Without its traditions, sumo would simply not be sumo, but at the same time the sport’s archaic rules and ridiculous rituals of retribution are undoubtedly a big factor in the huge difficulties it’s facing recruiting fresh rikishi. A sorry state of affairs that, along with an ongoing match rigging scandal, has left sumo with dwindling support and a decidedly slim chance of coming up with a Japanese grand champion any time soon.
Other forms of combat, however, are comparatively healthy, with K-1 in particular pulling in the punters and participants. And even regular wrestling is well respected, with wrestlers eager to pull their fingers out, enter the ring and rough it out with their rivals.
Or even — although thankfully it wouldn’t be welcome in sumo — enter their rival’s ring.
(image via the FG Forums)