Ch 5 Art and Sports
Sumo wrestling dates back to the ancient times in Japan. It is still enjoyed in Japan as an entertainment event till this day. In ancient times, Sumo wasn’t referred to as just a sport. It was also used to tell whether or not the crops would
be good by seeking the attention from the gods. There are many traditions and elements within Sumo that makes it a very unique sport. From the ancient times and until the modern day, only men were able to participate in the sport professionally.
It was deemed a violation of the purity of the ring if a woman stepped in the ring.
Sumo today is still enjoyed as a form of entertainment. However, in Japan, it is more popular amongst an older audience than a young audience.There are a few rituals that sumo wrestlers do before the start of a match. There is a ring ceremony
called a dohyo iri that starts the day off. The rikishi, or lowest ranking sumo wrestler, leads the sumo wrestlers to the ring. They all face the crowd before turning around, clapping their hands and raising their arms. This allows the
wrestler to show that they are unarmed. Being heavily influenced by Shinto religion, another ritual that takes place before entering the ring, is the sumo wrestlers use salt for purification of the ring and themselves. The wrestlers
also engage in the ritual of shiko which is when the wrestlers stomp their feet to improve their lower body strength. During the match, the referee or gyouji would make out calls notifying the sumo wrestlers when to put down their hands,
when to begin, and when a wrestler has been thrown out of the ring. Usually at the sumo wrestling matches there is a common event that takes place called zabuton throwing. A zabuton is the thin floor pillow people sit on during the match.
And when a yokozuna (high rank sumo wrestler) lose a match against a rikishi (lower rank sumo wrestler), the audience will throw their zabuton toward the dohyo to complain about the yokozuna's bad performance and to compliment the rikishi's