NEWSWORTHY

Sumo 101: Hobbies

Sep 23, 2018

Sumo 101: Hobbies

by John Gunning

All sumo wrestlers get a week off starting the day after a tournament ends. Most head back to their hometowns for some much needed rest and relaxation. Some just continue to work out and lift weights daily. A few spend most of the time either sleeping or ...

Sumo 101: Yokozuna

Sep 21, 2018

Sumo 101: Yokozuna

by John Gunning

Yokozuna is the highest rank in sumo. To date just 72 men have attained the status since it was first created in the late 1700s. Yokozuna can never be demoted. They are seen as the living embodiment of sumo, and when no longer able to uphold ...

Sumo 101: Winning techniques

Sep 20, 2018

Sumo 101: Winning techniques

by John Gunning

The Japan Sumo Association lists 82 different ways to win a bout. These winning techniques are called kimarite and the applicable one is announced in the arena immediately following each fight. There are also five "non techniques" covering situations such as a wrestler stepping out ...

Sumo 101: Sumo school

Sep 19, 2018

Sumo 101: Sumo school

by John Gunning

Sumo is a Darwinian world, but even in this harsh unforgiving environment, new recruits aren't given a "Battle Royale"-style "here's your mawashi — try to survive" induction. Quite the opposite in fact. All new recruits must complete a six-month course at the "Sumo School" in ...

Sumo 101: Heya (Stables)

Sep 18, 2018

Sumo 101: Heya (Stables)

by John Gunning

Sumo isn't really a sport in the true sense of the word. It's a combination of sport, religion and entertainment wrapped up in a quasi-monastic and militaristic lifestyle. Every sumo wrestler belongs to a heya. While the word literally means "room," it is normally translated ...

Sumo 101: Ryogoku

Sep 17, 2018

Sumo 101: Ryogoku

by John Gunning

Sumo is Japan's national sport and can be seen from one end of the country to the other in both official tournaments as well as regional tours. The birthplace of the sport is in modern day Nara Prefecture, and on that site now stands the ...

Sumo 101: The belt

Sep 10, 2018

Sumo 101: The belt

by John Gunning

Sumo wrestlers on overseas tours have been called 'naked goodwill ambassadors'. Most people first encountering the sport see it as giant guys fighting while wearing almost nothing. While it's true that there are no leotards or singlets in (professional) sumo, it's in fact one of the ...

Sumo 101: The Ring

Sep 9, 2018

Sumo 101: The Ring

by John Gunning

Sumo tournaments take place on a raised ring called a dohyo. The kanji characters for dohyo (土俵) literally translate as clay and rice straw bales — the two materials the ring is made of. Dohyo in professional sumo tournaments are consecrated ground. A ceremony called ...