Archives for the day Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Sumo in Japan

If you were asked to name a few Japanese sports, sumo might be one of the sports name you might name.

Sumo is a competitive traditional national Japanese sport where wrestlers,who only wears belly belts (mawashi) in the ring,  tries to push opponent wrestler out of a circular ring or touch the ground with anything other than the soles of his feet.

Originally, sumo was used to measure the wrestler’s strength or for dueling, but it is now professional sport in Japan.

Most sumo wrestlers are required to live in sumo training stables, known in Japanese as xyz (owner’s name) beya. Their daily lives—from meals to their manner of dress—are dictated by strict tradition.

I hear that newbie wrestlers do a lot of work for superiors from cooking  for them, laundry their superior’s belts etc…


Nihon Sumo kyokai (Japan sumo association) holds 6 tournamenta each year in Tokyo, Osaka,Nagoya, Fukuoka.

The competition is concluded in accordance with traditional rituals such as ring entrance ceremony by wrestlers in the makuuchi ( the top division of the six divisions of professional sumo) and yokozuna (grand champion) divisions,and bow -twirling rite.


Sumo wrestler requirement..

I read that wrestlers must be over 173cm tall (5′ 8″), and have to weigh over 75kg (165lb)

The wrestlers wear chonmage (top knot) but to be able to wear chonmage, he must be above jyu-ryou rank. He would wear oicho style topknot).


  1. When called by the ring steward,the wrestler will go up to the ring,lift his leg,stamp his feet
  2. The wrestlers is given chikaramizu (water) , sprinkle salt over the ring,and perform the shiko (lift his leg,stamp his feet), in the middle of the ring,facing toward the opponent.
  3. The wrestler takes his place and sprinkle salt over, and over til time limit is reached.
  4. After the 4 minutes limit, the match begins
  5. The referee (Gyouji)  judges the match and winner is declared


The eight win of each tournament are called kachikoshi, and the eight losses are called makekoshi.Both effects ranking of the wrestlers.

Banzuke is ranking chart.

For Maku uchi, The wrestlers names are lined up from right to left: highest ranking to the lowest ranking; yokozuna-ozaki-sekiwake-komusubi-maegashira.

For Juryo, The ranks above jyuryo are called sekitori, who receives monthly salaries from Japan Sumo Association.

For Yokozuna, The highest rank of all wrestlers, yokozuna will not be demoted by the consequences of tournament but if the result turns out to be bad, he could be forced to retire.

Chanko Nabe..

Chanko Nabe is a hot pot dish sumo wrestlers eat as staple.It got variety of vegetables, meat, and seafood.

Retired wrestlers tend to open up the restaurants with specialty of Chanko Nabe.

It might be fun for you to try out one of those restaurant if you happen to be around the Ryogoku area (Tokyo).

Wrestlers from outside Japan..

Sumo wrestlers used to be mostly Japanese but recent years, you can see more wrestlers from outside Japan;Mongolia, USA, China,Russia,European countries etc.

To read more on Sumo at Japan guide website, please click here.

To read more on Sumo at Time website, please click here.

May 17, 2017 | Comments are off | Japan