The World of Sumo: Unveiling Traditions, Rituals, and Secrets

The World of Sumo: Unveiling Traditions, Rituals, and Secrets

Japanese Sumo is a traditional sport that captivates both locals and visitors alike. It's more than just two heavy wrestlers battling it out in the ring; it's a rich cultural experience filled with rituals, symbolism, and unique customs. In this blog post, we will dive into the intriguing world of Japanese Sumo, exploring the reasons behind sumo wrestlers' physiques, their attire, rituals such as salt-throwing, and the financial aspects of this ancient sport.


Why Are Sumo Wrestlers Fat?

Sumo wrestlers are fat because their excess weight is strategically advantageous for the sport. The large size and extra body mass provide stability, making it difficult for opponents to push them out of the ring. Sumo wrestlers follow a unique training regimen and diet to gain weight while maintaining strength and agility. Their diet includes high-calorie meals and an emphasis on protein-rich foods.

What is the Mawashi?

A sumo wrestler's attire is called a mawashi. It is a thick belt-like garment that wrestlers wear during matches. The mawashi provides support to the lower back and abdomen while allowing freedom of movement. It also symbolizes the purity and tradition of Japanese Sumo.

Demystifying the Sumo Wrestler's Tail

Contrary to popular belief, sumo wrestlers do not have a tail. The "tail" is actually a decorative knot called a “tsuna”. The tsuna is worn by high-ranking sumo wrestlers during ceremonies to signify their achievements and rank. It is a symbol of honor and prestige within the sport.

Why do Sumo Wrestlers throw salt?

Sumo wrestlers throw salt before a match as a ritualistic act. The throwing of salt, known as shio-iri, has both practical and symbolic purposes. It is believed to purify the ring and ward off evil spirits. Additionally, the salt helps to improve the grip of the wrestlers' hands and feet on the clay surface.

Why do Sumo Wrestlers wear Thongs?

Sumo wrestlers wear a traditional undergarment called a fundoshi. The fundoshi is a loincloth-like garment that provides support and modesty during matches. It is a symbol of tradition and cultural heritage in Japan. The fundoshi allows for freedom of movement while ensuring the wrestler's dignity is maintained.

How Big Are Sumo Wrestlers?

Sumo wrestlers are known for their impressive size and weight. On average, they can weigh anywhere from 300 to 600 pounds (136 to 272 kilograms). Their height can range from 5 feet 7 inches to 6 feet 4 inches (170 to 193 centimeters). These proportions are necessary for the physical demands of sumo wrestling and contribute to the wrestlers' unique physique.

How do Sumo Wrestlers gain weight?

Sumo wrestlers undergo a rigorous process to gain weight quickly. They follow a specific diet called "chanko," which consists of high-calorie meals that include protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Additionally, they engage in intense training sessions that combine strength exercises, endurance training, and extensive practice of sumo techniques.

How many calories in a Sumo orange?

Sumo oranges, also known as Dekopon oranges, are a citrus fruit known for their sweet taste and large size. It contains 80 calories, no fat, some potassium, and 19 grams of carbohydrate, as well as 1 gram of protein.

Sumo oranges are low in calories, high in vitamin C, and provide dietary fiber. Incorporating Sumo oranges into a balanced diet can contribute to overall health and well-being.

Why do Sumo Wrestlers wear diapers?

Contrary to popular belief, sumo wrestlers do not wear diapers during matches. The white garment worn by sumo wrestlers is the mawashi, which is a type of loincloth. The mawashi is an essential part of sumo wrestling attire and represents the traditions and values of the sport.

How Much Do Sumo Wrestlers Make?

The income of sumo wrestlers varies based on their rank and success in the sport.

  • Yokozuna's basic salary is 2.82 million yen per month. (20 226,58 US Dollars)
  • The Makushita earns 150,000 yen for each Basho. (1075,88 US Dollars)

Entry-level wrestlers, known as "rikishi," receive a monthly stipend for living expenses. As they progress in their careers and achieve higher ranks, their earnings increase significantly. Top-ranked wrestlers can earn substantial salaries and additional income through endorsements, sponsorships, and participation in tournaments.


Japanese Sumo is a captivating sport that transcends mere physicality. By exploring the unique traditions, rituals, and customs associated with sumo wrestling, we gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for this ancient sport. Whether you're drawn to the physical prowess of the wrestlers, the symbolism behind their attire, or the cultural significance embedded within the rituals, Japanese Sumo offers a world worth exploring.

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