Four character idioms (四字熟語, yoji jyukugo) are an important part of the Japanese language and culture. As the quintessential Japanese sport, it stands to reason these phrases play an important role in sumo. While the sellout banner above the dohyo is likely the most prominent and ubiquitous example, the most important examples are likely those phrases shared by sekitori when they are promoted to ozeki and yokozuna. I’ve decided to try to keep track of those phrases here, starting with Takayasu’s ozeki promotion and will update it with Tochinoshin’s when announced. His promotion was noted in the Japanese press for not having one of these set phrases and he stated he’s still thinking but it will likely be a simple one.
|正正堂堂||高安||fair play; fair and square|
|一生懸命||鶴竜||try with all one's might; gamberize|