Sumo 101: JSA chairman

Sumo Jul 21, 2019

Sumo 101: JSA chairman

by John Gunning

The Japan Sumo Association's highest authority is the chairman of its board of directors. The current occupant is 56-year-old Hakkaku, who has been in power since 2015. Like the majority of his predecessors, Hakkaku is a former yokozuna. Known as Hokutoumi when at that rank, he won ...

Much talk, no action from sumo committees

Sumo | INSIDE SUMO Jun 26, 2019

Much talk, no action from sumo committees

by John Gunning

The Japan Sumo Association loves committees. Barely a scandal or incident goes by without the creation of some kind of panel or investigative group. Last month saw the establishment of yet another. The "Expert Committee to Contemplate the Future Succession of Sumo" is an advisory body whose ...

Trophy presented by Trump to go on display at sumo museum

Sumo May 27, 2019

Trophy presented by Trump to go on display at sumo museum

The American-made trophy presented by U.S. President Donald Trump at a sumo tournament will join the sport's historical materials at a museum in Tokyo, the sport's governing body said Monday. The President's Cup, which was presented by Trump to the winner of the Summer Grand ...

Sumo 101: Sumo and singing

Sumo May 26, 2019

Sumo 101: Sumo and singing

by John Gunning

Though sumo and song may not seem obvious bedfellows, Japan's national sport has musical connections both varied and historical. Jinku, a form of folk singing, is a common sight on provincial tours and at retirement ceremonies. Six wrestlers wearing kesho mawashi (highly decorated apron-like belts) take ...

Sumo 101: Souvenirs

Sumo Mar 14, 2019

Sumo 101: Souvenirs

by John Gunning

Sumo is a unique sport and its merchandising reflects that fact. While many sports rely heavily on wearable items like hats, T-shirts, and replica uniforms, sumo tends to focus more on traditional Japanese goods and edibles. Tegata (autographed handprints), banzuke (ranking sheets) as well as various ...

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

Sumo Feb 26, 2019

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

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 ...

Sumo Feb 8, 2019

Wrestler retires for bullying apprentice

The Japan Sumo Association on Friday accepted the retirement of a sumo wrestler who repeatedly choked and bullied a lower-ranked apprentice wrestler at the stable run by Bulgarian-born former ozeki Kotooshu. The JSA's board of directors handed the stablemaster a 10-percent cut for three months ...

Apprentice wrestler choked, bullied at Kotooshu-run stable

Sumo Jan 31, 2019

Apprentice wrestler choked, bullied at Kotooshu-run stable

An underage apprentice sumo wrestler has been the subject of repeated physical abuse and bullying at the stable run by Bulgarian-born former ozeki Kotooshu, the Japan Sumo Association announced Thursday. According to the JSA, a 20-year-old, fourth-tier sandanme wrestler subjected an apprentice at the Naruto ...

Sumo Jan 26, 2019

Sumo 101: Tickets

by John Gunning

Sumo tickets go on sale roughly about six weeks before the start of every tournament. There are various categories and prices, as well as certain kinds of seats that are unique to particular venues, but generally speaking tickets fall into two main groups — masu ...

Sumo 101: Koenkai

Sumo Jan 24, 2019

Sumo 101: Koenkai

by John Gunning

On the surface sumo generates income the same way as most other sports —through ticket sales, merchandising and sponsorships. While that's the case for the Japan Sumo Association on a macro level; individually, stables and wrestlers also rely on another source of funding — supporters ...