SUMO May 09, 2012 · Photography It’s the only sport where being obese is encouraged. Sumo wrestling has a long and significant tradition in Japan. But modern society has slowly been digging its grubby mitts into those oversized nappies of theirs, with gambling, match fixing and organised crime becoming an almost permanent aspect of the sport.
It is believed that a ring came into being in 16th century as a result of a tournament organized by principal warlord, Oda Nobunaga. At this point wrestlers would wear loose loincloths, rather than much stiffer mawashi of today. During Edo period, wrestlers would wear a fringed kesho-mawashi during bout, today these are worn only during pre-tournament rituals. Most of the current forms within the sport developed in the early Edo period.