Your Cart is Empty

All About Japan - Sumo: the wrestling demigods


Old engraving which shows a sumo fight

According to legend, this sport appeared during a fight between the God of Thunder “Takemikazuchi” and the God of Wind “Takeminakata”.

Then, the Japanese practiced it to obtain the favor of the gods and a fruitful harvest.

It was in the 17th century that sumo tournaments aimed to entertain the wealthy class of Japan.


Combat rituals

sumo throws salt before fighting

Seen as demigods, wrestlers perform rites before beginning each fight.

The sumo wrestler throws salt on the dohyō (combat space) in order to purify it.

Before the fight, sumo wrestlers clap their hands to attract the attention of the gods.

Also, they tap the ground with their feet to drive away evil spirits.


Sumo life

Chanko nabe is sumo's favorite food

They weigh between 90 and 160 kg and compete according to their weight and grades (yokozuna = highest grade).

Rhythm of life: training, meals, sleep. Sumo eats 2 (large) meals a day and sleeps directly afterwards to accumulate more fat. Sumo's favorite dish: chankonabe, a vegetable and protein broth (meat, tofu, etc.), served in large quantities with rice and beer to increase the caloric intake.

Future professional sumo wrestlers train from the age of 15.


The techniques

A sumo tournament

82 holds are allowed, allowing wrestlers to push the opponent off the tatami or to tip the opposing wrestler to the ground.

Every year there are 6 tournaments in the country. Most take place in Tokyo in front of more than 10,000 spectators.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.