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Friday, June 12, 2020

manji-gatame 卍固め

In Japanese, manji-gatame 卍固め, meaning "swastika hold," known in English as "octopus hold," is a wrestling hold resembling a "swastika," manji, due to the placement of the limbs of the wrestler, with all four knees and elbows bent. There are variants, but essentially:
  1. Left arm locks the opponent's right arm.
  2. Left leg wraps around the opponent's neck.
  3. Right leg wraps around the opponent's right leg.
  4. Right elbow held against the opponent's ribs.

Kinoshita Yuuko 木下優子 puts Yoshii Akihisa 吉井明久, dressed as Kinoshita Hideyoshi 木下秀吉, in octopus hold, manji-gatame 卍固め.
Attacker: Kinoshita Yuuko 木下優子, dressed as Kinoshita Hideyoshi 木下秀吉
Receiver: Yoshii Akihisa 吉井明久 as
Anime: Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni'!, !バカとテストと召喚獣 にっ! (Season 2) (Episode 3, Stitch)

Meaning

Morphologically, manji 卍 means "swastika," and ~gatame ~固め is the noun form (ren'youkei 連用形) of the verb katameru 固める, "to harden," "to hold firm," suffering rendaku 連濁.

The term katame-waza 固め技, literally "holding technique," refers to "grappling holds" in wrestling in Japanese in general.

Translation

The typical English translation of manji-gatame is "octopus hold" or "octopus stretch." Both terms refer to exact the same technique, but since octopuses aren't swastika-shaped, it's possible things get lost in translation sometimes.

Octopus Hold

The manji-gatame was originally called octopus hold in Japanese.[アントニオ猪木ホームページ 必殺技名鑑 - asahi-net.or.jp/~YF7M-ON, accessed 2020-06-12]

However, due to the technique's resemblance to the easily recognizable swastika shape, the octopus hold started getting called manji-gatame in Japan, and this name eventually became more popular than octopus hold.

Note that swastika associated with Buddhism in Japan and is nonchalantly used.
  • okutopasu hoorudo
    オクトパス・ホールド
    Octopus hold. (katakanization.)
  • tako-gatame
    蛸固め
    (same meaning.)
    • tako

      Octopus.

Manji Hold

In the western world, swastikas are associated with nazism (specifically the right-facing swastika 45 degrees rotated, called hakenkreuz), consequently, there's aversion to translating manji-gatame to "swastika hold," and sometimes it's translated to "manji hold" instead.

Another strange English translation is "Fylfot Hold."[ANTONIO INOKI HOME PAGE hissatu waza - asahi-net.or.jp/~YF7M-ON, accessed 2020-06-12]

A fylfot is a British left-facing swastika.

Origin

The manji-gatame was a technique memorably used by Antonio Inoki アントニオ猪木 (stage name, born as Inoki Kanji 猪木寛至, currently Muhammad Hussain Inoki).
  • Antonio supesharu
    アントニオ・スペシャル
    Antonio special. (katakanization.)
    Another name for manji-gatame.

Note that the technique doesn't always look like a swastika.

Variations of manji-gatame 卍固め.
Source: アントニオ猪木の卍固め - showapuroresu.com, accessed 2020-06-12 (Collage)
  • Variations of manji-gatame.

It looks exactly like a swastika when the elbow, which is a rather hard part of the human body, of the right arm is against the opponent's ribs, so the right hand faces outwards. The left arm holds the opponents arm. The left leg is over the opponent's neck. And the right leg wraps the opponent's leg.

This sounds unnecessarily complex, however, the peculiar swastika shape being easily recognizable is probably what makes this wrestling hold popular in anime, as less swastika-shaped variants wouldn't be as easily recognizable by the general audience as instances of manji-gatame.

Examples

There are instances of manji-gatame in all sorts of manga and anime. It's likely you've already seen this technique used somewhere before, but you didn't know the name for it. For reference, some examples of manji-gatame:

Zenigata Kouichi 銭形幸一 puts Lupan the Third, Rupan Sansei ルパン三世, in an octopus hold, manji-gatame 卍固め.
Attacker: Zenigata Kouichi 銭形幸一
Receiver: Lupin the Third, Rupan Sansei ルパン三世
Anime: Lupin the Third, Rupan Sansei ルパン三世 (Part 3) (1985, Episode 49)

Kurimoto Fumiya 栗本文哉 puts Fujii Natsuo 藤井夏生 in an octopus hold, manji-gatame 卍固め.
Attacker: Kurimoto Fumiya 栗本文哉
Receiver: Fujii Natsuo 藤井夏生
Anime: Domestic na Kanojo, ドメスティックな彼女 (Episode 3, Stitch)

Hinata Hideki 日向秀樹 puts Yui ユイ in octopus hold, manji-gatame 卍固め.
Attacker: Hinata Hideki 日向秀樹
Receiver: Yui ユイ
Anime: Angel Beats! (Episode 4)

Hinata Hideki 日向秀樹 puts Yui ユイ in octopus hold, manji-gatame 卍固め, during a baseball match.
Attacker: Hinata Hideki 日向秀樹
Receiver: Yui ユイ
Anime: Angel Beats! (Episode 4)

Nibutani Shinka 丹生谷森夏 puts Dekomori Sanae 凸守早苗 in octopus hold, manji-gatame 卍固め, while Togashi Yuuta 富樫勇太 watches.
Attacker: Nibutani Shinka 丹生谷森夏
Receiver: Dekomori Sanae 凸守早苗
Left: Togashi Yuuta 富樫勇太
Anime: Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren 中二病でも恋がしたい!戀 (Season 2) (Episode 4)

Aisaka Taiga 逢坂大河 puts Kawashima Ami 川嶋亜美 in octopus hold, manji-gatame 卍固め.
Attacker: Aisaka Taiga 逢坂大河
Receiver: Kawashima Ami 川嶋亜美
Anime: Toradora! とらドラ! (Episode 11)

Fukuoka Moe 福岡萌 puts Hagiwara Sakura 萩原さくら in octopus hold, manji-gatame 卍固め.
Attacker: Fukuoka Moe 福岡萌
Receiver: Hagiwara Sakura 萩原さくら
Anime: Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai! 世界でいちばん強くなりたい! (Episode 10)

  • No image, NSFW: in Shijou Saikyou no Deshi: Ken'ichi 史上最強の弟子 ケンイチ, volume 55, chapter 519, Kyokuchisen no Kechaku 局地戦の決着, Rachel Stanley レイチェル・スタンレイ puts Ba Renka 馬連華 in octopus hold.

Shi Miao 時秒 puts Shi Fen 時分 in octopus hold, manji-gatame 卍固め.
Attacker: Shi Miao 時秒
Receiver: Shi Fen 時分
Anime: Ani ni Tsukeru Kusuri wa Nai! 兄に付ける薬はない! (Episode 4)

Shimada Minami 島田美波 puts Yoshii Akihisa 吉井明久 in octopus hold, manji-gatame 卍固め, while Tsuchiya Kouta 土屋康太 tries to peek under her skirt.
Attacker: Shimada Minami 島田美波
Receiver: Yoshii Akihisa 吉井明久
Opportunist: Tsuchiya Kouta 土屋康太
Anime: Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu バカとテストと召喚獣 (Episode 1, Stitch)

Shimada Minami 島田美波 puts Yoshii Akihisa 吉井明久 in octopus hold, manji-gatame 卍固め.
Attacker: Shimada Minami 島田美波
Receiver: Yoshii Akihisa 吉井明久
Anime: Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni'!, !バカとテストと召喚獣 にっ! (Season 2) (Episode 9)

Ground Variant

Shimada Minami 島田美波 puts Yoshii Akihisa 吉井明久 in ground octopus hold, guraundo manji-gatame グラウンド卍固め.
Attacker: Shimada Minami 島田美波
Receiver: Yoshii Akihisa 吉井明久
Anime: Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu バカとテストと召喚獣 (Episode 6)
  • guraundo manji-gatame
    グラウンド卍固め
    Ground octopus hold.

Peculiar Examples

Some peculiar examples of manji-gatame in manga and anime:

Yoshinaga Futaba 吉永双葉 puts Gargoyle ガーゴイル in an octopus hold, manji-gatame.
Attacker: Yoshinaga Futaba 吉永双葉
Receiver: Gargoyle ガーゴイル
Anime: Yoshinaga-san-chi no Gargoyle, 吉永さん家のガーゴイル (Episode 11, Hidden frame)
  • Context: Futaba tries to use the octopus hold on a stone statue. It looks nothing like a swastika due to the anatomy of the dog statue being completely different from that of a human wrestler.
  • The text reads manji-gatame 卍がため.

The sealing technique manji-gatame 卍固め.
Anime: Naruto: Shippūden -ナルト- 疾風伝 (Episode 325)
  • Context: in Naruto, a series featuring ninjas, there are powerful creatures identified by their number of tails.
  • The "Eight-Tails," Hachibi 八尾, takes the form of an octopus. In the image above, it's casting:
  • fuuin-jutsu okutopasu hoorudo
    封印術・億怒端数煩流奴(オクトパスホールド)
    Sealing Technique: Octopus Hold.
    • This gikun 義訓 is an ateji 当て字. The kanji were selected purely by their readings, so oku-do-ha-suu-han-ru-do 億怒端数煩流奴, "million-rage-fraction-trouble-flow-guy" doesn't actually mean anything.
  • This technique is alternatively called manji-gatame 卍固め. It generates clones made out of octopus ink that seal enemies by putting them in the wrestling technique octopus hold.

ヤンキギャル奥義 マジ卍固め
Manga: Kamio Yui wa Kami wo Yui 神緒ゆいは髪を結い (Chapter 4, オルチャン激突祭)
  • Context: Mai-nyun まいにゅん unleashes her ultimate technique on Kamio Yui 神緒ゆい.
  • yankii gyaru ougi
    ヤンキギャル奥義
    Deliquent gal secret technique.
  • maji-manji-gatame
    マジ卍固め
    (skill name.)
    • maji-manji
      マジ卍
      (a slang vaguely meaning something is intense.)
    • This is the skill that Mai-nyun acquired after arduous training as a gyaru. Don't ask me what in the world that training was. I have absolutely no idea.
    • Unlike the normal manji-gatame, which targets only a few vital spots, the maji-manji-gatame targets 109 vital spots, according to the manga.
    • This number, 109, pronounced maru-kyuu, literally "circle nine," with "circle" being a way to say "zero" when spelling out numbers, is in reference to the iconic department store in Shibuya 渋谷, the Ichi-maru-kyuu 109, which is a tower with a red 109 written on it.

Megane メガネ puts Lum ラム in octopus hold, manji-gatame 卍固め.
Attacker: Megane メガネ
Receiver: Lum ラム
Anime: Urusei Yatsura うる星やつら (Episode 116, 愛と闘魂!グローブVSパンツの決闘!!, Stitch)
  • Context: Megane is wearing the "fighting spirit pants," toukon pantsu 闘魂パンツ, which are, according to the anime:
  • {{ai suru} mono wo miru to manji-gatame wo kakezu niwa oren toiu} {inga na} pantsu ja
    愛する者を見ると卍固めをかけずにはおれんという因果なパンツじゃ
    {Karmic} pants [which] {when [one] sees someone [whom] {[they] love}, [they can't stop themselves from] putting [them] in octopus hold.}
    • In other words: Megane loves Lum, therefore he put her in octopus hold.
    • inga
      因果
      Cause and effect.
      Fate. Karma.
      • Things absolutely necessary in pro-wrestling:
      • in'nen to dorama
        因縁とドラマ
        Fate and drama.
    • oren おれん is a contraction of the potential verb variant of oru おる, oreru おれる, in the nu-form, orenu おれぬ. Since oru おる is synonymous with iru いる, oren おれん is synonymous with irarenai いられない.
    • (__)~nai to irarenai
      〇〇ないといられない
      If not X, [one] can't be.
      If I don't do X, I can't stay still.
      I can't stop myself from doing X.
    • kakezu かけず is the zu-form of kakeru かける, meaning "without doing kakeru." The verb kakeru is used when doing something to a person.
    • Ramu ni manji-gatame wo kakeru
      ラムに卍固めをかける
      To use the octopus hold on Lum.
    • ja
      じゃ
      Same as the da だ copula in this case, due to the speaker being an old man who uses ja じゃ at the end of sentences.

In Osomatsu-san, Juushimatsu uses the technique on the wrong person twice.

Matsuno Juushimatsu 松野十四松 puts Matsuno Osomatsu 松野おそ松 in octopus hold, manji-gatame 卍固め.
Attacker: Matsuno Juushimatsu 松野十四松
Receiver: Matsuno Osomatsu 松野おそ松
Anime: Osomatsu-san おそ松さん (Episode 4, Stitch)
  • Context: Choromatsu is hiding something and not telling the truth, so Osomatsu instructs Juushimatsu to punish Choromatsu by putting him in octopus hold, commanding him literally with the phrase "Juushimatsu, manji-gatame." It backfires as Juushimatsu fails to read the flow of the conversation and attacks Osomatsu instead.

Matsuno Juushimatsu 松野十四松 puts Matsuno Choromatsu 松野チョロ松 in octopus hold, manji-gatame 卍固め.
Attacker: Matsuno Juushimatsu 松野十四松
Receiver: Matsuno Choromatsu 松野チョロ松
Anime: Osomatsu-san おそ松さん (Episode 6)
  • Context: Osomatsu comes up with a reprehensible idea, so Choromatsu instructs Juushimatsu to punish Osomatsu by putting him in octopus hold, commanding him literally with the phrase "Juushimatsu, manji-gatame." It backfires as Juushimatsu fails to read the flow of the conversation and attacks Choromatsu instead.

Cobra Twist

The "cobra twist," kobura tsuisuto コブラツイスト, also known as "abdominal stretch," is a different wrestling hold that's somewhat similar to the manji-gatame.

The difference is that a manji-gatame places one leg on the opponent's head, while the cobra twist does not. Instead, in a cobra twist the leg wraps the opponent's body from behind.

Kiriha 桐葉 puts Kukuri くくり in a cobra twist コブラツイスト.
Attacker: Kiriha 桐葉
Receiver: Kukuri くくり
Anime: Tsugumomo つぐもも (Episode 7)

Tachibana Junichi 橘純一 puts Umehara Masayoshi 梅原正吉 in a cobra twist コブラツイスト.
Attacker: Tachibana Jun'ichi 橘純一
Receiver: Umehara Masayoshi 梅原正吉
Anime: Amagami SS, アマガミSS (Episode 2)

Shibata Genzou 柴田源蔵 puts Wolfgang von Kraftman ヴォルフガング・フォン・クラフトマン in a cobra twist コブラツイスト.
Attacker: Shibata Genzou 柴田源蔵
Receiver: Wolfgang von Kraftman ヴォルフガング・フォン・クラフトマン
Anime: Hataage! Kemono Michi 旗揚!!けものみち (Episode 8)

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