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Sumo!

Sumo Title

Clay at the Tokyo Sumo Musuem imageThe one sport most associated with Japan is of course SUMO! It's an ancient sport that has developed very sophisticated and complex rules through the ages. Whatever it is, it's not simple. The goal is to knock your opponent down to the ground or out of the ring. Sounds easy, but the ways to realize that goal are numerous. There are said to be 70 such ways! Let's take a brief look at the fascinating world of SUMO!

CONTENTS:

FACTS
SUMO RELATED WORDS
SUMO SLANG
MOST COMMON MOVES
SUMO GAME VARIATIONS

FACTS: (from some Sumo history book I have since lost...)
  • FACT: The average middle-aged business man has a greater body fat percentage than the average Sumo wrestler

  • FACT: There are at least 70 different ways to win at Sumo!

  • FACT: The first recorded Sumo bout was in 300 AD

  • FACT: There are 2 types of Sumo: anko - the huge wrestlers & soppu - the thinner, smaller sort

 

SUMO RELATED WORDS:

  • 土俵 dohyou - Sumo wrestling ring

  • 力士 rikishi - A Sumo wrestler

  • まげ mage - the special Sumo style hair style (top knot)

  • 角界 kaku kai - The Sumo World

  • 横綱 yoko zuna - the Sumo grand champion

  • 回し mawashi - Sumo lioncloth

SUMO SLANG:

Gotsu an - A contraction of 'Gochisousamadeshita' - "what a feast!" said after a nice meal

にぶぁい!にぶぁい! ni-bai ni-bai - a famous American wrestler (Takamiyama) said this on a commercial for a futon company. 'ni-bai' means x2. The commercial's meaning MAY be 'twice the thickness (of the futon) & twice the comfort' but probably not twice the price.

MOST COMMON MOVES:
  • 押し出し oshi dashi - Pushing the opponent forward outside the ring

  • yori kiri - Force out

INTERESTING SUMO VARIATIONS

1) 相撲 sumou - Sumo (pronounced with a long accent on the second syllable)

ABOUT: We all know Sumo.  "Yeah, I know.  Two grown, fat men in
diapers pouncing about a circular ring."  Well, that might be somewhat true,
but Sumo is much more!  For someone who wouldn't be caught dead watching a
baseball game on TV, I LOVE to watch Sumo.  In its simplicity it is
fascinating.

 

LET's LOOK AT SUMO GAME VARIATIONS IN JAPANESE

2) 指相撲 yubi zumou - 'Thumb Sumo' (Thumb wresting) (the 'S' in 'SUMOU' become a 'Z')

ABOUT: 'YUBI' means 'finger' and 'ZUMOU' is Sumo.  The rules are pretty much the same as in the Western game of Thumb War /Wrestling. Locking fists and using your thumb to clamp your opponent's thumb down for 10 seconds.

3) 腕相撲 ude zumou - 'Arm Sumo' (Arm wrestling)        

ABOUT: 'UDE' - arm  

4) 尻相撲 shiri zumou -  'Butt Sumo'

ABOUT:   SHIRI - butt I don't think this exists elsewhere.  The point of the game
is to 'play Sumo' by using your behind.

5) 紙相撲 kami zumou - 'Paper Sumo'        

ABOUT: 'KAMI' - paper Players make their own Sumo wrestlers by cutting, folding, and decorating paper.  The two paper wrestlers are placed on a table or a constructed paper ring.  Then the players tap the table or ring to cause the wrestlers to move.  The first wrestler to fall down loses. 

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