Nagoya Special Prizes

Sanshō 三賞, literally “three prizes” are the three special prizes awarded to top (Makuuchi) division sumo wrestlers for exceptional performance during a sumo honbasho or tournament. The prizes were first awarded in November 1947. The three prizes are:
Shukun-shō (殊勲賞), Outstanding Performance prize
Kantō-shō (敢闘賞), Fighting Spirit prize
Ginō-shō (技能賞), Technique prize


Who will get the trophies and the ¥2 million that comes with each one? The prizes are voted on before the final day’s bouts take place, but some are awarded conditionally. Usually, the condition is that the rikishi must win his last bout, but sometimes it can be something else, such as winning the yusho.

The July prizes have just been announced. One outstanding performance prize will go unconditionally to Tomokaze for his defeat of Kakuryu. A second outstanding performance prize will go to Kotoshogiku for his defeat of Hakuho, provided that he can achieve a winning record by beating Abi on Day 15.

One fighting spirit prize will be awarded, and it will go to Terutsuyoshi, who richly deserves it by animating the yusho race from the last rung on the top-division ladder.

Finally, two technique prizes will be awarded, one to the consummate technician Endo and the other to small-man-sumo wizard Enho, pleasing the many fans of both rikishi.

So that’s at least four prizes to be handed out; if Kotoshogiku can make it 5, that would, as far as I can tell, tie the record for most prizes in a tournament, which happened only twice before, in March 1994 and May 1998.

20 thoughts on “Nagoya Special Prizes

    • On sumo forum they’re saying Kotoshogiku’s is also conditional on Hakuho taking the yusho

    • I guess he’s been too successful in the past for his kinboshi to be considered prize-worthy. How about Kotoyuki going home empty-handed with 11 wins from M16?

      • I was thinking about that as a snub until I saw Enho won with 8 different kimarite, despite having 2 fewer wins. Kotoyuki’s wins were basically tsuki-/oshi- dashi.

          • I wonder if there’s a number of wins threshold. Or a quality of win threshold? Or if it’s a jun-yusho that seals it? 11 wins at the bottom of the banzuke may not be “spirited” eno if it’s not a jun-yusho or no wins over Yokozuna…

            • It’s a committee discussion and vote, and you need a simple majority. Often not unanimous. So basically whatever happens to be convincing to just over half the committee members. Chris Gould has a couple of good videos I’ve linked to in the past that detail the deliberations and voting outcomes for the past couple of tournaments.

  1. I’m a bit surprised by the Kotoshogiku one. He already gets a bump up in his pay packet for a kinboshi so it feels very generous to also give him a (conditional) special prize for one big win.

    All the others very well deserved in my opinion. Enho could be owning the technique prize for a while given the extraordinary number of kimarite he employs

  2. I have a feeling that they don’t like to give prizes to wrestlers who are on an artificially low rank. M5 looks about right for Kotoshogiku at this stage but Ichinojo is way better than M4.

    • Or they are just thinking that Ichinojo’s performance just can’t be sold as “outstanding” with his weak defeats.

  3. It’s a moot point at this stage, but the condition for Kotoshogiku was not just getting a kachi-koshi, but also that Hakuho should win the yusho, thereby making Kotoshogiku “one who has beaten the yusho winner”. Interestingly, nobody considered Ichinojo. Anyway, it was a tall order to begin with.

  4. Actually, the record for most sansho is one basho is at Hatsu 1992 with six–Takahanada won one of each, while Wakahanada won a Gino-sho, and Akebono won a Kanto-sho and a Shukun-sho.

    Also, there have been multiple occasions of five sansho–Haru 1986, Haru 1990, Aki 1991, Haru 1994, Natsu 1998, Hatsu 1999, Hatsu 2000, Natsu 2000, Kyushu 2005, Natsu 2018, and Natsu 2019.

    • ’90-’91… That was when I was introduced to sumo… Am I looking through rose glasses or was that the most impressive group ever? Chiyonofuji, the Haneda bros, Konishiki, Akebono, and my personal favorite, Terao…

    • I think my search was for the number of different rikishi getting prizes, rather than the number of prizes themselves…


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