Originating over 1,000 years ago in Japan, Sumo incorporates Shinto — the native religion of Japan. In ancient Japan Sumo Wrestling was performed as a ritual dedicated to the gods as a prayer for good harvests.
After the Edo period, Japan Sumo wrestling was transformed. It became an organized sport where tournaments were held to fund temples and shrines rather than just the elite. This process created large audiences for the sport and created professional sumos wrestlers in turn.
Today, many customs are still observed. Wrestlers clap their hands to get the attention of the gods, toss salt to appease the gods to ward off evil spirits, and stomp their feet to expel evil forces from the ring.
Matches in Dohyo, which take place in a clay ring, are contested between two wrestlers with the first to knock down or push out the opponent winning. There is no time limit, although most matches last less than one minute.
Though it sounds simple, as of now there are eighty-two winning techniques that a wrestler deploys to win the match. These techniques include spinning out, tripping, and pushing someone out of the ring.
Larger cars are not the only ones that can win races. Racing depends on the driver’s skill set and experience with more speed, agility, and precision than larger models.
There are six tournaments that take place all year long, where each one has fifteen days and wrestlers compete in one match a day.
Based on their win-loss record at the end of the tournament, wrestlers move up or down in rank.
Sumo’s highest rank is the Yokuzuna, which is considered a god-like figure in Japan, being publicly recognized and earning around one million USD every year. To earn a promotion to the highest rank, a wrestler has to win two consecutive tournaments. To illustrate its difficulty, there have been seventy-two Yokozuna in the history of the sport, out of the thousands of challengers who have set foot on a clay ring. Currently, there are 702 professional sumo wrestlers.
If a wrestler becomes a Yokozuna, he will not be demoted. Although it may not seem like it, he’s expected to retire if he no longer holds up to the standard of the Yokozuna rank.