Sumo 101: Mongolians

Sumo May 24, 2019

Sumo 101: Mongolians

by John Gunning

Sumo might be Japan's national sport, but for most of the last two decades it has been dominated by Mongolians. From November 2002, when Ulaanbaatar native Asashoryu won his first Emperor's Cup, to January 2016, when Kotoshogiku broke a 10-year title drought for Japan-born rikishi, ...

Sumo 101: Yobidashi (ring announcers)

Sumo May 23, 2019

Sumo 101: Yobidashi (ring announcers)

by John Gunning

The busiest men in sumo are the yobidashi (ring announcers). Named after their most conspicuous duty, yobidashi do far more than just call rikishi up to fight. In fact, pretty much every behind-the- scenes task in Japan's national sport is taken care of by sumo's unsung ...

Sumo 101: Endorsements

Sumo May 18, 2019

Sumo 101: Endorsements

by John Gunning

One of the unique aspects of sumo's attire is a lack of associated wearable merchandise. While manufacturers are able to sell an endless array of baseball or football jerseys, caps, and jackets, there isn't much of a market for branded mawashi or "Air-Hakuho" seta (traditional ...

Sumo 101: Online sumo games

Sumo May 17, 2019

Sumo 101: Online sumo games

by John Gunning

Fantasy football is a multi-billion dollar business with millions of participants. The sumo version? Not so much, though the world champion does get a trophy. The present holder of that title is a British native whose shikona (ring name) is Pandaazuma. Currently about 200 players from around ...