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Kintamayama

Salary raise for some after 10 years

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Some 200 gyoji, yobidashi, tokoyama and others will get a 2.7% pay raise starting January, it was decided today. All salaries have been frozen for the last 9 years. "It's not that the Kyokai had a great financial year, but nine years is really a lot," explained Hanaregoma Rijicho.

Edited by Kintamayama

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Oh dear...could have been much more. Those guys have no possibility to "become a sekitori" - but the hardship of the Sumo-life.

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They don't have a chance to be sekitori but they have a chance to be the equivalent in their own field!!

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The raise is more symbolic than anything else. "Improving the lot of the urakata (behind the scene personnel)" was a well-known platform for Takanohana's campaign to become a riji. It is not a coincidence that the first raise in 10 years happened in the initial year of his tenure on the board.

According to the Mainichi, a juryo-level gyoji gets paid between ¥100,000 and 200,000 per month, so the raise would be ¥2,700-5,400 ($32.50-65.00). Juryo rikishi gets ¥1,036,000 ($12,460) per month plus various stipends, which add up to ¥16,221,000, which would in the neighborhood of $200,000/yr. Still, that would be only a portion of their total income--most of which come in the form of "gifts" from wealthy supporters.

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The raise is more symbolic than anything else. "Improving the lot of the urakata (behind the scene personnel)" was a well-known platform for Takanohana's campaign to become a riji. It is not a coincidence that the first raise in 10 years happened in the initial year of his tenure on the board.

According to the Mainichi, a juryo-level gyoji gets paid between ¥100,000 and 200,000 per month, so the raise would be ¥2,700-5,400 ($32.50-65.00). Juryo rikishi gets ¥1,036,000 ($12,460) per month plus various stipends, which add up to ¥16,221,000, which would in the neighborhood of $200,000/yr. Still, that would be only a portion of their total income--most of which come in the form of "gifts" from wealthy supporters.

This $200k/yr number buys one a certain standard of living (in Japan). How does the current value compare to decades past? I presume 200k make one "upper middle class", but not upperclass, ie, one's going to still be a renter and not able to buy a significant size house. Or is the additional income sufficient to make up that difference? Though I suspect Hakuho is able to buy more or less what he wants??

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That 200K is for the lowest salaried rikishi.

A yokozuna, like Hakuho, makes approximately ¥45,510,000 ($546,000) per year in salary and stipends. In addition, he has kensho money plus sponsor gifts. The sponsor gifts increase with the stature and popularity of a rikishi so Hakuho's will be considerable. Furthermore, like a prima ballerina or a prima soprano, a top sekitori would never have to bring his wallet anywhere. He will be wined and dined and showered with gifts.

A famous story has it that a very popular ozeki of a generation ago boasted that he never touched his salary money during most of his sekitori career.

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A yokozuna, like Hakuho, makes approximately ¥45,510,000 ($546,000) per year in salary and stipends. In addition, he has kensho money plus sponsor gifts.

Not to mention 50 million yen in yusho awards last year.

In any case, let's not forget that Japan has had zero or negative inflation for most of the last 15+ years, so a lack of salary increases over there is hardly comparable with most Western countries where inflation steadily erodes real wages if no nominal wage increases occur.

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A yokozuna, like Hakuho, makes approximately ¥45,510,000 ($546,000) per year in salary and stipends. In addition, he has kensho money plus sponsor gifts.

Not to mention 50 million yen in yusho awards last year.

In any case, let's not forget that Japan has had zero or negative inflation for most of the last 15+ years, so a lack of salary increases over there is hardly comparable with most Western countries where inflation steadily erodes real wages if no nominal wage increases occur.

But we're not exactly talking princely salaries here in the first place for the people getting raises. A juryo rikishi might make a decent wage, but a juryo gyoji must be barely able to live on what he's paid. Are they expected to live at the heya their entire careers?

And I do hope they don't have to buy their own uniforms. They can't be cheap.

Edited by Kuroyama

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But we're not exactly talking princely salaries here in the first place for the people getting raises. A juryo rikishi might make a decent wage, but a juryo gyoji must be barely able to live on what he's paid. Are they expected to live at the heya their entire careers?

And I do hope they don't have to buy their own uniforms. They can't be cheap.

The point of my original post was to contrast the juryo gyoji pay with that of the juryo rikishi. The 2.7% raise didn't do much for the low salary. And, gyoji are the highest paid among the urakata personnel.

Because of the disparity in the pay scale, Takanohana has made it part of his campaign to improve the situation for the behind-the-scene workers of Ozumo.

As for gyoji costume/uniform, yes, the ones worn by juryo and makuuchi gyoji are expensive. The gyoji do get a costume allowance per basho. I really don't know if or how much the heya, rikishi or supporters would help them out.

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The cost of a draft beer in a 'gaijin bar' in Hiroshima when I was first there about 15 years ago was Y500. Today it is Y500. I don't even want to think about the change in cost of a draft beer in the UK over the past 15 years - it makes me sad.

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Ok then it is good to know I'm making the salary of a juryo gyoji!! LOL

It is overwhelming for me sometimes that a juryo rikishi can make what I make in an entire year in just two months and they don't need to buy tickets 15 days x 5 basho or hotels for that time either.. LOL

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But we're not exactly talking princely salaries here in the first place for the people getting raises. A juryo rikishi might make a decent wage, but a juryo gyoji must be barely able to live on what he's paid. Are they expected to live at the heya their entire careers?

And I do hope they don't have to buy their own uniforms. They can't be cheap.

Once a gyoji reaches the 'sekitori' equivalent he is allowed to have his own koenkai, supporters' club, which will help out with costumes and gumbai; and also the heya koenkai will present him with a 'starter' silk outfit. It depends on his heya connections of course, so some gyoji may receive more gifts than others. There are also cases where a senior gyoji may give a bolt of silk brocade to a favored junior (over the years, the same pattern comes up again and again); for junior gyoji there are also sources of the cotton outfits; the heya, then when he gets to a certain level the Kyokai gives him one. Ozeki promotion and yokozuna promotion also entail gifts to gyoji; last time I checked, a new ozeki had to present all the gyoji in his group of heya (ichimon) with an outfit. Ditto for a yokozuna, plus new outfits to the two chief gyoji.

Orion

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Just another thing I wanted to mention for those who don't know it.

The younger gyoji often get hand me downs from their seniors as well! Quite a few of the younger boys have told me when they got a hand me down and who gave it to them!! It really is like a family then!! :-D

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What do young Yobidashi get?

Juryou Gyouji 200.000?

You can make 170.000 by waiting tables on 5 days a week... (part time)

Edited by ilovesumo

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What do young Yobidashi get?

Juryou Gyouji 200.000?

You can make 170.000 by waiting tables on 5 days a week... (part time)

Well they get a free place to live, three meals a day, heat, hot water, chances to go to parties for free, dinners, etc..

If you work in a gas station or restaurant then out of your money you pay for all those things!!!

It isn't as bad as it seems!!!

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According to the Mainichi, a juryo-level gyoji gets paid between ¥100,000 and 200,000 per month, so the raise would be ¥2,700-5,400 ($32.50-65.00). Juryo rikishi gets ¥1,036,000 ($12,460) per month plus various stipends, which add up to ¥16,221,000, which would in the neighborhood of $200,000/yr. Still, that would be only a portion of their total income--most of which come in the form of "gifts" from wealthy supporters.

On the other side, gyoji can do their work far longer than rikishi. And once a Juryo rikishi leaves sumo, they don't have too many marketable skills for other work. They need the cash reserve!

(though I hope they have help for the transition, especially for those who never made sekitori!)

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According to the Mainichi, a juryo-level gyoji gets paid between ?100,000 and 200,000 per month, so the raise would be ?2,700-5,400 ($32.50-65.00). Juryo rikishi gets ?1,036,000 ($12,460) per month plus various stipends, which add up to ?16,221,000, which would in the neighborhood of $200,000/yr. Still, that would be only a portion of their total income--most of which come in the form of "gifts" from wealthy supporters.

On the other side, gyoji can do their work far longer than rikishi. And once a Juryo rikishi leaves sumo, they don't have too many marketable skills for other work. They need the cash reserve!

(though I hope they have help for the transition, especially for those who never made sekitori!)

Very often stable supporters will offer them other jobs. In addition, for those below sekitori, or for those who only once made sekitori, important and wealthy sekitori often start restaurants and can offer jobs in them, managers to the brighter ones, cooks to the less successful ones (who by definition have been working in the heya kitchen the longest). There is a huge network.

Orion

Edited by Orion

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According to the Mainichi, a juryo-level gyoji gets paid between ¥100,000 and 200,000 per month, so the raise would be ¥2,700-5,400 ($32.50-65.00). Juryo rikishi gets ¥1,036,000 ($12,460) per month plus various stipends, which add up to ¥16,221,000, which would in the neighborhood of $200,000/yr. Still, that would be only a portion of their total income--most of which come in the form of "gifts" from wealthy supporters.

On the other side, gyoji can do their work far longer than rikishi. And once a Juryo rikishi leaves sumo, they don't have too many marketable skills for other work. They need the cash reserve!

(though I hope they have help for the transition, especially for those who never made sekitori!)

However, by the time a gyoji reaches Juryo level he already *has* worked about as long as most rikishi ever do. According to Yubinhaad's list the least senior Juryo gyoji entered sumo in 1991. Only 13 rikishi have been in sumo longer. (Kaio among them, of course.) 20 years is a long time to be in a profession and still be making less than $30k. And it's still a very long way to the top: the present Kimura Shonosuke, who will have to retire this year, if I'm not mistaken, will have been in sumo 49 years.

A juryo rikishi has, of course, been sekitori by definition. As for post-sumo careers, one might hope they made some useful contacts while active, and that's more important in getting a job than skills. It's the same as any professional sport though, whether it pays well or not.

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What do young Yobidashi get?

I just read on the net that a jonokuchi yobidashi gets (pre-raise) between ¥14,000 and 20,000 per month. Of course, the kid is usually around 16 or 17 and he would have no expenses.

A veteran yobidashi was asked what motivated him to join. He answered quite honestly, "I had nothing else better to do. I didn't want to continue with school and I was told there was an opening." After a pause, he said with even more candor, "When I think about it, by joining, I gave up the real world or any chance for a normal life."

At the time of the interview, four slots for yobidashi remained open due to lack of applicants.

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What do young Yobidashi get?

I just read on the net that a jonokuchi yobidashi gets (pre-raise) between ¥14,000 and 20,000 per month. Of course, the kid is usually around 16 or 17 and he would have no expenses.

A veteran yobidashi was asked what motivated him to join. He answered quite honestly, "I had nothing else better to do. I didn't want to continue with school and I was told there was an opening." After a pause, he said with even more candor, "When I think about it, by joining, I gave up the real world or any chance for a normal life."

At the time of the interview, four slots for yobidashi remained open due to lack of applicants.

This is so sad.

"When I think about it, by joining, I gave up the real world or any chance for a normal life." = lack of applicants

How do you guys think the labour conditions/pay/etc. of urakata could/should be reformed?

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