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Itachiyama

Makuuchi Yusho Prizes?

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Beside the "Emperor's Cup", the "Prime Minister's award" and the "Winner's flag", I would be happy to get as many information about all the other prizes and awards. Name, Sponsor, (Country, Province), Benefits ...

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I've seen pics of a giant Coca~Cola bottle and another glass bottle full of... sour plums I think.

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Here is a very long list that Orion has made over the years (name changed due to forum rules to protect the innocent) . I saved it a few years ago from the SML before it died in the bum after many ferociously vindictive flame wars between people with nothing better to do than berate each other over things that have nothing to do with sumo. I hope she doesn't mind me copying it here but I know she is a very busy woman and doesn't mind sharing the information. The later part has some great stories from our fearless Ozsumo leader Katrina. I am guessing that some of the prizes may be different now. I have numbered them in case anyone has some more up to date information.

Orion’s List: Trophies and Prizes presented to the Yusho winner

(not entirely up-to-date and there are some local variations)

1) The Emperor’s Cup: Tenno Shihai

It weighs 29 kg. (64 lbs.) and can hold 36 litres of liquid—except

that the lid is soldered on!

2). Yusho Banner (Yusho-ki優勝期)

The Emperor’s Cup and the banner are presented by one of the three

chief judges at the beginning of the presentation ceremony on the final

day of the basho. The two symbols are returned to the Kyokai’s keeping

in a sort of reverse ceremony held after the Makunouchi and Yokozuna

dohyo-iri on the first day of the next basho. Small replicas are given

to the yusho winner to keep.

3). The Prime Minister’s Prize

Actually another trophy—a large silver cup that is bigger and much

heavier than the Emperor’s Cup. It is also more unwieldy, since the

Emperor’s Cup has a slender stem that affords a firm grip and a good

balance.

4). Other prominent trophies are regularly presented, and are here given

in approximate order of presentation (which varies a little). Note that

the trophies remain in the Kokugikan, but most of them also carry a

personal prize which the yusho winner keeps. The prefectural ones

usually feature a large quantity of the local specialty, be it dried

fungus or small shellfish. Many also include a sum of money. The

following is the basic list.

5 Czech Republic: tall fluted bowl cut glass (replacing older one

inscribed EXPO ‘70), plus a year’s supply of Pilsner beer

6 United Arab Emirates: giant coffee pot some 40 cm. tall, made of

handbeaten silver with gold inlay, plus a year’s supply of gasoline

7 Hungary: huge red cloisonne jar, plus an individual tea-set

8 China-Japan Friendship Cup: lidded cup in blue cloisonne with a design

of Mount Fuji, pine and cherry blossom on a blue background

9 [not now, Sarkozy’s hostile] French President’s Cup (Chirac!): huge

dark ceramic piece.

10 Mongolian Prime Minister’s Trophy: large silver bowl held up by three

Mongolian wrestlers, replacing small but massive silver bowl on a

plinth of green stone

11 Mexico: large replica in silver of the Aztec calendar mounted on a

wooden plaque, plus a year’s supply of beer

12 Osaka Governor’s Prize:??

13 Mainichi Newspapers: the real award is the giant photograph hung below

the roof of the Kokugikan, but a smaller framed copy is presented now.

14 NHK Gold Cup: oval with three lengthwise flutings, based on a small cup

in the Shosoin Treasure House in Nara.

15 Local newspapers? Yomiuri?

16 Zennosho (National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations

Prize): bronze statue of a rikishi in kesho-mawashi carrying a large

gilt rice-bale; plus a real straw bale that actually contains very

little rice, so that the representative can handle it; the yusho winner

actually receives 30 bales of rice, a valuable addition to his heya;

plus some other delicacy such as eggs boiled in a hot spring

17 Oita prefecture Shiitake Growers Cooperative: dried shiitake (a kind of

oriental mushroom) in a large glass container, plus money

18 Fukui prefecture: red lacquer bowl on two rice bales; plus money and a

ton of umeboshi, sour pickled fruit

19 Hokkaido government: bronze trophy of a giant bird, the Blakiston’s

fish owl; plus a truckload of produce

20 Miyazaki prefecture: trophy in the form of a bull, on a stand supported

by full-frontal male nudes (it weighs around 37 kilograms); carcass of

prime beef

21 Ehime prefecture: silver globe trophy, plus 1,500 bottles of ponzu,

citrus-flavored vinegar

22 Shizuoka prefecture: lamp-shaped trophy: Mount Fuji above, gold paling

to silver; plus the winner’s weight in tea, and a gift of seasonal

fruit

23 Matsue City Mayor’s Cup: large lidded cup plus a ton of small shellfish

used in soup

24 Japan Airlines (JAL): jet plane on a silver world with gold continents

Millionaire’s Cup (Ozeki sake): the giant silver sake cup later filled

with sake and used in the photographs of the victor’s celebrations;

four barrels of sake go with it

25 Bulgarian trophy: realistic tall spray of gold roses and leaves.

26 Isuzu Bighorn [sometimes other car]: the actual four-wheel drive

vehicle stands outside the Kokugikan for the whole basho; for the

presentation, a giant plastic key is used

27 (Coca-cola bottle, plaque representing a Bulgari watch; and local ones

in each venue)

Note: although the basic information in this section was found by

personal research, many details were taken from the book “Naruhodo

Ozumo” by Mr. Seigoro Kitade, a former NHK announcer.

From Katrina Watts former NHK sumo commentator and president Australian Sumo Federation

Thanks Orion for the comprehensive list of prizes.

It’s obvious that the monetary prizes would be welcome, but as Orion

pointed out:

Zennosho (National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations

Prize):

bronze statue of a rikishi in kesho-mawashi carrying a large

gilt rice-bale; plus a real straw bale that actually contains very

little rice, so that the representative can handle it; the yusho

winner actually receives 30 bales of rice, a valuable addition to his

heya; plus some other delicacy such as eggs boiled in a hot spring

the prizes of food represent a truly important addition to the

supplies of the winning rikishi’s heya and it goes to the heya.

Naruto Oyakata tells a funny story about his wife ringing up the rice

merchant to order 10 kg of rice the day after the then Yokozuna

Takanosato had won the yusho. The merchant wondered why he would be

buying rice when he’d just won 30 bales of it. Naruto Oyakata also

said that, although he’d won the Czech trophy several times, he’d

never tasted the Czech Pilsner that was awarded with it - his oyakata

apparently enjoyed that. Shiroikuma kindly brought some for him on a

visit, much to the Oyakata’s delight. “At last,” he cried as he

drained his glass, “I know what this beer tastes like!”

Visiting Azumazeki Beya one morning, some friends and I were chatting

with Akebono over a tasty post training (his not ours!!) chanko. The

wife of the oyakata, the okamisan, put her head around the doorway and

admonished the yokozuna saying, “You’d better win this tournament.

You’re eating the last of the beef you won previously.” That prompted

me to ask about what form the prize took:

Miyazaki prefecture: trophy in the form of a bull, on a stand

supported by full-frontal male nudes (it weighs around 37 kilograms);

carcass of prime beef

When we mere mortals buy a side of lamb or quarter of beef and store

it in the home freezer it’s legs, shoulder ribs etc. the whole deal -

tough and tender meat, but Akebono said that the prize was actually

delivered as the weight of a steer in prime cuts of beef and that the

local butcher, from whom the heya usually bought their meat, was kind

enough to store it for them in his freezer.

What’s a year’s supply of Coca Cola, beer or gasoline? How much Coke/

beer can a rikishi drink in a year? Scary! Don’t know precisely

about the first two, several cartons of it are delivered post basho to

the heya based on some kind of calculation of a year’s worth, however

Konishiki told me he got 3000 litres of gas, but that it didn’t last a

year.

How many watches, how many cars can a rikishi wear or drive? Multiple

yusho winners generously share these with their family and friends,

and in the case of the cars, sometimes give them to charity. A

Hawaiian friend joked that it was easy to recognize Akebono’s

relatives - they all drove the same kind of car!

Finally, among my yusho winnings recollections, apart from seeing

“backstage” the contents of Dave Wiggin’s favourite “Jug o’ Mushrooms”

being emptied very unceremoniously into a blue plastic garbage bag for

transport to the heya, is the look of delight on Ozeki Takanonami’s

face after winning the yusho in Kyuushu because one of the

agricultural prizes there was a large quantity of sato imo - directly

translated as “country potato” - a small brown hairy vegetable which

is like a sticky, slightly sweet potato when cooked. These were a

particular favourite of his and he was looking forward to eating them

back in Tokyo.

I always thoroughly enjoyed watching the awards ceremony. Seeing the

startling array of prizes, watching the presenters struggle to lift

trophies and prizes which were then passed lightly by the winning

rikishi - literally strong man - to the helpers below, and hearing the

dignitaries glide or stumble through their reading of the award

certificate. The foreign presenters in particular can be entertaining

in their linguistic struggles but even Japanese presenters sometimes

mess up. In Osaka when Yokozuna Onokuni won the yusho someone loudly

proclaimed he was presenting the prize to Ono Kuniyasu instead of

Onokuni Yasushi. Not a big sumo fan, I guess. I always did feel

sorry for the yusho’s runner up though - amid all those trophies and

prizes was nothing for him, unless he’d managed to score one of the

sansho prizes. Motivation to try harder next time perhaps.

Katrina

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Beside the "Emperor's Cup", the "Prime Minister's award" and the "Winner's flag", I would be happy to get as many information about all the other prizes and awards. Name, Sponsor, (Country, Province), Benefits ...

Of course you will give proper credit to your sources when your book is finally finished. B-)

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Thanks for remembering, Johnofuji. I'd forgotten I'd made this whole thing public -- dang!

I have a revised version, updated for May this year when I was on Senshuraku, but the sumo waas so gripping I never got to use it. This time I think I'll hang on to it, in case I get another Senshuraku booking.

Orion

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Sorry about that Orion. Yes you had already put it out in the public domain so its there FOREVER but we appreciate that you took the time to put the list in writing. Don't worry last time you also said you had cut out a lot of information to save it for senshuraku. There was a thread on this forum about it 9 years ago but none of the links work anymore and there wasn't much detail offered apart from some photos. I will have to pay attention next time rather than switching over to the rugby. Each prize is announced as they are handed over for the benefit of the sponsor aren't they?I will be flying out of Tokyo that evening so I hope I'm not stuck in transit if there is something exciting like a yusho ketteisen. I believe Coca Cola (Japan) Co and The National Federation of Agricultural Co-operative Associations ended their 30 year association after the yaocho scandal but I guess Miyazaki prefecture re-considered pulling their Wagyu support?

Edited by Johnofuji

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Actually the special thing about my private list is that I used the cartoons in the late Mr. Kitade's book, so they served as a quick reference. Of course the illustrated list was strictly for my personal use and I never passed on or published any copies, so there wasn't a copyright problem. Lately, of course, more and more I have had to supplement the old illustrations with tracings of photos I took through the glass of the great trophy case that dominates the end of the Kokugikan Entrance Hall.

In May I discovered that the final order is not necessarily known much in advance; while preparing my update, I went to the office

to ask for the list and was told (by an old friend) that it wasn't there yet. Finally, on Senshuraku I found a published list -- too late for me, so the illustrations were all the handier -- or would have been if we'd had time to do full justice to the presentations.

Anyway I won't be needing it this time.

Orion

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What's with the French Cup. Does anybody know what goes along with it refering to any kind of supply. Or "just" a monetary prize?

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Wow this is quite excessive, does he have to physically accept each and everyone. They better come with monetary consideration as well

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In response to Mukunoso’s question in a separate trophy thread (even though you had already commented on this one). I recall that a trophy was dropped at least once. The late David Jones, 'a former public relations manager for the late Pan American Airways, well-known in Japan for his humorous announcements when presenting trophies at sumo tournaments' used to present the Pan Am trophy at Grand Sumo tournaments for 30 years between 1961 and 1991.

I can't remember who the Yusho winner was but apparently Jones fell backwards trying to carry the 40 odd kilogram trophy .The champion picked up the trophy in one hand and Jones up in the other.

He was supposedly responsible for bringing Takamiyama to Japan

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I can't remember who the Yusho winner was...

I believe it was Kotozakura.

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Another hidden treasure of a thread which most likely won't be read by many because of the title. Funny, informative to the hilt, great picture posts by YBF. I give it a ten as far as threads go. This should be pinned somewhere and force- fed to someone.

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The pictures Fay linked are far better and worth a look. (Even though she didn't get a shot of the trophy given by the Jamaican ambassador.)

After all, there is a Subforum for Sumo Information, but it is rarely used and locked.

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Thanks to Kintamayama for the idea, topic moved to Sumo Info. If you think other topics deserve the same, please let me know...

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I guess that trophy now rests in Davy Jones’ locker.

Something like. (Sigh...) When PanAm (the company) became unable to pay the costs of the prize, the NSK kept him on because of the fans' delight in hearing his broad American accent delivering a joke in the local dialect (scripted by Ryo Hatano, a Japanese journalist who cooperated with Andy Adams on the original Sumo World). But as paying companies wanted their two minutes of TV time, eventually Jones's performance was squeezed out of the TV coverage altogegther.

Orion

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Boy those stills of all the prizes almost make the yusho ceremony look like it's interesting. Too bad it's only a little bit more interesting than watching paint dry. Still a cool collection you have there.

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Boy those stills of all the prizes almost make the yusho ceremony look like it's interesting. Too bad it's only a little bit more interesting than watching paint dry. Still a cool collection you have there.

The big interest, by the time you get well into the list of prizes, is in the presenters. In Tokyo, they are in the seats on either side of the VIP box in the middle of the shomen upstairs. These are the seats that are exactly the same as any other A-seki except that they have little white mats on the back of the seat. (I believe the Victorian term was 'antimacassar') For some years I have been going round to greet the Mongolian ambassador at that time, but he has now been replaced by someone I have not officially met, so I no longer have an excuse to wade into the VIP seats -- but mark my words, my time will come again ..

In Osaka they sit, much more publicly if you know where to look, in the last row of Shomen upstairs seats, and only those in the know can identify them -- until the camera flashes start working. I still have, right at the beginning of my last memory stick,

a very nice shot of the previous governor of Osaka, taken at the time he was waiting for his big entry, a few years ago now.

But it's important to remember that, for each country that is putting up the money, those two minutes of fame are what continues to bring in the support.

Orion

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This is really neat to learn! The free internet feed is so poor, I had assumed that all the presenters were Japanese and just had trouble reading the scripts because they were nervous. Public speaking jitters and all that. :D

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