Satonofuji – Yumitori-Shiki Master


At the end of each day’s sumo, a ritual is performed called “yumitori-shiki”, or as we tend to call it, “bow twirling ceremony”. Sadly many people, especially many foreigners in to watch sumo, leave before this ritual is complete, and miss a real treat. For the past several years this duty has fallen to Satonofuji, from the Isegahama heya. Satonofuji started sumo in 1996, and is currently at the ripe age of 40. He began his yumitori duties in 2013, and has now reached the highest number of rituals for the Heisei era (reign of the current Emperor, Akihito) at 418.

What I thought was fantastic was the number of fans seeking his autograph after the matches in May, he equaled or surpassed Chiyonokuni’s attention. Below is a video of the master at work.

9 thoughts on “Satonofuji – Yumitori-Shiki Master

  1. Great stuff, thanks for posting this. It adds to the depth of understanding and appreciation of the sport.

  2. Sadly, we may see an end to Satonofuji’s reign soon. The custom is that the yumitori performer comes from a Yokozuna’s heya. Though it has to be said that when Hakuho was sole Yokozuna, the yumitori rikishi came from Kokonoe rather than Miyagino. The point is that Minanosato, who was the yumitori performer from Asashoryu’s heya, was replaced after Asashoryu retired.

  3. I’m really sad that he gets replaced before I get to see him twirl live again. I’d want a picture with all of my sumo uncles with the cool skills.

    I was happy to see him get his KK earlier, hopefully he can keep on going another decade or so until there’s another Yokozuna to rep.

    • I wonder what that would translate into though. Could be something completely innocuous. Playful Fluffy Bunny, or something of that sort… ;)


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