Sumo wrestling in the tokugawa period

Lee Thompson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


On the eleventh day of the sixth month, third year of Kansei, a command performance of sumo was held at the Edo Palace before the eleventh Tokugawa shogun, Ienari. It was the first time a Tokugawa shogun viewed a sumo performance staged by the professional troupe whose regular performances were highly popular with the townspeople in Edo, and the first time that group performed at the palace. In some ways, the sumo performed as entertainment at the annual court banquets in the seventh month was very different from that which can be seen at the Kokugikan in Tokyo today. The main difference is that there was no ring in court sumo; matches were won by throwing one’s opponent to the ground. Wrestling performances remained a popular form of entertainment for the daimyo into the Tokugawa era. In 1630, the wife of the lord of the Obama domain, Hatsuhime, was on her deathbed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Tokugawa World
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781000427332
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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