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Nagoya 2023 Rikishi Preview

The Nagoya basho begins on July 9th. That means you have until July 8th to sign up on Fantasizr for the Nagoya Fantasy Basho game and make your picks. As you decide on your initial lineup, here's a preview of all 42 Makuuchi rikishi heading into the summer tournament.


01 Yokozuna East Terunofuji

Terunofuji Haruo | 照ノ富士 春雄

Isegahama | Mongolia

Birthdate: November 29, 1991

Height: 192 cm

Weight: 174 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Yokozuna East

Haru 2023 Record: 14-1 Yusho

He's still the best in the business. Terunofuji came back from a long injury absence in May, and still dominated sumo with just one slip against Meisei on Day Nine. You should still worry about his knees, but as long as he gets on the dohyo Terunofuji is better than every other rikishi.





02 Ozeki East Takakeisho

Takakeisho Takanobu | 貴景勝 貴信

Tokiwayama | Hyogo

Birthdate: August 5, 1996

Height: 175 cm

Weight: 165 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Ozeki East

Haru 2023 Record: 8-7

Takakeisho held his Ozeki rank once again, which is impressive for him and a relief to the Japan Sumo Association. His injury-riddled March and mediocre May can cloud that he was in Yokozuna promotion territory earlier this year. The Battle Hamster can still take the rope if his body holds up, but he is just not the same competitor at even 90% strength.




03 Ozeki West Kirishima

Kirishima Tetsuo | 霧島 鐵雄

Michinoku | Mongolia

Birthdate: April 24, 1996

Height: 186 cm

Weight: 143 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Sekiwake #1 East

Haru 2023 Record: 11-4 Technique Prize

The newly-christened Kirishima (his stablemaster's former shikona) had a fantastic first three basho of 2023, and he is now our newest Ozeki. The former Kiribayama's 11-4 in May wasn't a world-beating record, but it's Ozeki material and he seems to have found a new level to his sumo thanks to consistency and focus. He is certainly on the shotlist of contenders for the Yusho.



04 Sekiwake #1 East Hoshoryu

Hoshoryu Tomokatsu | 豊昇龍 智勝

Tatsunami | Mongolia

Birthdate: May 22, 1999

Height: 188 cm

Weight: 142 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Sekiwake #1 West

Haru 2023 Record: 11-4

If Hoshoryu gets 11 or 12 wins in July, he could be sumo's next Ozeki before September. The problem with that prognostication is that 11 wins has been his high-water mark in Makuuchi so far. He is also immensely talented, fighting well, and just turned 24. If and when he turns a corner, everyone else should watch out.




05 Sekiwake #1 West Daieisho

Daieisho Hayato | 大栄翔 勇人

Oitekaze | Saitama

Birthdate: November 10, 1993

Height: 182 cm

Weight: 164 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Sekiwake #2 East

Haru 2023 Record: 10-5

With 10 wins for Natsu, Daieisho seems to be in not-quite-an-Ozeki territory. He has three straight double-digit win bashos, with a 12-3 Playoff loss in the middle. Nearing 30 and reliant on a pushing technique, Daieisho probably can't get a whole lot better. Good thing he's pretty good as is.





06 Sekiwake #2 West Wakamotoharu

Wakamotoharu Minato | 若元春 港

Arashio | Fukushima

Birthdate: October 5, 1993

Height: 187 cm

Weight: 147 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Sekiwake #2 West

Haru 2023 Record: 10-5 Technique Prize

Wakamotoharu has continued his recent trend of performing better as he climbs up the Banzuke. That really shouldn't happen, especially for a 29 year old without overwhelming size or athleticism. By all logic and reason but not by any kind of fun, Wakamotoharu's luck should run out at some point.





07 Komusubi East Kotonowaka

Kotonowaka Masahiro | 琴ノ若 傑太

Sadogatake | Chiba

Birthdate: November 19, 1997

Height: 189 cm

Weight: 176 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Komusubi #1 East

Haru 2023 Record: 8-7

As a gigantic and fundamentally sound rikishi that is entering his peak, Kotonowaka seems like he could jump a level at any moment. He still is never beating himself, but he is also rarely overpowering and dominating high level opponents. That will be the key to Kotonowaka putting together an Ozeki run, and it hasn't been seen just yet.




08 Komusubi West Abi

Abi Masatora | 阿炎 政虎

Shikoroyama | Saitama

Birthdate: May 4, 1994

Height: 186 cm

Weight: 158 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #1 East

Haru 2023 Record: 8-7

Abi is a Sanyaku wrestler once again, and he has settled into the space of a difficult opponent for most top rikishi. Abi's heavy-duty arm-flailing approach makes it obvious if he will get an advantage in a match early. Yet even when it looks bad, Abi often wins thanks to his nimble feet at the edge.





09 Maegashira #1 East Nishikigi

Nishikigi Tetsuya | 錦木 徹也

Isenoumi | Iwate

Birthdate: August 25, 1990

Height: 185 cm

Weight: 180 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #4 West

Haru 2023 Record: 9-6

The Nishikigi-sance continues. He began May 1-6, then won his final 8 matches. He is going to be 33 soon and looks athletically outmatched in almost every bout, but he also seems more likely to get right into the other guy's chest.






10 Maegashira #1 West Tobizaru

Tobizaru Masaya | 翔猿 正也

Oitekaze | Tokyo

Birthdate: April 24, 1992

Height: 174 cm

Weight: 135 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #3 East

Haru 2023 Record: 8-7

The Flying Monkey is unquestionably the most must-see rikishi in Makuuchi with his skillset and willingness to try things. That doesn't always lead to wins, but he also isn't getting dominated as a small-ish rikishi.







11 Maegashira #2 East Shodai

Shodai Naoya | 正代 直也

Tokitsukaze | Kumamoto

Birthdate: November 5, 1991

Height: 184 cm

Weight: 161 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Komusubi #2 East

Haru 2023 Record: 6-9

The "former Ozeki" is a strange title for a sekitori, which seems to be even weirder in Shodai's case because of who Shodai is. Even at his best. Shodai had an awkward approach that never looked like a top rikishi should. And at his worst, Shodai was always able to pull a surprise win. None of that will make more sense as he moves around the Banzuke.




12 Maegashira #2 West Mitakeumi

Mitakeumi Hisashi | 御嶽海 久司

Dewanoumi | Nagano

Birthdate: December 25, 1992

Height: 179 cm

Weight: 170 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #6 West

Haru 2023 Record: 9-6

Mitakeumi still looks heavy and slow compared to the Ozeki version of himself. Yet he secured 9 wins during Haru and was not struggling to keep his feet as much as he was in March. Who Mitakeumi will be moving forward is an open question, but at a minimum he's an experienced veteran who knows what he's doing out there.




13 Maegashira #3 East Midorifuji

Midorifuji Kazunari | 翠富士 一成

Shizuoka | Isegahama

Birthdate: August 30, 1996

Height: 171 cm

Weight: 116 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #1 West

Haru 2023 Record: 6-9

Midorifuji is at the point of his career where he needs to figure out how to beat the very best rikishi in sumo. He hasn't done it so far. The Green Fuji is extremely skilled, but he also is much smaller than the consistent Sanyaku and Joi-Jin wrestlers.






14 Maegashira #3 West Meisei

Meisei Chikara | 明生 力

Tatsunami | Kagashima

Birthdate: July 24, 1995

Height: 180 cm

Weight: 154 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #6 East

Haru 2023 Record: 8-7 Outstanding Performance Prize

After Day Nine, Meisei was a yusho contender at 8-1 with a Kinboshi win over Terunofuji. He didn't win another match for the whole basho. That victory over the Yokozuna got him an Outstanding Performance Prize, but he needs to recalibrate before the Nagoya basho starts.




15 Maegashira #4 East Asanoyama

Asanoyama Hiroki | 朝乃山 広暉

Takasago | Toyama

Birthdate: March 1, 1994

Height: 189 cm

Weight: 168 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #14 East

Haru 2023 Record: 12-3 Jun-Yusho

Asanoyama is definitely still better than most Maegashira. In his long awaited return from suspension and epic demotion, the former Ozeki went 12-3 with a Jun-Yusho. He may not immediately return to sumo's second rank as soon as theoretically possible, but he's on the list of contenders for the Yusho.




16 Maegashira #4 West Ura

Ura Kazuki | 宇良 和輝

Kise | Osaka

Birthdate: June 22, 1992

Height: 175 cm

Weight: 143 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #4 East

Haru 2023 Record: 7-8

Ura probably can't get back into Sanyaku and stay there (his record for 2023 is 23-22.) Yet he's somehow getting more entertaining as he ages, combining a technical approach with the best attitude in sumo. Mr. Pink staying in this range of the Banzuke is a good thing for everyone.





17 Maegashira #5 East Hiradoumi

Hiradoumi Yuki | 平戸海 雄貴

Sakaigawa | Nagasaki

Birthdate: April 20, 2000

Height: 177 cm

Weight: 135 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #9 West

Haru 2023 Record: 9-6

Hiradoumi is small for a rikishi, and remarkably reliant on yorikiri in his wins. He is also just 23 and doing quite well as a Maegashira. His ceiling might not be as high as other young rikishi, but he's already established one heck of a floor for his career.






18 Maegashira #5 West Onosho

Onosho Fumiya | 阿武咲 奎也

Onomatsu | Aomori

Birthdate: July 4, 1996

Height: 177 cm

Weight: 165 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #9 East

Haru 2023 Record: 8-7

Onosho is an absolute powerhouse if he can get forward faster at the tachiai and blast away an opponent. He also can get too far forward if an opponent gets out of the way. Turning 27 before the Nagoya basho, he is not likely to refine his sumo enough to reach the potential he showed as a younger rikishi.




19 Maegashira #6 East Hokuseiho

Hokuseiho Osamu | 北青鵬 治

Miyagino | Hokkaido

Birthdate: November 12, 2001

Height: 204 cm

Weight: 185 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #11 East

Haru 2023 Record: 8-7

No, he hasn't gotten less awkward facing Makuuchi competition, and Hokuseiho wiill probably always fight standing too upright. With his incredible height, that may just work for him. He lost his last five matches in May, but he's also 21 and should only get better.






20 Maegashira #6 West Oho

Oho Konosuke | 王鵬 幸之介

Otake | Tokyo

Birthdate: February 14, 2000

Height: 190 cm

Weight: 179 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #16 West

Haru 2023 Record: 11-4

Oho was at 1-3, then 4-4, and over the second week won his last 7 matches. Oho's entire Maegashira career has been a bit of a rollercoaster, but that model rikishi occasionally shines through on the dohyo. He could struggle to begin the basho again. Just don't count him out.





21 Maegashira #7 East Takayasu

Takayasu Akira | 高安 晃

Tagonoura | Ibaraki

Birthdate: February 28, 1990

Height: 188 cm

Weight: 183 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #2 East

Haru 2023 Record: 3-3-9

Once again, Takayasu left a basho due to injury. This time, though, he decided to come back and was even in matches where he competed. Takayasu is unquestionably one of the best rikishi in sumo when 100%, but his injury record at age 33 makes assuming he'll stay healthy difficult.





22 Maegashira #7 West Tamawashi

Tamawashi Ichiro | 玉鷲 一朗

Kataonami | Mongolia

Birthdate: November 16, 1984

Height: 189 cm

Weight: 174 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #7 West

Haru 2023 Record: 7-8

Tamawashi's slide down the banzuke continues, but fairly slowly. He is old and not the rikishi he used to be, but he is still absolutely huge and strong. A nodowa to the throat from Tamawashi is never going to be pleasant, even as he very slowly slows down.






23 Maegashira #8 East Sadanoumi

Sadanoumi Takashi | 佐田の海 貴士

Sakaigawa | Kumamoto

Birthdate: May 11, 1987

Height: 182 cm

Weight: 142 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #8 East

Haru 2023 Record: 7-8

Sadanoumi had the best streak of his career at age 35. Now that he's 36, that may not continue as we move forward. Of course, a veteran who has retained his athleticism this well should be a tough out for a while longer.






24 Maegashira #8 West Nishikifuji

Nishikifuji Ryusei | 錦富士 隆聖

Isegahama | Aomori

Birthdate: July 22, 1996

Height: 184 cm

Weight: 149 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #3 West

Haru 2023 Record: 3-12

Nishikifuji was at his highest-ever rank for May, and he got absolutely hammered. Dropping back in the Maegashira ranks should help his outlook for July. He needs to find a better way to fight the guys consistently ranked towards the top of the Banzuke.






25 Maegashira #9 East Takanosho

Takanosho Nobuaki | 隆の勝 伸明

Tokiwayama | Chiba

Birthdate: November 14, 1994

Height: 183 cm

Weight: 170 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #8 West

Haru 2023 Record: 7-8

For a wrestler who was in Sanyaku in early 2022, Takanosho has been a bit of a mess in 2023 so far. It's hard not to think he should be better than this, although that is also always a bit unfair. Mostly, Takanosho has been streaky and inconsistent from match to match.





26 Maegashira #9 West Hokutofuji

Hokutofuji Daiki | 北勝富士 大輝

Hakkaku | Saitama

Birthdate: July 15, 1992

Height: 184 cm

Weight: 158 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #7 East

Haru 2023 Record: 6-9

Hokutofuji has had four straight losing records, but the damnedest thing is that he looks the same as he always has. He'll hit into the other guy's chest pretty hard and give a hell of a fight to anybody. He's just not winning those as often as he used to.






27 Maegashira #10 East Kinbozan

Kinbozan Haruki | 金峰山 晴樹

Kise | Kazakhstan

Birthdate: June 24, 1997

Height: 192 cm

Weight: 181 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #5 East

Haru 2023 Record: 4-11

Kinbozan shot up to Maegashira #5 in his second Makuuchi basho, and it was a wake up call for the Giant Kazakh. That was his first taste of what to do when the other guy is just as big and strong as he is, so now he needs to learn from those 11 losses in May.






28 Maegashira #10 West Myogiryu

Myogiryu Yasunari | 妙義龍 泰成

Sakaigawa | Hyogo

Birthdate: October 22, 1986

Height: 188 cm

Weight: 156 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #14 West

Haru 2023 Record: 9-6

After looking like he was destined for a Juryo promotion and possible retirement, Myogiryu went 9-6 in May. As a 36 year old whose style still is best described as "controlled athletic chaos," Myogiryu's continued Makuuchi makes little sense. But that doesn't mean he should be doubted.





29 Maegashira #11 East Kotoeko

Kotoeko Mitsunori | 琴恵光 充憲

Sadogatake | Miyazaki

Birthdate: November 20, 1991

Height: 176 cm

Weight: 133 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #12 West

Haru 2023 Record: 8-7

He's ripped, determined, and a total scrapper, which may mean Kotoeko is the veteran Maegashira least likely to get 10 wins. He is also just going to be in every match he's in, and that's fun sumo viewing.







30 Maegashira #11 West Tsurugisho

Tsurugisho Momotaro | 剣翔 桃太郎

Oitekaze | Tokyo

Birthdate: July 27, 1991

Height: 185 cm

Weight: 194 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #15 West

Haru 2023 Record: 9-6

Tsurugisho is just an absolute load, a widebody in a sport of very large men. That does not make his sumo very exciting to watch or even hugely overpowering. It can be very effective in lower Maegashira, however.







31 Maegashira #12 East Chiyoshoma

Chiyoshoma Fujio | 千代翔馬 富士雄

Kokonoe | Mongolia

Birthdate: July 20, 1991

Height: 184 cm

Weight: 137 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #13 East

Haru 2023 Record: 8-7

Chiyoshoma has somewhat, although not completely, turned down the various kinds of nonsense of which he is a master practitioner. He is not henka or trip-free certainly, but it's a little more focused style of sumo. That has meant a sustained run in Makuuchi in his early 30s and he may just keep it going.





32 Maegashira #12 West Wakatakakage

Wakatakakage Atsushi | 若隆景 渥

Arashio | Fukushima

Birthdate: December 6, 1994

Height: 182 cm

Weight: 132 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Komusubi #1 West

Haru 2023 Record: 0-0-15

Wakatakakage continues his road to recovery after a knee sprain. He has a few more basho to sit out and fall further down the Banzuke, but he's making his way back.







33 Maegashira #13 East Gonoyama

Gonoyama Toki | 豪ノ山 登輝

Takekuma | Osaka

Birthdate: April 7, 1998

Height: 177 cm

Weight: 154 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Juryo #1 East

Haru 2023 Record: 14-1 Yusho

Gonoyama is a little undersized for a top rikishi and is already 25. On the other hand, he's won two-thirds of his matches in the two years he has been a professional, capped off by a 14-1 Playoff Yusho in Juryo. He's more than ready for a Maegashira spot.






34 Maegashira #13 West Kotoshoho

Kotoshoho Yoshinari | 琴勝峰 吉成

Sadogatake | Chiba

Birthdate: August 26, 1999

Height: 191 cm

Weight: 161 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #5 West

Haru 2023 Record: 2-10-3

The lost Kotoshoho was present for the first week of the Natsu basho. He came in with a sprained ankle and then developed a knee issue, so there were reasons for his inconsistency. He did show back up on Day Fourteen for two final matches that did little for him.





35 Maegashira #14 East Daishoho

Daishoho Kiyohiro | 大翔鵬 清洋

Oitekaze | Mongolian

Birthdate: August 28, 1994

Height: 185 cm

Weight: 196 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #11 West

Haru 2023 Record: 6-9

Daishoho did not perform well in May after keeping his Makuuchi spot in March. There's absolutely no reason, from fighting style to career record, to think he can rise high up the Banzuke. He is now a veteran with considerable size who should be a formidable opponent for lower-Maegashira.





36 Maegashira #14 West Shonannoumi

Shonannoumi Momotaro | 湘南乃海 桃太郎

Takadagawa | Kanagawa

Birthdate: April 8, 1995

Height: 193 cm

Weight: 186 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Juryo #1 West

Haru 2023 Record: 11-4

Shonannoumi is making his Makuuchi debut in Nagoya after an 11-4 record at Juryo #1 West. It took him 9 years to get from Maezumo to the top division, but he's also got good size and has performed well recently. He has a decent shot at sticking as a Maegashira for awhile.





37 Maegashira #15 East Ryuden

Ryuden Goshi | 竜電 剛至

Takadagawa | Yamanashi

Birthdate: November 10, 1990

Height: 188 cm

Weight: 155 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #10 East

Haru 2023 Record: 5-10

In his last two basho, Ryuden has gone 7-23. That has placed him in a position to possibly get demoted if he has another terrible basho. Of course, his whole career has been a rollercoaster, so he may also find a way to get back up the Banzuke one more time.






38 Maegashira #15 West Takarafuji

Takarafuji Daisuke | 宝富士 大輔

Isegahama | Aomori

Birthdate: February 18, 1987

Height: 186 cm

Weight: 171 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #10 West

Haru 2023 Record: 5-10

Takarafuji was on the edge of going down to Juryo for the first time in over a decade when the year started. After two kachi koshi tournaments, the 36 year old appeared to safely be a Maegashira once again. A 5-10 in May threatens his Makuuchi career again.






39 Maegashira #16 East Endo

Endo Shota | 遠藤 聖大

Oitekaze | Ishikawa

Birthdate: October 19, 1990

Height: 184 cm

Weight: 150 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #2 West

Haru 2023 Record: 0-7-8

Endo began May with a six match 0-fer, after which he pulled out. The official word was a minor issue with both knees. Endo is probably facing the end of his career sooner rather than later, but he may have a little more in the tank if he is healthy.






40 Maegashira #16 West Bushozan

Bushozan Kotaro | 武将山 虎太郎

Fujishima | Ibaraki

Birthdate: December 6, 1995

Height: 171 cm

Weight: 171 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Juryo #3 East

Haru 2023 Record: 10-5

Bushozan reacted to his 5-10 Makuuchi debut in March with a 10-5 performance at Juryo #3 in May. So he's back in Makuuchi. He could survive, but the ceiling for an unathletic 27 year old with a mixed career record seems extremely low.






41 Maegashira #17 East Aoiyama

Aoiyama Kosuke | 碧山 亘右

Kasugano | Bulgaria

Birthdate: June 19, 1986

Height: 191 cm

Weight: 186 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Maegashira #12 East

Haru 2023 Record: 5-10

Aoiyama going 5-10 in May could be a sign the end is near. A 37 year old now, the Bulgarian Blue Mountain is one of the last rikishi standing among his generation. The future may not be bright, but the present may be okay due to his size and signature dual-action thrusts.





42 Maegashira #17 West Hakuoho

Hakuoho Tetsuya | 伯桜鵬 哲也

Miyagino | Tottori

Birthdate: August 22, 2003

Height: 181 cm

Weight: 162 kg

Haru 2023 Rank: Juryo #8 West

Haru 2023 Record: 14-1 Jun-Yusho

What the newly retitled Hakuoho has done is unprecedented. In just three basho, he's gone from debutant to Maegashira as a 19 year old. Getting a shikona that is a clear reference to his Oyakata at Miyagino stable, the greatest of all time and former Hakuho, is almost just par for the course. Buckle up.

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