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Sumo wrestler's picture at Ryogoku station

Sumo wrestler’s big picture at Ryogoku station

Last week, Sumo wrestling tournament was held in Tokyo. (3 times a year held in Tokyo, Spring is Osaka, Summer is Nagoya, The end of year is Hakata.) At Ryogoku, there is a Kokugikan sumo tournament hall near the JR Ryogoku station. During the tournament, you can see many sumo wrestlers near the hall. I meet them in the morning, because the game starts 8 AM. The tournament starts the low ranked wrestlers, and top wrestlers fight early in the evening, and the game finishes by 6 PM. The history of sumo is very long, you can read the article of “Nihonsyoki” that was a fight at the emperor’s court in 7 century. In July 7th 734, Syomu emperor watched Sumo, it was the first record for a game held in the presence of the emperor. After that, they held sumo match periodically in the court, it was said the ceremoney of Sumai-no-sechie. Folklorists said sumo was not only entertainment sport but also deity’s ceremoney as a supplication for abundant crops at first, therefore the Yokoduna’s wearing white cord and wrestler’s leg raising and stomping in the ring remain ceremonical meanings.

colored woodcut of sumo

Image of colored woodcut of sumo

Statue of sumo

Statue of sumo at Ryogoku station.

sumo, Kokugikan

Watchtower and flag at the Kokugikan sumo tournament hall.

Sumo flag

These flags, which are printing wrestler’s names, are given from his fan or patron to the wrestler.

Sumo wrestlers are walking at the station.

Sumo wrestlers are walking in the morning commuters at the Ryogoku station. As for me, it is rare, but it is common for Ryogoku people.

Young sumo wrstler

He is a young sumo wrestler. Some of them enter sumo world after junior high school.

Sumo wrestler

Sumo wrestler (rikishi) wears yukata (a kind of kimono) and does his hair up for topknot.

Aminishiki, sumo wrestler

He is Aminishiki. One of the top wrestlers. (This photo was taken by my friend H.N.)

Statue of sumo wrestler, Ryogoku

There are some sumo wrestler statue on the street.

Dohyoiri, yokoduna

Yokoduna (grand champion)

Hand-print of sumor wrestler

Hand-print of sumor wrestler grand champion Chiyonofuji. It was set under the sumo statue on the street.

List of sumo wrestler's rank

List of sumo wrestler’s rank

the ceremony of entering the ring

Sumo ceremony of entering the ring before bout by H.N.

I had once gone to the sumo game in 1992, which was the final match for the retirement ceremony of Chiyonofuji who was 58th yokoduna. I looked for those photos in my closet. They are too old not digital.


American yokoduna Akebono (left).

sumo game

Sumo game.


Takahanada, later Takanohana yokoduna


The last moment Chiyonofuji went to the final entering a ring

At last, it is a strange photo. What do you guess the black and white long cloths at the porch?


This white flat is Kitanoumi sumo stable. In front of house, there are two sumo wrestlers. The black and whitelong cloths at the 2nd balcony are mawachi ( a sumo wrestler’s loincloth). They can’t wash mawashi that they are hanging out.

The cost of Sumo tornament’s tickets are from 2,100yen to 11,300yen a day. Requesting information: TEL:03-3622-1100 (Kokugikan ticket office), Ticket O-Sumo (Japanese), ticket oosumo (English), twitter @sumokyokai