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The Most Mind-Blowing Tales from the History of Sumo


Sumo is a beautiful sport with a long history full of amazing stories. Based on Sumo Yurakuzo Byobu (1605) Folding screen panel An unidentified, dark-skinned figure appears in the middle of the hook, and some researchers have suggested this Yasuke, a black samurai of the 16th century, who was also a sumo wrestler. But Japan’s national sport also has its less inspiring and more shocking side than that Sumo Drama on Netflix safe havenWhich showed the wrestler’s ear being slapped directly on his head. Here we showcase some of the most terrifying events in sumo history.

The first recorded sumo match ended in death

According to the sixth book of Nihon Shoki, the The second oldest written record in Japanese history was completed in 720, and the first sumo match ever took place in 23 BC. It all started when Emperor Suinin’s courtiers brought him news of a man named Kuihaya (also spelled “Kuihaya,” “Kihaya,” or “Kohaya”) from the village of Taima in modern Nara Prefecture, who could supposedly bend hooks and break horns with his bare hands. He claimed to be the most powerful in all of Japan, and was seen as a threat to the authority of the Imperial Court and so it was decided that he should be dealt with.

The Emperor summoned Nomi no Sukon, a simple but powerful potter from Izumo, and ordered him to fight Kuihaya in what is widely considered the first recorded sumo match. the Nihon Shoki He says that Sukune knocked down his opponent with a kick that broke his ribs, then killed him with a kick to the back, which was later commemorated by naming their battlefield “Koshioreda” – the field of the broken back.

Some may be surprised to hear that the first sumo match was decided by a kick, a move not permitted in the modern version of the sport. However, before its rules were codified, sumo was closer to mixed martial arts or striking, with punches and kicks on the table. As was death. In fact, during the first few centuries, sumo often worked according to the thunderdome model: two men entered, one man survived.

History of sumoHistory of sumo

Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan | Image by Evan Roth via Shutterstock

The rules against leading gladiators were forged in blood

Sumo has a lot of rules that casual fans may not know, such as how young wrestlers who haven’t yet climbed the rankings should walk around. Yukata (which literally means “bath cloth”) and Get Wooden sandals all year round. This can be a bit uncomfortable when the temperature drops, since another Japan Sumo Association rule prohibits active wrestlers from driving a car.

Due to their bulky size, sumo wrestlers may have difficulty wearing a seatbelt or operating a steering wheel properly, so the decision makes sense. Unfortunately, the rule was curative rather than preventative and only came into being in 1985 after high-ranking wrestler Mitoizumi Masayuki caused a serious crash while driving. But what is even more unfortunate is that not all wrestlers adhered to the ban.

In 1999, wrestler Akinoshima Katsumi hit a person on a motorcycle with his vehicle, and in 2007, Kyokutenhō Masaru rear-ended a car waiting for the light to change, injuring the other driver.

However, the most tragic case is the one dating back to 2000 when Toki Susumu ran a red light in Osaka and fatally struck a pedestrian. After the incident, he retired from the next tournament. He remained in sumo for another six years and was eventually only subjected to house arrest for two months, a 20% pay cut and demoted to the jōryō division for taking a human life.

Legend has it that one of the most famous sumo wrestlers in history literally disarmed his opponent

Raiden Tamimon (17671825) He was 1.97 meters tall and weighed 169 kilograms, but was said to be incredibly fast for his size, befitting his wrestling nickname “Raiden”, which comes from the name of the Japanese god of lightning. But its strength is what people tend to focus on.

There are many legends and stories about Raiden, such as him working the field in the pre-sumo days with a 100 kilogram boulder tied to a plow or the referees stopping him from using certain moves because he was too strong, meaning his matches ended as well. quickly. In another legend about him, he supposedly used one of those banned moves – the single hook – and accidentally ripped off his opponent’s arm.

This may not have actually happened and Raiden’s fans may have been trying to draw parallels between their favorite wrestler and another “first” sumo match in history. We have already talked about one of nihon shoki, But according to Kojiki Dating back to the year 712, sumo was born when the god Takeminakata-no-kami challenged his fellow god Takemikazuchi-no-kami to a test of strength and crushed his arm “as if it were a small reed,” which was then “[thrown] Far away.” So, say what you will about the modern world of sumo: it probably is Full of scandals But at least the losers leave the ring alive and with the same number of limbs they entered.

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