It was started centuries back to entertain Shinto gods, then it become an integral part of imperial court and ultimately it became Japan’s national sport. Yes , we are talking about Japanese style of wrestling which is known as Sumo. Sumo wrestling of Japan is still preserved with its traditional style in Japan . It can be defined as a showdown between two wrestlers in which they try to throw each other out of Dohyo ( circular ring ) or to touch the ground with anything other than the soles of the feet. Sumo wrestling is followed only in Japan.
The Sumo wrestler in Japan is known as Rikishi , very highly skilled who follows the strict disciplinary rules set by the Sumo Association. They live in Heya ( the traditional training stables) and follow all clothing and diet principles imposed on them by their couches who are known as ” Stable Masters “. The normal age of the Rikishi is between 20 to 35 years and the average height of sumo wrestlers is around 180 cm (5‘ 11“). Weight gaining is an essential part of a Sumo’s life and he eats mostly Chanko Nabe to increase his weight, which is a hearty stew full of vegetables, meat and fish. Sumo the Japanese wrestling is so popular in Japan that it is also practiced as an amateur sport. The competitions and tournaments are held at school and college levels and also in form of open amateur tournaments.
The typical body structure of a Sumo wrestler gives an idea to be Sumo as a complicated sport. But its basic rules are quite simple. As it is described earlier that the Sumo wrestler who first touches the ground with anything besides the soles of his feet or forced out of the ring , or he leaves, he loses. The maximum duration of Sumo clash is not more than one minute. The Sumo wrestler who gains the highest rank in Sumo is known as Yokozuna (Grand Champion). He keeps this title for his life time and when he feels that his performance is affected with bad results , he announces his retirement. Most of them remain affiliated with the Sumo Association and they are called Oyakata, and become entitled to serve as the trainees of new wrestlers.
The tournaments at national level in Sumo Wrestling of Japan are categorized into 6 contests which are held every year, and each one of them continues for 15 days. Three of the tournaments are conducted in Tokyo (January, May, September), and one each in Osaka (March), Nagoya (July) and Fukuoka (November).