10 Fascinating Facts About Sumo Wrestling - Listverse
Tips for Watching Sumo Wrestling in Japan - The …
For this reason, the organizers of sumo decided on a set of rules, including the creation of a list of 48 legal moves and the round ring that is still used today. A system of stables was created to train wrestlers.
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As many aspects of old Japan remain in sumo, such as topknots, traditional dress, and ancient customs, professional sumo is more than just a sport; it's a living example of traditional Japanese culture. The wrestlers serve as cultural ambassadors when they take part in events overseas.
The traditional roof hangs over the sumo ring ..
Opposite the Mongolian-born yokozuna (grand champion) stood, somewhat fittingly, Japan’s top-ranked wrestler, Kisenosato, the last barrier between Hakuho and a history-making triumph.
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Hakuho returned to his corner for a third time to grab another fistful of salt, his face a picture of concentration, his eyes narrowed and focused as the crowd in Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo arena bristled with anticipation.
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Sumo basically took its present form in the Edo period. Matches were held to raise money to construct shrines and temples or to replace bridges, and the professional sumo wrestler was born. A sport that was once enjoyed only by the rich and powerful became popular among the masses. Sumo events were often held in Edo (now Tokyo), Osaka, and Kyoto, and the sport's popularity grew with the sales of color woodblock prints featuring sumo scenes and pictures of wrestlers. The government of the time, though, disapproved of fighting and often issued orders banning sumo.
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During the age of the samurai, physical strength was an important skill for warriors, and samurai families began to employ sumo wrestlers. It has been written that the warlord Oda Nobunaga was such a devotee of the sport that he gathered wrestlers together to hold tournaments every year.