This week, the origins and history of Sumo.

Sources

Hall, Mina. The Big Book of Sumo.

An article from The Guardian on match fixing in sumo.

A BBC story on life in a sumo stable.

An NYT story on the incident from this April with the female doctors.

Images

Yokozuna Hakuho performing his special dohyo-iri (ring entering ceremony).

The Yokozuna monument at Tomioka Hachiman Shrine. New Yokozuna are formally recognized here, and on the grounds there are two stones that list the names of every yokozuna.

Tochinoshin Tsuyoshi (Levan Gorgadze), a Georgian-born sumo wrestler who made the rank of ozeki this month. He may well become the first white yokozuna — who knows?

A late Tokugawa woodblock promoting sonno joi (honor the emperor, expel the barbarian) ideology. The sumo wrestler here acts as a stand in for all Japan, casting out the Westerners.

A traditional dohyo iri to mark the start of a series of bouts.

A dohyo iri shot that provides a fuller view of the dohyo, including the yakata above.09