Grand Sumo: May Banzuke Drop Sees Big Promotion for Onosato

The 2024 Natsu Basho Banzuke Has Been Released

The banzuke (rankings document) for the upcoming natsu basho (summer tournament) has been released. The banzuke ranks all wrestlers in grand sumo, with positions largely determined by performances at the previous tournament. In this case, that previous tournament was the 2024 haru basho (spring tournament) in March.

The 2024 natsu basho banzuke for the makuuchi (top division) can be read below:

Terunofuji πŸ‡²πŸ‡³Yokozuna
Hoshoryu πŸ‡²πŸ‡³OzekiKotozakura πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Takakeisho πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅OzekiKirishima πŸ‡²πŸ‡³
Wakamotoharu πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅SekiwakeAbi πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Asanoyama πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅KomusubiOnosato πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Atamifuji πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅M1Daieisho πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Hiradoumi πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅M2Gonoyama πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Takayasu πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅M3Tobizaru πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Oho πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅M4Ura πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Onosho πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅M5Meisei πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Takerufuji πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅M6Midorifuji πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Nishikigi πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅M7Mitakeumi πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Takanosho πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅M8Kotoshoho πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Tamawashi πŸ‡²πŸ‡³M9Shodai πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Shonannoumi πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅M10Kinbozan πŸ‡°πŸ‡Ώ
Sadanoumi πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅M11Hokutofuji πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Ichiyamamoto πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅M12Nishikifuji πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Mitoryu πŸ‡²πŸ‡³M13Churanoumi πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Ryuden πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅M14Oshoma πŸ‡²πŸ‡³
Tokihayate πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅M15Roga πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί
Tomokaze πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅M16Takarafuji πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Tsurugisho πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅M17

Big promotions for March’s young phenoms

Takerufuji and Onosato earned headlines for their performances in the March tournament. The 24-year-old Takerufuji, who was featuring in his first ever top division tournament, won the event with a 13-2 record. Takerufuji, who hails from the powerhouse Isegahama stable, is the first rikishi (wrestler) to win his debut top division tournament in 91 years.


Takerufuji’s March yusho (championship) sees him promoted from maegashira 17 (the lowest rank in the top division) up to maegashira 6. Ranking placement is decided by the Japan Sumo Association on a subjective basis. It is thought that every net win in a tournament is good for one rank advancement in the following banzuke. However, Takerufuji has been ranked short of that metric. 

Onosato, on the other hand, did receive a big promotion. The 23-year-old, who was only appearing in his second ever top division tournament in March, was elevated all the way up to komusubi, the lowest rank in the special san’yaku (upper ranks). In March he was ranked maegashira 5.

Due to their upgraded ranking, both Takerufuji and Onosato will be facing fellow highly ranked wrestlers from the first day of the tournament onwards.

Kotozakura Masahiro has arrived

This new banzuke features the first ever appearance of the shikona (ring name) Kotozakura Masahiro. This is the new shikona of Kotonowaka, who was promoted to ozeki (the second highest rank in sumo) in January. The young ozeki took this shikona to honour his late grandfather, Kotozakura Masakatsu, sumo’s 53rd yokozuna.

As Kotonowaka, the new Kotozakura, had been one of the winningest wrestlers in the sport, earning back-to-back kachi-koshi (winning records) over ten straight tournaments. He finished as runner-up in two tournaments during that stretch.

In March he finished with a 10-5 record and was just on the outside looking in as Takerufuji and Onosato duelled for the cup.

Other notable promotions/demotions

Daieisho and Nishikigi had the highest profile demotions on the latest banzuke. Both have been removed from the san’yaku due to poor performances in March. Daieisho fell all the way from sekiwake to maegashira 1.

Former ozeki Asanoyama (who was demoted down multiple divisions due to a year long suspension) was promoted to komusubi off of a strong March. Though, he may be carrying an injury into the May tournament.

Daiamami, Endo, Myogiryu and Kitanowaka all lost their places in the top division with this banzuke release. They will now compete in the juryo (second division). The wrestlers promoted from juryo this month are Mitoryu, Tokihayate, Tomokaze, Takarafuji and Oshoma.

This will be the first top division appearances for both Tokihayate and Oshoma.

The 2024 May Tournament begins on Sunday, May 12 and runs to May 26 at Tokyo’s historic Ryogoku Kokugikan.
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