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  • Fantasy Basho

Promotion Performances

Is this the face of a man who can stick in Makuuchi this time?

Every basho, a handful of rikishi participate in the top division who were not around for the previous basho. Thanks to sumo’s promotion and demotion system, where a winning record moves a rikishi up and a losing record moves them down, means there are always some coming and some going from each division.

Makuuchi is unlike the other divisions. As the pinnacle of sumo, there are a large number of wrestlers that never even come close to a demotion from Makuuchi. While that means any promoted rikishi are likely facing much higher caliber competition, they also are seeing many of their opponents for the first time. Sometimes that helps the long-term Makuuchi veterans, but other times the element of surprise helps the recently promoted wrestlers.

Knowing how a newly promoted rikishi may perform is important in predicting a basho. It is also a fools errand. Some are slow climbers who need a few shots to establish themselves as Makuuchi regulars. Others are merely making the next step as they shoot to the top of sumo.

The best way to understand the future is to look at the past. In the last year, 22 promotions have taken place from Juryo to Makuuchi, involving 19 wrestlers. (Ishiura, Toyonoshima, and Kotoyuki have all had two promotions up the last year.) By seeing how they performed in their promotion basho, we might gain insight into what a newly promoted wrestler will do moving forward.

First, we’ll look at the overall performance of newly promoted wrestlers, then go through each individual performance by basho.



A newly promoted rikishi is likely to get a losing record, but just barely. When you factor in that there are plenty of 8-7 and 7-8 records, this doesn’t seem like a great bet. Especially because rikishi who are newly promoted are all at the bottom of the banzuke and will face each other.

10-wins or more--4

On the other hand, it feels fairly safe to say a newly promoted rikishi is unlikely to put up big win totals. The best performance was by Kotoyuki in Nagoya 2019, when he won 11 times. So your yusho contenders are probably not coming from the recently promoted group.

10-losses or more--4

Big loss totals have happened at the same frequency over the past year as big win totals. Kotoyuki should be mentioned here again for his 4-7-4 record at Hatsu. The injury can explain his poor performance, but he also was headed for a large number of losses.

Aki 2019


--Nagoya: J2e--9-6

--Aki: M15e--8-7


--Nagoya: J3w--9-6

--Aki: M16e--10-5


--Nagoya: J6e--13-2 Y

--Aki: M14e--10-5 K


--Nagoya: J1w--8-7

--Aki: M15w--6-9

Nagoya 2019


--Natsu: J1e--8-7

--Nagoya: M14e--7-8


--Natsu: J2e--13-2 Y

--Nagoya: M10w--4-11


--Natsu: J6e--11-4

--Nagoya: M16e--11-4

Natsu 2019


--Haru: J1e--13-2 Y

--Natsu: M12e--10-5 K


--Haru: J1w--10-5

--Natsu: M13e--7-8


--Haru: J2w--8-7

--Natsu: M14w--7-8


--Haru: J4w--9-6

--Natsu: M14e--4-11

Haru 2019


--Hatsu: J1e--8-7

--Haru: M14e--6-9


--Hatsu: J1w--8-7

--Haru: M16e--7-8


--Hatsu: J3w--9-6

--Haru: M15e--6-9


--Hatsu: J4e--10-5

--Haru: M13e--9-6


--Hatsu: J5w--10-5

--Haru: M14w--5-10

Hatsu 2019


--Kyushu: J1e--10-5

--Haru: M13e--9-6


--Kyushu: J1w--8-7

--Haru: M15w--7-8


--Kyushu: J3e--10-5

--Haru: M13w--4-7-4

Kyushu 2018


--Aki: J1e--8-7

--Kyushu: M16e--1-12-2


--Aki: J2e--9-6

--Kyushu: M15w--9-6


--Aki: J4e--11-4

--Kyushu: M15e--7-8

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