Sumo Wrestling Terms




    Sumo wrestling is a popular sport that dates back many thousands of years.

    Sumo wrestling is not only the oldest of Japan’s various martial arts, it also evolved into the most distinct and ritualistic. It is still heavily centered around the Shinto religion. When the sport was first introduced 1500 years ago it was performed mostly to ensure good harvests.

    Sumo matches take place in a ring called a dohyō. The dohyō is made of a mixture of clay and sand spread over the top. It is between 34 and 60 cm high. The circle in which the match takes place is 4.55 meters in diameter and bounded by rice-straw bales called tawara, which are buried in the clay. At the center are two white lines, the shikiri-sen, which the rikishi must position themselves behind at the start of the bout. Around the ring is finely brushed sand called the snake's eye, which can be used to determine if a wrestler has just touched his foot, or other part of his body, outside the ring. The yobidashi ensure it is clean of any previous marks immediately prior to each bout.

    Despite Sumo wrestling archaic ritual and tradition, the sport continues to draw new fans and growing international interest. Hundreds of Sumo wrestlers of various nationalities earn comfortable livelihoods, participating in matches not only in Japan, but in Europe, North America and Britain. Grand champions attain celebrity status and garner much adulation from dedicated fans.

    The application will be updated on the regular basis to include the new rules and the terms being introduced by new generations of Sumo wrestlers.

    Going further, the application has a potential to include the links to the informative websites, to integrate with the social networking websites and thus to become a complete Sumo wrestling bible.

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