Interesting sumo facts

January 7, 2010 | In: Sport Facts

The Sumo sport originated in Japan, the only country where it is practiced professionally.

The sumo tradition is very ancient, and even today the sport includes many ritual elements, such as the use of salt for purification, from the days sumo was used in the Shinto religion.

All sumo wrestlers take wrestling names called shikona (???), which may or may not be related to their real names.

There are six divisions in sumo: makuuchi (maximum 42 wrestlers), j?ry? (fixed at 28 wrestlers), makushita (fixed at 120 wrestlers), sandanme (fixed at 200 wrestlers), jonidan (approximately 230 wrestlers), and jonokuchi (approximately 80 wrestlers).

There are currently 55 wrestlers officially listed as foreigners.

Sumo wrestlers have a life expectancy of between 60 and 65, more than 10 years shorter than the average Japanese male.

Sumo wrestlers are banned from driving cars, for reasons of tradition rather safety concerns due to weight.

A sumo wrestler should grow long hair and also form a top knot. This is a must do thing.

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