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  • Fantasy Basho

Hatsu 2022 Day Thirteen



Yusho Arasoi

11 wins

Y1e Terunofuji

S1e Mitakeumi

10 wins

M6w Abi

M14e Kotonowaka

Notable Maneuvers

Shitatehineri. Ishiura seems to be in line for a technique prize after his second underarm throw of the basho for a victory over Oho. He's used six different kimarite to win, and they do seem to be textbook examples.

Match of the Day

Sekiwake East Mitakeumi versus Maegashira #6 West Abi

This was match of the day heading in, just because it was between co-leaders this late in a basho. Yet it also showed the clash of styles. Abi's signature two-hand-thrust into tsuppari was effective enough to keep Mitakeumi back. Mitakeumi did a good job of not going backwards and worked to get under Abi's arms by pushing on his armpits. That got Abi going in reverse, then dancing at the tawara. While Abi's a gifted dancer, Mitakeumi's solid footwork kept him moving out.


Mitakeumi's victory made sure he was at least a co-leader by the end of the day. Once Terunofuji took care of business against Takanosho, that meant once again the Hatsu basho had Terunofuji and Mitakeumi atop the leaderboard. Although the Day Fifteen matchups haven't been announces, it's almost a guarantee that Terunofuji and Mitakeumi will square off on Day Fifteen. They have yet to see each other, and Terunofuji gets Abi on Day Fourteen while Mitakeumi sees Takarafuji.

That does not mean this basho will only come down to Terunofuji and Mitakeumi. Abi, for one, could make things very interesting if he gets the very late kinboshi over Terunofuji on Day Fourteen. An Abi victory probably makes playoffs more likely, as well as reigniting some chaos into the tournament. Takarafuji, maybe the least chaotic rikishi in Makuuchi, would add even more chaos by toppling Mitakeumi. And even if the Sanyaku men win, that just sets up a musubi no ichiban on Day Fifteen that decides the Emperor's Cup.

Terunofuji, Mitakeumi, and Abi aren't even the only ones in with a shot. Kotonowaka is at 10 wins alongside Abi right now. No one else can theoretically win, since neither Terunofuji nor Mitakeumi will lose out due to facing each other. Kotonowaka got his 10th win in a surprise to everyone in the Kokugikan, including Kotonowaka. Tamawashi had been able to spin the young man around and out, but the gyoji spotted Tamawashi's left foot stepping out before Kotonowaka went over. On Day Fourteen, he will square off with Takanosho to show if he can hang with the current Sanyaku.

The state of the current Sanyaku is a worthwhile discussion point. Onosho beat Shodai, placing the Ozeki as kadoban for March alongside Takakeisho. If they both can't clear 8 wins in Osaka, and Mitakeumi can't make an Ozeki promotion, we could be staring at an Ozeki-less Banzuke. That is technically not allowed, but results might push some promotions ahead. Below Ozeki, the picture isn't so great, either. The first man currently with a kachi-koshi in hand after Mitakeumi is Onosho, down at Maegashira #5. Takanosho could still pull his winning tournament out, but the Komusubi are already at 8 losses or more.

Despite the underwhelming performance of the Ozeki, Komusubi, and upper Maegashira, we are position for a clash of the titans on the final day. If Mitakeumi beats Takarafuji, he could be in position to get an Ozeki promotion before Day Fifteen. Terunofuji is simply working on building his case as one of the all time greats and will want to avoid a second kinboshi. Even if they both lose their Day Fourteen matches, they will provide a good final match to the Hatsu basho.

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