As Japan's national sport, sumo wrestling is a major part of the country's culture. The vast majority of Japan’s sumo wrestlers live in Tokyo's Ryogoku district, which has served the sport's hub for the past two centuries. With its heavyweight athletes, traditional mawashi stiff belt uniforms and long history, the sport remains a fascinating experience for spectators.
Sumo dates back to ancient times and still involves hints of the religious Shinto rituals it originally involved. Before a tournament begins, the ring is sprinkled with salt and the wrestlers stomp their feet in order to purify the ring and rid it of any evil. Once that's done, the two male competitors face off in an attempt to knock the other over. The first wrestler to leave the ring or touch the ground with any body part other than their feet loses.