Current professional sumo
tournaments began in the Tomioka Hachiman Shrine in 1684, and then were held
in the Ekō-in in the Edo period. They have been held in the Ryōgoku
Kokugikan since 1909, though the Kuramae Kokugikan had been used for the
tournaments in the post-war years until 1984.
Sumo is a
competitive contact sport where a wrestler (rikishi) attempts to force
another wrestler out of a circular ring (dohyo) or to touch the ground with
anything other than the soles of the feet.
On rare occasions the referee or judges may award the win to the wrestler
who touched the ground first, this happens if both wrestlers touch the
ground at nearly the same time and it is decided that the wrestler who
touched the ground second had no chance of winning as, due to the superior
sumo of his opponent, he was already in an irrecoverable position. The
losing wrestler is referred to as being shini-tai (“dead body”) in this
There are also a number of other rarely used rules that can be used to
determine the winner. For example a wrestler using an illegal technique (or
kinjite) automatically loses, as does one whose mawashi (or belt) becomes
completely undone. A wrestler failing to turn up for his bout (including
through a prior injury) also automatically loses (fusenpai). After the
winner is declared, an off-stage gyoji (or referee) determines the kimarite
(or winning technique) used in the bout, which is then announced to the
The entrance ceremonyis a showcase to introduce the fighters who will be
performing in the evening's events.Typically they form a circle around
he outside of the ring facing the audience then they turn inwards to
face each other.
Before a fight, the wrestlers perform a complex and ancient
ritual.First, they raise their legs and stomp down onto the ground to
scare away demons.
sprinkle salt onto their bodies to ward off injury, but all throw salt
into the ring to purify it.
On entering the ring
the wrestlers crouch opposite each other and stretch out their hands
before bringing them back and placing them on their knees.This signifies
that they are ready to fight.
FIND US ON
"SUMO MAY SEEM ANACHRONISTIC, BUT THE VERY MODERN APPEALOF THE SPORT INDICATES
THAT IT IS NEITHER A RELIC NOR A NOVELTY" - Will Ferguson
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