But it was a 3-4 against older competitors with a wealth of experience. Interestingly, he has pulled off an uwatenage eight times so far in his short career. He’s got tricks besides just raw power.


Okaryu 

Okaryu Kazuma | 大花竜 勝磨

Tatsunami | Aomori

Birthdate: October 9, 2001

Height: 175 cm | 5’9”

Weight: 160 kg | 353 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Sandanme #31

Career Record: 6-1

Okaryu is a University man who made his debut in Sandanme during the Natsu basho. Squat-but-wide, he was good enough at University level to earn Sandanme tsukedashi status, but not Makushita tsukedashi. (Don’t forget Amateur championships were tough to come by with the current Onosato, Hakuoho, and Onokatsu around.) He proved he was better than Sandanme, but he probably should have been. 


Really, Okaryu is like many of the other lower-division competitors here. They have done what they should to stand out so far, but they have a lot of work to keep standing out. Compared to the teenagers, Okaryu has a little less time, since he is already 22. He is also likely able to manhandle most of the teenagers. 


Inami

Inami Koki | 伊波 興輝

Onoe | Kagoshima

Birthdate: August 22, 2000

Height: 189 cm | 6’2”

Weight: 145 kg | 320 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Sandanme #55

Career Record: 12-2

Inami has breezed through his first two basho, but then he should. He is a Nihon University graduate who entered sumo at the age of 23. Additionally, he has near model size. He did not get any kind of Tsukedashi status, so his raise will be through all divisions. (No slight to his amateur career, he was just competing against Onosato and Onokatsu.


This is the Takerufuji path, so it is possible. His two losses in his first two basho do put him two losses behind Takerufuji at the same stage. But the goal shouldn’t be historic debut yusho. This is the kind of guy who could get to Makuuchi quite quickly. Or his ceiling will be found out even quicker.


Anhibiki

Anhibiki Kaoto | 安響 力響

Ajigawa | Aomori

Birthdate: November 25, 2005

Height: 184 cm | 6’0”

Weight: 135 kg | 297 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Sandanme #62

Career Record: 15-6

Anhibiki is yet another Ajigawa youngster with an impressive early career. In his case, he has gone 7-0, 4-3, and 4-3 in his three bashos in pro sumo. The most striking thing about Anhibiki is that he is just 18. Obviously, he has already slowed down from his yusho in Jonokuchi. But he’s yet to post a losing record, and he could continue that. Part of this exercise is to show that we don’t know.


Daimasakari

Daimasakari Ayato | 大斧 亜矢翔

Oitekaze | Saitama

Birthdate: May 1, 2005

Height: 167 cm | 5’6”

Weight: 141 kg | 311 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Jonidan #11

Career Record: 10-4

Daimasakari has won 10 of his 14 career matches, but it’s his height and weight that really sets him apart. In a sport full of small, square men, he is notably short and wide. He hits just 167 cm, a truly undersized stature. Except he tips the scales at 141 kg. So he certainly is still a load. Also, at just 19, he may bulk out further.


That may be Daimasakari’s downfall. He could get too big even in a sport of large men. He is winning so far, and he’ll be interesting to watch no matter what.



Suzunofuji

Suzunofuji Ruichi | 鈴ノ富士 塁智

Isegahama | Shizuoka

Birthdate: June 7, 2005

Height: 182 cm | 5’11”

Weight: 133 kg | 293 lbs

Highest Career Rank: Jonidan #12

Career Record: 10-2

Suzunofuji is yet another young rikishi with a lopsided record in very few bashos. He has had identical 5-2 records in his two pro tournaments. Having just turned 19, he does have decent size.


Really, though, Suzunofuji is all projection. He has the advantages of early winning records in his career. Also, that “-nofuji” (ノ富士) should be familiar. A member of Isegahama-beya, Suzunofuji gets the benefit of tough training matches in the stable. It needs to translate onto the basho dohyo.


But everyone listed here just needs to keep winning to get where they want to go.





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