1185– 1684

Asian Geographic - - Front Page -

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.

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