English edit

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Etymology edit

From Japanese 横綱(よこづな) (yokozuna, wide rope), the symbol of their rank worn about the waist.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

yokozuna (plural yokozunas or yokozuna)

  1. (sumo) The highest rank of sumo wrestler, above ozeki; grand champion.
    • 1997, Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha, Vintage, page 202:
      A yokozuna is the very highest rank in sumo – “just like Mameha's position in Gion,” as Nobu explained it to me. I had no reason to doubt him; but if Mameha ever took half as much time entering a party as these yokozuna took entering the ring, she'd certainly never be invited back.
  2. (sumo) A person holding the rank, either competing at the rank or retired after having achieved it.
    • 2006, Mark Panek, Gaijin Yokozuna: A Biography of Chad Rowan, page 265:
      What mattered most was that, from the very top of the Nihon Sumo Kyōkai, Yokozuna Akebono had been shown respect.

Usage notes edit

  • Technically, yokozuna is an honorary title, rather than a rank.

Translations edit