The Story of Sumo


40 minutes, VHS or DVD Sumo Wrestling Video, colour


The Grand Sumo: The Beauty of Tradition

Japanese Sumo Wrestler

"This finely crafted documentary video accurately introduces Japanese sumo wrestling in all of its pageantry. Although the almost 2000-year-old sumo is Japan's national sport, its popularity ebbs and flows locally. Yet interest outside Japan appears to be increasing, as the number of foreigners who succeed in the sport rises. This excellent, evenly paced production introduces the accoutrements and rituals associated with the sport in clear, concise English narration. The viewer gains insight into the training and strategy of the wrestlers, but the focus here is on the traditions and ceremony that give sumo its rich cultural significance. As instructive as it is entertaining, the video is highly recommended for libraries seeking an introduction to an often overlooked aspect of Japanese culture."

-Library Journal
© 2003 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Library Journal.

Sumo MatchFor the first time on video and DVD,
follow the festive preparations for a Sumo Wrestling Tournament in Tokyo.

Sumo wrestling is the national sport of Japan dating back over 1500 years. The huge but graceful wrestlers proceed with precision and great formality through the elaborate ceremonies and ornamentation. That doesn't stop crowds from going wild as the two huge wrestlers dressed only in loincloths battle each other. There is nothing crude about the fight; it proceeds in a series of infinitesimal moves made with as much power as the individual wrestler can summon. When one wrestler's foot is out of the ring, or any part of his body touches the ground, the other has won. A bout rarely lasts even a minute.

Japanese schoolboys learn Sumo as their North American peers learn hockey and baseball. Only the few who decide to make Sumo a career compete for acceptance in one of the sumo stables in Tokyo where they are put on the special Sumo diet, a rich stew called chankonabe that bulks the wrestlers up for combat. A champion Sumo wrestler will often weigh in at 400 lbs or more. Weight, however, is rarely the deciding factor in a bout because the wrestlers are matched to pair up equally. It is the skill of the great wrestler that counts.

The Story of Sumo introduces the pageantry and ritual preparations by wrestlers and supporting staff in the days prior to one of the six annual Grand Sumo Tournaments. The efforts of wrestlers, hairstylists, calligraphers and builders of the ring itself come together on opening day. This is a sport which is also an art.

"The biggest thrill for me is to wear a chonmage hairstyle, put on my belt, my mawashi, go to practice and then compete in the regular tournament". Takanohana, 65th Yokozuna.

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For More Information

Contact Marty Gross Film Productions, Inc. 416.536.3355 or
email videos@martygrossfilms.com for more information about purchasing or licensing this film for broadcast.


©2015 by Marty Gross Film Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved