Sumo can seem bizarre to civilization who aren’t conscious of its wealthy history. To the casual eye, the looks like a sport where overweight men dressed in thongs wrestle to pressure the enemy out of a tiny ring. But, when you dig deeper, over there are number of things around the sport that will certainly fascinate you. Indigenous the technicalities to deep-rooted traditions, right here are 10 facts the that provides Sumo, the nationwide sport of Japan, one of the most distinct sports in the world.

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

Sumo originated in the Heian period in the year 794 CE. End the centuries, sumo has undergone a exceptional evolution. While the is challenging to trace the pictures and detailed info from over 1,200 year back, we’ve uncovered pictures the the wrestlers indigenous the 18th and also 19th centuries. The photos plainly show that, uneven today, the sumo wrestlers supplied to it is in skinny and muscular.

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Takanoyama Shuntarō. Picture credit: FourTildes/Wikimedia

Pavel Bojar indigenous Prague, Czech Republic, is a slim sumo wrestler of the existing times. Bojar was active in the year 2004-2014. Though he to be wiry and also muscular, he beat several heavyweight wrestlers, becoming one that the world-famous sumo wrestlers of all time. (1, 2)

2. Sumo wrestlers throw 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 before entering the ring because that the bout has a spiritual significance. Salt is thought to have actually purifying properties. So, the wrestlers throw salt around the ring to purify the sacred an are called “dohyo.” They likewise stamp roughly the ring prior to entering come squash angry spirits. They take a sip the water come clear their bodies prior to stepping inside the ring. (source)


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

Sumo wrestlers follow a strictly regime and live an extremely disciplined life once they join a steady (an institution where they are trained). Accordingly, they should wear classic Japanese apparel all the time. Moreover, they space not even permitted to select what lock wear. They need to do their hair in the classic topknot referred to as a “chonmage,” always. In fact, prior to every bout, a sumo wrestler gets his topknot shaped like a ginkgo tree leaf done through a one-of-a-kind hairdresser. (source)

4. Sumo wrestlers are banned from driving.
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Driving Restriction

After a few tragic car crashes involving sumo wrestlers, they to be banned native driving. Basically, cars space designed for human being with median weight and volume. Sumo wrestlers room huge, and this may reason trouble and accidents if castle are enabled to drive. So, many sumo wrestlers deserve to be spotted using public transport like buses and also subways, as well as in cabs. (source)

5. Sumo wrestlers eat as much as 7,000 calorie a day yet don’t endure from obesity.
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Image credit: Jtesla16/wikimedia

The diet the a sumo wrestler includes several bowls the rice and also vegetable through chankonabe (sumo stew). They certainly eat a lot, but they only eat healthy food. Most of the fat in their body is just underneath the skin and in the organs. So, even after having a diet of 7,000 calories per day and weighing between 300-400 pounds, Sumo wrestlers execute not endure from obesity. This is also the factor why castle quickly shed weight after ~ retirement. Lock just reduced down on your calorie input to shed weight. (source)


6. Women space not allowed inside the ring, as they are taken into consideration impure due to the fact that of menstruation,
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Image credit: Mrhayata/Flickr

Traditionally, women room banned from entering the sumo ring (dohyo). The ring has a spiritual significance, and also women are considered to be “impure” according to buddhism beliefs due to the fact that of their menstrual cycle. Women, however, find out the sport and also practice it in ~ an individual level v a hope the the half on start the experienced arena would be i turned down someday.

Also, sumo clubs at several universities in Japan defy the ancient traditions roughly professional sumo and also practice the sport v their male counterparts regularly.

On the other hand, some incidents additionally show the unprogressive next of the ban. For instance, during an exhibition competition in Maizuru, the city’s mayor suffered a stroke and collapsed inside the ring. Many women existing at the exhibition, including a nurse, rushed to help him. The officials, however, asked them to leave the ring immediately, however the ladies did not leave. Later, the officials were watched sprinkling salt within the ring, apparently, come purify it after the women had actually left. (source)

7. Kesho-mawashi, the ceremonial aprons worn by high-ranked sumo wrestlers, price as much as 2 million yen!
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Image credit: FourTildes/Wikimedia

High-ranked sumo wrestlers are offered a ceremonial apron by their supporters and sponsors as a token of appreciation and also respect. The aprons are made that silk and also have embroidery done v gold and silver threads. Some of the an elaborate aprons likewise have diamonds, pearls, and also other precious gems installed in them. Such aprons cost a whopping 2 million yen. (source)

8. A 17-year-old once passed away due to hazing, which commonly 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 significant physical punishment in stimulate to save them in line and also “toughen lock up.” as a part of hazing, they are made come lift hefty objects because that a long time or beaten v a shinai (stick, practice sword).

While the mechanism is commonly accepted, an occurrence of hazing that led to the death of a young sumo trainee, Takashi Saito, in 2007, led to public outrage. The stablemaster, Jun’ichi Yamamoto, reportedly hit the disciple with a beer party on his head and also abused the further, together with his fellow wrestlers. Yamamoto to be sentenced to 6 years in jail adhering to the inhumane incident. (source)


9. Sumo wrestlers space as healthy and balanced as a muscular person.

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Image credit: Edward Dalmulder/Flickr

Sumo wrestlers monitor a balanced diet. They only eat healthy food and also indulge in rigorous workouts and also training in the gym and also inside the ring daily. Though they look at obese, they have actually a an effective muscular structure hidden under the great of fat. They have actually immense strength that can assist them move and push huge, heavy objects, and also lift hefty weights. Moreover, they are as functional as an average, muscular human being is! before entering the ring for the bout, the wrestlers stretch their legs and arms, bending on their knees easily and also flexibly, as with an typical adult. (source)

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

The chonmage hairdo stop a very vital significance in sumo. Once a sumo wrestler retires, a ceremony is arranged to bid that a farewell. Throughout the ceremony, they cut the topknot the the wrestler’s hair, relieving him from the sport too the strictly rules linked with it. (source)