Banners bearing the names of sumo wrestlers line the street outside of the Ryukku Kokugikan in Tokyo (@sumokyokai/Instagram)

Grand Sumo 2024 Summer Tournament Preview and Broadcast Details


Sumo returns this weekend for the 15-day long natsu basho (summer tournament). The event goes down at the historic Ryukku Kokugikan in Tokyo. There, for each day of the tournament, hundreds of wrestlers will compete daily to try and improve their ranking in the sport.

The makuuchi (top division) will also be competing for an Emperor’s Cup and the opportunity to become living legends in the sport.

This tournament’s field includes a highly competitive san’yaku (class of upper ranked wrestlers), lead by yokozuna Terunofuji. Terunofuji pulled out of the previous tournament due to injury on Day 6.


Terunofuji has been on the exhibition circuit since the March tournament, but has not participated in any practise matches. Reporting out of Japan suggests he is hurt, but will be competing on at least Day 1 of the tournament. 

Terunofuji has been injured for much of his reign as the sport’s 73rd yokozuna. However, when healthy he remains the toughest man to beat in the sport, as evidenced by his championships in January and May.

If he is out injured for this tournament, that would provide an opportunity for one of the ozeki (wrestlers ranked directly below yokozuna) to take home the cup. Kirishima, Hoshoryu, Kotozakura and Takakeisho make up that core of wrestlers, who are all hoping to become the next yokozuna.

Kirishima needs to rebound from a terrible March tournament, where he went 5-10. Because of that losing record he is kadoban (literally ‘in a corner’), meaning if he gets a losing record in this tournament he will be demoted form ozeki.

Hoshoryu was a runner-up in the last tournament. If he won this tournament in dominating fashion there is an outside shot he could be promoted to yokozuna (especially with Terunofuji so often being unable to fulfil his top ranked duties in the ring).

Kotozakura is the newest ozeki. Formerly known as Kotonowaka, Kotozakura will be competing in this tournament under the shikona (ring name) of his grandfather, the sport’s 53rd yokozuna.

Takakeisho is the longest serving ozeki. He squeaked by in March with eight wins, enough to remove his own kadoban status. He is reportedly banged up, too, but may suit up for at least the first day of the tournament.

Pushing those elites will be plenty of wrestlers who were inspired by Takerufuji’s heroics last time out. Takerufuji won the March tournament despite competing in the top division for the very first time. Takerufuji sustained an injury during that historic title run, though, and is not expected to compete at all in May.

Some of those young wrestlers who might be able to contend include Onosato, Atamifuji, Gonoyama and Hiradoumi.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are wrestlers who will be hoping to avoid make-koshi (losing records) that see them demoted to juryo (the second division). Veterans Ryuden and Takarafuji are in danger of this, as well as top division rookies Tokihayate and Oshoma.

See also: Five reasons to watch the 2024 summer tournament.


The top division section of the banzuke (ranking document) is presented below.

The biggest development in this most recent banzuke is the promotion of Onosato from M6 to komusubi. The banzuke also saw Wakamotoharu promoted up to sekiwake, while Daieisho was demoted from sekiwake to M1.

Broadcast Details

The 2024 summer tournament begins on Sunday, May 12, 2024 and runs until May 26. The top division bouts happen during primetime in Japan, which is roughly 3 a.m. ET.

You can stream this tournament on the Abema TV app. Abema costs around $8 a month and is entirely in Japanese with no English translations. Matches can also be viewed on the official Grand Sumo app, which has some English translations. The Grand Sumo app features unavoidable spoilers.The free version includes ads, which are often twice as long as the actual bouts.

NHK World on YouTube broadcasts highlights of the makuuchi match-ups on a 24 hour delay. Some cable providers also carry NHK World.

NHK’s JME app will air two hour long streams of top division matches intermittently with English commentary. Those steams will air at 2 p.m. 5 p.m., 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET. That service costs $25 a month.

Alternative methods to watch sumo, both live and on demand, can be found on Twitch and YouTube (if you need any help there, shoot me a DM on Substack).

For more sumo news and analysis subscribe to Sumo Stomp! on Substack.