Short Jungyo Newsreel – October 9th

🌐 Location: Chikusei

Yes, it’s already Monday, and you’d expect the media to come up with some real beef to feed us after a dry weekend, but no. The only article on Nikkan sports, for example, is about… Aminishiki caught reading a book! A book! I’m sure there is a rule against that somewhere…

Aminishiki Reading A Book

So today, like yesterday, we’ll settle for a short summary. But let’s start with a little tidbit that escaped me a couple of days ago:

New Shokkiri performer: Baraki

Shokkiri duo: Akua (left), Baraki (right)

Baraki, who definitely has the right looks for Shokkiri, with a short stature (164cm) and a comical face, joins veteran Shokkiri man Akua to perform the traditional, but not-so-serious duties in this Jungyo.

Three Yokozuna exercise outdoors

After the regular asa-geiko, all three Yokozuna opted to exercise outdoors. Harumafuji performed shiko and mostly exercised his (already well-developed) smile muscles. Still no dohyo practices or torikumi. Still cites fatigue.

Kisenosato, who took a 9-bout sanban with Daieisho, opted for some fundamental exercises with his tsukebito for half an hour in the sun.

Kakuryu opted for nearly 40 minutes of walking around. “I drew power from the sun”, he said.

Nishikigi-Yago butsukari

Nishikigi offered his chest to Yago, but this was a rather short affair, as the muscular and bulky Juryo man easily pushed the medium-sized Maegashira across the dohyo.

Today’s musubi

Kisenosato can’t really lose in Ibaraki, can he?

Another angle:

9 thoughts on “Short Jungyo Newsreel – October 9th

  1. So most of the articles I’ve found on Shokkiri in English basically say the exact same thing. Are there any in-depth descriptions of how the routines are developed and learned? I assume it’s the rank and file makushita who do it, do they get extra money for performing?

    They really should do a foreign Jungyo tour one year, that stuff is just as fun as the Harlem Globetrotters. And less awkward than the USA Sumo version.

    • Well, as far as I can see, there is not much information in Japanese, either. Basically it’s a set script, but duos have enough freedom to add and change stuff according to their judgement, and there’s also some ad-libbing going on. It’s customary to have duos consisting of a fat rikishi and a thin rikishi (though of course the Taka twins were an exception).

      Wikipedia says there is a superstition that Shokkiri performers will never advance to high ranks in Sumo, though there are counter examples of a Yokozuna and a Sekiwake who did Shokkiri in their early career. But this article says that because Shokkiri includes routines that require flexibility and athleticism, it’s not uncommon for Makushita rikishi who aspire for sekitori advancement to be picked for Shokkiri.

      Baraki, by the way, is merely Sandanme.

      Shokkiri and Yumi-tori performers are the only rikishi below sekitori who are allowed to wear an oicho-mage.

      Anyway, I couldn’t find any information about compensations the performers receive. Perhaps we can ask Akua directly (Twitter @aquashoma) , but I don’t know what the Twitter etiquette in Japan is.

      • Yeah I feel weird and rude asking people what they make in English, so I have no clue how to do it in Japanese. Thanks for the further info!

        I might tweet at him just to show appreciation though – even if we can’t attend the jungyo, the shokkiri videos that show up online are fun to watch. I’d love to be able to do those kinds of splits and rolls myself.

        • Actually, I am told that in Japan it’s considered perfectly fine to ask a person about his or her income. Westerners are usually shocked by this. Well, at least Americans and Israelis that I know. But Japanese, apparently, consider it to be the same as asking someone what car he or she drives or where he or she lives (which are also income indicators).

          What I don’t know is about starting conversation. It appears that it’s considered rude to just start talking to someone who doesn’t follow you, especially introducing a new topic, but my impression may be wrong.


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