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  • Fantasy Basho

Kyushu 2023 Rikishi Preview

As you contemplate your Day One lineup for Fantasy Basho on Fantasizr, read over the regular pre-basho rikishi preview below.

01 Yokozuna East Terunofuji

Terunofuji Haruo | 照ノ富士 春雄

Isegahama | Mongolia

Birthdate: November 29, 1991

Height: 192 cm

Weight: 174 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Yokozuna East

Aki 2023 Record: 0-0-15

Once again, Terunofuji missed an entire tournament. Over the last year, the Yokozuna has missed four whole tournaments and only finished one. Importantly, he did go 14-1 and earn a Yusho in that one tournament.

02 Ozeki #1 East Takakeisho

Takakeisho Takanobu | 貴景勝 貴信

Tokiwayama | Hyogo

Birthdate: August 5, 1996

Height: 175 cm

Weight: 165 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Ozeki #1 West

Aki 2023 Record: 11-4 Yusho

Takakeisho had one of the more disappointing yushos of recent vintage. He only won 11 matches with a playoff vitory that may have been a henka and definitely was not his best full throttle sumo. He is theoretically up for a Yokozuna promotion, although he will need to step up his game in Kyushu.

03 Ozeki #1 West Kirishima

Kirishima Tetsuo | 霧島 鐵雄

Michinoku | Mongolia

Birthdate: April 24, 1996

Height: 186 cm

Weight: 143 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Ozeki #1 East

Aki 2023 Record: 9-6

Kirishima held his own in his second Ozeki tournament, and he may be poised for a little more. He has never been the shooting star, but always ahead of the curve. He is 27 and just starting his Ozeki career.

04 Ozeki #2 West Hoshoryu

Hoshoryu Tomokatsu | 豊昇龍 智勝

Tatsunami | Mongolia

Birthdate: May 22, 1999

Height: 188 cm

Weight: 142 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Ozeki #2 West

Aki 2023 Record: 8-7

Hoshoryu got his kachi-koshi as a shin-Ozeki, but it wasn't pretty. He went 3-6 to start, but closed 5-1 with five separate winning kimarite. That variety is why Hoshoryu is so dangerous to any opponent he sees, especially since he is just 24.

05 Sekiwake #1 East Daieisho

Daieisho Hayato | 大栄翔 勇人

Oitekaze | Saitama

Birthdate: November 10, 1993

Height: 182 cm

Weight: 164 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Sekiwake #1 East

Aki 2023 Record: 10-5

In 2023, Daieisho has gone 51-24, with a playoff loss to his credit. Since he's been in the upper part of the Banzuke, his lack of an Ozeki promotion could be a disappointment. This is a sumotori fighting against the very best and winning two-thirds of his matches. He can have a year with no make-koshi if he goes 8-7, his worst record of 2023.

06 Sekiwake #1 West Wakamotoharu

Wakamotoharu Minato | 若元春 港

Arashio | Fukushima

Birthdate: October 5, 1993

Height: 187 cm

Weight: 147 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Sekiwake #1 West

Aki 2023 Record: 9-6

One year ago, Wakamotoharu was a 29 year old Maegashira #4 East seeming to be at his career peak.Since then, he's had a career year and is a firm Sekiwake. He hasn't had a losing record since July 2022 with a 48-27 record in Sanyaku since January 2023.

07 Sekiwake #2 East Kotonowaka

Kotonowaka Masahiro | 琴ノ若 傑太

Sadogatake | Chiba

Birthdate: November 19, 1997

Height: 189 cm

Weight: 176 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Sekiwake #2 East

Aki 2023 Record: 9-6

Kotonowaka's Sekiwake debut went well, although he wasn't spectacular. The very large, very solid scion of Sadogatake-beya is on the verge of Ozeki-hood while also yet to show Ozeki promotion kind of sumo. He may have it, but he needs an extra gear to get consistent double-digit performances against the best rikishi.

08 Komusubi East Abi

Abi Masatora | 阿炎 政虎

Shikoroyama | Saitama

Birthdate: May 4, 1994

Height: 186 cm

Weight: 158 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #2 East

Aki 2023 Record: 9-6

Abi returns to Sanyaku by being the second highest-ranked Maegashira with a winning record. 9-6 is good, and he beat an Ozeki and two Sekiwake. He is who he is for better or worse, but he is a good rikishi who can beat anyone when he is on form.

09 Komusubi West Hokutofuji

Hokutofuji Daiki | 北勝富士 大輝

Hakkaku | Saitama

Birthdate: July 15, 1992

Height: 184 cm

Weight: 158 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #1 East

Aki 2023 Record: 8-7

Hokutofuji held his own as Maegashira #1 East, which means he is back in Sanyaku for the first time since March 2020. He could be able to do some damage to anyone, but holding on for more than a kachi-koshi seems foolish. Hokutofuji will put his hand to his head, stomp when he squats, and deliver a mighty shove to his opponent's neck.

10 Maegashira #1 East Asanoyama

Asanoyama Hiroki | 朝乃山 広暉

Takasago | Toyama

Birthdate: March 1, 1994

Height: 189 cm

Weight: 168 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #2 West

Aki 2023 Record: 9-6

As it turned out, Asanoyama did not storm back to Ozeki after he cameback from his year-long suspension. That expectation was probably always too strong, because Ozeki is a high bar. Not quite 30, Asanoyama is one of the better rikishi of recent vintage who is still in his prime. If he gets his left hand on the mawashi, no one can beat him.

11 Maegshira #1 West Ura

Ura Kazuki | 宇良 和輝

Kise | Osaka

Birthdate: June 22, 1992

Height: 175 cm

Weight: 143 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #4 West

Aki 2023 Record: 9-6

The Prince of Techniques had 7 kimarite in his 9 wins at Aki, including some remarkable victories against Hoshoryu and Daieisho. 10 wins seems slightly far-fetched, but he will be worth watching every match. He may also win more than he loses and edge closer to Sanyaku.

12 Maegashira #2 East Shodai

Shodai Naoya | 正代 直也

Tokitsukaze | Kumamoto

Birthdate: November 5, 1991

Height: 184 cm

Weight: 161 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #3 East

Aki 2023 Record: 8-7

It's been a year since Shodai fell out of the Ozeki ranks, and he's had a mixed bag. He is definitely not still fighting in his Ozeki form, but he may still be the best defensive rikishi. The counterpoint to that is he is back to his pre-Ozeki method of never winning a tachiai and that is less than ideal.

13 Maegashira #2 West Meisei

Meisei Chikara | 明生 力

Tatsunami | Kagashima

Birthdate: July 24, 1995

Height: 180 cm

Weight: 154 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #1 West

Aki 2023 Record: 7-8

Meisei got himself back to the Sanyaku-Maegashira line, but a 7-8 at Maegashira #1 keeps him there. He was a Sekiwake two years ago, is only 28, and has more athleticism than most rikishi. His problem may be he is too balanced, leading to a lack of a go-to approach.

14 Maegashira #3 East Takayasu

Takayasu Akira | 高安 晃

Tagonoura | Ibaraki

Birthdate: February 28, 1990

Height: 188 cm

Weight: 183 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #7 East

Aki 2023 Record: 10-5

Takayasu had a sneaky ten-win basho. He was 8-1, but then lost to Atamifuji and Daieisho back-to-back to remain outside the yusho race. The weirdness of the final day meant he had a chance at a playoff, but lost to Kirishima to kibosh that. Getting 10 wins is good and he's strong coming into Kyushu.

15 Maegashira #3 West Tobizaru

Tobizaru Masaya | 翔猿 正也

Oitekaze | Tokyo

Birthdate: April 24, 1992

Height: 174 cm

Weight: 135 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Komusubi West

Aki 2023 Record: 6-9

The Flying Monkey is still looking for his first kachi-koshi as a Sanyaku wrestler after his 6-9 in September. His blend of skills--athleticism, techniques, and a willingness to do something else--do make him a dangerous opponent for anyone. He also seems to relish the upset chance as a Maegashira.

16 Maegashira #4 East Gonoyama

Gonoyama Toki | 豪ノ山 登輝

Takekuma | Osaka

Birthdate: April 7, 1998

Height: 177 cm

Weight: 154 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #5 East

Aki 2023 Record: 9-6

Gonoyama has yet to have a losing record in a full basho in his two-and-a-half years in sumo. Now he's in the joi and gets a full Sanyaku slate, so that trend is unlikely to hold. Of course, he has also held up at every new level so far. We shall see.

17 Maegashira #4 West Nishikigi

Nishikigi Tetsuya | 錦木 徹也

Isenoumi | Iwate

Birthdate: August 25, 1990

Height: 185 cm

Weight: 180 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Komusubi East

Aki 2023 Record: 5-10

Nishikigi's miracle run crashed and burned during Aki 2023. That should not detract from Nishikigi's later career resurgence, because he recently won 14 straight matches. The long-serving veteran has found a way to win as a Maegashira like he hasn't before and may be served well by a demotion.

18 Maegashira #5 East Onosho

Onosho Fumiya | 阿武咲 奎也

Onomatsu | Aomori

Birthdate: July 4, 1996

Height: 177 cm

Weight: 165 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #6 East

Aki 2023 Record: 9-6

You can view Onosho in two ways. He is either the 19 year old who shot to Sanyaku like a rocket then never matched it or the 27 year old who has made himself a solid mid-Maegashira despite occasionally getting too far forward. Really, he is both and has the potential to go lots of ways.

19 Maegashira #5 West Midorifuji

Midorifuji Kazunari | 翠富士 一成

Shizuoka | Isegahama

Birthdate: August 30, 1996

Height: 171 cm

Weight: 116 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #9 East

Aki 2023 Record: 10-5

Maegashira #9 seemed like a place of comfort for Midorifuji, who cranked out a 10-5 record from there in September. He had six--count 'em, six--katasukashi wins. He has single-handedly upped the frequency of the under-shoulder-swing-down and long may it continue.

20 Maegashira #6 East Shonannoumi

Shonannoumi Momotaro | 湘南乃海 桃太郎

Takadagawa | Kanagawa

Birthdate: April 8, 1998

Height: 193 cm

Weight: 186 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #5 West

Aki 2023 Record: 7-8

Shonannoumi almost scratched out a winning record at Aki, but a 7-8 from a career high rank of Maegashira #5 as a 25 year old is nothing to sneeze at. Shonannoumi combines good size with a strange lack of explosiveness. So far, he seems to have the smarts to handle himself.

21 Maegashira #6 West Takanosho

Takanosho Nobuaki | 隆の勝 伸明

Tokiwayama | Chiba

Birthdate: November 14, 1994

Height: 183 cm

Weight: 170 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #4 East

Aki 2023 Record: 6-9

A remarkably contained rikishi, Takanosho rarely looks completely outclassed. His problem is he almost never looks like he is outclassing the other guy. Just out of joi-jin range, he may put in a solid performance.

22 Maegashira #7 East Hokuseiho

Hokuseiho Osamu | 北青鵬 治

Miyagino | Hokkaido

Birthdate: November 12, 2001

Height: 204 cm

Weight: 185 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #11 West

Aki 2023 Record: 10-5

After a 2-3 start, an eight match winning streak put Hokuseiho in position to get a playoff with a final day win. He ended up losing to Hoshoryu, but he may be close to a yusho again in the near future. He will maybe never look smooth, but he is just too big and too strong to be shoved aside.

23 Maegashira #7 West Kinbozan

Kinbozan Haruki | 金峰山 晴樹

Kise | Kazakhstan

Birthdate: June 24, 1997

Height: 192 cm

Weight: 181 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #10 East

Aki 2023 Record: 9-6

Kinbozan rebounded from his unimpressive July to get 9-6. Even in a sport of absolute units, Kinbozan stands out for his size. He also, encouragingly, mostly knows how to use it to his advantage.

24 Maegashira #8 East Endo

Endo Shota | 遠藤 聖大

Oitekaze | Ishikawa

Birthdate: October 19, 1990

Height: 184 cm

Weight: 150 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #10 West

Aki 2023 Record: 9-6

Endo found his better rikishi, the one who comes into each match with a plan of how to disadvantage his opponent. A small promotion should allow him to keep pace. The concern for him now is that injuries are always lingering, and he occasionally gets a step slow.

25 Maegashira #8 West Atamifuji

Atamifuji Sakutaro | 熱海富士 朔太郎

Isegahama | Shizuoka

Birthdate: September 3, 2002

Height: 185 cm

Weight: 176 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #15 East

Aki 2023 Record: 11-4 Jun Yusho; Fighting Spirit Prize

After a 4-11 Makuuchi debut a year ago, Atamifuji came back to the top division in style in September. His 11-4 wasn't the usual kind of yusho contender, but no one else stood out and allowed him to make a playoff. More importantly, he is a young giant with a knack for controlling a belt battle. He's for real.

26 Maegashira #9 East Myogiryu

Myogiryu Yasunari | 妙義龍 泰成

Sakaigawa | Hyogo

Birthdate: October 22, 1986

Height: 188 cm

Weight: 156 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #13 East

Aki 2023 Record: 10-5

Since the last basho, Myogiryu has turned 37. That is an advancing age for a rikishi, but he also went 10-5 in September and apparently still has some gas left. He has had a very up and down last few years, but now he has some cushion before a drop to Juryo.

27 Maegashira #9 West Mitakeumi

Mitakeumi Hisashi | 御嶽海 久司

Dewanoumi | Nagano

Birthdate: December 25, 1992

Height: 179 cm

Weight: 170 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #11 East

Aki 2023 Record: 9-6

Mitakeumi arrested his hard slide down the Banzuke at Maegashira #11 East. His 9-6 somewhat masks the occasional moment where he doesn't have the power in his legs like he used to. This is a smart and experienced rikishi who will be a tough out for anyone he faces.

28 Maegashira #10 East Ryuden

Ryuden Goshi | 竜電 剛至

Takadagawa | Yamanashi

Birthdate: November 10, 1990

Height: 188 cm

Weight: 155 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #6 West

Aki 2023 Record: 6-9

The weird Ryuden, the one who is a step slow to dominate while also being too flexible to get bossed around, was present in Aki. The good Ryuden, the one who can pretzel anyone into a losing position, may show up in Kyushu. The demotion helps the good Ryuden show up better.

29 Maegashira #10 West Kotoeko

Kotoeko Mitsunori | 琴恵光 充憲

Sadogatake | Miyazaki

Birthdate: November 20, 1991

Height: 176 cm

Weight: 133 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #8 East

Aki 2023 Record: 6-9

Kotoeko went up to Maegashira #8 East and got a 6-9. So the mini-muscle-man will be back in lower Maegashira giving all he can in each and every match. What sumo fan would want it any other way?

30 Maegashira #11 East Sadanoumi

Sadanoumi Takashi | 佐田の海 貴士

Sakaigawa | Kumamoto

Birthdate: May 11, 1987

Height: 182 cm

Weight: 142 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #12 West

Aki 2023 Record: 8-7

Sadanoumi is still here, and still doing his thing. It is rarely spectacular, but he delivers effective sumo with surprising athleticism. The upside is low, but so is the downside.

31 Maegashira #11 West Hiradoumi

Hiradoumi Yuki | 平戸海 雄貴

Sakaigawa | Nagasaki

Birthdate: April 20, 2000

Height: 177 cm

Weight: 135 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #8 West

Aki 2023 Record: 6-9

Hiradoumi is still figuring out how to be a mid-Maegashira. His general problem is a lack of size for this level, but he's also only 23 and has had incredible success so far. His September matches had fewer yorikiri, which could mean he is trying not to meet everyone head on as much. Or it's just a blip.

32 Maegashira #12 East Oho

Oho Konosuke | 王鵬 幸之介

Otake | Tokyo

Birthdate: February 14, 2000

Height: 190 cm

Weight: 179 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #7 West

Aki 2023 Record: 5-10

Oho sure seems to have a mid-Maegashira problem. He has not had a winning record anywhere above Maegashira #13. This is a talented rikishi, whose head often gets in his way when he seems unable to pick how to approach a match and get caught flat-footed.

33 Maegashira #12 West Tamawashi

Tamawashi Ichiro | 玉鷲 一朗

Kataonami | Mongolia

Birthdate: November 16, 1984

Height: 189 cm

Weight: 174 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #3 West

Aki 2023 Record: 2-13

Well, Tamawashi finally looked like age was catching up to him. The man will turn 39 during the basho, an advanced age for any rikishi, much less one who has never pulled out due to injury. An injury may have been the cause of a dip in form during September, but Tamawashi has also been fighting Father Time as much as an opponent for awhile. (And winning, but still.)

34 Maegashira #13 East Takarafuji

Takarafuji Daisuke | 宝富士 大輔

Isegahama | Aomori

Birthdate: February 18, 1987

Height: 186 cm

Weight: 171 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #12 East

Aki 2023 Record: 7-8

Takarafuji is holding on, but just barely, to his Makuuchi spot. That's not a terrible thing, all things considered. He is on a knife's edge in this spot of the Banzuke.

35 Maegshira #13 West Tsurugisho

Tsurugisho Momotaro | 剣翔 桃太郎

Oitekaze | Tokyo

Birthdate: July 27, 1991

Height: 185 cm

Weight: 194 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #16 West

Aki 2023 Record: 8-7

Tsurugisho's 8-7 is odd, because he should be happy with a winning record. On the other hand, most everyone around him was clearly struggling and he only barely held on. Still, he's a Maegashira with space before a possible Juryo drop for Kyushu.

36 Maegashira #14 East Tomokaze

Tomokaze Yuta | 友風 勇太

Nishonoseki | Kanagawa

Birthdate: December 2, 1994

Height: 183 cm

Weight: 168 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Juryo #3 East

Aki 2023 Record: 11-4

In November 2019, Tomokaze was a not quite 25 year old at Maegashira #3 with a Kinoboshi and Special Prize under his belt. Then he had a catastrophic (read: worries about amputation and career threatening) right knee injury against Kotoyusho. He is now back after 4 years, rehabiilitation, and a long time in the Makushita meat grinder. He isn't that young anymore, but he also isn't that old and performed well in September.

37 Maegashira #14 East Ichiyamamoto

Ichiyamamoto Daiki | 一山本 大生

Hanaregoma | Hokkaido

Birthdate: October 1, 1993

Height: 187 cm

Weight: 144 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Juryo #7 West

Aki 2023 Record: 13-2 Juryo Yusho

At Aki, Ichiyamamoto lit up Juryo by cruising to a 13-2 record. That jumped him from Juryo #7 to Maegashira, and now he gets the chance to similarly dominate the top division. Ichiyamamoto has had quite an issue with Makuuchi, having a 70-89 career record as a Maegashira, but his pushing style is no fun for other rikishi.

38 Maegashira #15 East Tohakuryu

Tohakuryu Masahito | 東白龍 雅士

Tamanoi | Tokyo

Birthdate: April 17, 1996

Height: 182 cm

Weight: 131 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Juryo #4 West

Aki 2023 Record: 10-5

After being Sandanme Tsukedashi in May 2019 and reaching sekitori status in a flash, Tohakuryu has spent the last three years as a Juryo mainstay. Ten wins at Juryo #4 finally gets him to the top division. He's a pusher, with hatakikomi listed by the JSA as his most frequent winning kimarite of late.

39 Maegashira #15 West Churanoumi

Churanoumi Yoshihisa | 美ノ海 義久

Kise | Okinawa

Birthdate: May 6, 1993

Height: 176 cm

Weight: 130 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Juryo #5 East

Aki 2023 Record: 10-5

Churanoumi is a 30 year old Makuuchi debutant who debuted in Juryo in 2018 and overwhelmingly relies on pushing. The chances of Makuuchi success are low, but this is the kind of rikishi who should be celebrated for being here. He is now a Maegashira, and he gets to be "former Makuuchi" in retirement.

40 Maegashira #16 East Roga

Roga Tokiyoshi | 狼雅 外喜義

Futagoyama | Russia

Birthdate: March 2, 1999

Height: 185 cm

Weight: 154 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Juryo #1 East

Aki 2023 Record: 8-7

Roga is a Russian (but ethnically Mongolian and he went to high school in Mongolia) rikishi who came on like a house of fire in his sumo debut. That included a victory over the returning Terunofuji in 2019. Makushita and Juryo have been more of a slog for him, but he'll make his Maegashira debut as a 24 year old with good size and a career 148-96 record.

41 Maegashira #16 West Nishikifuji

Nishikifuji Ryusei | 錦富士 隆聖

Isegahama | Aomori

Birthdate: July 22, 1996

Height: 184 cm

Weight: 149 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Maegashira #13 West

Aki 2023 Record: 5-10

Nishikifuji is extremely lucky quite a few Maegashira below him also did terribly at Aki. He may have had something wrong with him in the second week, as he had a seven match losing streak from Day 8. He is young enough at 27 that he isn't doomed, but he also should be in his prime right now.

42 Maegashira #17 East Kitanowaka

Kitanowaka Daisuke | 北の若 大輔

Hakkaku | Yamagata

Birthdate: November 12, 2000

Height: 190 cm

Weight: 146 kg

Aki 2023 Rank: Juryo #2 East

Aki 2023 Record: 8-7

Kitanowaka was a high school Yokozuna, but injuries slowed his accession to Makuuchi a tiny bit to fall somewhat behind contemporaries like Hiradoumi and Oho. He also is making it up to Makuuchi after an 8-7. This is still a rikishi with incredible size and a good track record.

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