The sports of sumo is interconnected with the Japanese Shinto religion.
Sumo and Shinto
Shinto has historically been used as a means for Japanese nationalism and ethnic identity, especially prior to the end of World War II. It has served to symbolize and provide a sense of belonging, to identify and unify the Japanese people culturally, and to serve as a barrier demarcating the Japanese from other peoples, providing them with a sense of cultural uniqueness. In its association with Shinto, sumo has also been seen as a bulwark of Japanese tradition.
Shinto ritual pervades every aspect of sumo. Before a tournament, two of the gyōji functioning as Shinto priests enact a ritual to consecrate the newly-constructed dohyō, and various Shinto rituals are associated even with the practice dohyō at heya. Both the dohyō-iri, or ring-entering ceremonies performed by the top two divisions before the start of their wrestling day, and in the rituals performed by both combatants immediately before a bout, are derived from Shinto. It retains other Shinto associations as well. The yokozuna's ring-entering ceremony is regarded as a purification ritual in its own right, and is occasionally performed at Shinto shrines for this purpose. Every newly-promoted yokozuna performs his first ring-entering ceremony at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo.
· 1 decade ago