A unique online competition, established due to the inability to hold amateur meets in person due to the pandemic, is aiming to cast a rare spotlight on form and technique.
For John Gunning's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
The initial clash when two rikishi come together is a moment that has few (if any) parallels in the wider world of sport.
Even though the March tournament will go ahead this year, the fact that it will be in Tokyo rather than Osaka means the annual event will be missing some of its trademarks.
With the passing of Tochinoumi on Jan. 29 there are now just 15 surviving active or retired yokozuna.
Online information about sumo has increasingly been falling victim to many of the same issues that plague mainstream news.
The indifference shown by referees to the head injury sustained by third-tier wrestler Shonannoumi on Tuesday drew criticism from fans and journalists alike.
The decision by Kotokantetsu to leave the sport rather than risk infection with the coronavirus at the New Year Basho has resulted in a wave of outrage against the Japan Sumo Association.
The first grand tournament of 2021 is scheduled to begin Sunday despite the announcement of a state of emergency in parts of the greater Tokyo area.
Sumo somehow managed to keep going and provided much-needed distraction in a tough year.
The sport's second and third ranks offer a chance to see both rising stars and wily veterans engaged in the sort of exciting bouts that are sometimes rare in the top level.