Sumo Wrestling
Multicultural Games

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by Danielle. Meredith, Beth, Chrysten Germantown Academy 6th grade     1996
by Katie, Kerstin, Jenna, Kristyn


by Katie and Alina


State the name of your game and why you chose it.

1997 team:  The game we chose is Sumo wrestling.  It looks very interesting in the photograph. We chose it because we thought is would be fun to do with the class.  Mrs. Smith recommended it to us and we thought it was a great idea.  It looked like a very fun topic to do a presentation on.

1998 team (Katie):  I chose this sport because it sounded very interesting.   It amazes me that when everyone is worried about their weight Sumos try to weigh more.  I was watching a match with my Dad because he knew I was doing this report and he called me down to watch it.  I was looking and they are so serious and I don't think that I could keep a straight face if a 300 pound man fell over the side of the doyho.

List the countries where it is played and its origin.

1996 team:  Sumo wrestling is played in Japan. It dates back to the first century BC.. It is Japan's national sport. Six tournaments are held each year. The Japanese think this sport is very special because it embodies the spirit and essence of Japan. Ritual is a very important part of the sport.

1997 team:  Sumo tournaments are held in Nara, in the Kamo Shrine in Kyoto and Japan.

1998 team:  Sumo wrestling is an ancient, highly specialized martial arts sport performed in Japan.  Sumo originated in Japan:  the exact date is unknown but it is thought to date back 2500 years. Sumo is mentioned in the Nihon-sh 8th Century Chronicle.   This is an old rule book which explains the object of the game.  We are still following these rules.  Back in the seventeenth century the object was to force the opponent out of the doyho, even if it came down to death.  Now there are limits such as no kicking, no eye gouging, no hair pulling and no fatal hits to the organs.  Today all people and nationalities follow Sumo, especially in Thailand, China and Japan.


Describe how your game is played. State the object of the game. Clearly describe the rules.

The rules of Sumo wrestling are very sacred.  Before the match you must do these proper ceremonies or you will be punished:

There are some very superstitious Sumo wrestlers.  Most commonly Sumos throw salt in the doyho to kill the evil spirits.

The object of Sumo is to push the opponent out of the dohyo (ring) or to cause the opponent to touch outside the ring with any part of their body other than the feet.   This is accomplished by pushing, shoving or ramming. 

List the equipment needed.

The ring that they play the  game is called a dohyo, which consists of a circle inscribed in a square.

The pillars stand at 4 corners of the dohyo.  The pillars are blue for the god of Spring, red for the god of Summer, white for the god of Autumn and black for the god of Winter. 

Shimenawa is the thick band of rope which hang from the Yokozona. the thick scarf tied around their waist.

The wrestlers wear their hair in a bun on the top of their head when they are competing.

The original dohyo is 18 feet square and 2 feet highIt is constructed of a special kind of clay.  The actual match takes place in a circle about 15 feet in diameter within the 18 foot square.

Make recommendations for what type of athlete would enjoy playing this game. What skills does it demand?

Beth: The game would be enjoyed by heavy men that have strong legs and arms. Also, I think that people who are determined to win would like it.

Chrysten: This sport would be enjoyed by men (or women) who like to use their energy on pushing another opponent down and wouldn't mind gaining a lot of weight. This is a sport that would be played just like any other sport in which they play a match and win or lose. It would not be played as a fighting type of sport about an issue.

Danielle: This game would be enjoyed by heavy men that are strong. When men feel like taking their stress out on other men, they an force them out of the circle.

Meredith: This game might appeal to a preferably large male who is interested in wrestling but doesn't like to be thrown around as much.

Kristyn:  A large, mean, competitive person would enjoy the game.

Alina:  Sumo wrestling utilizes balance, grace and skill.  Anyone can do a lessened version (we will use pillows to bulk up), but professional competitors are males who weigh anywhere from 150-450 pounds.  Anyone who is interested in martial arts will enjoy Sumo.

What are your feelings about this game? Did you enjoy playing it? Would you recommend it?

Beth: I think the game is pretty cool but I don't agree with gaining that much weight to do a sport. Being 400 pounds can't be very good for your health. Besides that, I think the objectives and how it is played is cool

Chrysten: I enjoyed learning about this game because I never really knew much about it. Now I find it very interesting and look forward to playing it in class.

Katie:  I think that it is great that Sumo wrestling has lasted so long.  Sumo wrestling is as common as football in America.  It goes back for generations.  I have enjoyed learning about it.

Alina:  I like Sumo because it is interesting, fun, easy to learn and totally safe if played correctly. 



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