Promotion to Ozeki

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What are the standards for promotion to ozeki?

A rikishi s last three tournament records are considered. There are no set rules for ozeki promotion in the ranking rules of the JSA. They do stipulate, however, that a potential ozeki be recommended by the banzuke ranking conference. If the rikishi is deemed powerful enough, the chairman of the judging committee asks the board of trustees to consider him.

What does the board of trustees do?

They consider promoting the candidate to ozeki. If the board approves, a banzuke ranking conference is called.

What happens at the banzuke ranking conference?

The promotion of the candidate to ozeki is formalized, and messengers are sent to his stable. Messengers include one trustee and one member of the judging committee.

How is the promotion announced?

As with yokozuna promotion, it is via the dentatsu-shiki.

What is said at the dentatsu-shiki?

The messengers face the new ozeki and say, “We hereby notify you that you were promoted unanimously to ozeki at today’s banzuke ranking conference.” The ozeki replies, “I humbly accept the decision. 1 promise not to taint the title of ozeki. ” In recent years, new ozeki have added to this short phrase, catching the attention of the mass media. On July 21, 1993 when Wakanohana was promoted, he said the following: “I humbly accept the decision. I plan to continue on the path of sumo never forgetting this feeling of wholehearted devotion to the sport.” This sort of expression never fails to capture the admiration of the public as a whole, and it is enthusiastically repeated in all reporting of the event. During his dentatsu-shiki when he was promoted recently (May 27, 1998) to yokozuna, Wakanohana once again used carefully chosen words of acceptance. The term “invincible fortitude,” especially, was quoted widely and become a popular topic of conversation.

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