In a few hours, two representatives of the NSK will arrive at Chiganoura beya, wearing formal kimono, and formally inform Takakeisho of his promotion to Ozeki. He will bow, flanked by his oyakata and okami-san (stablemaster’s wife), and formally accept the honor.
Part of this formal acceptance speech is a phrase which is supposed to express the spirit in which the rikishi wants to undertake his new duty. This phrase is often a four-character set phrase (yojijukugo), but that’s not mandatory.
Sumo fans are speculating on the phrase Takakeisho will choose to use in his acceptance ceremony, and the Japanese media published all the phrases used by all Ozeki who were promoted in the Heisei era. I thought I’d share the list with Tachiai’s readers.
|1990||Kirishima||一生懸命||isshōkenmei||With all my might|
|1992||Akebono||名を汚さぬよう||na o yogosanu yō||Not to disgrace the title [of Ozeki]|
|1994||Musashimaru||日本の心を持って||nippon no kokoro o motte||With a Japanese heart|
|1999||Dejima||力のもののふを目指し||chikara no mononofu o mezashi||Aim to be a warrior of strength|
|2000||Musoyama||正々堂々||seisei-dōdō||Open and aboveboard|
|2000||Miyabiyama||初心を忘れず||Shoshin o wasurezu||Always remember my initial resolve|
|2000||Kaio||地位を汚さぬよう||chii o yogosanu yō||Not to disgrace the status [of ozeki]|
|2001||Tochiazuma||名に恥じぬよう||na ni hajinu yō||Not to shame the title [of ozeki]|
|2005||Kotooshu||名に恥じぬように||na ni hajinu yō ni||(See Tochiazuma)|
|2006||Hakuho||全身全霊||zenshin-zenrei||Body and Soul|
|2007||Kotomitsuki||力戦奮闘||rikisenfuntō||Fighting with all my might|
|2010||Baruto||栄誉ある地位を汚さぬよう||eiyo aru chii wo yogosanu yō||Not to disgrace the honorable status [of ozeki]|
|2011||Kotoshogiku||万理一空||banri ikkū||Many principles under one sky|
|2012||Kakuryu||喜んでもらえるような||yorokonde moraeru yōna||To be able to make people happy|
|2014||Goeido||大和魂を貫いて||Yamato-damashi o tsuranuite||To carry on the Japanese spirit|
|2015||Terunofuji||心技体の充実に努め||shin-gi-tai no jūjitsu ni tsutome||Work to bring heart, technique and body to the utmost|
|2018||Tochinoshin||力士の手本||rikishi no tehon||A role model for rikishi|
Some of these are quite unique. Dejima’s “chikara no mononofu” is actually written as 力の士 – the kanji that make up the word “rikishi” – “a man/warrior/samurai of power”. It’s not usually pronounced “mononofu”.
Kotoshogiku’s phrase is a kind of Zen phrase, which famously appeared in the “Book of Five Rings” by Miyamoto Musashi. Its meaning is unclear and is supposed to be something to ponder as you prepare for a challenge.
Personally, I really like Kakuryu’s artless phrase. All he wants is to make people happy!
So, with a few hours to go, what kind of resolve or feeling do you think Takakeisho’s phrase will express?