Anonymous asked in SportsOther - Sports · 1 decade ago

Is there a religious significance in the Japanese sport of sumo wrestling? Why is this?

The sports of sumo has been in Japan for a long time, and some say that it would never replace this unique sport in the national psyche of the Japanese. Is this because of a combination of sumo to religion? What religion is this? Thank you.

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    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.

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