Learn about traditional sumo wrestling in Japan

Sumo” and “Oozumo” What is the difference? 

Sumo is a martial art and also a traditional Japanese sacrificial ritual. Martial artists wearing loincloths, divided into pairs and competing on a circular dirt field with a diameter of 455 meters.

6 Grand Sumo tournaments (also known as Oozumo) are held 6 times a year, each lasting 15 consecutive days. The tournaments called “Basho (場所)” were held three times in Tokyo and once in Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka. The fighter who wins the most wins in a tournament (Basho) will be the champion, and this result is also reflected in the rankings.

Learn about traditional sumo wrestling in Japan

Besides, Sumo is the name of the sport and ” Oozumo (Grand Sumo)” is the name of the tournament for professional wrestlers organized by the Japan Sumo Association.

Origin and history of sumo wrestling

Sumo appeared in Japanese mythology as a ritual to predict the harvest of the year. bumper crop or not. Later, the culture of the Emperors enjoying the sumo festival (相撲節会) has been passed down for more than 300 years.

From about the 12th century to the end of the 16th century, martial arts were used for martial artists to practice until the Edo era when it was popular with people as a hobby. mind. This transformation came from the Kanjin Sumo (勧進相撲) event held to increase the costs needed for the construction and restoration of temples. And this Kanjin Sumo event is also the starting point for Sumo entertainment to become the tournament it is today.

Learn about traditional sumo wrestling in Japan

The form of the arena with the hair tied in a loincloth and the way it works is also preserved from the Edo period, becoming a precious martial art that still preserves ancient traditional culture.

Oozumo ranks are divided according to the results of matches

Sumo ranks are listed according to the rankings. The rankings will reflect the results at each Basho tournament. The highest rank is Yokozuna (横綱) followed by Ozeki (大関) Sekiwake (関脇) Komusubi (小結 ) then Maegashira (前頭)…

Ranks from Maegashira (前頭) and above are called Makuuchi (幕内). Lower than that is Juryo (十両)Makushita (幕下)Sandanme (三段目)Jonidan (序二段)then Jonokuchi (序ノ口). Ranks of Juryo (十両) and above are considered professional fighters. Besides, the ranks are divided into east and west within the same rank, the east will be slightly better.

Attractive points of sumo tournaments

Among the wrestling disciplines, there are many disciplines divided according to heavyweight class to compete. But sumo doesn’t discriminate on height or weight. Although having a higher height and weight will have an advantage, among them there are also many smaller boxers who win against “bigger” boxers than them. The high and low division between different martial arts moves is the attraction of sumo.