2023 September Honbasho Preview

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This Sunday the biggest stage in all of sumo returns with the September Basho. Held in the Kokugikan Arena in Sumida City, Japan, Grand Sumo jumps back into action for its fifth tournament this year.

2023 September Grand Sumo Tournament Preview

In July, sumo fans witnessed an all out blitz for the front of the proverbial pack after Yokozuna Terunofuji withdrew from the tournament on Day 4, citing a back injury. Eventually, it would be Hoshoryu, who is now ranked Ozeki for the first time in his career, securing the Emperor’s Cup on Day 15 of the July tournament.

Banzuke Breakdown

Terunofuji remains at the top of the sumo rankings as the sole rikishi at the yokozuna rank. Kirishima sees a slight bump from West Ozeki #1 to East Ozeki #1 as Takakeisho flips with the 27-year-old rikishi after the pusher/thruster style sumo sat out of the July basho due to injury. As mentioned, Hoshoryu will enter the September tournament as the West Ozeki #2 after his first ever championship victory in July.

Daieisho climbs to the East Sekiwake #1 spot after a nine-win July tournament. Kotonowaka follows at East Sekiwake #2, moving up ranks from his previous East Komusubi #2 rank. Wakamotoharu sees continuous promotion in his career as the 29-year-old represents the West Sekiwake #1.

To close out the upper ranks, Nishikigi is promoted to East Komosubi #1 after securing a ten-win July tournament and the Outstanding Performance prize. Tobizaru also leaves the Maegashira ranks to join Nishikigi as West Komosbui #1.

Tournament Standouts

Sumo as it stands today is in a tumultuous yet exciting time. Without a clear leader atop the Top Division of sumo, fans cannot say with any surety who may be the top performer month-to-month. Terunofuji is slated to return to action this Sunday, but after the yokozuna has pulled out of six of the last ten tournaments, its hard to shift any value in favor of the 31-year-old Mongolian.

This does, of course, bring about a certain excitement to the tournament. As sumo fans across the globe tune in to see which rikishi will come out on top, NHK Sumo will provide highlight coverage from Day 1 to Day 15.

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Brian Knight is a contributing writer and active editor for MMASucka since November 2020. He is currently authoring his first book.

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