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Sumo Wresting

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All About Sumo Wrestling in Japan

April 9, 2024

In the kaleidoscope of Japanese culture, few spectacles embody tradition, athleticism, and spectacle quite like sumo wrestling. Rooted in centuries of history and mythology, sumo has evolved from a sacred ritual to a globally celebrated sport, captivating audiences with its sheer power, grace, and ceremonial splendour. Join us as we embark on a journey through the storied world of sumo wrestling, exploring its rich heritage, rules of engagement, and enduring allure.

Find out everything you need to know about Sumo Wresting in Japan by scrolling down.

The Origins of Sumo

Legend has it that sumo wrestling traces its origins to ancient Japan, where it was practiced as a form of ritualistic combat to entertain the gods and ensure bountiful harvests. Over time, sumo evolved into a revered martial art and a cornerstone of Japanese cultural identity, with its roots intertwined with Shinto beliefs and folklore.

At its core, sumo wrestling is a contest of strength, technique, and mental fortitude, where two opponents face off in a circular ring called a dohyo. Clad in loincloths known as mawashi, sumo wrestlers, or rikishi, engage in a series of ritualistic ceremonies before each bout, including salt throwing to purify the ring and stomping to intimidate their opponents.

How to Play Sumo

While sumo wrestling may appear simple on the surface, it follows a strict set of rules and conventions. The primary objective is to force your opponent out of the ring or to make any part of their body other than the soles of their feet touch the ground. Matches are fast-paced and explosive, with bouts often lasting just a few seconds.

Becoming a sumo wrestler requires unwavering dedication, discipline, and physical prowess. Prospective rikishi undergo rigorous training regimens at sumo stables called beya, where they hone their skills under the watchful eye of experienced coaches and senior wrestlers. Training sessions include a combination of strength training, sparring, and traditional exercises aimed at developing speed, agility, and balance.

The Grand Sumo Tournaments

The pinnacle of the sumo calendar is the Grand Sumo Tournament, held six times a year in Japan. These tournaments attract thousands of spectators from around the world who gather to witness the intense competition, colourful pageantry, and time-honoured rituals of sumo wrestling. Each tournament consists of 15 days of thrilling matches, culminating in the crowning of the tournament champion.

At Links Travel and Tours, we invite you to experience the awe-inspiring world of sumo wrestling through our bespoke travel experiences in Japan. Whether you’re a passionate fan eager to witness a Grand Sumo Tournament live or an aspiring rikishi seeking to train alongside sumo masters, our expert-led tours offer a front-row seat to the grandeur and tradition of this iconic sport.

Contact us at to start planning your sumo wrestling adventure today or check out our complete selection of tours to Let us guide you on a journey where strength meets tradition, and every bout tells a story of courage, resilience, and the indomitable spirit of sumo wrestling.

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