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Sanshō 三賞, literally "three prizes" are the three special prizes awarded to top (Makuuchi) division sumo wrestlers for exceptional performance during a sumo honbasho or tournament. The prizes were first awarded in November 1947.



All rikishi in the top division below the rank of ōzeki are eligible. In order to be considered for a special prize a rikishi must make a kachikoshi or majority of wins during the tournament. Otherwise the prizes are decided by a panel which includes press writers covering the tournament. There is no requirement that the prizes must be awarded, and it sometimes happens that one or more of the sanshō are not given.

The three prizes are

  • Shukun-shō (殊勲賞), Outstanding Performance prize
  • Ginō-shō (技能賞), Technique prize
  • Kantō-shō (敢闘賞), Fighting Spirit prize

Typically the shukun-shō is awarded to a wrestler who defeats the yokozuna or the eventual tournament winner, or who otherwise displays outstanding performance relative to his rank; the Ginō-shō to the wrestler who displays the most skillful kimarite, or techniques; and the kantō-shō to the wrestler who has most clearly fought tenaciously and to the best of his abilities. The ginō-shō is considered the most prestigious, and is also the prize most often not awarded at all: in 1988, it was withheld for five tournaments in a row.[1] However each award is worth the same amount of money, two million yen.

It is a de facto standard that a newly promoted makuuchi wrestler who manages a 10-5 or better record in his first tournament will be awarded a sanshō, normally the Fighting Spirit prize. Similarly a wrestler newly promoted to the sanyaku ranks above maegashira who achieves a 10-5 record can expect a prize for his efforts.

There is no minimum or maximum limit to the number of sanshō that may be given. It is not uncommon for more than one wrestler to be awarded the same prize, and similarly there are occasions when one of the three sanshō titles is not awarded at all. For example it is unlikely that the shukun-shō will be awarded if the tournament is won 15-0 by a lone yokozuna.

At some tournaments as many as six sanshō were awarded in total (as in January 1992), while at others only one has been presented (most recently in January 2005).

Sanshō sweeps

On a few rare occasions, one wrestler has been awarded all three prizes simultaneously for his performance. This accolade has been given on only 5 separate occasions to 5 different wrestlers.

Tournament Wrestler Rank Record
July 1973 Daiju Hisateru sekiwake 13-2
Sept 1973 Ōnishiki Ittetsu maegashira 11 11-4
Jan 1992 Takahanada Kōji maegashira 2 14-1
July 1999 Dejima Takeharu sekiwake 13-2
Nov 2000 Kotomitsuki Keiji maegashira 9 13-2

*record in bold indicates wrestler also took championship

In September 2001, Kotomitsuki, in his championship tournament, came very close to being the only wrestler to receive all 3 prizes twice, but the Fighting Spirit prize went to then maegashira Asashoryu.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Sharnoff, Lora (1993). Grand Sumo. Weatherhill. pp. 98. ISBN 0-8348-0283-x.  
  2. ^ "Doitsuyama". "Banzuke Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2009-03-31.  

External links



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