Sumo

Sumo wrestlers no longer allowed grow beard for 'good luck'

Kyodo

Sumo’s governing body told wrestlers Tuesday they are no longer allowed to grow beards, which some competitors in Japan’s ancient sport believe will bring them good luck.

At a meeting in Osaka, Japan Sumo Association elder Oguruma told the wrestlers’ association that beards — along with long nails and tattoos — are not allowed in the sport.

“The dohyo ring is sacred. I want (the people) to feel good when they watch the sport,” Oguruma told reporters after the meeting.

Some wrestlers in the past have avoided shaving during competitions in the superstitious belief it will bring them good luck.

The JSA decided at a board meeting earlier this month to include the new rules on grooming and appearance to the wrestler’s codes. By making the rules explicit, the governing body hopes to ensure competitors will stay well-groomed.

Grand champion Kakuryu, who heads the group of wrestlers in the sport’s top-2 tiers, said looking good is “very important.”

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