Sumo's Significance as Japan's National Sport

Wednesday June 15, 2022

Sumo's Significance as Japan's National Sport
  (Source:Getty Images)

Sumo's prominence and significance in Japan is hard to argue about since the sport has made a lot of impact in the country. As the national sport in Japan, it is only fitting that people would love to learn more about the game and its significance as well.

So far, sumo has been one of the world's biggest anticipated events with a lot of fans eager to see some intense matches between the two players pitted against each other on the stage. Most people enjoy the action between two wrestlers giving their best to impress the crowd and hail themselves as the strongest among many others.

One of the most popular sumo icons is Baruto Kaito, who is known for his strong success in the sport. Now that online crypto betting site Bitcasino and Baruto have now teamed up, there is more to expect from sumo to become more popular than ever with the sumo icon carrying his legacy in the businesses he's involved in.

History of Sumo

Sumo started in the early Japanese civilisations, dating back to the third century during the prominence of Shintoism. A lot of professional matches were held back then as a way to raise money that would be used as funds to build new temples and shrines in the 1600s and have been popular among the royalties the same way that other combat sports have thrived.

Most of the rituals and traditions for sumo have been carried all the way to the modern version of the game. There's still the salt that is being thrown into the ring to 'purify' the contest venue. Wrestlers still even drink the strength water before the match, which is said to provide them a much bigger resolve and will to win the matches.

Other historical records say that sumo was designed to appease the gods. It would be the reason why ancient Japan would yield a good harvest season, thus making sumo a consistent event for a lot of people to enjoy back in the day.

How Sumo Events are Held

The sumo stage, known as the dohyo, is one of the most sacred grounds in Japan. This is why there is a roof designed to hoist purple curtains and tassels that almost resembles the roof of a Shinto shrine. These can still be found today with most contests still sticking to tradition.

There are a total of six sumo tournaments held in Japan every year. Three of those are held in Tokyo in January, May, and September while there is each in both Osaka and Nagoya, which are held during March and July, respectively. Tickets are sold way before the event begins, which is usually sold out from the stadium in advance or the official Japan sumo wrestling site.

Sumo wrestlers usually intimidate their opponents by playing up to the crowd. There are a few seconds of circling before the two wrestlers lock up their bodies and start twisting against one another. These matches are intense and usually fast-paced with the first wrestler who steps out of the ring first losing the game.

Those who are in the ringside seats can enjoy a great view of the game for expensive tickets. The fans here have to sit on cushions on the floor, and there is even a risk that fans could get injured if the wrestlers are hurled into the fan section as well.

Sumo in Modern Culture

Sumo has been mostly the same in modern culture. Japan has retained the same rules and traditions for the game. Sumo wrestlers still live in training stables known as heya, and they follow strict rules that make up their daily lives, from what they wear all the way to what they eat.

Contrary to popular belief, the top sumo wrestlers are still popular in Japan and earn thousands of dollars every month. They even have fan clubs as they earn and hold their prestigious titles for life.

There are now a lot of exhibition events in Japan as well. There are even rituals that honour the greatness of sumo wrestlers in their retirement where their hair is cut for a long time. Cutting the hair of a sumo wrestler involves severing the top knot that is symbolic to an active wrestler.

On top of that, there are a lot of places that you can visit if you want to learn more about sumo. Tokyo's Ryogoku district has been home to the sumo world for more than two centuries with a lot of sumo stables and even the Kokugikan sumo stadium where the three Tokyo sumo tournaments are held.

Global Prominence of Sumo Wrestling

Sumo is seen as a discipline aside from being a sport. Wrestlers have a strong discipline in their diets and even have various rules to follow in their daily life. This just shows how it has made an impact among many combat sports out there.

Baruto's success, for instance, has made it easy for the icon to establish a new business after retiring from the sport. This is why it is easy to expect wrestlers to retire as successful legends in their country. Bitcasino and Baruto have now teamed up, which also shows how good it would be for wrestlers to seal a brighter future just like the Estonian legend.