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Faustonowaka

The Gyogi

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I am wondering:

What are the requirements to become Gyogi and is there a "gyogi-school" or something like that?

Is it true that a Gyogi had to commit suicide (Yawning...) in the past when he made a mistake, and that nowadays he has to resign when he makes a wrong decision?

Are there ranks for Gyogi, as for rikishi, and if yes, how are they promoted and demoted?

Why (and what) does a gyogi shout during a sumo bout?

note: I tried searching the answers to these questions on the internet but I seem unable to find any (In a bad mood...) (Depressed...) .

Any info on this topic would be much appreciated!! ;-)

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I'll let the pros handle the rest, but:

Why (and what) does a gyogi shout during a sumo bout?

The what part was discussed here.

Are there ranks for Gyogi, as for rikishi, and if yes, how are they promoted and demoted?

From the Sumoforum glossary:

gyoji, referee who officiates the torikumi; belongs to a heya; maximum number of the gyoji is 45; they are divided into eight ranks (tategyoji, sanyaku-kaku, makuuchi-kaku, juryo-kaku, makushita-kaku, sandanme-kaku, jonidan-kaku, jonokuchi-kaku), see Kimura, Shikimori

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A new gyoji was welcomed after all was said and done at Kyushu as well. Complete with throwing him up in the air in the middle of the dohyo a few times for celebration.

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To be accepted as a gyoji, you need to at least finish the mandatory education (in Japan this means you need to graduate from a middle school) and to be considered to be appropriate to become a gyojo. You also must be 19 years old or younger. Another thing is that they only accept a new gyoji only when there is a vacancy as the maximum number of gyoji is 45.

The next step is to make an application to a heya shisho as every gyojo belongs to an heya like other new rikishis. You cannot make the application directly to the Kyokai. The heya shisho will then forward your request through "Gyoji Kai" (Association of Gyojis) which will apply to the Kyokai on your behalf. 

The first three years will be your apprenticeship learning a variety of gyoji duties from other gyojis in "Gyoji Room". Basically how to pronounce rikishi names, handling of Gunbai etc but you do get a minimum allowance and you have a Gyoji Shisho who will be your guide throughout this period.

Like rikishis you are not considered to your own man until you are promoted to Juryo rank gyoji. Then you will finally receive a regular Kyokai salary and will have Tsukebitos. After you have become a Juryo ranked gyoji, you will be finally on your own and you no longer have a shisho for your development. You need to train yourself to become a better gyoji.

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Like rikishis you are not considered to your own man until you are promoted to Juryo rank gyoji.
Edited by Asashosakari

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I wouldn't be surprised if the number of applicants was low. After all, it's not the most attractive of positions, is it? I'd think the salary is not nearly as high as it is for sekitori. Am I wrong on this matter?

Is advancement from juryo-kaku to sanyaku-kaku based solely on seniority, or is your record (number of mono-ii, etc) tracked and considered as a factor? Who sits on the Gyoji-riji-kai, if such a thing exists, or alternatively who decided on gyoji promotions?

When was the last timea tate-gyoji left before mandatory retirement age, and what was the reason?

Edited by Yoavoshimaru

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Except in cases of demotion, gyoji are promoted in strict order of date of employment. Promotions are voted on by the board of trustees after every November tournament and go into effect from January of the following year.

Seniority is the basis of promotion, taking about 15 years to acheive Juryo status. Too many decision reversals is grounds for demotion (12 for makushita and under, 6 for juryo and over), but a rank can be reattained the following year if a good record is maintained.

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Except in cases of demotion, gyoji are promoted in strict order of date of employment.  Promotions are voted on by the board of trustees after every November tournament and go into effect from January of the following year.

Seniority is the basis of promotion, taking about 15 years to acheive Juryo status.  Too many decision reversals is grounds for demotion (12 for makushita and under, 6 for juryo and over), but a rank can be reattained the following year if a good record is maintained.

There does seem to be "special circumstances" though, as the latest gyoji promoted to Sanyaku-kaku was in fact not the next in line by seniority. The only reason I can think of for him having been promoted was that he would otherwise never have reached Sanyaku-kaku before retirement.

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There does seem to be "special circumstances" though, as the latest gyoji promoted to Sanyaku-kaku was in fact not the next in line by seniority. The only reason I can think of for him having been promoted was that he would otherwise never have reached Sanyaku-kaku before retirement.

Not sure about those below Juryo but those high up in the ranks especially above Makuuchi ranks, their promotion is based strictly on merits. Gyojis are judged not solely on their performance on the dohyo as they have quite a bit of other things to do but as Otoko san states having more than a few "Sashichigae" would cause a pause on their ascension on the rank.

Not long ago the Kyokai did not let Inosuke Shikimori promoted to Shonosuke Kimura Tate-gyoji position and it was vacant for several bashos if I recall. I don't even believe that Inosuke was promoted to Shonosuke position someone at Sanyaku rank like Kandayu did

Once you are up there in Sanyaku rank, basically there are not much separating among them as they are all pretty dedicated so sometimes it looks as though it's by seniority but it isn't really that way. Not every gyoji will become a Shonosuke Kimura before their retirement like if you are an Inosuke Shikimori and you are older than Shonosuke then you will reach the mandatory retirement before he does.

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I like the story of the 19th Shikimori Inosuke...

Born Takahashi Kintaro in Katsuta in Ibaraki Prefecture in 1886, this well-known character began work as a gyoji in May 1900, and was promoted in September 1951 to the name and rank of Shikimori Inosuke. He was allowed to grow a beard because of a bout of pleurisy that he suffered in WWII caused him to break out in a fever whenever he shaved his beard. Consequently, he was known in the sumo world as White-bearded Inosuke. On the first day of the September 1958 tournament, he referreed a bout between Tochinishiki & Kitanonada, the result of which was disputed and overturned by the judges. Gyoji are obliged to yield to the final decison of judges, but Inosuke was adamant and heatedly upheld his call for a full ten minutes. He did, however, relent, and accepted the defeat. He was then suspended for the rest of the tournament, but it is said that he never doubted his original decision. His final tournament was in November 1959, at the age of 73. He died on Dec. 14, 1966.

Edited by Otokonoyama

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There does seem to be "special circumstances" though, as the latest gyoji promoted to Sanyaku-kaku was in fact not the next in line by seniority. The only reason I can think of for him having been promoted was that he would otherwise never have reached Sanyaku-kaku before retirement.

Not sure about those below Juryo but those high up in the ranks especially above Makuuchi ranks, their promotion is based strictly on merits. Gyojis are judged not solely on their performance on the dohyo as they have quite a bit of other things to do but as Otoko san states having more than a few "Sashichigae" would cause a pause on their ascension on the rank.

At least the last ten years EVERY promotion has gone to the gyoji who had the earliest entry in sumo (whatever position), and even in the case you mention, the gyoji in question was not actually surpassed by another. Even if the rules are as you state, it's pretty obvious that "longest in sumo" is the most important merit (if not the only one). I really do think it takes extraordinary circumstances before someone is promoted lacking seniority.

Edited by Yubiquitoyama

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Thanks for all the replies and the white beard story, that was great!
Edited by Jonosuke

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I like the story of the 19th Shikimori Inosuke...

.. he was known in the sumo world as White-bearded Inosuke.  On the first day of the September 1958 tournament, he referreed a bout between Tochinishiki & Kitanonada, the result of which was disputed and overturned by the judges. 

Now that I finally managed to make my storage under 300k ;-) I can post this pic of the story Otoko san was talking about.

This is a picture of that day when the bearded Inosuke was insisting and trying to prove that his call to Tochinishiki was the correct one while the dohyo judges favored Kitanonada. As Otoko san states he was originally suspended indefinitely but there was such an outcry from the public that the Kyokai had to cut it short to 12 days.

post-414-1102646667_thumb.jpg

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besides his beard this gyoji had another habit i only saw with him...

he always squatted way low when the bout started.....his eyes were just knee-high then.....it looked as if he was shortsighted....

Edited by Gernobono

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