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5 hours ago, I am the Yokozuna said:

OK, unfortunately, none is factually correct. I do speak the language. Honorifics in Japanese simply explained here. An okami, as a role, is not limited to sumo and I can speculate 9 of 10 Japanese would never associated with sumo.  To give you a different example Ikioi's name is not Ikio-zeki, even though he might have been called that. 

Posts like this are why I love this forum!

I have to say, the first time I heard 'okami-san' I wondered, "Mr Okami?" before coming to the realisation that 'san' is a gender neutral honorific.

I get where you're going with Ikioi as an example of 'zeki' being an honorific, not part of his name, but 'okami' is also not a name; it's another honorific title. Same 'o' as in ozeki, meaning great.

Also, he's not Ikioi any longer; he's Kasugayama-oyakata/san now.

That made me wonder again: was he ever really Ikioi? He started off as Shōta Toguchi. What's the name on his driver's license (now he's allowed!) or his passport? Did he legally become Ikioi Shōta throughout his active career? Does he have to get all his documentation changed now he's Kasugayama Shōta, or has he really (i.e. legally) been Shōta Toguchi all along?

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I am sure he has legally been Shota Toguchi all along. think the only rikishi who legally change their names are the foreign born ones who want to get citizenship. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, RabidJohn said:

That made me wonder again: was he ever really Ikioi? He started off as Shōta Toguchi. What's the name on his driver's license (now he's allowed!) or his passport? Did he legally become Ikioi Shōta throughout his active career? Does he have to get all his documentation changed now he's Kasugayama Shōta, or has he really (i.e. legally) been Shōta Toguchi all along?

That one is simple - the shikona is a nom-de-guerre (nom-de-dohyo?) and doesn't affect legal standing nor legal names, although some rikishi can choose to entwine them to a certain extent. The NSK keeps records of both but the legal name generally remains the birth name of the rikishi, while the shikona can be changed much more freely to mark momentous events in a rikishi's sumo life.

Legal names are most commonly (but still a rare occurrence overall) changed in one of the following situations (all Japanese games given are in given name - surname order):

  • Change in citizenship (foreigners -> Japanese).
    • ex-Takamiyama used his shikona given name, Daigoro, and combined it with his wife's surname, Watanabe, and took the Japanese name Daigoro Watanabe.
    • ex-Kyokutenho used his shikona given name, Masaru, and combined it with his stablemaster's surname, Ota, to take the Japanese name Masaru Ota.
    • There is word that should Terunofuji succeed in acquiring Japanese citizenship, he will take Isegahama's surname of Suginomori; I bet he will also take the given name Haruo from his shikona, as that seems to have been derived from a significant sponsor who stuck by him even during his injury (he is wearing a kesho-mawashi from that sponsor in his sainyumaku yusho basho).
    • Hakuho just took his shikona as his legal name outright (and before him, Akebono and Musashimaru).
    • Shotenro is a curious case: on taking Japanese citizenship, he changed his surname to Matsudaira Sho. The Sho given name part probably derives from his shikona, but taking Matsudaira is curious. He's married to Kyokutenho's sister, so it can't be taking his wife's surname. It doesn't match the surnames of either Mienoumi (Ishiyama) or Musoyama (Oso), who were the stablemasters at Musashigawa/Fujishima over the relevant period. Matsudaira is more famously known as the precursor clan to the Tokugawa shoguns of the Edo period, so one wonders what inspired Shotenro to take such a prestigious name for his surname (the English equivalent would be taking something like Neville or Villiers, or some other similar surname of high nobility).
  • Marriage - it's worth noting that in Japan, a married couple must have the same surname (although the relevant law does not specify whose; it's usually the husband but not always). Rikishi who marry their oyakata's daughters in order to succeed to the stable often take their father-in-law's surnames, in a form of "adoption".
    • The most notable case in sumo today is Sadogatake, who was originally named Konno Mitsuya, but married Kotozakura's daughter and took their family name of Kamatani. The current Kotonowaka therefore bears not his father's original name of Konno (Kotokonno was Sadogatake's first Koto-ring name) but Kamatani, and wrestled under Kotokamatani before inheriting his father's shikona on juryo promotion.
    • A similar process might have been at work for the Naya brothers as they bear their grandfather's surname but not their father's (Tadashige Kamakari).

In every non-sumo connection, such as marriage, passports and such, the rikishi remains legally known by his birth/legal name.

On the other hand, shikona can be changed much more freely and don't matter outside the sumo world:

  •  It can be changed to mark promotion past thresholds (Sadogatake and Kokonoe give recruits their first Koto- and Chiyo- names on crossing lower division bounds, and formal shikona are often given on first reaching juryo.
  • The given name section of shikona can also be switched pretty freely at will;
    • Terunofuji ding-donged between a few early on when he had just changed his shikona,
    • ex-Terao famously changed his for luck (from Setsuo to Tsunefumi),
    • Ishiura has changed his to honour a Sengoku warlord from his part of Japan.
  • Shikona can actually also be forcibly changed or taken away.
    • There's Gokushindo, who after his Abi-related fracas had his shikona "confiscated" and has reverted to Fukushima.
    • There's also Moriurara, who had his shikona changed by Otake-oyakata to evoke the Hattorizakura of horses, Urara; the jibe worked for that particular basho as the rikishi promptly turned in a KK.

Oyakata names are also, in a sense, nom-de-guerre, but because they are tied directly to the 105 kabu that make up the NSK, there is much less freedom to change them. In general, an oyakata only ever switches his oyakata title with others for administrative reasons, like to take over a kanban stable (like with Chiyonofuji and Kitanofuji switching Kokonoe and Jinmaku), or to free up a retiring rikishi's oyakata title (Shotenro jumped from Ikioi's Kasugayama to Endo's Kitajin), etc. The part that the oyakata are at liberty to change is the given name section of their oyakata name. This is usually the last given name they had as a rikishi (so Hakkaku oyakata is fully called Hakkaku Nobuyoshi, after his full shikona Hokutoumi Nobuyoshi), but in some rare occasions, can change for historic reasons. For example, when ex-Takamisakari succeeded to the Azumazeki kabu, he went not by Azumazeki Seiken, but by Azumazeki Daigoro, which was ex-Takamiyama's full elder title when he was Azumazeki oyakata (he has since reverted to Azumazeki Seiken on Azumazeki stable having been absorbed by Hakkaku stable).

There are of course rikishi who never adopt a shikona and wrestle under their real names; Takayasu, Shodai, and Endo are the main examples in sumo today. Technically Hakuho has now joined their ranks, "becoming" only the second yokozuna to wrestle under his legal name (the first was Wajima, who never adopted a shikona as such). , becoming the third yokozuna to take his shikona as his legal name after Akebono and Musashimaru, and "becoming" the fourth yokozuna to wrestle under his legal name (the only true case thus far was Wajima, who wrestled under his real name his entire career rather than adopt a shikona as his legal name).

Edited by Seiyashi
Thanks @Kamitsuumi, @rokudenashi
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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

Technically Hakuho has now joined their ranks, "becoming" only the second yokozuna to wrestle under his legal name (the first was Wajima, who never adopted a shikona as such).

That's also my first thought, but Akebono and Musashimaru have adopted their shikona as their naturalized Japanese names as well.

Edited by Kamitsuumi
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1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:
  • A similar process might have been at work for the Naya brothers as they bear their grandfather's surname but not their father's (Tadashige).

Great post, thank you. If you will allow me to make a minor correction, Tadashige is Takatōriki's given name; his myōji is Kamakari (鎌苅)

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1 hour ago, rokudenashi said:

Great post, thank you. If you will allow me to make a minor correction, Tadashige is Takatōriki's given name; his myōji is Kamakari (鎌苅)

Good catch. I wasn't 100% sure looking at his EN wiki page, but I really ought to have checked the JP version.

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7 hours ago, Seiyashi said:
    • There's also Moriurara, who had his shikona changed by Otake-oyakata to evoke the Hattorizakura of horses, Urara; the jibe worked for that particular basho as the rikishi promptly turned in a KK.

 

Not just A KK, but his first ever KK after turning in six years of MK records.  He clinched his KK with a final day "utchari."

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2 minutes ago, Washuyama said:

Not just A KK, but his first ever KK after turning in six years of MK records.  He clinched his KK with a final day "utchari."

So in other words, it barely worked...

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I wonder why having a ring alias is so endemic to "wrestling" (sumo, puroresu, WWE, luchadores, etc.) and not, say, boxing?  Boxers get nicknames, of course, but they're known by their given names; MMA fighters work under their own names, too. The "entertainment" wrestlers often try to hide their real names (to maintain the illusion), and my impression is that sumo fans don't usually know the real names of the rikishi, even the foreign-born ones.  Do any of our basho-attending members know if anyone calls out to Kaisei "Oi! Ricardo!"?

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, I am the Yokozuna said:

OK, unfortunately, none is factually correct. I do speak the language. Honorifics in Japanese simply explained here. An okami, as a role, is not limited to sumo and I can speculate 9 of 10 Japanese would never associated with sumo.  To give you a different example Ikioi's name is not Ikio-zeki, even though he might have been called that. 

Just do a Google search in Japanese for おかみさん and 相撲 and you will see plenty of examples in the native language. Here is one. There are countless others.

Are you suggesting you are more of an expert in the Japanese language than native Japanese themselves? 

Edited by Kaninoyama

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Posted (edited)

Uh-oh, here's a brief Chunichi article in which Mamiko Higa herself is quoted referring to the role as "おかみさん".

 

On 23/06/2021 at 11:39, I am the Yokozuna said:

On a different note, I believe, there are current oyakata with 60 bashos in makuuchi under their belt and the JSA might make some exceptions if someone does not meet their requirements.

Well yes, the exemptions are also well enumerated in the rules. None of them apply to establishing a heya from scratch. Any such shisho that do currently exist had opened their stables before the present rules were put in place.

Edited by Asashosakari
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5 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

Uh-oh, here's a brief Chunichi article in which Mamiko Higa herself is quoted referring to the role as "おかみさん".

Looks like not being able to meet during the Rona and yes, the role of okami just did not seem appealing. Career over family, can't blame her. 

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50 minutes ago, WAKATAKE said:

Looks like not being able to meet during the Rona and yes, the role of okami just did not seem appealing. Career over family, can't blame her. 

More like the career she wants over the career she doesn't want.

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19 hours ago, RabidJohn said:

... 

I get where you're going with Ikioi as an example of 'zeki' being an honorific, not part of his name, but 'okami' is also not a name; it's another honorific title. Same 'o' as in ozeki, meaning great.

... 

Please excuse the nitpicking, but insofar as I can tell, it is a different 'o'. The 'o' in ozeki is 大 which is a long (or double) おお, and is entirely different from the single お in okamisan. I don't know that I've ever seen that written with kanji, but Jisho gives a few options, most notably 女将 or 御上, with the 御 in the latter being the honourific 'o'. At any rate, it's not about her being big or great in the 'dai' sense, but an indicator of respect. 

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8 hours ago, Yamanashi said:

I wonder why having a ring alias is so endemic to "wrestling" (sumo, puroresu, WWE, luchadores, etc.) and not, say, boxing?  Boxers get nicknames, of course, but they're known by their given names; MMA fighters work under their own names, too. The "entertainment" wrestlers often try to hide their real names (to maintain the illusion), and my impression is that sumo fans don't usually know the real names of the rikishi, even the foreign-born ones.  Do any of our basho-attending members know if anyone calls out to Kaisei "Oi! Ricardo!"?

Lumping sumo in with the other 3 cases is a bit odd, because as far as I can tell sumo isn't worked. (Laughing...) And it's probably entirely possible that why sumo adopted aliases may have started out similar to the other three before diverging; the really old shikona like Inazuma and Raiden really feel much more similar to current puroresu/WWE ring names than modern shikona. Names like that are memorable and draw in the crowds when you need them. Now, shikona tend to be a lot more personal to the rikishi.

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1 hour ago, Tochinofuji said:

Please excuse the nitpicking, but insofar as I can tell, it is a different 'o'. The 'o' in ozeki is 大 which is a long (or double) おお, and is entirely different from the single お in okamisan. I don't know that I've ever seen that written with kanji, but Jisho gives a few options, most notably 女将 or 御上, with the 御 in the latter being the honourific 'o'. At any rate, it's not about her being big or great in the 'dai' sense, but an indicator of respect. 

Nitpick away - I do!

Thanks for the correction.

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Posted (edited)
On 24/06/2021 at 01:29, Ripe said:

That is true, but Ikioi himself will be 45 in 2031 when Isenoumi became available... sure, giving it to him as opposed to someone who will be 59 at that point is a better and more likely option. That said, 10 years is a long time and a lot can change before that point. For better or worse.

In any case, he can't branch out on his own (which is what I meant when I said he can't get it on merit), his only option is to inherit. And that depend on too many factors that are not under his control.

Just on a quick side note: Regardless whether we know anything about Ikioi's potential desire to become a stablemaster, the fastest way for him to get in charge of a heya would be to take over Kagamiyama-beya in 2023. Same ichimon and apparently an Isenoumi-offspring-stable ... a takeover which would preserve the heya's historic lifeline in a way. And let's be honest: Taking over Kagamiyama is basically a start from scratch with just two remaining riskihi (who might retire alongside their shisho) and one affiliated oyakata. ;-)

Edited by Raishu

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On 26/06/2021 at 13:12, Seiyashi said:

Marriage - it's worth noting that in Japan, a married couple must have the same surname (although the relevant law does not specify whose; it's usually the husband but not always). Rikishi who marry their oyakata's daughters in order to succeed to the stable often take their father-in-law's surnames, in a form of "adoption".

This is not quite true—if two non-citizens are married in Japan, this rule does not apply.   The same-surname thing is about who is joining whose family, amongst other things, including in the paperwork.  In the case of non-citizen residents, neither has a proper family folder, so they appear not to care.  

(Also, the forms have to be filled out entirely in Japanese.  That was a whole lot of no-fun, let me tell you.)

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1 minute ago, Ryoshishokunin said:

This is not quite true—if two non-citizens are married in Japan, this rule does not apply.   The same-surname thing is about who is joining whose family, amongst other things, including in the paperwork.  In the case of non-citizen residents, neither has a proper family folder, so they appear not to care.  

(Also, the forms have to be filled out entirely in Japanese.  That was a whole lot of no-fun, let me tell you.)

Just to clarify - this is connected with the family registry kept at the shiyakusho? So it would apply to joining a Japanese family as long as the couple intends to stay in Japan and be part of either's family?

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

Lumping sumo in with the other 3 cases is a bit odd, because as far as I can tell sumo isn't worked. (Laughing...) And it's probably entirely possible that why sumo adopted aliases may have started out similar to the other three before diverging; the really old shikona like Inazuma and Raiden really feel much more similar to current puroresu/WWE ring names than modern shikona. Names like that are memorable and draw in the crowds when you need them. Now, shikona tend to be a lot more personal to the rikishi.

I expected some shade on that, and I used the term "entertainment" wrestlers to make the distinction.  But there was no other way to cut it, group A has aliases and group B doesn't.  I'd like to think that the other members of group A used sumo as a shining example of PR, but more likely their source was cartoons or pulp magazines:-(.

And when I see so many rikishi with yama in their shikona, I think of US wrestlers like Man Mountain Mike.

Edited by Yamanashi
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17 hours ago, Yamanashi said:

I wonder why having a ring alias is so endemic to "wrestling" (sumo, puroresu, WWE, luchadores, etc.) and not, say, boxing?  Boxers get nicknames, of course, but they're known by their given names; MMA fighters work under their own names, too. The "entertainment" wrestlers often try to hide their real names (to maintain the illusion), and my impression is that sumo fans don't usually know the real names of the rikishi, even the foreign-born ones.  Do any of our basho-attending members know if anyone calls out to Kaisei "Oi! Ricardo!"?

 

8 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

Lumping sumo in with the other 3 cases is a bit odd, because as far as I can tell sumo isn't worked. (Laughing...) And it's probably entirely possible that why sumo adopted aliases may have started out similar to the other three before diverging; the really old shikona like Inazuma and Raiden really feel much more similar to current puroresu/WWE ring names than modern shikona. Names like that are memorable and draw in the crowds when you need them. Now, shikona tend to be a lot more personal to the rikishi.

 

Sooo...do Heisei, Dalai Lama and Francis count as ring names? If yes, i'd love to see Tenzin getting it on with Jorge.

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8 minutes ago, Benihana said:

 

 

Sooo...do Heisei, Dalai Lama and Francis count as ring names? If yes, i'd love to see Tenzin getting it on with Jorge.

No, you silly person, but it's interesting to think of Heisei and the Doge in a tag team match against the Dalai Lama and the Shah.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

Lumping sumo in with the other 3 cases is a bit odd, because as far as I can tell sumo isn't worked. (Laughing...) And it's probably entirely possible that why sumo adopted aliases may have started out similar to the other three before diverging; the really old shikona like Inazuma and Raiden really feel much more similar to current puroresu/WWE ring names than modern shikona. Names like that are memorable and draw in the crowds when you need them. Now, shikona tend to be a lot more personal to the rikishi.

Yeah, the origins of professional sumo uncoupled from noble support (late 17th century or so) really weren't all that different from Western-style carny wrestling or renaissance-era theatre troupes, with sumo wrestlers travelling the land in groups to offer up entertainment to the locals.

In any case, it was also a bit odd to make a distinction between puro, lucha and "Western" pro wrestling, since they're all descended from the same common ancestry mix of carny (worked) and catch-as-catch-can (legit) wrestling, and are really still similar enough to be recognizable as the same thing, just in different presentation styles. If it wasn't so, pro wrestlers would have much bigger issues plying their trade in different locations throughout their careers than they do.

Edited by Asashosakari
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3 hours ago, Raishu said:

Just on a quick side note: Regardless whether we know anything about Ikioi's potential desire to become a stablemaster, the fastest way for him to get in charge of a heya would be to take over Kagamiyama-beya in 2023. Same ichimon and apparently an Isenoumi-offspring-stable ... a takeover which would preserve the heya's historic lifeline in a way. And let's be honest: Taking over Kagamiyama is basically a start from scratch with just two remaining riskihi (who might retire alongside their shisho) and one affiliated oyakata. ;-)

That's an interesting option. Although I wonder if the Kyokai would even permit it, considering Kagamiyama-beya may be down to the shisho and his son by then and could hardly be called an active stable anymore. An otherwise ineligible oyakata taking it over may be seen as an undesirable exploitation of a loophole.

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41 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

Yeah, the origins of professional sumo uncoupled from noble support (late 17th century or so) really weren't all that different from Western-style carny wrestling or renaissance-era theatre troupes, with sumo wrestlers travelling the land in groups to offer up entertainment to the locals.

In any case, it was also a bit odd to make a distinction between puro, lucha and "Western" pro wrestling, since they're all descended from the same common ancestry mix of carny (worked) and catch-as-catch-can (legit) wrestling, and are really still similar enough to be recognizable as the same thing, just in different presentation styles. If it wasn't so, pro wrestlers would have much bigger issues plying their trade in different locations throughout their careers than they do.

Yes, I hadn't thought of the obvious carny connection (with acts like Herculo, the World's Strongest Man, and and other "foreign" (i.e. racist) oddities).

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