Listed below are some of the words that the sumo community uses frequently, including us. We have included pronunciations (to the best of our ability) and definitions.
As always, if you see any corrections that need to be made, let us know and we will get it fixed.
Basho (Bah-shō) – A sumo tournament.
Rikishi (Reek-shee) – A professional sumo wrestler.
Hatsu Basho (Haht-soo Bah-shō) – The opening tournament of the sumo season held during the month of January in Tokyo.
Haru Basho (Hah-roo Bah-shō) – The Spring tournament held during the month of March.
Natsu Basho (Naht-soo Bah-shō) – The Summer tournament held in the month of May in Tokyo.
Nagoya Basho (Nah-go-yah Bah-shō) – The tournament held in the city of Nagoya during the month of July.
Aki Basho (Ah-kee Bah-shō) – The Fall or Autumn tournament held in the month of September in Tokyo.
Kyushu Basho (Kyoo-shoo Bah-shō) – Final basho of year held during the month of November on Kyushu “the Nine Provinces,” the southwestern most island of Japan.
Makuuchi (Mah-koo-oo-chee or Mah-kuh-nō-oo-chee) – The highest of the six sumo divisions.
Juryo (Joor-yo) – The second highest of the six sumo divisions.
Makushita (Mah-koo-shee-tah or Mah-koosh-ta) – The third of the six sumo divisions.
Sandanme (Sahn-dahn-may) – The fourth of the six sumo divisions.
Jonidan (Jō-nee-dan) – The fifth of the six sumo divisions.
Jonokuchi (Jō-nō-koo-chee) – The lowest of the six sumo divisions.
San’yaku (Sahn-yah-koo) – Title holder ranks: yokozuna, ozeki, komosubi, and sekiwake.
Yokozuna (Yō-kō-zoo-nah) – Meaning “horizontal rope”, the highest rank in sumo.
Ozeki (ō-zehk-ee) – The second highest rank of the makuuchi and the second highest rank of the san’yaku.
Sekiwake (Sehk-ee-wah-kay) – The third highest rank of makuuchi and third highest rank of the san’yaku.
Komosubi (Kō-mō-soo-bee) – The fourth highest rank of makuuchi and lowest rank of the san’yaku.
Maegashira (May-guh-shee-rah) – The fifth highest rank of makuuchi. Rikishi with this title make up the bulk of the division and are numbered by rank.
Dohyo (Dō-hyo) – A circular ring in which the rikishi compete.
Gyoji (Gyō-jee) – The referee of the sumo match.
Heya (Hey-ya) – A stable or training quarters where the rikishi reside.
Yusho (Yoo-shō) – A title given to the rikishi with the best record of the basho, the champion.
Jun-yusho (Joon-yoo-shō) – A title given to the rikishi with the second best record of the basho.
Kimarite (Kee-mah-ree-tay) – The winning move a rikishi performs to achieve victory.
Kin-boshi (Kin-bō-shee) – A “gold star” win, awarded to a maegashira who defeats a yokozuna.
Kachi-koshi (Kah-chee-kō-shee) – A final record of more wins than losses.
Make-koshi (Mah-kay-kō-shee) – A final record of more losses than wins.
Sumotori (Soo-mō-tō-ree) – See “rikishi”.
Sekitori (Sehk-ee-tō-ree) – A wrestler in either of the top two divisions; the paid ranks.
Oshidashi (ō-shee-dah-shee) – A common winning sumo move; a frontal push out of the opposing rikishi from the dohyo via pushing.
Yorikiri (Yō-ree-kee-ree) – A common winning sumo move; a frontal force out of the opposing rikishi from the dohyo via grappling.
Henka (Hen-kah) – A move in which the rikishi sidesteps to avoid head on contact. Legal, but considered dishonorable or undignified.