Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on May 2014
Despite recent foreign incursions, sumo remains the most Japanese of sports, with age-old Shinto traditions at its heart. With the flourishing of ukiyo-e woodblock prints in the Edo era, the artistic depiction of heroic sumo wrestlers reached its apogee. This exhibition presents about 100 works from the collection of Kazuyoshi Ishiguro that depict not only the giant wrestlers locked in combat, but also their daily lives and routines alongside scenes of sumo being viewed by Edo-era crowds. Of particular interest is a series of illustrations of the successive yokozuna, or highest-ranked sumo wrestlers, from the Edo period, including the development of the ring-entering ceremony that is still carried out today.
Jun 1-26, Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art. See exhibition listings for details.