Sumo is not just a competitive sport, where the trial of strength of the wrestler is tested in the dohyo or the circular ring. In Japan, the sport is associated with a specific ritual and has been in existence from a very long period. The wrestlers in Sumo are called as rikishis.
While the game actually takes very short period to conclude, the preparation for the game, the rituals associated with the game and the way of life advised for and practiced by the rikishi are the interesting things associated with this combat sport.
The rikishis or wrestlers should follow a very strict way of life as per the directions of the Sumo Association and any deviation in this way of life will invite disqualification. A sumo wrestler is not allowed to drive his own car, as per the stipulations. A sumo wrestler should grow long hair and also form a top knot. This is a must do thing. Even in public places they should wear the specific wardrobes prescribed for the game. Depending upon their wardrobe, their level of expertise will be known to the public who happen to see them. The sumo wrestler or rikishi is not allowed to take breakfast in the morning. One heavy meal is what he should take and always maintain overweight.
Now Some Interesting facts About Sumo
- Do you know which professional sport has the shortest duration between the games – wherein a game comes to end, in most cases, in less than a minute or in a few seconds? – It is Sumo, a competitive sport, played mostly in Japan and the neighboring countries.
- Sumo wrestlers are banned from driving cars, for reasons of tradition rather safety concerns due to weight…
- The loincloth (まわし-mawashi) is about 7 metres long. Only higher ranking wrestlers are allowed silk ones -kinky! As well as being something to grab onto, it is supposed to provide some protection to the vital organs.
- No women are allowed in the dohyo. No exception was made for a female government minister who wanted to present the tournament prizes. A woman tried to step into the ring during a tournamdnt in 2007, but was stopped.
- The keshou-mawashi (化粧回し-ceremonial aprons) are given to wrestlers by their fan clubs.
- In the early days of sumo, “after each match the winner’s preferred…dance and music was performed”(Marshall Arts and Sports in Japan pg 23).Sounds like showbiz-style boxing or wrestling!.
- Sumo was always performed outdoors until the first Kokugikan was built in Ryogoku, Tokyo in 1909.
- When the Meiji government ruled that everyone must off their topknots (髷-mage), sumo wrestlers were the only exceptions. They still have it cut off when they retire.