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SF4 - Akuma and Gouken have pretzels on their backs.


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It probably has some tradition value. You see that kind of knot in several martial arts related things from Japan.


Or is it an actual pretzel and not a rope?


:withstupid: Ceremonial...


More discussion here:




In the case of Gouki and Gouken, they're also wearing this kind of ceremonial item. Japanese indigenous religious practices have always had some fondness for the symbolism of knots and ropes. In the case of a yokozuna, that represents a goddess of protection. In the case of Gouki and Gouken, they wanted to give them spiritual accoutrements because they are basically like magic hermits or mountain ascetics. Mountain asceticism traditions in Japan, collectively called Shugendou, use all sorts of symbols and chants that are assumed to have magical or otherworldly power.


The knot on Gouken's tsuna is called the "Unryuu" style, and the knot on Gouki's is called the "Shiranui" style. Current yokozuna Asashouryuu wears the Unryuu style and does the Unryuu style of ring entrance, while his current rival, the other yokozuna, Hakuhou, wears the Shiranui style and does the Shiranui ring entrance.

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