Many people associate Japan with its national sport – sumo wrestling. If you want to learn more about this amazing sport, then head to the Sumo Museum, which will acquaint you with the history of this form of wrestling. The exhibits displayed here tell about the development of sumo over the centuries.
The museum is part of the Kokugikan Sumo Stadium in the Ryogoku District. You can get into it absolutely free.
The museum is located inside Ryogoku Sumo Stadium. It hosts traveling exhibitions of art and paraphernalia related to the history of sumo wrestling. Among the main exhibits are nishiki-e prints of ancient champions, and richly embroidered kesho-mawashi – ceremonial silk belts of famous wrestlers.
The excellent Sumo Museum is within walking distance of the sumo stadium. The Tokyo Sumo Museum has been in this place for a quarter of a century, but its expositions are several hundred years old. The museum has 3,700 Nishiki-e sumos (colorful woodcuts), 500 sumo dolls, Banzuke (official ranking list) and Kesho – mawashi (a silk belt with an embroidered large apron with thick tassels worn by champion wrestlers), photographs and biographies of the most famous wrestlers, costumes, amulets, trophies and many other things. The exhibits at the exhibition are changed six times a year.
The museum also functions as a research center, constantly studying the history of sumo as an integral part of Japanese culture. The museum was first opened in September 1954, but when the Kokugikan Sports Arena was completed, the museum was moved here in January 1985.
In addition, you can check out bandzuke – the official ranking list of all sumo wrestlers in Japan – and see 500 sumo dolls. The entrance to the museum is free.