Factsheet ファクトシート




Gonishiki 語錦






Middle School Graduated

Native language:


Second language:


Sumo Beya:

Ganbare Beya


Benkyou Oyakata

Work experience:

Entered the Sumo world with 16 as 60% of all Sumo wrestlers do. As a beginner, he did all the tasks the low-rankers have to do, this includes learning to cook well.

Future plans:

Helping all people who want to do internships


Sumo, Japan’s improvement, internationalization, foreign languages, food

Rikishi’s Story 履歴書:

Gonishiki-zeki entered the Sumo world after he finished middle school right away. If he would have had to do any other work, he would have become a teacher. His favorite subject always had been English, since he believes in a globalized world and foreign languages being the key to that. Back at school he had some foreign born buddies and taught them Japanese, they in return taught him their languages.

At his Sumo team he is the strongest, hardest working as well as the highest ranked wrestler and that means he is the mentor for all other Rikishi. Above him is only his trainer, the Shisho, Benkyou-Oyakata, who is a born  teacher too and open to the world.

Gonishiki supports the internship seekers of Internship Japan just like his Otouto-deshi / Kohai (juniors) at his team. His greatest joy is to help others reaching their  dreams like he did, becoming one of the greatest wrestlers, thanks to his Anideshi (seniors) and trainer. Now it is time to give back.




You might wonder why Internship Japan chose a Sumo wrestler as mascot…


and what has Sumo to do with Internships?  


I, founder Verena, wrote my M.A.-thesis about the crisis in Sumo (less and less youngsters join, seems to die out) and collected data by doing a poll, handing questionnaires to all Sumo teams in Japan. I understood what the problems are, and one was pretty loud - the not so great future perspective after retiring from the active sport.


Young Sumo wrestlers are still kids and need to learn just like interns. They have mentors, taking them in and educating them from the scratch. So here you also see parallels already. Sine 60% of all Sumo wrestlers in Japan still enter the Sumo world with only about 16 years of age after graduating middle school (98% of Japanese people graduate at  least from high school), they have trouble re-entering the real world, starting with their first job. Japan hires newly graduates. Now imagine a former professional sportsman  who did not amount to fortune and fame. They do face many problems returning to the “real (working) world”. Beside injuries, weight issues and all kinds of medical conditions, they quit their formal education when entering the professional sport and become a part of a very different world with its' own rules. It can be very hard for them to find work in the competitive job-hunt out there. And many do not find good work but end up at convenience stores or as bouncers in Karaoke bars etc.


The idea of Internship Japan is to introduce the system of internships in Japan, so everybody, not only young foreigners, who does not fit into the Japanese system, gets the chance to prove himself / herself and get permanently hired.


We categorize them as J-interns Type 4:  former artists / sportsmen / Japanese who have been abroad for a long time can do an internship, prove that they can do a job despite any problems with their CV and get hired full time!


This phenomenon can be found in many sports. Artists as well as people who had whatever disadvantage not leading to enter / stay in the working world, mothers, etc. fit into the same category. So once the system of internships is in place, they all can get a chance and prove what  they are made of. This is  what we stand for.


Sumo is also Japan’s national sport and symbolizes the country! What does Shin Gi Tai mean? Equal chances!


In Sumo, everybody must be polite and the rules are fair and easy. Concerning the upcoming of wrestlers one can say that Heart (shin) Technique (gi) and Tai (body) 心技体 must be in balance to make it to the top and that everybody entering has equal chances if willing to learn and develop, no matter how well they did at school or how wealthy their family might be. Once in the Sumo world, they must prove how well they learn and how Shin Gi Tai 心技体 develops in them. They are just kids entering, are taught and trained and have equal chances at the beginning. A good system. Another thing is that In Sumo the junior 後輩 can surpass the senior 先輩 by climbing up the ranks - by his own power. In the western world outstanding youngsters in companies also get promoted like that, in Japanese companies this system is yet not common. You get promoted by time. And it takes time...and time and time...It does not matter if the youngster is 4-times more talented than the senior. Talent wastes away...


Interns also enter a company and while there, they show what they are made of, while continually learning from their mentors. And in the end - maybe they get  hired!


We believe that every person has talents and, even despite the background, may receive a chance to prove himself / herself on the work- Dohyou 土俵.


Groupshot Sumo

About the other mascots

The young foreigners in Amateur Sumo wear are symbolizing the interns, our main mascot Gonishiki-zeki symbolizes our organization, willing to be powerful for Japan, just like a Yokozuna. We love Sumo and want to support it as one part of our mission, with internships as a second chance for former Rikishi to enter a great new job and have a happy life after their active career.




Idea for the Shikona (name) Gonishiki by Sumo expert Moti Dichne
Design by Coffee Bean, powered by 99designs.jp

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