Presentations by 2001 -> 2002 ICC Classes

ICC class period 5 Thursday

Topic: Sumo

Lifestyle of sumo wrestler and words come from sumo

The sumo wrestler

Every sumo wrestler belongs to the house where they live in, sumo-beya. They live in the strict society. The lower class should wake up at 4:30 a.m. and clean their training room. From 5 o’clock they start training. For their basic training, there are shiko and teppo. Free translation of Shiko is four thigh and teppo is gun. Shiko trains a sense of balance, strengthens their lower part of the body and soften their body. Teppo, to beat against the wall or pillar, strengthen their arms, waist and feet. It seems that oyakata, oya indicates parent and kata indicates person, who is the head of sumo-beya says that if you want to become strong, do shiko 500 times and teppo 500 times every day. From 8 a.m. the higher class takes part in the training and wrestles. From 11 a.m. they take bath and eat chanko. Chanko originally mean sumo wrestlers’ one-pot dish cooked right at the table. But now practically all of sumo wrestlers’ food is called chanko. This is a well-balanced diet and nourishing food. And the cause of their weight is afternoon sleep from 2 to 4 p.m. After that the higher class can spend free time until dinner. But the lower class should do the laundry, ready for dinner or other chores. After dinner all of them spend their own time. And from 10 p.m. they sleep. On the whole, the stronger they are, the better treatment they can receive. The higher need not waste their time and can use dohyo for a long time. On the other hand, the lower should do hard and troublesome odd jobs. But because of that, they seem to try even harder.
Next, I want to speak about mawasi which means roll up. Every sumo wrestler wears their uniform, mawashi. To say briefly there are two kinds of mawashi. One is keshou-mawashi used when dohyo-iri, Keshou means make up and.iri means enter, which is the ceremony before the match. It has a cloth like an apron called maedare whose free translation is front hang. It has beautiful design and character. The length of kesho-mawashi is approximately 7 to 8 meters, the width is about 80 centimeter, and the weight is nearly 10 kilogram. That amount of money is from 1,000,000 yen and there seems to be some above a hundred million yen. Generally those are presented by the supporters organization. So the more popular the wrestler is, the more mawashi he has. The other is shimekomi which indicates tighten. It is used when they wrestled. These are also presented by the supporters. If they have a lot of simekomi, they can change those every day, but ordinarily they use only one for long time because it should fit their hip perfectly. It has some small sticks named sagari which indicates hang down. The number of them decided to be odd number because of superstitions. It seems that mawashi follows shimenawa and sagari follows gohei. shimenawa and gohei are Japanese ceremonial tools used in shrine. The average length of shimekomo is about 10 to 11 meters. And it’s made of silk. Because there is superstition that if they wash it, they will miss the good luck, they disinfect by sunlight or alcohol and rarely wash it. Sumo wrestlers should wear a particular hair style called mage, indicates topknot. According to wrestler’s rule, they should wear mage. It seems that they are afraid that their hair become less. There are two kinds of mage, chon-mage, indicates small topknot, and o-icho, indicates big ginkgo. Only above sekitori class wrestlers are permitted to wear o-icho and others wear chon-mage. There are special hairdressers for wrestlers called tokoyama whose free translation is barber mountain. They have to train for long time, and it’s said that they need approximately 7 to 10 years to set o-icho completely.

Words come from sumo
There are many words come from sumo. For example,
Dozaemon. It’s means drowned person. It came from a sumo wrestler who was pale and swollen body like drowned person.
samiashi. Isami indicates cheer up and ashi indicates leg. It’s means you wound up too much and fail after all. It also means the way to lose because of gaining the strength too much.
Ashi-wo-dasu. Dasu indicates let out. It’s means to run over the budget. It’s originated being foot out from dohoy.
Jyonokuchi. Its free translation is preface mouth. It means only the bigining. It connects to the lowest position of the ranking list, jyonokuchi.

MAWASHIDAKEGA SHITTEIRU, by Kurama Tatuya(1993), Shyueishya
O-SUMO JITEN, by Yamaguchi Taichi(1994), Akane-shyobo



To the next page up

Last updated 6-Dec-2001