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  • Fantasy Basho

Kyushu 2023 Day Twelve





Yusho Arasoi


10 Wins

03 Ozeki #1 West Kirishima

25 Maegashira #8 West Atamifuji


9 Wins

07 Sekiwake #2 East Kotonowaka

37 Maegashira #14 East Ichiyamamoto


Public League Leaderboard

Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Notable Maneuvers

Atamifuji won with a tsukiotoshi officially, but before he could defeat Hoshoryu by thrust down he had to cleverly pull his arm to get him sideways. A magnificent move.


Match of the Day

07 Sekiwake #2 East Kotonowaka versus 03 Ozeki #1 West Kirishima

This was a clash of a Sekiwake and an Ozeki to determine who would be in the lead, and it delivered. Both men were happy to clash at the tachiai and work on a solid mawashi battle. Kotonowaka seemed to have the advantage, but then Kirishima showed he isn't easy to move even for a fundamentally strong and powerful rikishi like Kotonowaka. With seeming attempts at leg trips and throws that went nowhere, Kirishima was finally able to be the run to use pure power to win by yorikiri.


Recap

Kirishima is an Ozeki, sits at 10-2, and just knocked one of his direct competitors back a peg. This is his yusho if he keeps it up. Since his Day 6 loss to Gonoyama, he's looked rededicated and has the form that earned him the Ozeki promotion in the first place. In fact, he might be doing better than that. He looks as strong as he ever has, to complement his already impressive ability on the mawashi and ability to withstand most of what any other rikishi can throw at him.


While Kirishima controls his own destiny, it certainly won't be easy. His Day Thirteen opponent will be Daieisho. That's his third Sekiwake in a row, and it means the notable opponents he has yet to see are his two fellow Ozeki. Any of Daieisho, Hoshoryu, or Takakeisho can beat Kirishima, of course. They also all are looking up at him in the yusho race right now. The way Kirishima is locked in, he's got the chance to win out without looking like he's in trouble.


The real complicating factor will be Atamifuji. The young star of Isegahama-beya is also on 10 wins after Day Twelve, and he had an impressive win to boot. Not only did he beat an Ozeki, but Hoshoryu is probably surprised at what Atamifuji could do. The 21 year old reversed a macth where Hoshoryu had an advantage with a clever bit of skill. Atamifuji is fighting like a veteran at the top of the Banzuke. Instead, he's incredibly youthful and fighting at a career high rank of Maegashira #8 West. Those 10 wins he's already banked guarantee another career high rank, and an outside chance at Sanyaku (upper Maegashira has a lot of underwater rikishi right now).


And at some point, Atamifuji should probably face Kirishima if he keeps this up. That matchup will not be on Day Thirteen as Kirishima keeps his path to complete the Sanyaku ranks and Atamifuji sees Takayasu. Takayasu is a former Ozeki and key gatekeeper, but he's also two off the lead and lost to Atamifuji in September. It should be a good match, but Atamifuji seeing Kirishima or Kotonowaka would be a more important race for the yusho. Atamifuji and Ichiyamamoto haven't even seen each other yet.


So watch Day Thirteen carefully. The leading quartet of Kirishima, Kotonowaka, Atamifuji, and Ichiyamamoto will be facing rikishi behind them in the yusho race. They could all lose, or more likely one or two will to shake up the race some more. They don't even need to see each other in regulation matches, since that's what playoffs are for. Just know that a lack of a Kirishima-Atamifuji match doesn't mean that we aren't getting the match we want. It means Day Fourteen and Day Fifteen are more likely to have the big one.

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