Between 11851333, sumo was used to train samurai warriors and to settle disputes. In 1684, the first professional sumo tournament was held at the Tomioka Hachiman Shrine in Tokyo.
1761– 1909– 1884 1949
1761 saw the introduction of the banzuke, the written rankings for sumo wrestlers. In 1853, sumo wrestlers performed for Commodore Matthew Perry, one of the first foreigners to witness the sport. The Meiji Emperor visited a sumo match in 1884, raising its status to a national sport. In 1909, construction of the first dedicated sumo stadium began. 1912 saw the birth of Futabayama Sadaji, the sumo wrestler who set an all-time record by winning 69 consecutive bouts, and 12 yūshō (sumo championships). A merger of the Osaka and Tokyo sumo into a single, pan-japanese organisation took place in 1927, becoming the Japan Sumo Association. In 1931, the standard diameter for a dohyō – the wrestling ring – was set at 4.55 metres. The basho, or sumo tournament, was extended from 10 to 15 days in 1949.