Sumo 101: Injuries

Sumo May 16, 2019

Sumo 101: Injuries

by John Gunning

One of the most surprising aspects of sumo for first-time watchers is the sheer violence of the sport. Notions of cuddly pandas gently belly bouncing each other out of the ring get blown away when the first thunderclap of a harite (roundhouse head slap) echoes ...

Sumo 101: Impact of tourism

Sumo May 14, 2019

Sumo 101: Impact of tourism

by John Gunning

Sumo's popularity abroad has exploded over the past few years. That's due in large part to recent changes making it possible to watch bouts in real time. A greater level of awareness of sumo has caused a spike in tourist demand for access to the sport. ...

Teenager Waka Sonoda taking aim at Olympic archery berth

More Sports Mar 29, 2019

Teenager Waka Sonoda taking aim at Olympic archery berth

As one of four women hoping to represent Japan at the World Archery Championships, 16-year-old Waka Sonoda is right on target to make her Olympic dreams a reality. Having started her athletic career by chance after she visited a local archery range with her mother, ...

Sumo 101: Could-have-beens

Sumo Mar 21, 2019

Sumo 101: Could-have-beens

by John Gunning

Sumo has no shortage of legends. From titanic yokozuna that dominated in the ring, to plucky underdogs that achieved far more than a lack of size would have seemed to allow, the sport has never lacked stars and celebrities. Indeed, yokozuna Hakuho, the man leading the ...

Sumo 101: Bow-twirling ceremony

Sumo Mar 20, 2019

Sumo 101: Bow-twirling ceremony

by John Gunning

Every day of a sumo tournament concludes with a bow-twirling ceremony, called yumitori-shiki in Japanese. A rikishi — normally from the makushita division — mounts the dohyo from the side of the winner of the final bout and is handed a traditional bamboo bow (minus ...