Bruce and Tom’s point is well taken. There’s a lot more news out there beyond Kisenosato. And spectators of the Spring Jungyo will be happy to know that there’s still plenty of reasons to go out and watch. So, I found an article via @nifty news that covers the Jungyo activities. The headline is a good one for us because it has so many shikona, 5 to be exact: Hakuho, Kisenosato, Goeido, Terunofuji, and Takayasu. My son is in elementary school and each week they get a list of “sight words.” So, I’m going to subject you all to the same standard and start with sanyaku shikona. You need to be able to recognize these names by sight. It will help you root out “Kisenosato-fever” headlines in favor of the other 10 or so guys in sanyaku.
The Five names, in order are Hakuho, Kisenosato, Goeido, Terunofuji, and Takayasu at the end. After Terunofuji’s name, nukidemo (抜きでも) means “even without.” Then we’ve got the four character idiom for a sellout and the six character phrase for sumo spring tour (jungyo). The word for a four character idiom in Japanese is 四字熟語. Some Japanese actually have their own favorites and my wife said that a common job interview question is to ask the candidate what their favorite is. If we learn any, I’ll be sure to pass them along. Lastly, the phrase after the space means “the most popular is Takayasu.” Ichiban (一番) ninki (人気) literally means, “number one” “popular”. If you want to say what your favorite is, you say, ichiban daisuki (大好き) or literally “number one” “I like.” Tachiai is the number one English language sumo blog based in the DC area, so it’s ichiban! If it’s your favorite blog, then “Tachiai は一番大好きなブログ.”
OK, I’m going to tip my hand here and dual purpose this article: my banzuke projection includes four sekiwake again. While the senior sanyaku ranks are known, the juniors are up for debate. Neither Takayasu, Kotoshogiku, or Tamawashi deserve to be demoted and I argue Mitakeumi deserves a promotion. However, there’s really a dearth of top maegashira worthy of promotion to komusubi so I give it to Yoshikaze and Endo by default because they managed winning records. Also, you want to include their names in your “sight words” whether my projection proves correct or not.
So, my sanyaku banzuke looks like this. The top row shows the characters for East and West with the lefthand column showing the appropriate characters for the sanyaku ranks. And no, you don’t get a translation beyond that. Call it learning by immersion or a pop quiz. Whether you’re a veteran sumo fan or n00b, you need to be able to work it out – especially since I just pointed out five of them earlier in this article. And from now until Natsubasho, I will make a concerted effort to find headlines that avoid Kisenosato-fever.