Takakeisho’s victory in January may have given the rank of ozeki its first silverware since Terunofuji lifted the Emperor’s Cup in May of 2021, but it hasn’t brought any clarity to a top division several years deep into a sort of Sengoku period lacking dominant rikishi.

That may soon change as Miyagino stablemaster — former yokozuna Hakuho — whose retirement precipitated the current state of flux, appears to be positioning himself both to return stability to makuuchi (sumo's top division), and to exert significant influence on what happens inside the ring over the next decade.

As a sumo elder, the most natural battleground for Miyagino would be Japan Sumo Association politics, but that’s a tough arena even for a name as big his, a 45-time champion.