Sumo Wrestling

Informant CS is a student at USC who is currently studying physical therapy. He is Japanese, born and raised in Japan, and went to school at an international school in Japan.

What about sumo wrestling, tell me something about that since its a huge part of Japanese culture

CS: “Ok well, Japanese people have been doing sumo wrestling for forever. Probably for like… thousands of years. I learned in high school that a long time ago people would do sumo wrestling to pray for good crop and good weather. And then I think it became super popular and the Emperors loved it so they hosted tournaments and stuff. Since sumo wrestling became so popular, matches were created to raise money for temples and shrines and other government related things, and because of that a sumo wrestling league was created.”

Okay but whats the significance of it or is it just a sport?

CS: “Well, sumo wrestling matches happen on important days of the years, and there are always matches during festivals and stuff. I think sumo wrestling is just a way to show strength and people in Japan really love watching it.”

Thoughts: I always thought sumo wrestling was really interesting because it is a huge sport in Japan but is not seen anywhere else. Of course there are other forms of wrestling around the world, but none exactly like sumo wrestling, where the competitors are huge and wear only a towel. It’s really cool that something like sumo wrestling originated from farming, because neither one has anything to do with the other.