View Full Version : Welcome to the New Sumo forum!

John Lindsey
16th July 2003, 18:38
I would like to welcome everyone to our newest forum. Your moderator is John Hidalgo, who was kind enough to approach me about starting a sumo forum.

So, the first question I have, is where should this forum be? I have placed it here in the Japanese Culture for now, but if anyone has a better idea, let me know!

16th July 2003, 20:34

P Goldsbury
16th July 2003, 22:18

In Japan is classed as a 'gendai budo'. It is claimed to be a very old martial art, in fact the oldest (relying on the text in the Kojoki and for the same reasons as jujutsu etc claim to be the "oldest".

On the other hand, the present structure of the art does not go back very far and it is one of the arts included in the Nippon Budo Association and I have seen it taught and demonstrated in the international seminars held at the International Budo University

So, for me, the logical place to put this forum is Gendai Budo.

Best regards,

Joel Simmons
17th July 2003, 01:51

I suppose that if it is considered gendai budo in Japan, then that's where it should be. However, there are sources verifying its roots in antiquity, which makes me partial to placing it in the koryu forum.

Which leads me to a question about sumo: are there identifiable ryu within sumo? If so, do they have their own documented lineages?

Meik Skoss
17th July 2003, 02:40
I think Peter's right about putting sumo in the gendai budo section. Yes, sumo may well be the "oldest" form of combat in Japan (given its inclusion in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki), but what sumai or kakuriki were then, what it was during the Sengoku Jidai, and what it is now are all quite different.

Sumo is one of the modern martial arts included in the Nihon Budo Kyokai (Japan Budo Association), with its own governing federation and sets of rules for both amateur and professional competition.

There are no "ryu" in sumo, although it's possible to recognize some wrestlers as having trained under particular shisho (mentors/masters)or coaches. They exhibit a certain "style" at times, but that's not a constant and many rikishi (pro or amateur) of the same stable differ a great deal.

Boy, this could be a great forum! It's the only professional sport my wife and I really follow and we are glad there's a place to catch up on the news of the latest basho! Thanks, John!

Mike Williams
17th July 2003, 11:21
Great new forum! Thanks, John (& John).



17th July 2003, 18:02
I would like to thank John Lindsey for making this forum available. I am really looking forward to discussing Sumo with all of you. Please fee free to post and Sumo news, questions, comments or ideas.

Take care,

17th July 2003, 18:42

Joel Simmons
18th July 2003, 00:34

I agree with classifying sumo as gendai after speaking with Wayne. However, he did mention that he has heard of a man in Kyushu who is claiming a lineage in sumo much older than the oldest koryu can authenticate. Apparently, the man has a collection of scrolls displaying a lineage that he is asking the imperial family to recognize, and install as an "official style" of sumo for Shinto ritual. ???

Anyone else heard anything about this? Meik?

Budoka 34
18th July 2003, 11:38
What a great idea! I don't have cable or sat anymore so I'll be looking here to get the scoop.:D

Now if I can just talk one of you into copying some tapes hmmmmmmmmm.;)


Meik Skoss
18th July 2003, 14:15
J. Simmons wrote, "... a man in Kyushu who is claiming a lineage in sumo much older than the oldest koryu can authenticate. Apparently, the man has a collection of scrolls displaying a lineage that he is asking the imperial family to recognize, and install as an 'official style' of sumo for Shinto ritual."

It's pretty hard to discuss a sumo lineage that's purported to be older than any of the extant koryu. What kind of lineage? The Yoshida family (also from Kyushu, I believe) had the hereditary right to name people yokozuna during the Muromachi and Edo periods, but that's not a factor in modern sumo. The Nihon Sumo Kyokai (Japan Sumo Assn.) is the governing body for professional sumo, the Nihon Kendo Renmei (J. Sumo Fedn.) does the same for Japanese amateur sumo (other countries have their own organizations for amateur sumo).

If it's in regard to Shinto rituals related to sumo, that may well be true. I'd be *very* interested to learn more about this. Sumo sechie was an important part of imperial court ritual during Heian times and it continued at least through the early Azuchi-Momoyama period. It is not the exact same thing as modern sumo, though, and I've no idea of whether or not the current-day imperial court had continued this old tradition.

My wife and I were able to attend the Sandan-gi, a special sumo rite at the Kokugikan a number of years ago. The then-yokozuna Akebono and Takanohana performed the rite according to the ancient manner (from the Heian period). It was in commemoration of something or other, but I've forgotten exactly what and I don't have the program notes right in front of me as I write this. It was the first time in a long time, though, that it had been performed (maybe since the Meiji period?). I found it a very fascinating experience, but damme if I know why it was
held at that time.

For those interested in reading up on the art and sport of sumo, the best books (in my opinion) are by Dave Shapiro, Lora Sharnoff, and Doug Kenrick. I don't have the titles, but I reckon they're not too hard to find.

Hope this helps.

18th July 2003, 15:50

Joel Simmons
18th July 2003, 22:48
Aloha Meik,

Perhaps it is the family that you referred to. I do know that Wayne said it was in relation to Shinto ritual, which seems to explain why the family is not petitioning the Nihon Sumo Kyokai for recognition, but the imperial family itself. Of course, if they did receive any sort of recognition from anyone it would probably cause a lot of problems.

Joel Simmons
19th July 2003, 22:17
Aloha again,

Well, according to my sempai the Yoshida family are the ones making the claim to a sumo lineage. However, due to some ill-advised financial connections, both the Nihon Sumo Kyokai and Imperial family are keeping their distance.

19th July 2003, 22:49

21st July 2003, 17:06

2nd August 2003, 13:19
Originally posted by doaho

OK. That's number 4.

What's your point?