Kanji for natural phenomena is commonly seen in shikona. This also shows our traditional and intrinsic respect to the great nature based on the fact that sumo originated from Shinto rituals for praying for richer crops. At the same time, Japanese traditionally and mentally hold their strong desire to be united with the great nature. For example, you can often feel the above Japanese desire in historically famous literatures. Various types of kanji meaning beauty, magnificence, and wildness of the nature are used as part of shikona.
Meaning：The morning sun, The rising sun
How to Read : Yama・San・Zan
Thinking of the rising sun and its golden rays at daybreak, the sun must be a very special existence in the nature. Especially from the viewpoint of farming richer crops, the sun is one of the essential factors. Since “旭國” (Asahi-Kuni ), an excellent Ozeki (*1) nicknamed “The Sumo Doctor ”, appeared in 1970s, this kanji, “旭” has been handed down to his pupils one after another.
How to Read : Hikari・Mitsu・Kou
The light here often stood for the natural light before. The morning sunlight stood for the blessing of the sun while the light of the thunder stood for awe to the nature. Some previous rikishi used to use this kanji as the meaning of natural light in their shikona. In many recent cases, rikishi use this kanji hoping to shine as a great sumo wrestler. It is interesting to wonder if this fact proves any shift or change in the basics of Japanese mentality from the nature to individual interests.
*Note 1) Ozeki : the sumo wrestler (rikishi) ranked next to Yokozuna in Professional Sumo System.
How to Read : Kaze
More than 300 years ago, there appeared a legendary strong Yokozuna (*2）called “谷風”(Tani-Kaze ). “Tani ” (谷) in this name stands for “valley”. You may imagine the wildness or severeness of the nature to hear the words, “the wind from the valley”. “Kaze” itself, however, gives us fresh and crisp feeling that breeze brings. In fact, Ozeki “琴風” (Koto-Kaze), who flourished in 1980s, always gave fresh smiles to us. This kanji has been handed down to his pupils.
How to Read : Arashi
When “山” is written on “風”, whose meaning is fresh wind, the combined kanji means “storm”. This kanji reminds us of the highest severeness and roughness of the nature among all types of kanji for natural phenomena. This kanji suits as part of shikona of rikishi who have a fierce temper and use rough techniques well. There existed a rikishi called “陸奥嵐” (Mutsu-Arashi ) who was nicknamed “The Rough Fighter ” and flourished around 1970. He always used rough wrestling techniques with sullen face.