Learning the Lingo: Episode Three

Tachiai readers, do not adjust your screens. This is in fact, a brand new episode of Learning the Lingo. With the school I work for off for spring break, I’ve hade a lot more time to create content, thus you are getting two videos this week! In today’s episode of Learning the Lingo, we will be tackling just one concept, but boy is it a big one! This video will focus on one of the most important occupations in all of sumo: the Gyoji.

Today’s episode was requested by Tachiai readers Ben Marshman and Kukufuji. If there is a term that you would like to see covered, please let me know in the comments below. I hope you enjoy the video, and I will be back with more sumo goodness soon!

4 thoughts on “Learning the Lingo: Episode Three

  1. Great video! Many of my questions answered. But I still have some (of course). How many Gyoji are there? How many matches does a gyoji referee on a given basho day? Do they have a ranking like the rikishi, and do the get promoted/demoted based on performance? How do they get matched up to particular matches?

    • Thank you! There can only be 45 Gyoji at any given time, and they oversee 2 matches a day (though Gyoji in the lower division may officiate one or two more due to there being more rikishi and thus, more matches.) They do have a rank system, and they are all ranked mainly by seniority. So the newer Gyoji ref the earliest matches more senior Gyoji will officiate the later bouts, with Tate Gyoji overseeing the last matches of the day.

      • Yes, thanks so much for this! I had many of those same questions.

        How is it decided which gyoji within a rank judges which bouts? It seems like they do their two consecutively? And there aren’t rules about not overseeing matches of rikishi in their own heya?

        They have such gorgeous outfits. Are there sponsors to pay for their outfits?


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