Special – 1985 – NBC Sportsworld – Grand Sumo Wrestling Competition – Nagasaki, Japan


Sumo (相撲 sumō) or sumo wrestling is a competitive full-contact wrestling sport….where a wrestler (rikishi) attempts to force another wrestler out of a circular ring (dohyō)….or into touching the ground with anything other than the soles of his feet…..as the Japanese characters 相撲 literally mean “striking one another”.     

The sport originated in Japan….which is still the only country where it is practiced professionally….. where it is generally considered a gendai budō (a modern Japanese martial art)….but this definition is a bit misleading….cuz the sport has a history spanning many centuries.

Many ancient traditions have been preserved in sumo….and even today the sport includes many ritual elements….such as the use of salt purification from Shinto. Life as a sumo wrestler is highly regimented ….with rules regulated by the Japan Sumo Association…..where most sumo wrestlers are required to live in a communal sumo training stables….known in Japanese as heya….where all aspects of their daily lives from meals to their manner of dress….are dictated by strict tradition.    

During the period from 2008 to 2017….a number of high-profile controversies and scandals have rocked the sumo world….with an associated effect on its reputation and ticket sales….as these scandals have also affected the sport’s ability to attract new recruits….but despite this setback….sumo’s popularity and general attendance has rebounded….due to having multiple yokozuna or grand champions for the first time in a number of years….as other high-profile wrestlers such as Endō and Ichinojō have been grabbing the public’s attention in Japan.

The competition seen in this video herewith…..was the 1985 Grand National Sumo Competition….which featured all the great sumo wrestlers of the day….which was carried on NBC SportsWorld with Gary Gerould as their announcer for this event.

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