What is Musashi’s Tegata?
For simplicities sake, I have copied the definitions from Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_sumo_terms)
Tegata (手形)A Tegata is a type of memorabilia consisting of a sumo wrestlers handprint in red or black ink and his shikona written by the wrestler in calligraphy on a square paperboard. It can be an original or a copy. A copy of a tegata may also be imprinted onto other memorabilia such as porcelain dishes.
Shikona (四股名)A wrestler’s “fighting name”, often a poetic expression which may contain elements specific to the wrestler’s heya. Japanese wrestlers frequently do not adopt a shikona until they reach makushita or jūryō; foreign wrestlers adopt one on entering the sport. On rare occasions, a wrestler may fight under his original family name for his entire career.
- The Kanji for my name, Musashi was carefully chosen as any Japanese name is. There are any number of Kanji characters than can be used to phonetically arrive at the same pronunciation as the desired name, yet will look vastly different. These various combinations of sounds expressed by the different Kanji characters are almost always analyzed to determine the total number of strokes used.
- The family name is almost always used in conjunction with the given name. So My Kanji for my last name, Yamasaki and my first name, Musashi are carefully crafted as auspicious. There are people in Japan whose entire career is divining and designing these auspicious Kanji combinations when naming a baby.
- Adults will sometimes slightly change the Kanji in their name, when they have had an extended illness or other ill fortune. This portends in a theoretical psychic universe that by changing your name you change your life’s direction for the better!
- You can change an entire Kanji character or simply an individual stroke or two and possibly change the positive energy flow that you seek, into your life. Whether you believe it works or not, many Japanese do. I obviously believe it can have a profound change for the better!
- My Tegata is not a proper Shikona as I’ve never been a Rikishi (Sumo Wrestler), but it does provide me with a connection to one of my favorite things–Grand Sumo.
- My Tegata is my actual hand print in red ink. In fact my right hand is still red as I type this. I hope it goes away quickly, or I’ll be all day explaining why one of my hands is all red!I went to some trouble to get the exact look of an actual Tegata. My wife Yukiko chose the Kanji font for me.My favorite Rikishi is Homasho. He is Japanese, powerfuly and extremely polite. What’s not to like? Here is a picture of him:
Here is a picture of his Tegata:
And once again here is my Tegata:
Looks pretty similar to mine right? That’s no accident 😉 A great website showing a bunch of Sumo Wrestler’s Tegata is here:
- I created my Tegata simply to have an elegant Avatar online, but now that I’ve made it, I may have a well-known Kanji artist Yukiko knows to add my name to my hand print and frame it. Fun idea!