Seiyashi

Shikona Megathread: Translations and Trivia

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On 12/08/2021 at 17:04, ryafuji said:

I'm surprised by the Fuji "Prosperous Gentleman." I always thought it was a reference to Mount Fuji, eg. Asahifuji would be "Sunrise on Fuji." 

That would make Takarafuji the richest guy in sumo. A prosperous gentleman with a treasure.

Awesome thread, btw!

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On 08/09/2021 at 07:27, Seiyashi said:

FWIW this shikona tinkering seems to be more common amongst the lower divisions. It seems relatively rarer for a sekitori to meddle very much with any part of the shikona, unless they are taking on one as a mark of reaching ozeki/yokozuna. At least for the surname portion, there's the consideration of all the merch tied to that "brand" (yukata fabric, tegata, supporter club spinoff stuff, etcetc).

Makes sense in context though - if you're a sekitori, you're the top 10% of rikishi so something is obviously going well for you. Why fix what ain't broken, right?

I imagine there may also be an element of not wishing to invalidate public familiarity with the shikona that the rikishi has established themselves with. Not to mention any merchandise bearing that shikona becomes outdated and probably loses some value as a result.

As a toriteki not being subject to that level of publicity, surely it's easier to switch around your shikona since the biggest administrative effort is in the NSK updating their records in time for the next banzuke being written up.

Edited by rokudenashi

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On 16/08/2021 at 14:38, Asojima said:

The connection??  J4 Ohirayama from Tochigi prefecture retired in 1947 and acquired the Yamashina kabu as part of the Kasugano heya.  He remained there until 1975.  The string of Tochi.... shikona for the heya started in 1950.  Was Yamashina in charge of assigning shikona to the new recruits?

Aaaarrrgh!  I overlooked the fact that Yokozuna Tochigiyama from Tochigi prefecture became the shisho of Kasugano heya and was the source of all those Tochi shikona.  Problem solved.  (Sigh...)

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1 hour ago, Asojima said:
On 17/08/2021 at 05:38, Asojima said:

The connection??  J4 Ohirayama from Tochigi prefecture retired in 1947 and acquired the Yamashina kabu as part of the Kasugano heya.  He remained there until 1975.  The string of Tochi.... shikona for the heya started in 1950.  Was Yamashina in charge of assigning shikona to the new recruits?

Aaaarrrgh!  I overlooked the fact that Yokozuna Tochigiyama from Tochigi prefecture became the shisho of Kasugano heya and was the source of all those Tochi shikona.  Problem solved.  (Sigh...)

According to the DB, Tochigiyama took over Kasugano as early as 1925, though, and there were a good number of Kasugano rikishi who had had their hatsu dohyo after he took over and made sekitori, but who did not use a Tochi- shikona. So your original hypothesis would seem to have some merit - or at least the correlation of the Tochi- shikona with Tochigiyama isn't quite as tight as Kasugano's Wikipedia entry would suggest.

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15 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

According to the DB, Tochigiyama took over Kasugano as early as 1925, though, and there were a good number of Kasugano rikishi who had had their hatsu dohyo after he took over and made sekitori, but who did not use a Tochi- shikona. So your original hypothesis would seem to have some merit - or at least the correlation of the Tochi- shikona with Tochigiyama isn't quite as tight as Kasugano's Wikipedia entry would suggest.

We knew that Y. Tochinishiki started the trend of using Tochi... for the Kasugano rikishi and that the Tochi was probably tied to Tochigi prefecture, but we were unable to tie the ..nishiki to the ..gi.  Ex-Tochigiyama from Tochigi was the shisho who named Tochinishiki, and that was our missing link.  

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Posted (edited)

Water, water, everywhere.  There are four water-related kanji appearing in over 2000 shikona.  Nada/Yo () meaning ocean is in 238 shikona.  Umi/Kai (海) meaning sea is in 744.  Umi/Ko (湖) meaning lake is in 65.  Kawa/Gawa () meaning river is in 1024 (many real names).  There are others, but these four are the most common.  They are usually (not always) found as the final character of the shikona but, in most cases, have no connection with the meaning of the other characters.  Many are preceded by the name of a place or by part of the rikishi's real name.  It seems as if they are often added for the sake of euphonics.

And, the character for water itself, Mizu/Mi (水) appears in  109 shikona.  Mito (水戸) is a city in Ibaraki which shows up in 10 shikona including that of Mongolian Mitoryu.

And, since I mentioned (戸), it is the do in Edo.  Its meaning is family or household, but it shows up in the names of several old cities, a lot of real surnames and 261 shikonas.

Edited by Asojima
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Asojima said:

And, the character for water itself, Mizu/Mi (水) appears in  109 shikona.  Mito (水戸) is a city in Ibaraki which shows up in 10 shikona including that of Mongolian Mitoryu.

Surely in at least Mitoryu's case (and any other member of Nishikido stable), it is because of their shisho ex-Mitoizumi's shikona, who actually was from Mito. So it's a similar mechanism to Kasugano's Tochi- shikona, where a geographic reference has evolved into a stable trademark. That said, the DB lists more Mito-shikona that have used it as a geographic reference rather than as a member of Nishikido (3/4 only, I believe). 

Edited by Seiyashi

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First is first.  Each shikona has a surname and a first name.  For Japanese rikishi, it is rare for the shikona first name to not be the same, in whole or in part, with the rikishi's real first name.  Some of the differences could be from the use of a real nickname.  Thus, the meaning of the shikona first name usually has little to do with the meaning of the shikona surname for Japanese rikishi.

Edited by Asojima

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