Supporting Casts of Sumo - ARCHIVE

Sumo Gyoji

What is the role of the gyoji? The gyoji is the referee of sumo. Rikishi are announced by the yobidashi, and step up into the ring. The gyoji is in charge of proceedings from the time the rikishi arrive in the ring until the bout is over and they lea ...Read More

Sumo Gyoji costume

Does the gyoji have a uniform? Yes. The outfit the gyoji wears is called gyoji sozoku or “costume of ancient nobles,” and it is required dress for gyoji in the ring. The gown and hat are a part of the costume, as is the all-important gunb ...Read More

Sumo Gyoji work

Is there a limit on the number of gyoji? Yes. Only 45 men can be employed as gyoji at anyone time, and only 22 can be ranked juryo or above. Except for the top rank (tate-gyoji), there is no set number per rank. Gyoji belong to sumo stables, and beca ...Read More

The voice of Sumo Gyoji

Does the gyoji call out the name of every rikishi the same number of times? No. When rikishi are receiving strength water, the gyoji calls out their names, either once or twice. For san ‘yaku bouts and the final juryo bout, the names are called ...Read More

Sumo Barbers (Tokoyama)

What sort of work do barbers do? Barbers are the men who tie up the hair of all rikishi into their trademark topknots (mage) keeping the styles in place with liberal applications of sweet-smelling hair oil. The word for a sumo barber (tokoyama) is di ...Read More