A brief guide to Sumo wrestling

Sumo wrestling is a sport that is slowly capturing the imagination of people in many parts of the world. Although the sport has its origins in Japan, there have been instances when sumo wrestlers belonging to other countries too have become popular. The entire sport is steeped in tradition. It is not uncommon to find many Shinto rituals being part of this sport which is believed to have originated hundreds of years ago in Japan.
Sumo wrestling while till recently a popular sport in Japan, the country of its origin is slowly becoming popular in the rest of the world. This competitive contact sport which involves two rather heavily built wrestlers. Japan is the country where the sport of sumo originated. Sumo still continues to be extremely popular in Japan. The sport of sumo is practiced professionally in Japan. The sport of sumo has a history that goes back a long time ago in Japan. In fact sumo has a history that dates back to several centuries. The entire tradition of sumo consists of many ritual elements that have been in existence for hundreds of years now. One good example would be the use of salt which is traditionally meant for purification in the Shinto religion. The life of sumo wrestlers is also highly regimented. They are supposed to lead a much disciplined life throughout their career as sumo wrestlers. Professional sumo wrestlers are in fact supposed to live in specially created ‘stables’ which are known as ‘heya’ in Japanese. Every aspect of their day to day lives, right from the things that they eat to the way in which they dress is dictated by tradition that dates a long time in history. The sport of sumo has been traditionally always been closely association with the Shinto religion. Event today most of the Shinto rituals can be seen in the sport. The actual popularity of sumo has seen its changes over a period of time, under different Japanese rulers. There are historical references which point out that wrestlers used to wear a loose loincloth when compared to the stiffer ‘mawashi’ which is worn by wrestlers these days. These constant evolutions took place over a period of hundreds of years. Professional sumo wrestling can trace back its origins to the famous Edo period , an important period in the history of Japan. There is a separate school of thought that believes that the original sumo wrestlers were most probably ‘samurais’ who fought sumo bouts for an alternative source of income. There are many other countries too where similar forms of wrestling can be found. One good example would be the sport of Mongolian wrestling. Korean Ssireum and Chinese Shuai Jiao are other good examples of wrestling which closely resemble sumo wrestling. Professional sumo wrestling is taken care of by the Japan Sumo Association. All the members of the association are former wrestlers. Only the former wrestlers are allowed to train the new wrestlers keeping in with the traditions of sumo wrestling. Although most of the professional sumo wrestlers are from Japan there are many other sumo wrestlers who belong to other countries too. Hawaii has given the world some famous sumo wrestlers including Takamiyama, Konishiki and later on Akebono. Then there is the instance of Kotooshu who is a sumo wrestler actually from far flung Bulgaria. One can find a lot of useful information on sumo by visiting online sources. There are literally hundreds of online sources which can give you valuable information on sumo.
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