Sumo Appreciation Thread (Learn to read kanji the 大相撲 way!)

This is the Sumo Appreciation Thread. Partly, it is for talking about 大相撲. But mostly, it is a way to develop our kanji skills by using it for something that we are really interested in.

A few months ago, I struggled to read and type 大相撲 words and 力士 names. Now, it is getting easy!

March 2019, Day One Lineup

西
千代翔馬 志摩ノ海
大翔鵬 豊山
石浦 琴恵光
照強 豊ノ島
友風
嘉風 明生
竜電 矢後
松鳳山
佐田の海 琴奨菊
朝乃山 宝富士
碧山 阿炎
隠岐の海 阿武咲
千代大龍 逸ノ城
栃煌山 正代
錦木 関脇玉鷲
関脇貴景勝 妙義龍
大関栃ノ心 大栄翔
遠藤 大関豪栄道
大関高安 魁聖
小結御嶽海 横綱鶴竜
横綱白鵬 小結北勝富士

Let’s talk 大相撲!

Some Vocabulary:
Ranks:

Rank WK level Desc.
横綱 よこづな 42 literally side cable. Refers to the ceremonial rope that only Yokozuna wear.
おおぜき big barrier.
せきわけ 48 barrier armpit
こむすび 17 little bind
まえがしら 6, 10 front head

Sumo Words with Easy Kanji( thanks @quolism)

Term Kanji WK levels Definition
力士りきし 1, 4 A practitioner of sumo. (Don’t call them wrestlers.)
十両じゅうりょう 1, 6 Second-top division of grand sumo, refers to the salary of 10 ryo that 十両の力士 used to earn.
白星しろぼし 2, 6 A win!
金星きんぼし 5, 6 A special win for a 前頭 against a 横綱 - it means a higher salary going ahead for the skillful 力士.
黒星くろぼし 7, 6 A loss.
番付ばんづけ 8, 7 list of rankings
立ち合いたちあい 1,2 the face off, rising from a crouch
八百長やおちょう 1,4,6 match fixing

Common Winning Moves

Move Definition
寄り切りよりきり frontal force out
押し出しおしだし frontal push out

more to come!

Talk about 大相撲, and 漢字 below.

20 Likes

On the topic of sumo, there’s a book I’d like to recommend to anyone who is interested in it. The Street of a Thousand Blossoms, by Gail Tsukiyama. One of the boys’ life revolves around his journey with sumo traditions. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. I never realised how ingrained it is in Japanese culture, and how far it goes back. It made me realise the spiritual (?) importance of sumo and how… delicate it is. How one mistake could be the end of your career and years and years of hard work every day

7 Likes

The Japan Times stated he had retired in December. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2018/12/07/sumo/takanoiwa-retires-following-recent-assault-stablemate/
Most of what I know about Sumo I learnt in The Japan Times, their Sumo 101 series covers a lot.

3 Likes

I looked at that book, and it looks very good.

One of the reasons that I like watching Sumo live is that you see more of the ritualized ceremonial aspects than when you watch the “Highlights” shows. Great Sumo has described as a human channeling the tsunami. Very Japanese. Very spiritual.

We set our alarms for 3:00 a.m. this morning. This tournament looks very exciting.

  1. I feel blessed to be alive while 白鵬 is wrestling. Most of his opponents lose without ever knowing what happened.
  2. It is nice to see another bout with more than one 横綱 (よこずな). When these three are gone, I wonder if we will go for a while with none at all?
  3. What is going to happen to 稀勢の里?
  4. Sad to see 栃ノ心 lose on the first day. But delighted to see 逸ノ城 win!
3 Likes

If you would like some more Sumo resources, in our house we use

https://tachiai.org - This is great for news, updates on the rikishi, and bout analysis

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjEHJ_fQxC3wgXcIazGWt3Q - Jason puts up several of the makanouchi bout most days during the basho and will show all the stomping and salt throwing.

I am very interested to see how this Hatsu basho goes. We could start to see the changing of the guard soon. I will be sad to to Kise, the boss (Hakuho), and others retire but the up and comers are going to be exciting.

Takinoiwa was the person who was hit by Harumafuji and was part of the scandal that caused Harumafuji to retire, but he himself took several tournaments off to recover both physically and emotionally. He was actually making his comeback, then beat up his own attendant during the winter provincial tour just past and choose to retire once it became public. He will have his retirement ceremony in Feb I believe.

Me too! I was blessed to be in Nagoya the day that he broke Kaio’s record. The room was just electric

4 Likes

Hey thanks for this! I’ve been actually looking at how I could get into watching sumo, these terms will help a lot :slight_smile:

Can anyone recommend how to watch the bouts online?

2 Likes

I will keep adding terms to the list each day.

I stream NHK World. They show shows live on Sunday, and recorded the other days of the week, and on demand later. Just stream right from the website.
Sometimes I watch recorded bouts on YouTube.
The NHK hourly radio webcasts are in Japanese, and have pretty thorough coverage. Each day, they give each bout with the winning move. For me, it is probably the only Japanese language that I listen to that I understand the majority of what they say, so I love listening to it.
One of the reasons that I am interested in getting a VPN (virtual privacy network) is that I am pretty sure that I would be able to log into a Japanese sever and watch live everyday.

3 Likes

I don’t know much about sumo, but I had the opportunity to watch some sumo on TV when I was in Japan, and I have to say it is actually super interesting. Looking forward to following this thread and learning more!

3 Likes

I’ll definitely check it out! Thanks!

And yeah, with a VPN you can bypass a lot of weird online borders, so might be worth investing. NordVPN is what I use and they’re pretty good, highly recommend them :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Woohoo! Sumo thread! One of the few things that makes me glad i’m only 1 hour behind Japan, although it means having to get up a little early to watch 服部桜 (はっとりざくら) lose his matches.

Here are some sumo words made from lower level characters on WK:

  • 力士 (りきし, level 1 and 4). A practitioner of sumo. (Don’t call them wrestlers.)
  • 十両 (じゅうりょう, levels 1 and 6). Second-top division of grand sumo, refers to the salary of 10 ryo that 十両の力士 used to earn.
  • 白星 (しろぼし, levels 2 and 6). A win!
  • 金星 (きんぼし, levels 5 and 6). A special win for a 前頭 against a 横綱 - it means a higher salary going ahead for the skillful 力士.
  • 黒星 (くろぼし, levels 7 and 6). A loss! 服部桜 has many of these.
3 Likes

I hear https://abema.tv/now-on-air/sumo can stream full coverage of the 大相撲場所 between 8:30am and 6:00pm every day (Japan time) to any Japanese IP address on a fast enough Internet connection.

2 Likes

Thanks. @quollism, I will start making some lists up top with those words.
I have tried using Abema tv without a VPN, and don’t appear to be able to watch anything. But I will keep working on it.

2 Likes

Yepyep, Abema needs a Japanese IP address, and if you’re watching on a mobile device of some sort it would prefer you to use the app which you can only get if you’re in Japan.

2 Likes

I finished a blog post about how to reverse-engineer useful verbs from sumo terminology if anyone’s interested!

2 Likes

I liked your post. I am a big fan of using the things that interest you to learn something new. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Kisenosato announced his retirement today.

3 Likes

Today we say farewell to Kisenosato-zeki and hello to Araiso-oyakata. I believe he intends to stay on at his current stable as a coach for now.

2 Likes

This is starting to be an interesting tournament.
First, we have 横綱稀勢の里. One side of me would have liked to see him struggle this tournament out, but it was not to be.
image
I am disappointed that 大関栃ノ心 is struggling. I loved seeing him when he was at his best, and I really hopes that he gets back to it. 栃ノ心 is still my ultimate fav.
image
However, I am really excited to see 逸ノ城 kicking butt this basho! He went through a phase where he just looked helpless in the 道場. Like he would just give up way too easy. I am thrilled to see some life in him!
image

2 Likes

Indeed it is great to see 逸ノ城 staying motivated and even making 白鵬 work very hard for his 懸賞金. Nice to see him picking up some 金星 while he’s out of 三役 too! The reason he was giving up easy at the edge of the ring if you’re not aware is that he has back problems and didn’t want to risk falling off the 土俵 and making them worse. (If you’ve been following sumo for a bit, you might remember 白鵬 did a cheeky ダメ押し on 逸ノ城 after winning a bout against him last year - a shove off the platform after winning.) I kind of wonder if his morale is a bit on the fragile side as well.

錦木 has also been extremely impressive although I think today 白鵬 figured out that 錦木’s style of sumo requires close physical contact - also possibly Hak was getting peeved at all the 待った mind-games leading to a pretty brutal slap, dodge and throw off the 土俵.

Not really expecting the 大関 to go the distance this 場所 though. Hopefully at least 高安 will pick up steam after he gets over his flu.

My fave 魁聖 is rocking along nicely, really good mix of 押し相撲 and 四つ相撲 from him.

Please enjoy this music video featuring the singing talents of many 関取 from 2016. Warning: song is catchy.

4 Likes

The はっけよい song is totally adorable.
I figured something like that with 逸ノ城 . Now, its appears that he has his body and his confidence back. I am also a fan of 魁聖! For whatever reason, he seems like he is a likable fellow.
I really like this activity of having conversations about 大相撲 as a learning exercise. Also, I like inserting 日本語 words into English sentences. I am not really ready for all-out 日本語 yet, but I feel that any way that I can incorporate 日本語 and 漢字 into my life is of benefit.

1 Like