Photographs taken in a Tokyo professional Sumo stable during Asa Geiko
Sumo - Japan's national sport - originated 1500 years ago as religious
performances to the Shinto gods. According to a Japanese legend, the
origin of the Japanese people was determined by the outcome of a sumo
match. The Japanese god Takemikazuchi won over the leader of a rival
tribe and thus established the Japanese people as the masters of Japan.
Sumo matches were originally a ritual aimed at securing better harvests.
It was incorporated in the Imperial Court, and developed into a sport
in the 17th century.The basic rules of sumo are simple: The wrestler
who either first touches the floor with something else than his sole
or leaves the ring before his opponent, loses. The fights themselves
usually last only a few seconds and in rare cases up to one minute or