Sumo wrestling is the national sport of Japan. Once patronized by the emperors, Sumo’s origins go back at least 1 500 years… so it’s the world’s oldest organized sport!
It probably evolved out of Mongolian, Chinese and Korean wrestling. Sumo has gone through many changes and many of the rituals that go along the sport that seem old were in fact conceived in the 20th century.
The word sumo is written with the Chinese characters for “mutual bruising.” Although sumo’s history goes back to ancient times, it became a professional sport in the early Edo period (1600-1868).
— DailyCampusGist (@dailycampusgist) February 28, 2019
According to a legend the Emperor Seiwa secured the Chrysanthemum Throne in A.D. 858 after a victory in a sumo bout. In the 13th century an imperial succession was reportedly decided by a sumo match, and Emperors from time to time acted as referees.