Makuuchi ring-entering

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Who leads the makuuchi ring-entering ceremony?

The gyoji leads. The rikishi come down the aisle in ascending order of rank. The east side comes down the east aisle and the west-side comes down the west aisle. When the ceremony is over, the rikishi return up the same aisle, top ranks first, with the gyoji bringing up the rear.

Is the order different depending on the day?

Yes, the east side goes first on odd-numbered days, and the west on even-numbered days. The two sides are comprised of rikishi designated east and west for that particular day (for each bout, one rikishi will come down the east aisle and one down the west), and these designations have nothing to do with banzuke rankings.

Is there any order in which the rikishi come down the aisle (hanamichi) ?

Yes. The higher the rank, the farther back the rikishi is in line. But since bout combinations are different for each day, the order for the ring-entering ceremony also varies .

What happens during the ring-entering ceremony?

Makuuchi and juryo ceremonies are the same.

  1. The rikishi come down the aisle in a line, and wait at the edge of the ring to be announced.
  2. When a rikishi hears his name, he gives a short bow and steps up into the ring. The announcer gives his name, home province or country, and stable: “Kyokushuzan, from Mongolia, Oshima stable.”
  3. As they step into the ring, the rikishi walk around the ring in a counter clockwise direction, with their feet on either side of the straw bales. They then stop and turn to face the audience, their backs to the ring.
  4. When the final rikishi steps into the ring, usually an ozeki, the entire group turns to face each other.
  5. They clap once.
  6. They raise their right arms.
  7. Then they lift their keshomawashi with both hands.
  8. They lift both arms again.
  9. Then they leave the ring in the opposite order in which they arrived, and go back down the aisle.

What happens during the ring-entering ceremony?

Yes. The makuuchi ring-entering ceremony is a short version of the one performed by yokozuna.

  1. Clapping: symbolizes the chirichozu motions.
  2. Lifting the right arm: part of the three-stage stance (sandangamae ).
  3. Lifting keshomawashi: symbolizes ritual stamping.
  4. Lifting both arms: indicates the end of stamping.

When is the juryo ring-entering ceremony held?

Before the last five makushita bouts. The reason it is held well ahead of their own bouts is to give rikishi time to change from keshomawashi into shimekomi.

Can makushita rikishi participate in a ring-entering ceremony?

No. Only makuuchi andjuryo rikishi are allowed. Yokozuna have a separate ceremony of their own.

Is the makuuchi ring-entering ceremony any different when the emperor comes to observe?

Yes, there is a different ceremony known as gozengakari. All of the rikishi line up in several rows and face the frontside. They stamp, squat down, and stand up. Then they are introduced, and then leave the ring, one by one.

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