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Seiyashi

Heya-Shikona musings (split from New recruits Nagoya 2022)

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On a slightly related question, does anyone know if there is a tacit understanding between oyakata not to impinge upon another stable's characteristic shikona? The context is because Isegahama's trademark seems now to be "-fuji", which isn't exactly unique in the same way Kokonoe's or Sadogatake's is. While there have been plenty of "-fuji" rikishi that have not belonged to Isegahama, it seems that new "-fuji" rikishi are almost exclusively Isegahama's, so has there been some sort of understanding that the "-fuji" suffix is now an Isegahama exclusive?

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8 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

On a slightly related question, does anyone know if there is a tacit understanding between oyakata not to impinge upon another stable's characteristic shikona? The context is because Isegahama's trademark seems now to be "-fuji", which isn't exactly unique in the same way Kokonoe's or Sadogatake's is. While there have been plenty of "-fuji" rikishi that have not belonged to Isegahama, it seems that new "-fuji" rikishi are almost exclusively Isegahama's, so has there been some sort of understanding that the "-fuji" suffix is now an Isegahama exclusive?

I don't have any actual insight to the situation, but wouldn't this be a simple case of differentiation being preferable for all involved? There's no reason for a stable to want one of their rikishi confused with another stable. I'd guess that one stable just starts naming their rikishi in that way, and other stables see that and realise they should avoid using the same naming scheme to avoid confusing third parties. It'd actually be a benefit in cases where an oyakata feels like he has multiple naming schemes to pay homage to / elders and legacies to honour. The easiest excuse to pick your own desired naming scheme or not have to use many different ones and confuse things, is to be able to say "that one was already taken".

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15 minutes ago, Yarimotsu said:

The easiest excuse to pick your own desired naming scheme or not have to use many different ones and confuse things, is to be able to say "that one was already taken".

The counterargument to that, for instance, is e.g. Kokonoe and Isegahama, if Kokonoe had also used Chiyonofuji's "-fuji" suffix. Who then has precedence?

That said, I do take the point that in cases where a heya is clearly muscling in on a shikona component, it's in other heya's interest to steer clear too.

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11 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

The counterargument to that, for instance, is e.g. Kokonoe and Isegahama, if Kokonoe had also used Chiyonofuji's "-fuji" suffix. Who then has precedence?

Sure, they could both really really have wanted to use -fuji, but from Kokonoe's point of view, why not just use Chiyo- and avoid the argument? It's even more clear who you're paying homage to and whose lineage you are continuing, and it differentiates. As I said, wins all round! It would take a very stubborn young oyakata to upset that balance, and they don't seem to last long in the NSK. I think it's likely just a case of first-come-first-served. 

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On 12/07/2022 at 19:13, Yarimotsu said:
On 12/07/2022 at 07:36, Seiyashi said:

The counterargument to that, for instance, is e.g. Kokonoe and Isegahama, if Kokonoe had also used Chiyonofuji's "-fuji" suffix. Who then has precedence?

Sure, they could both really really have wanted to use -fuji, but from Kokonoe's point of view, why not just use Chiyo- and avoid the argument? It's even more clear who you're paying homage to and whose lineage you are continuing, and it differentiates. As I said, wins all round! It would take a very stubborn young oyakata to upset that balance, and they don't seem to last long in the NSK. I think it's likely just a case of first-come-first-served. 

This is true, although also worth pointing out in that specific instance that, while there would have been a case to be made for the Chiyonofuji-Kitanofuji lineage to use -fuji, the Chiyo is not just for Chiyonofuji but also in tribute to the founder of the heya, Chiyonoyama. With Chiyonofuji's shikona being a product of both names of his predecessors and -fuji being used all over the sport (and the country), it does seem rather more obvious to take Chiyo- as the prefix.

I would posit that after Isegahama retires in three years we might see more diversity in terms of who uses -fuji. If as is now expected, Ajigawa branches out (surely using the A- prefix) and Terunofuji inherits the stable, it wouldn't be a surprise to see more Teru- prefixes in play in tribute to not only Terunofuji but also Terukuni.

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11 hours ago, themistyseas said:

This is true, although also worth pointing out in that specific instance that, while there would have been a case to be made for the Chiyonofuji-Kitanofuji lineage to use -fuji, the Chiyo is not just for Chiyonofuji but also in tribute to the founder of the heya, Chiyonoyama. With Chiyonofuji's shikona being a product of both names of his predecessors and -fuji being used all over the sport (and the country), it does seem rather more obvious to take Chiyo- as the prefix.

I would posit that after Isegahama retires in three years we might see more diversity in terms of who uses -fuji. If as is now expected, Ajigawa branches out (surely using the A- prefix) and Terunofuji inherits the stable, it wouldn't be a surprise to see more Teru- prefixes in play in tribute to not only Terunofuji but also Terukuni.

There should be some "generic" kanji that anybody can use.  To think of a few hundred wrestlers weighing over 150 kg who can't use "fuji" or "yama" in their shikona is absurd.  [I would add "-ryu" to this list.]

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20 hours ago, themistyseas said:

it wouldn't be a surprise to see more Teru- prefixes in play in tribute to not only Terunofuji but also Terukuni

Note they already have Terutsuyoshi.

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10 hours ago, Yamanashi said:

 There should be some "generic" kanji that anybody can use.  To think of a few hundred wrestlers weighing over 150 kg who can't use "fuji" or "yama" in their shikona is absurd.  [I would add "-ryu" to this list.]

I'm certainly not making the argument that no other stables have a fuji or that no one is allowed to or should be allowed to.... we definitely see plenty of other -fujis in the sport even if most of the new ones are named at Isegahama in respect to moto-Asahifuji. He's been a shisho for a long time and it certainly didn't stop Hakkaku giving moto-Daiki the name Hokutofuji (or Okinofuji) or Tamanoi giving us Fujiazuma (though he was recruited during Asahifuji's Ajigawa period). It looks though that in addition to Isegahama's relative dominance of the -fuji suffix, Fujishima beya is these days giving most (but again, not all) of the Fuji- prefixed shikona (different kanji) in reference to the stable's name rather than the shisho. 

One gets the feeling these just go in waves, I can't imagine there's a rule unwritten or otherwise saying no one else can use a -fuji or a Fuji- as long as moto-Asahifuji and moto-Musoyama are running their places? There also seems to be more of a stamp these days than there was a few years ago with some of the new shisho coming right in and establishing new (Naruto, Takekuma), modified (Oshiogawa) or quasi-inconsistent (Magaki recruits) naming conventions right away. 

1 hour ago, Gurowake said:

Note they already have Terutsuyoshi.

And it's in some ways curious that he's the only one (apart from the Yokozuna with his amalgamation of two of the heya's historic names), I'd be curious to see what happens if the Yokozuna eventually starts to recruit while active, as Hakuho did.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, themistyseas said:

And it's in some ways curious that he's the only one (apart from the Yokozuna with his amalgamation of two of the heya's historic names), I'd be curious to see what happens if the Yokozuna eventually starts to recruit while active, as Hakuho did.

I can't check this in the DB, as I'm out at the moment, but is it because they were recruited/absorbed about the time Isegahama took over that kabu and wanted to demonstrate some continuity with the lineage of Terukuni, before he became secure enough to use his own Fuji? 

Edited by Seiyashi

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4 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

I can't check this in the DB, as I'm out at the moment, but is it because they were recruited/absorbed about the time Isegahama took over that kabu and wanted to demonstrate some continuity with the lineage of Terukuni, before he became secure enough to use his own Fuji? 

No - cool theory, but as it seems to have happened, Isegahama picked up the name in 2007, Terutsuyoshi got his shikona upon entering sumo in 2010, and Terunofuji of course switched his shikona when he was inherited from Magaki in 2013

His Ajigawa rikishi of course mostly had the A- prefix, there were quite a few with both the A- prefix from Ajigawa and -fuji suffix from his active shikona (probably most infamously Asofuji), and then a handful with no apparently related prefix or suffix (ie Raiho, Hokuto). Most of the Ajigawa names seem to have slowly been swapped to the Isegahama -fuji naming convention in the months following the switch (e.g. Asatofuji -> Satonofuji). In fact the last Teru- from any Isegahama stable before Terutsuyoshi appears to have been Terunonada, retiring in 1996 and without even actively wrestling under the name once receiving the shikona. You'd have to go back to the early 80s to see Teru- used by an Isegahama rikishi before that.

I would be curious if anyone on the forum knows why he bucked the trend of naming all his rikishi with -fuji in order to revive Teru- for Terutsuyoshi.

On a slight tangent, the fact that it took him around 15 years after retirement to really adopt the -fuji across the board does make one wonder if moto-Kisenosato will hold out for a lengthy period of time until he also has a fully mature production line of sekitori to give a Kise- or -sato shikona, if he does it at all.

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2 minutes ago, themistyseas said:

On a slight tangent, the fact that it took him around 15 years after retirement to really adopt the -fuji across the board does make one wonder if moto-Kisenosato will hold out for a lengthy period of time until he also has a fully mature production line of sekitori to give a Kise- or -sato shikona, if he does it at all.

Out of reacts but thanks for the clarification.

On that last tangent on yours, might the fact that ex-Asahifuji was inheriting existing stables and kabus have anything to do with it? He was expecting to revive Kasugayama, but took over ex-Mutsuarashi's Ajigawa, and then swapped the name for Isegahama as a prestige project, so perhaps he felt compelled to give shikona that were more in line with the kabu's name and/or history rather than stamping his own mark on it.

Magaki is the obvious counterpoint - he's so strongly identified with Miyagino-beya, with its yokozuna lineage, that the shikona given are very obviously patterned after his. Nishonoseki I suspect is in a bit of a bind this way: he would have been free to give the Kise-prefix when he was Araiso, but being given the kanban kabu of the ichimon might skew that inclination of his somewhat. We shall have to see.

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