Banzuke (ranking of wrestlers) - 番付

The banzuke is a document listing the ranking of professional sumo wrestlers, which is published before each official tournament.

The ranking of sumo wrestlers is based on their rank, based on their results at each tournament. Victories push them up in the hierarchy, and defeats can push them down.
On a tournament of 15 fights, if the wrestler has at least 8 victories, he is kachi koshi and goes up in the ranking. If, on the contrary, he has less than 8 victories, he is make koshi and he goes down in the ranking.

This system does not apply to yokozuna who cannot lose their rank, nor to ôzeki who must accumulate two make koshi to lose their title.

To become ôzeki a wrestler must be classified sekiwake or komusubi for 3 tournaments, and have accumulated 30 victories in these last 3 tournaments.

To become a yokozuna a wrestler must be ôzeki, win two consecutive tournaments or obtain a great performance (at least 38 victories over the last 3 tournaments).
A separate council from the NSK, the yokozuna deliberation council, is responsible for awarding these promotions. In addition to the results, they take into account the wrestler's attitude, and whether he has the right spirit to become a public representative of professional sumo.
The yokozuna is considered a demigod in Japan. They are supreme champions, who have reached the highest rank, and the wrestler holds this title until he retires from sumo.
In tournaments they always fight last, and they participate in several ceremonies. They must then have an irreproachable behavior representing the values of sumo.