Shimpan(審判) or Shinpan are the ring-side judges of a professional sumo bout. In a sumo honbasho tournament five shimpan sit around the ring to observe which wrestler wins the matchup. When judging tournament bouts they wear formal Japanese dress of otokomono , haori with mon , and hakama . At the end of each bout an initial decision is given by the gyōji (the ring referee), which is usually correct and no action is taken by the shimpan.
Sumo is a form of competitive full-contact wrestling where a rikishi (wrestler) attempts to force his opponent out of a circular ring (dohyō) or into touching the ground with any body part other than the soles of his feet.
A honbasho (本場所) is an official professional sumo tournament. There are six held each year, a system established in 1958. Only honbasho results matter in determining promotion and relegation for rikishi. Tournaments in general may be called basho.
The Haori (羽織) is a traditional Japanese hip- or thigh-length kimono-style jacket, worn over a kosode.
Five shimpan sit around the ring during the tournament. The order of importance of the shimpan is determined by where they sit. The order of importance goes North, East, South East, South West, West. They will rotate where they sit everyday to maintain equality. However, during the top division only the chief shimpan and his two deputies may sit in the North. The South East shimpan also acts as the timekeeper and gives a signal to the gyōji (referee) on preparation time is up and the wrestlers should fight. Prior to September 1952 the raised shire roof (tsuriyane) was supported by columns and the shimpan would sit in front of the columns.
If one of the shimpan disagrees or is unsure about the decision then he raises his hand and the five of them climb into the ring, or dohyō to hold a mono-ii. In a mono-ii (of the shimpan only) can in principle also be called by any of the four sumo wrestlers awaiting their bout around the ring, although it is an extremely rare occurrence.
The dohyō (土俵) is the ring in which sumo wrestling bouts are held. A modern dohyō is a circle of rice-straw bales 4.55 meters in diameter, mounted on a square platform of clay 6.7m on a side, and 34 to 60 cm high. The surface is covered by sand.
During the mono-ii the five shimpan give their views on what happened. The gyōji is usually able to listen in but is not expected to take part unless invited to do so. (In a famous case in January 1972, when the shimpan overruled the gyōji and said that Kitanofuji was the winner because his opponent was shini-tai and Kitanofuji was entitled to put his hand down first to prevent injury (kabai-te), the gyōji was seen to be arguing with the officials.)Overturning a call can be a serious matter for a gyōji as he has to file a report and it can hinder his promotion, lead to suspension for a number of days, or in very rare cases resignation. For top division matches, the deliberations are further advised by two further shimpan in a video room, in communication with the chief shimpan (who is always one of the three senior members of the judging committee) via an audio link in his ear.
Shini-tai (死に体) is a term used in sumo wrestling. In general, the first sumo wrestler to touch any body part outside the ring, or have any part of his body other than the soles of his feet touch the ground loses. There are exceptions to the rule, shini-tai being one of them.
The use of video was brought in at a result of a famous bout in March 1969 in which the yokozuna Taihō was adjudged to have lost the bout despite subsequent replays and photographs indicating otherwise. [ citation needed ]The referee had originally given the victory to Taihō, but the judges reversed his decision. The loss of this bout broke an extremely unusual 45 bout winning streak by the yokozuna and consequently the decision received much adverse publicity. One of the two shimpan in the video booth must now also be one of the three most senior judges. This rule was brought in as a result of judging controversies in the 1990s.
The result of the mono-ii can be to uphold the gyōji's decision (so-called gunbai-dōri), reverse his decision (gunbai-sashichigai), or call a rematch (torinaoshi).Prior to 1926 draws (azukari) were allowed. The head shimpan is responsible for making the announcement and a brief explanation to the wrestlers and spectators.
The gunbai military leader's fan ; umpire's fan is a type of Japanese war fan.
All the shimpan are oyakata , or sumo elders, of the Japan Sumo Association and are members of its judging committee. At the end of each honbasho tournament the judging committee members also have the responsibility to decide the ranking of the wrestlers for the following tournament, which includes making the initial formal recommendation for the promotion of a wrestler to the rank of ōzeki to the Sumo Association board of directors. A special advisory body of external members is responsible for initial recommendations of promotion to the top rank of yokozuna.
The Japan Sumo Association is the body that operates and controls professional sumo wrestling in Japan under the jurisdiction of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Rikishi, gyōji (referees), tokoyama (hairdressers), and yobidashi (ushers/handymen), are all on the Association's payroll, but the organisation is run entirely by toshiyori (elders). The organization has its headquarters in Yokoami, Sumida, Tokyo.
The judging committee has 23 members at any one time, including the three chief shimpan who serve two year terms. The other 20 members serve one year terms.An oyakata must normally wait at least five years after retirement to become a shimpan, and is normally expected to have reached at least a high maegashira rank as an active wrestler. The chief shimpan are nearly always former yokozuna or ōzeki.
Chiyonofuji Mitsugu, born Mitsugu Akimoto, was a Japanese champion sumo wrestler and the 58th yokozuna of the sport. Following his retirement as a wrestler, he was the stable master of Kokonoe stable until the time of his death.
A Gyōji (行司) is a referee in professional sumo wrestling in Japan.
Takanohana Kenshi 貴ノ花健士 was a sumo wrestler from Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, Japan. His highest rank was ōzeki, which he held for fifty tournaments. As an active rikishi he was extremely popular and was nicknamed the "Prince of Sumo" due to his good looks and relatively slim build. He was the father of Wakanohana Masaru and Takanohana Kōji, and as head of the Futagoyama stable coached both of them to the yokozuna rank.
In professional sumo, the tsuyuharai is one of the two attendants that accompany a yokozuna when he performs his dohyō-iri or ring entrance ceremony. The other attendant is called the tachimochi.
Kitanofuji Katsuaki 北の富士勝昭 is a former sumo wrestler, born in Asahikawa, Hokkaidō, Japan. He was the sport's 52nd yokozuna. He was also the head coach of Kokonoe stable.
Kokonoe stable is a stable of sumo wrestlers, one of the Takasago group of stables. It was formed in 1967 and is located in Ishiwara, Sumida, Tokyo. As of January 2019 it had 18 sumo wrestlers, five of whom were of sekitori rank. It is the most successful stable in terms of total yūshō won by its wrestlers, with 52.
Tamanoumi Masahiro, was a sumo wrestler, born in Aichi, Japan. He was the sport's 51st yokozuna. Making his professional debut in 1959, he reached the top makuuchi division in 1964. He won six tournament championships and was runner-up in 12 others. Earlier in his career he also earned six special prizes and four gold stars. He was promoted to yokozuna simultaneously with his friend and rival Kitanofuji in January 1970 and the two men represented the dawning of a new era after the dominance of Taihō. He died suddenly in October 1971 after a delayed appendectomy.
Chiyonoyama Masanobu was a sumo wrestler from Fukushima, Hokkaidō, Japan. He was the sport's 41st yokozuna from 1951 until 1959. He is regarded as the first "modern" yokozuna in that he was promoted by the Japan Sumo Association itself and not the House of Yoshida Tsukasa. He was the first yokozuna from Hokkaidō, which was also the birthplace of the subsequent yokozuna Yoshibayama, Taihō, Kitanoumi and his own recruits Kitanofuji and Chiyonofuji. After his retirement he left the Dewanoumi group of stables and founded Kokonoe stable in 1967.He died in 1977 while still an active stablemaster.
Izutsu stable is a stable of sumo wrestlers, part of the Tokitsukaze group of stables.
The following words are terms used in sumo wrestling in Japan.
Kiyokuni Katsuo is a former sumo wrestler from Ogachi, Akita, Japan. His highest rank was ōzeki, which he held from 1969 to 1974. He won one top division yūshō or tournament championship and was a runner-up in five other tournaments. He also earned seven special prizes and seven gold stars. After his retirement he was the head coach of Isegahama stable.
Kasugano stable is a stable of sumo wrestlers, part of the Dewanoumi ichimon or group of stables. As of January 2019 it had 20 wrestlers. It has been led by former sekiwake Tochinowaka Kiyotaka since 2003. It was one of the most successful stables in 2013, with six sekitori wrestlers, including the Georgian Tochinoshin and the now retired Japanese born Tochinowaka Michihiro, who used the current head coach's old ring name.
The following are the events in professional sumo during 2003.
The following are the events in professional sumo in 1998.
The following are the events in professional sumo during 2011.
Tomojiro Toda, known as Haguroiwa Tomomi, was a sumo wrestler from Nobeoka, Miyazaki, Japan. He made his professional debut in May 1961, and reached the top division in January 1967. His highest rank was komusubi. He withdrew from active competition in January 1978 and remained in the Japan Sumo Association as an elder under the name Ikazuchi. He reached the mandatory retirement age of 65, and left the Sumo Association in June 2011.
The following are the events in professional sumo during 2013.
2014 in sumo saw the traditional six major tournaments or basho held in January, March, May, July, September and November as usual. The yokozuna Hakuhō won five of the six tournaments taking his total of yūshō to 32 to equal the record of Taihō. Kakuryū's victory in March saw him promoted to become the sport's 71st yokozuna. Consistent performances at the rank of sekiwake saw Gōeidō being promoted to ōzeki for the September tournament. The most notable retirement was that of the former ōzeki Kotoōshū.