Hatsu 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 claim 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. Not every prize is awarded every basho, and multiple rikishi can receive each prize.

The January prizes have just been announced. Endo will receive an outstanding performance award unconditionally, presumably to recognize his two kinboshi. Outstanding performance awards are also on the table for Shodai and Tokushoryu, but conditionally (presumably on winning the yusho). This leading duo will also each get an unconditional fighting spirit prize, as will Makuuchi newcomer Kiribayama for managing double-digit victories in his top-division debut. Finally, one technique prize will go unconditionally to Hokutofuji, and another is on the line conditionally for Enho (presumably, the condition is defeating Kagayaki tomorrow to get to 9 wins).

That’s quite a bounty: at least 5 rikishi receiving a minimum of 5 prizes, and as many as 6 receiving as many as 7. This will be the 5th special prize but the first shukun-sho for Endo. Shodai has 3 previous san-sho, all kanto-sho. This is the second gino-sho for Hokutofuji, and would also be the second technique prize for Enho.

13 thoughts on “Hatsu Special Prizes

  1. Never thought I’d say this but, good for Shodai.

    The last two basho, he has looked better than I’ve ever seen him. AND he faced the full sanyaku slate this time and dominated. He’s earned another chance tomorrow, I hope he gets it.

  2. By normal standards, beating two yokozuna would get you a prize but Hakuho and Kakuryu were in no shape to compete so I’m not sure Endo deserved this.

  3. I’m very pleased for Kiribayama – I have been greatly enjoying his ‘brand of sumo’ during this Basho.

  4. I’m surprised that Yutakayama hasn’t been nominated conditionally. It’s not like he has been a Sanyaku or at least Joi-in mainstay before. He had quite the tournament as well.

  5. I’m surprised that Yutakayama hasn’t been nominated conditionally

    Well, you more or less need 12 wins (so 11 going into last day for conditional prize) in the most general case.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.