There is perhaps no greater red flag when it comes to foreign coverage of Japan’s national sport than the use, often in headlines, of words such as "hidden," "secret," or mysterious.

For decades, countless articles and videos using similar verbiage have boasted of their creators gaining unprecedented access to sumo. What follows is inevitably a mishmash of cliche, misinformation, outdated statistics and the all-too-common confusing of amateur sumo with professional.

The reality is that ōzumo, for all its pageantry and uniqueness, is actually one of the most open and accessible top-level professional sports in the world, particularly for amateur athletes from overseas.