Hatsu Ones to Watch
Text and Photos by Carolyn Todd
him to sail through the ranks without a few setbacks. He’s shaping up
to be one of Japan’s greatest hopes of a future champion because so
far, and I stress ‘so far’, his performance has been pretty convincing.
Hakuho – Hopefully Hakuho will come hobbling back after his toe injury ready to start another promotion run in January and make 2007 the year that we get a new yokozuna. Saying that, I guess I’m assuming that Hakuho is the only contender, despite this year’s parade being cancelled, the tsuna decision put on hold and the no doubt numerous new kesho mawashi stuffed to the back of the closet. And really, he is the only contender. Others may also be getting over injuries, coming up the ranks or, in Ama’s case, eating pies, but at this point, only Hakuho seems to have even the vaguest hope of joining Asashoryu.
Tochiozan/Goeido – I’m going to put these two together because of their alleged rivalry, which will hopefully make juryo a little more thrilling in January (the best bit about juryo in Kyushu was watching Takanowaka warming up in the corridor – see photo bonanza). Both managed to get kachi-koshi, Goeido just scraping
– fresh from his sansho win, Shogiku will be aiming to sustain his
success. This is pre-banzuke announcement so it’s unclear whether the
extra komusubi slots created for Kyushu will be retained. If they are,
make it into sanyaku. If not, that’s a pretty raw deal because he was inspired during the second half of the basho. With Kotooshu taking over as top ozeki and Kotomitsuki installed as sekiwake, a sanyaku place for
|Shogiku would make him less of a
Cinderella figure at Sadogatake and get him more recognition of his
Homasho – although recent reports say that he’s been getting pummelled by the joi-jin at the
winter jungyo, this is probably a good thing. Better to know what he’s up against now than to find out on the basho dohyo. He’ll still be taught numerous lessons at Hatsu basho but no one’s