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  • Fantasy Basho

Natsu 2023 Day Six

Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.

Yusho Arasoi

6 Wins

01 Yokozuna East Terunofuji

20 Maegashira #6 East Meisei

36 Maegashira #14 East Asanoyama

5 Wins

03 Sekiwake #1 East Kiribayama

05 Sekiwake #2 East Daieisho

06 Sekiwake #2 West Wakamotoharu

30 Maegashira #11 East Hokuseiho

Notable Maneuvers

Katasukashi. The under-shoulder-swing-down is a very flattering kimarite for Abi shoving down an in-too-low Wakamotoharu.

Match of the Day

30 Maegashira #11 East Hokuseiho versus 33 Maegashira #12 West Kotoeko

Kotoeko seemed to have a plan against the young giant, mainly by getting Hokuseiho upright and keeping up the attack. That definitely made Hokuseiho move more than usual, but Kotoeko couldn't quite get the Miyagino man out. Then Hokuseiho turned the match around, got an awkward grip around Kotoeko's arm and won by yorikiri.


Wakamotoharu's loss to Abi made the leading group a trio of Terunofuji, Meisei, and Asanoyama. Right behind them are the quartet of Kiribayama, Daieisho, Wakamotoharu, and Hokuseiho. Those seven rikishi can also be grouped as four Sanyaku wrestlers--Terunofuji, Kiribayama, Daieisho, and Wakamotoharu--and three Maegashira--Meisei, Hokuseiho, and Asanoyama. For the next few days, those two groups will be operating in separate universes.

The on-paper marquee matchup of Day Six was 5-1 Sekiwake Daieisho versus 5-1 Sekiwake Hoshoryu. The match wasn't great, Daieisho blew up any grappling Hoshoryu tried and easily pushed him out, but it did narrow down the 1 loss group. That kind of matchup would be a blessing on Day Seven. The leaders are basically avoiding each other, and the basho records for most bouts are fairly lopsided. Terunofuji is reaching about as low on the Banzuke he can, although a first-ever match against rising star Kinbozan is intriguing.

Otherwise, the impactful matches are waiting. Daieisho gets Kotonowaka and Kiribayama gets Shodai in the intra-Sanyaku matches, but based on performance at Natsu Daieisho and Kiribayama are favored. Kotonowaka and Shodai should not be overlooked, as both can do damage. The real key is that a Daieisho loss only benefits Kiribayama if Kiribayama wins. They are operating separately. In lower Maegashira, Hokuseiho sees 3-3 Tsurugisho and Asanoyama gets 2-4 Ichiyamamoto. Asanoyama and Hokuseiho still have yet to lockup this basho.

Of course, leaders can fall off even when they don't have a marquee matchup. Abi has been shaky this May, and he also easily dispatched Wakamotoharu. Sumo matches are so fast that the tiniest of slip ups result in a loss. Terunofuji, Meisei, and Asanoyama have been unblemished so far, but not perfect. Meisei and Asanoyama have had legitimate last-second escapes. Terunofuji is clearly still hurting from his knees injuries. They could each fall on Day Six.

The key is they haven't fallen yet. The six wins in the bank matter. If Asanoyama stumbles on Day Seven or if Hokuseiho claws back a win in their inevitable matchup, he still gets to be in the bigger leadership group. Terunofuji, as Yokozuna, will face all the Sanyaku contenders. Meisei is poised to jump into any Sanyaku wrestlers' open matches very soon. The odds would say all of them will lose once or twice before the basho ends. Right now, though, their record ends in zero.

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