Sumo could seem bizarre to human being who aren’t mindful of its well-off history. To the casual eye, that looks like a sport where overweight males dressed in thongs wrestle to pressure the foe out that a little ring. But, once you destruction deeper, there are several things about the sport that will fascinate you. Native the technicalities to deep-rooted traditions, here are 10 facts that that provides Sumo, the national sport that Japan, one of the most distinct sports in the world.

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1. Sumo wrestlers were once thin and muscular.
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Image credit: Wikimedia

Sumo source in the Heian period in the year 794 CE. End the centuries, sumo has actually undergone a amazing evolution. While it is challenging to map the pictures and detailed details from end 1,200 years back, we’ve discovered pictures the the wrestlers from the 18th and 19th centuries. The photos clearly show that, unlike today, the sumo wrestlers used to be skinny and muscular.

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Takanoyama Shuntarō. Picture credit: FourTildes/Wikimedia

Pavel Bojar indigenous Prague, Czech Republic, is a thin sumo wrestler the the existing times. Bojar was energetic in the years 2004-2014. Despite he was wiry and muscular, he defeated several heavyweight wrestlers, becoming one the the world-famous sumo wrestlers of all time. (1, 2)

2. Sumo wrestlers litter salt right into the ring prior to every bout to purify it.
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Image credit: Erik langner/Flickr

Each motion that a sumo wrestler makes prior to entering the ring for the bout has a spiritual significance. Salt is believed to have actually purifying properties. So, the wrestlers litter salt around the ring to purify the sacred room called “dohyo.” They also stamp about the ring before entering to squash evil spirits. They take it a sip that water to clear your bodies prior to stepping within the ring. (source)


3. Sumo wrestlers must wear classic Japanese attire through a topknot every the time.
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Media credit: Hatch.m/Flickr, Photocapy/Flickr

Sumo wrestlers monitor a strictly regime and live an extremely disciplined life as soon as they join a steady (an school where they space trained). Accordingly, they should wear traditional Japanese clothing all the time. Moreover, they are not even permitted to choose what they wear. They must do their hair in the timeless topknot called a “chonmage,” always. In fact, prior to every bout, a sumo wrestler gets his topknot shaped favor a ginkgo tree sheet done by a distinct hairdresser. (source)

4. Sumo wrestlers space banned indigenous driving.
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Driving Restriction

After a few tragic car mishaps involving sumo wrestlers, they to be banned native driving. Basically, cars are designed for people with median weight and also volume. Sumo wrestlers space huge, and also this may reason trouble and mishaps if they are permitted to drive. So, many sumo wrestlers have the right to be spotted making use of public transport favor buses and subways, and in cabs. (source)

5. Sumo wrestlers eat approximately 7,000 calorie a day but don’t experience from obesity.
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Image credit: Jtesla16/wikimedia

The diet that a sumo wrestler consists of several bowls of rice and also vegetable through chankonabe (sumo stew). They absolutely eat a lot, however they only eat healthy food. Most of the fat in your body is just underneath the skin and in the organs. So, even after having actually a diet of 7,000 calories every day and also weighing in between 300-400 pounds, Sumo wrestlers carry out not suffer from obesity. This is additionally the factor why lock quickly shed weight ~ retirement. They just cut down on their calorie input to shed weight. (source)


6. Women are not allowed inside the ring, together they are considered impure due to the fact that of menstruation,
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Image credit: Mrhayata/Flickr

Traditionally, women room banned native entering the sumo ring (dohyo). The ring has a spiritual significance, and women are thought about to be “impure” follow to buddhist beliefs because of their menstrual cycle. Women, however, discover the sport and also practice it in ~ an individual level with a hope that the half on entering the skilled arena would certainly be i rejected someday.

Also, sumo clubs at several universities in Japan defy the old traditions roughly professional sumo and also practice the sport through their masculine counterparts regularly.

On the other hand, part incidents additionally show the unprogressive side of the ban. Because that instance, during an exhibition competition in Maizuru, the city’s mayor experienced a stroke and also collapsed within the ring. Countless women current at the exhibition, consisting of a nurse, rushed to aid him. The officials, however, asked castle to leaving the ring immediately, however the ladies did not leave. Later, the public official were checked out sprinkling salt inside the ring, apparently, to purify that after the women had actually left. (source)

7. Kesho-mawashi, the ceremonial aprons worn through high-ranked sumo wrestlers, expense as much as two million yen!
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Image credit: FourTildes/Wikimedia

High-ranked sumo wrestlers are available a ceremonial apron by your supporters and also sponsors as a token that appreciation and respect. The aprons space made of silk and have embroidery done with gold and silver threads. Some of the sophisticated aprons additionally have diamonds, pearls, and also other valuable gems installed in them. Together aprons cost a whopping two million yen. (source)

8. A 17-year-old once passed away as result of hazing, which usually done come toughen up young sumo wrestlers.
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Sumo wrestlers

The master of several sumo stables open indulge in hazing. Young disciples room subjected to major physical punishment in stimulate to keep them in line and “toughen castle up.” together a part of hazing, they space made come lift hefty objects for a lengthy time or beaten v a shinai (stick, exercise sword).

While the device is commonly accepted, an incident of hazing that caused the demise of a young sumo trainee, Takashi Saito, in 2007, brought about public outrage. The stablemaster, Jun’ichi Yamamoto, apparently hit the disciple v a beer bottle on his head and abused the further, in addition to his fellow wrestlers. Yamamoto to be sentenced to six years in jail following the inhumane incident. (source)


9. Sumo wrestlers are as healthy as a muscular person.

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Image credit: Edward Dalmulder/Flickr

Sumo wrestlers monitor a well balanced diet. They just eat healthy and balanced food and also indulge in rigorous workouts and training in the gym and also inside the ring daily. Despite they watch obese, they have actually a powerful muscular framework hidden under the great of fat. They have actually immense stamin that can help them move and also push huge, heavy objects, and lift heavy weights. Moreover, they space as functional as one average, muscular person is! prior to entering the ring for the bout, the wrestlers stretch their legs and arms, bending on your knees easily and flexibly, as with an average adult. (source)

10. ~ above retirement, the topknot that a sumo wrestler is reduced during a hair-cutting ceremony.Image credit: end hilowsee/Flickr

The chonmage hairdo holds a very crucial significance in sumo. Once a sumo wrestler retires, a awareness is arranged to bid him a farewell. Throughout the ceremony, they reduced the topknot the the wrestler’s hair, relieving the from the sport also the strictly rules connected with it. (source)