The Yokozuna ring-entering ceremony



When is the yokozuna ring-entering ceremony held?

After the makuuchi ceremony. Other names for it are katayairi (entering of kataya) and dezuiri. In 1789, when Tanikaze received his yokozuna license, it included the phrase “entering of kataya. “

Is there a special order for ring entering when there are two yokozuna?

Yes. The east-side yokozuna makes his entrance first on odd-numbered days, with the west-side preceding on even-numbered days. As east and west are in accordance with the ranking chart, the yokozuna with the east position will always enter for his bouts from the east.

How many types of yokozuna ring-entering ceremonies are there?

There are two. The shiranui type and the unryu type. For each there is a distinct way of tying the yokozuna rope and for the yokozuna to work himself upright from a squatting position. The shiranui rope is tied into a bow with two loops, and the unryu rope with a single loop.

How does the shiranui yokozuna work himself up from a squat (seriagari)?

After stamping, the yokozuna puts both of his arms straight out to his sides with his hands cupped, and gradually moves into an upright position. This is called an offense ve stance.

How about the unryu position?

The yokozuna puts his left arm to his side, spreads out his right arm, and raises himself up from a squat. His left arm symbolizes defense and his right offense.

Who decides what style a yokozuna will use?

The stablemaster and the yokozuna make the decision after carefully listening to the advice of others. The JSA does not decide, nor do individual stables have a style they always follow.

What happens during the yokozuna ring entering?

The gyoji, herald, yokozuna, and sword-bearer come down the aisle in that order. They then enter the ring.
The yokozuna does chirichozu at the entrance to the ring, claps twice, and walks three steps to the center, where he stamps. He then squats and raises himself up according to his chosen style.
Then he steps back to the entrance, claps twice again, and does another chirichozu.
Then the group leaves the ring, first the herald, then the yokozuna, sword-bearer and gyogi.

Who is the herald and what does he do?

The empty-handed herald has the job of going ahead of the yokozuna and making sure the road is cleared. He precedes the yokozuna both when arriving and leaving the ring. As a rule, both the herald (tsuyuharai) and the sword-bearer (tachimochi) are makuuchi rikishi from the same stable as the yokozuna, and the herald has the lower rank of the two. If there are no other makuuchi rikishi in the same stable, one from the same clan is recruited for the job.

What does the sword-bearer do?

The sword-bearer protects the yokozuna from enemies. He carries a sword in his right hand, and rests his left hand on his knee. The sword-bearer is either from the yokozuna sstable or from the same clan.



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