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New Juryo, new shikona (split from Promotion discussion)

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48 minutes ago, RabidJohn said:

I think there's likely to be a degree of expectation with any inherited shikona, giving it a double-edge. 

But maybe that's not the way rikishi think about it. After all, some shikona seem to be used as incentives: reach x rank and you can have y shikona. Possibly not the best examples, but the Hanada brothers had to prove themselves before they were permitted to use the prestigious family shikona of Wakanohana and Takanohana.

Which they well met. There is a degree of "shikona slippage" as well, where subsequent holders of a shikona maybe don't do quite as well as their first holders - Wakanohana II (Magaki oyakata, Terunofuji's first shisho) and some of the Asashio and Konishiki holders come to mind. Or even the present Yutakayama. But it's arguable that by reaching x rank, you're likely to be a decent inheritor of y shikona - like Kotonowaka being promised Kotozakura if he makes it to ozeki, even if you don't quite make it to the same height as the previous holder. Family relationships may or may not be a confounding factor, depending on the particular family - some fathers are super keen for their rikishi sons to have their old shikona (Tochiazuma and Sadanoumi), others require that benchmark (the Hanada brothers).

On the other hand, ichidai-class shikona are so superyokozuna that even if I were a family member, I wouldn't dare use it unless I really reached yokozuna rank for fear of sullying it. I'm frankly amazed that Naya wanted to use his grandfather's shikona on mere juryo promotion, especially when he's not even the first of his generation to become sekitori. Maybe that "oyakata name" excuse was just that - a convenient excuse to dissuade Naya from an unwise choice, which may or may not become precedents in the future. Can you imagine if Naya got stuck in juryo for the rest of his career? He'll make a mockery out of the Taiho name. So maybe it's a good thing that ichidai-class shikona are forever removed from the shikona pool too.

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1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

On the other hand, ichidai-class shikona are so superyokozuna that even if I were a family member, I wouldn't dare use it unless I really reached yokozuna rank for fear of sullying it. I'm frankly amazed that Naya wanted to use his grandfather's shikona on mere juryo promotion, especially when he's not even the first of his generation to become sekitori. Maybe that "oyakata name" excuse was just that - a convenient excuse to dissuade Naya from an unwise choice, which may or may not become precedents in the future. Can you imagine if Naya got stuck in juryo for the rest of his career? He'll make a mockery out of the Taiho name. So maybe it's a good thing that ichidai-class shikona are forever removed from the shikona pool too.

I was very shocked too that Ōho wanted to use Taiho straight from Juryo. To me, that indicates either a very ambitious or risk-taking personality. If I were in his position, I think Yokozuna is the least qualification I need to use the name Taiho. Just speculation, but do you ever think Hakuho will allow someone else to use his name? In that case, I don't think even being a Yokozuna would suffice. 20 yusho might be a start. I can totally envision him giving the name to someone who is not his direct descendant though. 

Edited by pricklypomegranate
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If Hakuho gets ichidai toshiyori status upon retirement (as he should IMO), the shikona will be removed from the available rikishi names.

However, if he uses his 5 years grace to wait for the Miyagino kabu (always a possibility), the Hakuho shikona might still be available, but it will be even more illustrious than Chiyonofuji. I can't imagine any oyakata or rikishi wanting to sully it with an inferior performance.

Edited by RabidJohn
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55 minutes ago, pricklypomegranate said:

To me, that indicates either a very ambitious or risk-taking personality.

I think this is all well and good, but if he had blazed it into juryo from maezumo, he might be entitled to it even at juryo, and the expectation might spur him on even faster. What pushes it into rich territory for me is the fact that of his generation, Kotoshoho, Kotonowaka, and Hoshoryu have all gotten to makuuchi before he got to juryo. And none of them are even turning in really fantastic performances (Kotoshoho excepted, but even though his sumo is good for his age and experience, he's still been relatively smoked this last basho and was frankly quite lucky to get a KK in the joi IMO). So you're telling me, you're slow for your generation to get to makuuchi, but you've still got the cojones to want the shikona of the first ichidai-yokozuna from juryo?! I'm getting bad Takatoriki vibes here.

I had had a similar discussion with someone else on a completely different topic, but I think the term that comes to mind regarding ichidai-toshiyori shikona is taboo (in the sense of the sacred rather than the profane) - their achievements within sumo are so removed from that of regular rikishi that their shikona being permanently rendered unusable via the ichidai-toshiyori system is somehow a fitting tribute. It's interesting to note that while the number of yusho won by yokozuna is relatively contiguous up to Wajima's 14, there's a sharp jump between his and Tanikaze's 21 championships - the next, Takanohana at 22, marks ichidai-toshiyori territory. Given the Shinto background of sumo and the old belief that rikishi, specifically yokozuna, are hosts to powerful kami, it's also oddly appropriate that the shikona be rendered taboo thus.

RabidJohn's pretty much summed up what it takes to get a Hakuho II. The only likely candidate on a performance basis right now is Hokuseiho, and IMO he only deserves it if he reaches sanyaku by the end of this year 2021.

Edited by Seiyashi
thanks rhyen

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For Tohakuryu:  The kanji  likely can reference his home, Tokyo, his stable naming convention/legacy (Azuma/To/ ), and his University: 東洋大学.

 

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4 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

 

RabidJohn's pretty much summed up what it takes to get a Hakuho II. The only likely candidate on a performance basis right now is Hokuseiho, and IMO he only deserves it if he reaches sanyaku by the end of this year.

Well 2020 is coming to a close real soon, so he definitely won’t even reach Juryo from Sandanme in one basho.

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2 minutes ago, rhyen said:
9 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

 

RabidJohn's pretty much summed up what it takes to get a Hakuho II. The only likely candidate on a performance basis right now is Hokuseiho, and IMO he only deserves it if he reaches sanyaku by the end of this year.

Well 2020 is coming to a close real soon, so he definitely won’t even reach Juryo from Sandanme in one basho.

Gah. I meant 2021 - clearly so can't wait for this year to be over, I'm already in 2021!

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The current Sadanoumi is the son of ex-Komosubi (and former Oyakata) Sadanoumi, right?  He switched from his real name to the father's shikona when he reached Jonidan.  Of course, the father was obviously OK with the switch, and he wasn't an ex-Ozeki or Yokozuna.

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23 minutes ago, Yamanashi said:

The current Sadanoumi is the son of ex-Komosubi (and former Oyakata) Sadanoumi, right?  He switched from his real name to the father's shikona when he reached Jonidan.  Of course, the father was obviously OK with the switch, and he wasn't an ex-Ozeki or Yokozuna.

Interesting - that seems earlier than usual. Tochiazuma waited until he got to juryo before he adopted his father's shikona, for example.

I was unaware that ichidai toshiyori names could not only not be passed on to retiring rikishi as kabu but could not even be used by active rikishi.

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1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

RabidJohn's pretty much summed up what it takes to get a Hakuho II. The only likely candidate on a performance basis right now is Hokuseiho, and IMO he only deserves it if he reaches sanyaku by the end of this year 2021.

Is it an actual rule - like in black and white - that you can't use an ichidai-toshiyori name, or is it just an accepted norm? Because you know how Hakuho feels about pesky "norms". And no, I do not think a speedy sanyaku run would suffice. I can definitely see him being up for offering the name to his disciples/descendants - it's part of cementing his legacy. Taking the name "Hakuho" is more than an Ozeki/Yokozuna run, which looks run-of-the-mill at this point - it's damn near the highest achievement that any rikishi (barring being/surpassing Hakuho himself) can earn. It would literally be the greatest embarrassment of all sumo history if Hokuseiho went quickly up, got the rank, the name, and then fell back down. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Inherently, there must be some sort of stability. Conferring such a name in a sense is like a Yokozuna promotion, it is not something you can take back, even if you reverted back to your old name. To me, an appropriate "promotional criteria" would be 20 yusho of reasonable quality or at least 10 in a short span of time (we are talking at least 5 consecutive yusho, haha). 

Edited by pricklypomegranate

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Just now, pricklypomegranate said:

Is it an actual rule - like in black and white - that you can't use an ichidai-toshiyori name, or is it just an accepted norm? Because you know how Hakuho feels about pesky "norms". And no, I do not think a speedy sanyaku run would suffice. I can definitely see him being up for offering the name to his disciples/descendants - it's part of cementing his legacy. Taking the name "Hakuho" is more than an Ozeki/Yokozuna run, which looks run-of-the-mill at this point - it's damn near the highest achievement that any rikishi (barring being/surpassing Hakuho himself) can earn. It would literally be the greatest embarrassment of all sumo history if Hokuseiho went quickly up, got the rank, the name, and then fell back down. Inherently, there must be some sort of stability. Conferring such a name in a sense is like a Yokozuna promotion, it is not something you can take back, even if you reverted back to your old name. To me, an appropriate "promotional criteria" would be 20 yusho of reasonable quality or at least 10 in a short span of time (we are talking at least 5 consecutive yusho, haha). 

If you have 20 yusho, you forge your own legacy already. I can see why you want to set that standard, but honestly 20 yusho is - at the earliest - 3+ years or half of an average yokozuna career already, in which case you might as well be part of a "-ho" triumvirate. So I'm a bit more inclined to agree with RabidJohn and say that Hakuho and Chiyonofuji, even if they weren't retired as shikona, would just not be practical shikona to adopt anymore simply because of the weight of the achievements of the name.

11 minutes ago, ryafuji said:

I was unaware that ichidai toshiyori names could not only not be passed on to retiring rikishi as kabu but could not even be used by active rikishi.

I don't think there was any precedent before this, since Taiho is the first of the ichidai toshiyori kabu. Certainly you're not the only one unaware of this. I suspect the rule that was quoted was one that was made up on the fly, since Taiho is not an active oyakata name (it might be more obviously correct if it had been, given the ways in which wrestlers and elders are referred to in Japanese media), but it's not necessarily bad in hindsight for the reasons we've been discussing.

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10 minutes ago, ryafuji said:

Interesting - that seems earlier than usual. Tochiazuma waited until he got to juryo before he adopted his father's shikona, for example.

I was unaware that ichidai toshiyori names could not only not be passed on to retiring rikishi as kabu but could not even be used by active rikishi.

IMHO, familial connections probably trump whatever unwritten rules there may be. I'd be rather surprised if any-Naya-as-next-Taiho is perpetually off-limits, not least because there isn't actually any present toshiyori Taiho anymore. But sure, it'll look very out of place if it's happening before ozeki promotion at the very least.

Anyway, there used to be a short-lived (1927-29) toshiyori named Araiwa 荒岩 following the Tokyo-Osaka merger, and they didn't seem too concerned by that getting reused as a shikona afterwards. There's also Haguroyama which was an ichidai toshiyori of a different type for the sizable length of 11 years, which didn't stop the name from being bestowed as a shikona again. For completeness: Also Asashio and Wakanohana. Personally I see no qualitative difference between any of these and "proper" ichidai toshiyori; either ex-oyakata names are off-limits for structural reasons or they are not.

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Now that I think of it, when Chiyonofuji retired Channel 4 in the UK speculated that his son Go might want to follow him into sumo and not taking ichidai toshiyori meant "we might see another Chiyonofuji era." (I have no idea if that was a factor in Chiyonofuji's decision or if his son ever actually had amibitions to become a rikishi.)

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22 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

If you have 20 yusho, you forge your own legacy already. I can see why you want to set that standard, but honestly 20 yusho is - at the earliest - 3+ years or half of an average yokozuna career already, in which case you might as well be part of a "-ho" triumvirate. So I'm a bit more inclined to agree with RabidJohn and say that Hakuho and Chiyonofuji, even if they weren't retired as shikona, would just not be practical shikona to adopt anymore simply because of the weight of the achievements of the name.

I did consider that too and you might very well be right. In a sense, that is another protection, albeit unintended, against using the name isn't it? By the time you are worthy of the name, you would also be worthy of your own legacy. The names might very well never be used again, in more ways than one... 

Edited by pricklypomegranate

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40 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

There's also Haguroyama which was an ichidai toshiyori of a different type for the sizable length of 11 years, which didn't stop the name from being bestowed as a shikona again.

Considering Asashio and Wakanohana were cases of jun-toshiyori, the real shocker is this one, where the later Annenyama apparently took the Haguroyama name at the same time as Haguroyama was using it as a toshiyori name. And it's fairly recent, too.

Edited by Seiyashi
Misread something

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15 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

Considering Asashio and Wakanohana were cases of jun-toshiyori, the real shocker is this one, where the later Annenyama apparently took the Haguroyama name at the same time as Haguroyama was using it as a toshiyori name. And it's fairly recent, too.

I don't think that's correct; Annenyama didn't take it until 1961, by which time Haguroyama had become Tatsunami. Incidentally another familial connection there - father-in-law and son-in-law.

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6 minutes ago, ryafuji said:

I don't think that's correct; Annenyama didn't take it until 1961, by which time Haguroyama had become Tatsunami. Incidentally another familial connection there - father-in-law and son-in-law.

Right, my bad. Must have misread a year; it's getting late over here.

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I think it would be nice that ichidai toshiyori shikona were retired. Not only because the next holder could probably embarrass the name, but because it would be a way to honour the shikona. Just the same thing is done in football or basketball, when the number used by some stars like Jordan are retired (I know it's not the same case, but I find it similar in some points). 

Edited by Seregost
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Don't understand the problem of one of the Nayas using the shikona "Taiho". Wouldn't Taiho be proud and wanted one of his grandchildren to use his name? Don't know if he was ever questioned this before he passed.

As per Hakuho, the same. If his son ever shows interest in joining sumo and reaches Juryu, wouldn't he want his son to use it?

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33 minutes ago, Asapedroryu said:

Don't understand the problem of one of the Nayas using the shikona "Taiho". Wouldn't Taiho be proud and wanted one of his grandchildren to use his name? Don't know if he was ever questioned this before he passed.

As per Hakuho, the same. If his son ever shows interest in joining sumo and reaches Juryu, wouldn't he want his son to use it?

It depends a lot on the familial relationship. If you're a happy-go-lucky type who doesn't care what your kids do with your shikona, by all means. But I suspect to reach the level of the ichidai-toshiyori, you wouldn't be that type; you'd have standards and you'd be disappointed if your successor didn't meet them. So you'd want some assurance, some kind of prior evidence, that shows that your successor would at least live up to that standard.

Counterfactual: Let's say Naya did take Taiho, went up to juryo, MKed, and never made it back up to juryo again, and neither did any of his siblings. To have a 32-yusho shikona stuck in the makushita joi is like having a world class sportsperson - Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, David Beckham, you take your pick - stuck playing local sports. It'd be a mockery of the name. Would Taiho say "ok, never mind what he does, as long as he has the shikona"? I don't know about Taiho, but considering what we've seen of Hakuho's personality in training his deshi, I highly doubt Hakuho would let his own son mess up his name.

Maybe this is a peculiarly Asian concept, but that line in Mulan about "dishonour upon you, your family, and your cow" really highlights the emphasis on respect and "face" in Asian cultures. Disgrace has historically been worse than death.

Edited by Seiyashi

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55 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

To have a 32-yusho shikona stuck in the makushita joi is like having a world class sportsperson - Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, David Beckham, you take your pick - stuck playing local sports. It'd be a mockery of the name.

So it's a privilege for rikishi to pick any name they choose. Mick Schumacher isn't quite as lucky...

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Not only was Taiho the first of the modern ichidai toshiyori to go to a dai-yokozuna, he's also the first such with descendants active in ozumo. In all probability there is no NSK rule that Taiho can't be used again as a shikona and only its prestige has prevented it reappearing so far. Oho's boss is quite right that a mere juryo promotion, significant as it is for the youth, does not deserve Taiho. Oho is a nice homage to his granddad, and as Asashosakari has mooted, there is no bar to him getting Taiho for ozeki or yokozuna promotion.

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IIRC, Narutobeya's Maruyama Tatsuya had to change his name (to Marusho) after Maezumo, because there was a Yokozuna Maruyama ... who died in 1749!

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On 25/11/2020 at 03:53, pricklypomegranate said:

Congratulations to Naya for his juryo promotion and name change! It does sound a little funny, but Ōho is actually a very thoughtful name. It means "King Phoenix", but the word Ō is another pronunciation of Dai/Tai (which means big), refrencing his grandfather Taiho. Welcome to sekitori life, Ōho! 

That "King Phoenix" isn't possibly the inspiration for this?

https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Ho-Oh_(Pokémon)

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2 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

To be fair though, using a name that was ichidai toshiyori is probably more of a curse than a blessing. The weight of expectation is going to be massive. I pity the next Hakuho unless that guy can win 66 titles or something. 

The three men who accepted ichidai-toshiyori had both success and curses in certain areas of their post-rikishi careers. They all never produced anybody that could replicate their success for one.

Taiho did have Ozutsu and Roho who made sekiwake and komusubi respectively, but including those two only 13 of his deshi reached sekitori ranks. He also had a stroke not long after he retired, which hampered his standings in the NSK.

Kitanoumi only had five of his deshi reach sekitori, and only one of those got to makuuchi (Ganyu). However he had much more success with being a leader within the NSK, serving twice as rijicho. He died of cancer in 2015 at the relatively young age of 57.

Takanohana's post yokozuna life has been nothing but drama. His parents got divorced because his mother decided she was done being an okami, his father died which then made things open wide up for his feud with his brother. He did have four rikishi that he recruited make sekitori, but his trying to take on the NSK in regards to the Harumafuji-Takanoiwa incident made things go even further south. Takanoiwa and Takanofuji both ended up retiring because of hazing, and Takanohana himself is no longer in the NSK. He himself was not able to raise Takakeisho to ozeki-hood. To put even more nails in the coffin, he and his wife divorced, and his son ended up divorcing too. 

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