| Agari zashiki
||Elevated area for visitors and oyakata in the practice area of a heya .
|Akebono||Dawn||Akebono Taro - real name
Chad Rowan - the 64th Yokozuna (grand champion).
With 220-230kg he was literally one of the "giants" of the modern age!
The first rikishi born outside of Japan to rise to the highest rank
in Ozumo in 1993, he is considered to be a "Great Yokozuna" not only because
of his 11 tournament wins, but also because of the impresive way in which
he used to overwhelm his opponents with tsuppari and nodowa thrusts, often
blasting them out of the ring like a bulldozer. Akebono performed a special
Yokozuna Dohyo-Iri at the opening ceremony of the Nagoya winter olympics
in 1998. He finally retired in January, 2001 due to a lasting knee injury.
His greatest rival was the 65th Yokozuna Takanohana
Koji , who retired in January, 2003.
Following in the footsteps of his Oyakata Azumazeki (aka former Hawaiian Sekiwake Takamiyama), Akebono rose rapidly through the ranks from his debut in March 1988 to his Makuuchi debut in September 1990.
What followed was an even more rapid rise to Ozeki. The Hawaiian behemoth needed only 11 Makuuchi tournaments to achieve the same rank as his countryman Konishiki. In the process Akebono won his first Yushu in May, 1992 while being ranked at Sekiwake at the crucial time when Konishiki had just won his final tournament two months earlier.
And while Konishiki would never again taste the ultimate victory and see his dream of becoming the first foreign born Yokozuna go up in smoke, Akebono achieved that very dream by winning two back-to-back yusho in glorious fashion at the Kyushu 1992 and Hatsu 1993 tournaments.
The new Yokozuna would go on to dominate both the year 1993 by winning his 4th, 5th and 6th yusho in consecutive basho and to dominate his rival Takanohana as well. Takanohana had by now risen to the rank of Ozeki and was denied Yokozuna promotion virtually by Akenono's opposition alone.
In the period that followed, however, spanning roughly from 1994 through 1998, the tables were turned and Takanohana became the dominant rikishi. Plagued by injuries (mainly to his knees), Akebono would go on to win his 7th (March, 1994), 8th (March, 1995) and 9th (May, 1997) yusho in this period, but was only rarely capable of sustaining his characteristic dominance in the ring through the final days of the basho. But in the year 2000, following a year of dominance by Musashimaru (the 2nd Hawaiian Yokozuna), Akebono once again managed to regain his outstanding form. He finished the year wih an excellent 76-14 win-loss record, added two more yusho (numbers 10 and 11) to his total, as well as three runner-up records (his 11th, 12th and 13th), before bowing out gracefully after 48 basho at the rank of Yokozuna.
||Personal trunk used by sekitori
for storage of personal items.
|Aki||Fall||One of the six yearly honbasho (official sumo tournaments). Held in September at the Kokugikan in the Ryogoku area of Tokyo.|
||The senior wrestlers of a heya
. See also shin-deshi
|Arakida soil||n/a||Soil taken from the banks of the Arakawa River in Saitama Prefecture, traditionally favored for use in forming the dohyo (sumo ring) because of its high clay content.|
|Asashoryu||n/a||Asashoryu Akinori - real name Dolgusuren Dagvadorj - the 68th Yokozuna (grand champion).
From the moment this skilful rikishi from Mongolia joined professional Sumo in January 1999 it was clear that he was destined for greatness. Losing only three official bouts in his first year he quickly climed up the ranks and managed to make his debut in the payed ranks in September 2000.
After slightly more than a year of adjusting to the higher echelon of Ozumo, Asashoryu soon began showing signs of domating the other rikishi, and by the middle of 2002 it was clear that stopping this relatively small but muscular athlete from achieving the highest rank in the sport would be near to impossible.
With a determination bordering on maniacal and a skil that reminds many of great champions like Chiyonofuji and Takanohana, the Mongolian menace secured promotion to the rank of Ozeki in the same year with two Jun-Yusho (runner-up positions) in May and July of 2002, and after winning his 1st (November 2002) and 2nd Yusho (January 2003) soon afterwards, his elevation to the highest rank in professional Sumo was no surprise to anyone.
To underline the total domination of all his competitors, Ashoryu went on to win 5 yusho in 2004 and all 6 yusho in 2005! This period of brilliance included 4 zensho yusho, a rensho (winning streak) of 35 consecutive bouts and a record-setting 7 consecutive string of yusho!
At the age of 25, Asashoryu is currently at the peak of his strength and many believe he will go on to challenge or improve Taiho's record of 32 yusho. But to do so he will not only have to remain free from injuries but also overcome the incrasng skill and strength of two new Ozeki: His countryman Hakuho and the tall Kotooshu from Bulgaria.
|Banzuke||n/a||The official sumo ranking sheet published before each of the six honbasho (official tournaments) which are held on a yearly basis. Click here to view the latest banzuke for the top two divisions.|
|Basho||n/a||Sumo tournament of any kind; often used as a shortened form of the word "honbasho ", meaning official tournament. In-between the official honbasho the rikishi usually travel Japan (and sometimes the world) to compete in jungyo .|
|Beya||n/a||See "Heya ".|
||Wax used for grooming the topknot of sekitori. Usually
made from a soybean extract. See also oicho-mage
and tokoyama .
||Typical sumo exercise - part of the keiko , where a rikishi runs
into a heya-mate and pushes him to the edge of the dohyo
|Chanko-nabe||n/a||(also: Chanko): A stew containing vegetables, seafood and meat; the main meal of rikishi and others in the sumo world. Chanko is rich in protein in order to gain weight, which ensures better balance and a lower point of gravity for the rikishi.|
||Tea houses which are locaed inside the building od
the Sumo arena. Tickets can also be purchased here.
|Chikara gami||strength paper||In one of the many typical sumo rituals the rikishi wipe their lips with these sheets of paper just before matches, after rinsing out their mouths with "chikara mizu ".|
|Chikara mizu||strength water||Rikishi rinse out their mouths with this water just before matches, during the pre-bout rituals (shikiri ).|
|Chiyonofuji||Thousand Year Fuji||Chiyonofuji Mitsugu - the 58th Yokozuna (grand champion). Nicknamed "The Wolf", this remarkably agile rikishi is considered to be one the greatest of the TV era. With 31 yusho (tournament wins) under his belt he dominated much of the 1980's and the early 1990's. After holding the Yokozuna rank for no less than 59 basho (nearly 10 years) he finally retired in 1991. After his active Sumo career he became a shisho (stable master) and is currently known as Kokonoe Oyakata . Among his deshi (pupils) is Ozeki Chiyotaikai.|
|Chonmage||n/a||Traditional hairstyle - The relatively simple topknot worn by lower ranked rikishi at all times, and by members of the higher ranks on informal occasions. See also Oichomage .|
|Daigappei||n/a||Regional tours (jungyo ) featuring all the rikishi ranked at "jonidan " or higher.|
|Danpatsu-shiki||n/a||That part of the "intai-zumo ", or day marking the retirement of a salaried rikishi, in which his topknot is ceremonially cut off.|
||Practice sessions taken by rikishi to competing heya to get acquainted with their rivals' techniques.
|Deshi||pupil/disciple||A member of a "heya ", or stable, and thus coached by the elder who runs it.|
|Dohyo||n/a||The sumo ring.|
|Dohyo-iri||n/a||Any of the ring entering ceremonies performed by salaried rikishi ( sekitori ).|
|Dohyo matsuri||n/a||A shinto-style ceremony, held prior to each tournament, in which the ring is purified and blessed.|
|Eboshi||n/a||The lacquered black hat worn during tournaments by " gyoji " (referees).|
|Fumidawara||stepping-bales||Additional "tawara ", or rice bales, sunk into the sides of the base of the ring and used as steps.|
||The tassels which are hanging down from the roof
above the dohyo
||Win or loss by default during a tournament.
||Also Fusenpai. Loss by default caused by failing to show up for
a match because of injury.
||Win by default, caused when your opponent fails to
show up for a match because of injury.
||Futabayama Sadaji. The 35th Yokozuna
. He is widely regarded as one of the best riksihi of all times, dominating
much of the late 1930 and al of the early to mid 1940's until his retirement
in November of 1945. During his illustrious career he won a total of 12 Yusho,
winning 88.2% of his matches (180-24) as Yokozuna!
| Gaijin rikishi
||Term to refer to rikishi who were born outside of
Japan. To date six Gaijin rikishi have achieved the rank of Ozeki or higher: Konishiki, Akebono
, Musashimaru (all three from the USA) and Asashoryu and Hakuho (both from Mongolia) and Kotoshu (from Bulgaria).
|Ginboshi||silver star||An upset of an Ozeki by a maegashira. See also Kinboshi, Shiroboshi, Kuroboshi.|
||Technique Prize. One of the three " Sansho " or special prizes which are
usually awarded on the last days of a honbasho
to rikishi who has performed exceptionally well during the tournament.
See also "Kanto-sho " and "Shukun-sho ."
|Gunbai||war fan||The lacquered wooden board decorated with a long tassel, held by the "gyoji " (referees).|
|Hanazumo||n/a||Special exhibition tournaments, usually sponsored by television stations and held in January, May and September. Other hanazumo are the one day intai-zumo held to mark the retirement of salaried rikishi.|
|Haridashi||n/a||"Additional" rikishi from the "sanyaku " (sumo's four highest ranks). Officially, there are to be no more than two rikishi at each rank, but in fact there are often more. When this occurs, those who turned in the least impressive performance at the previous tournament are simply considered "additional", and listed on the part of the banzuke that juts out to either side in a T-shape.|
|Heya||n/a||(Also: "Beya"). A so-called "stable", or group of rikishi training under a particular master ("shisho "). Alternatively, the place where this group lives and trains.|
|Heyagashira||n/a||The highest ranking rikishi within a heya .|
|Higashi||n/a||The right-hand, or east, side of the banzuke, traditionally considered more prestigious than the west ("nishi "). Also, the left side of the ring, as viewed from the front (the north). Rikishi assigned to the banzuke 's east also enter the ring from that side.|
|Honbasho||n/a||Official sumo tournaments, currently held six times each year
during all odd numbered months (see also basho
). For the salaried rikishi or sekitori who occupy the top two divisions
of Makuuchi and Juryo
these tournaments last 15 days, and for all lower divisions 7 days.
During a basho each rikishi must fight one opponent per day and whoever
has the most wins at the end will win the championship ( yusho ) for his particular division. In case
of a tie between two or more rikishi a playoff (kettei) will decide
The six yearly honbasho are:
Hatsu Basho - January - Tokyo - Ryogoku Kokugikan
||The wooden "clappers" which are sounded by the
yobidashi before the day's final bout.
|Ichidai toshiyori||n/a||One-generation elder status conferred as an honor upon outstanding Yokozuna . Rikishi who receive this status become elders under the names they used in the ring, rather than taking on one of the 105 recognized names used by elders. The name is called "one-generation" because it ceases to exist as an elder name when the man leaves the sumo world upon mandatory retirement at age sixty-five.|
|Ichimon||n/a||A group of heya , often an older one and all those that eventually branched off from it.|
|Intai-zumo||n/a||One-day exhibition tournaments held at the Kokugikan to commemorate the retirement of salaried rikishi.|
||Balcony seats at the sumo arena.
|Jonidan||n/a||The rank just above Jonokuchi . Sumo's largest rank, with about four hundred rikishi at present.|
|Jonokuchi||n/a||The lowest division, to which new recruits are promoted in their second tournament.|
|Jungyo||n/a||Regional tours, during which exhibition matches are held.|
||The runner-up spot at a basho
, finishing in second place behind the Yusho winner,
either by losing to him in a playoff when you have the same amount of wins
at the end, or by finishing with the second best win-loss record of all rikishi
in your division. The Jun-Yusho of a division is often shared by two or more
|Juryo||n/a||Second highest division, containing the lowest ranking salaried rikishi. The point at which rikishi, for the first time, receive their own attendants, a salary and the ceremonial apron called the " keshomawashi ".|
|Juryo-kaku||n/a||Qualification to referee juryo -level bouts.|
|Kachi-koshi||n/a||A winning record (greater number of wins than losses during a single tournament).|
|Kanjin-sumo||n/a||The seventeenth century charity tournaments that gradually developed into professional sumo.|
|Kari-kabu||n/a||Borrowed elder names. A salaried rikishi who retires without first obtaining an elder name ("toshiyori-kabu ") must leave the world of sumo forever. But if none of the 105 elder names is available, or the rikishi's funds are insufficient to purchase one when he wishes to retire, he may borrow a name for a short time.|
||Fighting Spirit Award. One of the three
" or special prizes which are usually awarded on the last days of
a honbasho to rikishi who has performed exceptionally well during the
tournament. See also "Gino-sho " and "Shukun-sho ."
|Keiko||n/a||Practice sessions usually held in the heya , or during jungyo .|
|Kekka||n/a||The result of a sumo match. The term is more commonly used to describe the chart of results of a whole tournament day. See Shiroboshi, Kuroboshi, Yasumi, Kinboshi, Ginboshi.|
|Kensho||n/a||Prize money awarded by sponsors to the winners of specific makuuchi bouts.|
|Kesho-mawashi||n/a||The heavy, decorated aprons given to rikishi by their patrons and worn during the ring-entering ceremony.|
|Kinboshi||gold star||An upset of a Yokozuna by a maegashira .|
|Kinjite||n/a||Fouls, including punching, twisting an opponent's fingers, poking him in the eye, etc.|
|Kimarite||n/a||The eighty-two techniques recognized by the Sumo Association as ways to win matches. Until January, 2001 there were 70 recognized techniques. For a complete overview please refer to the Kimarite list .|
||Kitanoumi Toshimitsu. The 55th Yokozuna . Won a total of 24 Yusho
during his career, which puts him in 3rd place overall behind Taiho (32)
and Chiyonofuji (31).
|Koen-kai||n/a||Associations of fans who support a particular heya , helping to pay for daily upkeep, promotion, scouting, etc. Rikishi may also have their own koen-kai.|
|Kokugi||the national sport||Literally, the national sport; Sumo.|
|Kokugikan||n/a||The sumo arena in Tokyo's Ryogoku area.|
|Komusubi||n/a||The rank above maegashira ; lowest of the sanyaku ranks.|
|Kuroboshi||black star||Indication on the Kekka (win-loss chart) that a particular rikishi has lost his bout on a given day. Nowadays this is usually indicated with a closed or black circle. See also Shiroboshi, Kinboshi, Ginboshi, Yasumi.|
|Kyujo||injury||Forced absence of an injured rikishi. A rikishi can be kyujo from the day after he sustained the injury, and sometimes for a partial, whole, or several tournaments when he is still recoering from the injury. See Yasumi.|
|Maegashira||n/a||The salaried rank just above Juryo .|
|Mage||n/a||The topknots that were the most common hairstyle for men of the Edo period (1600-1867). Still worn by rikishi. See also " chonmage ", "oichomage ".|
|Make-koshi||n/a||A losing record (greater number of losses than wins during a single tournament).|
|Makuuchi||n/a||(Also: Makunouchi). The top division of sumo ranks, comprising yokozuna , ozeki , sekiwake , komosubi and maegashira . (In other words, all salaried rikishi except the lowest ranking of that group, those in the juryo ).|
|Makuuchi dohyo-iri||n/a||The group ring-entering ceremony performed by all members of the makuuchi except any yokozuna . This ceremony occurs after all the juryo bouts have ended.|
|Makuuchi-kaku||n/a||Qualification to referee bouts between makuuchi -level rikishi.|
|Makushita||n/a||The highest of the unsalaried divisions. Few rikishi are promoted beyond this point.|
|Makushita tsukedashi||n/a||The rank at the bottom of the Makushita where special provision is made for qualified college sumo stars to begin their professional careers.|
|Masu-seki||n/a||Box seats at the ground floor of the Kokugikan. Each box is designed to hold four people. See also Sajiki-seki .|
|Matawari||n/a||A form of exercise used to limber up for training sessions. Sitting on the ground with his legs as far apart as possible, the rikishi tries to lower his chest to the ground.|
|Matta||n/a||False start to a sumo bout.|
|Mawashi||n/a||The belt, made of either silk or cotton, which rikishi wear during matches.|
|Mizuhiki-maku||n/a||The curtain that hangs from the "yakata " and is decorated with the Sumo Association crest.|
|Mono-ii||n/a||A conference among the judges which may be called in order to reconsider a referee's decision on a particularly close bout.|
Koyo - real name Fiamalu Penitani - the 67th Yokozuna (grand champion).
Born on Samoa and raised on Hawaii this strong and heavy rikishi followed in the footsteps of Akebono to become the second foreign born Yokozuna. Achieved the rank of Ozeki in 1994 and won 5 tournaments at that rank before finally earning his promotion to Sumo's highest rank after the Haru Basho of 1999. He has since more than proven to be a worthy Yokozuna by winning another seven tournaments between 1999 and 2002, bringing his total to an impressive twelve Yusho before his retirement in November 2003!
|Myoseki||n/a||The 105 names available to sumo elders, one of which a salaried rikishi must purchase or borrow before announcing his retirement if he is to remain in the sumo world as an elder.|
|Nagewaza||n/a||Techniques consisting of various kinds of throws.|
|Nihon Sumo Kyokai||n/a||Japan Sumo Association. The official governing body of professional Sumo.|
|Nishi||n/a||The rikishi on the left-hand, or west, side of the banzuke. Also, the right side of the ring, as viewed from the front (the north). See " higashi ".|
|Oichomage||n/a||Special hairstyle. The elaborate topknot which resembles a ginko leaf. It is worn by sekitori only during tournaments and on other formal occasions. See also chonmage .|
|Oyakata||n/a||Elders. Retired rikishi who have reached the makuuchi division for at least one tournament or spent twenty-five tournaments in juryo (or twenty consecutively), obtain an elder name and have Japanese citizenship are eligible to become elders. Elders either act as " shisho " - running their own heya - or coach at someone else's. All help manage the Sumo Association.|
|Ozeki||n/a||The second highest rank in Sumo, below Yokozuna .|
|Rengo-geiko||n/a||Large-scale training sessions involving all or most of the senior rikishi; alternatively, a practice session by all the heya belonging to a particular ichimon . In both cases, held just prior to tournaments.|
|Renpai||n/a||A consecutive losing streak. The opposite of Rensho.|
|Rensho||n/a||A consecutive winning streak. The all-time record is held by the great Yokozuna Futabayama with a rensho of 69 shiroboshi, followed by Tanikaze with 63 and Umegatani I with 58. In the modern era (after the 6 basho a year "system" was introduced in 1958) Chiyonofuji leads the pack with 53, followed by Taiho with 45 and Asashoryu with 35 consecutive wins.|
|Rijicho||n/a||President of the Sumo Association.|
|Rikishi||strong man||Literally, "strong man." Often referred to in English as "sumo wrestlers."|
|Sajiki-seki||n/a||Alternative term for masu-seki
, or box seats on the ground floor at the Kokugikan
Each box is designed to hold four people.
|Sandanme||n/a||The division just above jonidan . Less than half of all newcomers to the sport will advance beyond this rank.|
|Sansho||n/a||Three additional prizes, each of which is awarded at tournament's end, to one rikishi ranked in the makuuchi . These are the Kantosho, or Fighting Spirit Prize, the Shukunsho, or Outstanding Performance Award, and the Ginosho, or Technique Prize.|
|Sanyaku||n/a||Sumo's three highest ranks - those above maegashira: komusubi , sekiwake
Officialy Yokozuna is not a rank, but an honorary title, so technically it is not a sanyaku rank.
|Sashichigai||n/a||A decision by the judges to overturn a referee's call on a match, and declare the losing rikishi the winner.|
|Sumai no sechi-e||n/a||Large-scale sumo festivals held at the Imperial Palace as early as the eighth century.|
|Seigen jikan ippai||n/a||Words the referee says to the rikishi when the judge assigned to act as timekeeper ("tokei-gakari ") gives the signal for the match to begin.|
|Sekitori||n/a||Salaried rikishi; in other words, those ranked at juryo or higher.|
|Sekiwake||n/a||The third-highest rank in Sumo, above komusubi and below ozeki .|
|Senshuraku||n/a||The final day of a tournament.|
|Shihon-bashira||n/a||The four pillars that traditionally supported the roof over the sumo ring. These pillars were done away with, and the roof suspended from the stadium ceiling, in 1952 in order to facilitate the television broadcasts of the sport which began the following year.|
|Shikiri||n/a||An elaborate series of rituals performed by rikishi before
Sometimes popularly referred to as the "salt-throwing ceremony".
|Shikiri-sen||n/a||The starting lines from behind which rikishi make the initial charge, or "tachi-ai ", that opens each bout.|
|Shiko||n/a||A basic form of exercise used to strengthen the legs and improve balance. The rikishi raises one leg out to the side as high as possible, then brings it back down with a stamp of his foot.|
|Shikona||n/a||The ring names given to rikishi, which may be changed several times over the course of a career, especially in recognition of important promotions.|
|Shimekomi||n/a||The silk mawashi worn by salaried rikishi during tournaments.|
|Shin-deshi||n/a||Young rikishi; also, new recruits into a heya . See also ani-deshi .|
|Shin-deshi kensa||n/a||The physical examination which all rikishi must pass before participating in their first tournament.|
|Shinitai||dead body||A ruling by the judges that one rikishi - though he has not touched the ground or gone out of the ring - is in a position from which he cannot possibly recover. Quite rare.|
|Shinpan bucho||n/a||Head judge.|
|Shinpan fukubucho||n/a||Deputy head judge.|
|Shiranui-gata||n/a||One of two of two types of ring-entering ceremony performed by yokozuna .|
|Shiroboshi||white star||Indication on the torikumi (win-loss chart) that a particular rikishi has won his bout on a given day. Nowadays this is usually indicated with an open or white circle. See also Kuroboshi, Kinboshi, Ginboshi, Yasumi.|
|Shisho||n/a||An oyakata who owns and manages a heya . Less than half of sumo's 105 elders fall into this category.|
|Shitaku-beya||n/a||The changing room within a sumo stadium or other side site of a tournament or exhibition.|
|Shokkiri||n/a||Comical display, including demonstrations of sumo fouls and other horseplay, performed by lower ranking rikishi during regional tours (" jungyo ") and special exhibitions ("hanazumo ").|
|Shozoku||n/a||The garment worn by referees, derived from Heian-period of court dress.|
||Outstanding Performance Award. One of the
three " Sansho
" or special prizes which are usually awarded on the last days of
a honbasho to rikishi who has performed exceptionally well during the
tournament. See also "Gino-sho " and "Kanto-sho ."
|Shussei hiro||n/a||Ceremony usually held on the eighth day of a tournament, in which each new recruit is introduced by name to the audience.|
|Suna-kaburi||n/a||The single seats closest to the dohyo in official and exhibition tournaments.|
|Tachi-ai||n/a||The initial charge rikishi make toward one another at the beginning of a bout.|
|Tachimochi||n/a||Sword bearer; one of the two attendants in the yokozuna dohyo-iri (see also "tsuyuharai ").|
||Standing room tickets at the sumo arena. See also
sajiki-seki , masu-seki
||Taiho Koki. The 48th Yokozuna. He still holds the
record mark of 32 Yusho. After his active Sumo career he was granted one-generation
elder stock and thus became a shisho
||Traditional drum played by yobidashi on the day
before a basho is to begin and once a day between 6 and 6.30 pm after the
day's matches are over. See also "yagura".
|Takanohana Koji||Noble Flower||Takanohana Koji -
real name Hanada Koji - the 65th Yokozuna
(grand champion). His greatest rival was the 64th Yokozuna Akebono Taro
, who retired in January 2001.
While rising through the ranks together with his older brother, the 66th Yokozuna Wakanohana Masaru , in the early 1990's, it soon became apparent that this was no ordinary rikishi. With an incredible display of both technique (centering on a "migiyotsu," or right hand inside mawashi grip, favoring the kimarite of yorikiri) and determination to win he makes Sumo look so easy that his style of sumo is sometimes (mistakenly) described as being "boring". And while Taka certainly had an advantage over some of his rivals because of his membership of the strong Futagoyama-beya, it is clear that he would have made it to the top no matter what.
Takanohana won his first Makuuchi championship in January 1992 while being ranked at Maegashira 2 East, and was promoted to the rank of Ozeki after the Hatsu Basho of 1993. Takanohana would have become Yokozuna that same year if not for the dominance of his great rival Akebono. But following year Takanohana managed to raise his sumo by yet another level and the inevitable promotion to Yokozuna followed in November of 1994 after winning two consecutive tournaments (his 6th and 7th over all) without losing a single match, a feat which has not been repeated until the present day.
Takanohana went on to dominate professional Sumo for nearly three years, winning another 11 titles between 1995 and 1997, before falling victim to a serious of injuries. For that reason Takanohana was unable to set the pace between 1998 and the latter half of the year 2000, but as of 2001 he seemed to have regained most (if not all) of his dominance. This was underlined by his two yusho in 2001. But during his defeat of Yokozuna Musashimaru in the playoff of the 2001 Natsu basho, Taka further aggravated a serious knee injury he had sustained on day 14. He underwent surgery and was sidelined for a record of 7 basho before finally returning in the Aki basho of 2002, where he got the Jun-Yusho with a respectable 12-3 record, losing the decisive battle to Musashimaru on senshuraku! After another absence in November 2002 , Takanohana was unsuccessful in sustaining his comeback, however. Hopes were high when he entered the Hatsu basho in January, 2003, but from the start it was clear that the once dominant Yokozuna could no longer control his opponents like before. Injuring his shoulder on day 2 only aggrevated Takanohana's troubles and after losing to Dejima on day 7 and being thrown around the ring by tiny Aminishiki on day 8, Takanohana announced his retirement the following morning and finished his last basho with a 4-4-1 record. A sad ending to a glorious career!
With 22 yusho behind his name Takanohana is second only to the top three yusho winners of the modern era: Taiho (32 yusho), Chiyonofuji (31) and Kitanoumi (24), and no one knows what he might have achieved if his career hadn't been cut short by his injuries.
|Tategyoji||n/a||Chief referees, whose number is limited to two and whose names are fixed as Kimura Shonosuke and Shikimori Inosuke. Special provision is also made for recognizing them as elders, though they are not former rikishi.|
|Tawara||n/a||Straw bales packed tightly with dirt and placed in a circle on the dohyo , forming the area inside which the match takes place.|
||The Emperor's Cup. Measuring 96.5 cm (3 feet and
2 inches) high, with a diameter of 30.5 cm (12 inches), weighing a whopping
21 kilos (app. 46 pounds), with a capacity of approximately 30 liters (8
gallons), this huge cup made of silver has been awarded to the winner of
the Makuuchi yusho at each tournament since the Haru basho of 1926 (first
winner: Yokozuna Tsunenohana).
The names of all the rikishi who have won the cup are engraved on the metal plate which is attached to the wooden base of the Tenno-hai. The cup is usually returned to the Sumo Associaton before the start of the next tournament, and the winner gets to keep a small replica.
|Teppo||n/a||A form of exercise useful for improving one's thrusting technique. The rikishi slaps a wooden pillar over and over again.|
|Teuchi-shiki||n/a||A welcoming ceremony for new recruits, held on the final day of each tournament. Those who entered sumo after the last tournament form a circle on the dohyo with the referee and judges and pass around a cup of saké.|
|Tokei-gakari||n/a||Timekeeper. One of the judges supervising each bout is assigned the role of timekeeper, and signals the referee when the rituals that precede each match are to end and the bout itself to begin.|
|Tokoyama||n/a||Sumo's hairdressers, who generally train for at least ten years before completely mastering the elaborate topknot worn during tournaments by salaried rikishi.|
|Tokudawara||special rice bale||One tawara set a few inches back from the circle at each of the cardinal points, representing the only spots where a step outside the ring does not mean loss of the match.|
|Torikumi-Hyo||n/a||Chart (or program) of the upcoming bouts (Torikumi) on a particular day of a tournament.|
|Torinaoshi||n/a||A rematch. The judges, after conferring on a particularly close outcome, may decide to order a rematch.|
|Toshiyori||n/a||Another name for Oyakata or elder.|
|Toshiyori-kabu||n/a||Alternative name for "elder name" (myoseki ).|
|Tsukebito||n/a||Attendants. Younger, low-ranked rikishi may be assigned to serve as attendants, or personal assistants, to salaried rikishi or referees qualified to judge juryo - or makuuchi -level bouts.|
|Tsukioshi||n/a||Techniques involving pushes or thrusts.|
|Tsuna||n/a||The white, rope-like belt which the yokozuna wears for his individual dohyo-iri , and which symbolizes his rank.|
|Tsuna-uchi||n/a||The ceremony in which a new yokozuna 's first rope-like belt (tsuna ) is actually made.|
|Tsuyuharai||n/a||Dew sweeper. The second attendant who assists in the yokozuna dohyo-iri (see also "tachimochi ").|
|Uchiage||n/a||A party held by each heya on the final night of the tournament.|
|Unryu-gata||n/a||One of the two types of ring-entering ceremony performed by yokozuna .|
|Wakanohana III||Young Flower||Wakanohana Masaru
- real name Hanada Masaru - the 66th Yokozuna
He rose through the ranks together with his younger brother, the 65th Yokozuna Takanohana , in the early 1990's and was promoted to the rank of Ozeki in 1993. Wakanohana won a total of five yusho in his career and is generally regarded as one of the superior technicians of the period 1992-2000. Wakanohana seemed to be the perennial Ozeki - holding the rank for no less than 29 consecutive tournaments - but eventually managed to follow in Takanohana's footsteps by reaching the ultimate rank of Yokozuna after winning two consecutive tournaments in March and May of 1998.
However, while he will certainly be remembered as a great Ozeki, his career as Yokozuna was to be a brief and unsuccessful one. Suffering many injuries he failed to impress after his promotion and was soon forced to retire in March of 2000.
||48-foot high wooden drummer's tower in front of
sumo arenas on top of which yobidashi traditionally
used to drum up business before and after the day's matches. Nowadays the
drumming takes place only once a day - between 6 and 6.30 pm - after the
matches are over. A new yagura is erected before every basho in exactly two
days time. See also "taiko ".
|Yakata||n/a||The shinto-style roof (weighing many tons) suspended from the ceiling of the stadium, over the ring.|
|Yasumi||to rest||Marking made on a win-loss chart on days when a rikishi is not competing on a particular day of the tournament (usually because of an ongoing injury). See also Kyujo.|
|Yobidashi||n/a||The ring announcers who call the rikishi, by name, onto the
dohyo and who sweep the dohyo
between bouts. The yobidashi also carry the kensho
banners, listing the names of the sponsors who have put up cash awards,
before each bout begins.
Furthermore the yobidashi play the "hyoshigi " before the day's final match, as well as sound the " taiko " on top of the "yagura " before a tournament begins and after the days matches are over.
|Yokozuna||n/a||Sumo's highest rank, created in 1909. Before that date Yokozuna were merely Ozeki who were granted the honorary title of Yokozuna by Sumo's mightiest sponsor family, who gave them an official Yokozuna license. Yokozuna are often referred to in English as "Grand Champion".|
|Yokozuna Shingi-iinkai||n/a||The Yokozuna Deliberation Council, which decides whether or not they recommend the proposed promotion of a particular rikishi to the sport's highest rank.|
|Yotsusumo||n/a||Techniques centering on various kinds of grips on the opponent's belt.|
|Yumitori-shiki||n/a||The bow-twirling ceremony that closes each day of official and exhibition tournaments.|
|Yusho||n/a||The championship of a tournament.|
|Zensho yusho||n/a||Also Zen yusho. A perfect record (all wins and no losses during a single tournament).|