Sum˘ Wrestler Prints,

Part I

 

Sum˘ (相撲) is a Japanese style of wrestling and Japanĺs national sport.á It originated in ancient times as a performance to entertain the Shinto gods.á Many rituals with religious background are still followed today.á The basic rules of sum˘ are simple: The wrestler who first touches the mat with any part of his body other than the soles of his feet, or leaves the ring, loses.á The bouts usually last only a few seconds and in rare cases up to one minute or longer.á I am grateful to Yasu Takano for identifying many of the wrestlers.

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Wrestler: ďzora Buzaemon (大武左衛門) pulling up a bamboo tree

Date: 1827

Publisher: Yamaguchiya Tobei

 

NOTE: ďzora Buzaemon had an unusually short sum˘ career.á He appeared only in the 1827 spring season, losing all seven matches, and retired immediately.

Kuniyoshi - (sum˘) Mutsugamine Iwanosuke, 1853

 

Wrestler: Mutsugamine Iwanosuke (六ツヶ峰岩之助)

Date: 4th month of 1853

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

Kuniyoshi - (sum˘) Inagawa Masanosuke, 1845-6, pub

 

Wrestler: Inagawa Masanosuke (猪名川 政之助)

Date: 1845-1846

Publisher: Maru-ya Seijir˘

Kuniyoshi - (sum˘) sum˘ Wrestler Koyanagi Tsunekichi

 

Wrestler: Koyanagi Tsunekichi (小柳常吉)

Date: c. 1845-1846

Publisher: Maru-ya Seijir˘

 

Wrestler: Shiranui Dakuemon (不知火諾エ門)

Date: c. 1845-1846 (censor Fakatsu Ihei)

Publisher: Maru-ya Seijir˘

 

 

Kuniyoshi - (sum˘) Nioarashi in professional attire (Marugame Genkai aratame Nioarashi Isogoro)

 

Wrestler: Nioarashi Isogoro (鳰嵐磯五郎) in professional attire (Marugame genkai aratame Nioarashi Isogoro)

Date: 1845

Publisher: Nishimura Yohachi

 

Wrestler: Arauma Kichigor˘ (荒馬吉五郎)

Date: c. 1839-1840

Publisher:

 

Wrestler: Unryu Hisayoshi (雲龍久吉)

Date: 1851 (censors Mera and Watanabe)

Publisher: Maru-ya Seigir˘

 

Wrestler: Iozan Moriemon (猪王山森右工門)

Date: 5th month of 1856

Publisher: Yamada-ya Sh˘jir˘

 

NOTE: This is a finished drawing for a woodblock print.

Oniwaka Rikinosuke

 

Wrestler: Oniwaka Rikinosuke (鬼若 力之助)

Date: c. 1850-1852

Publisher: Maru-ya Seijir˘

 

NOTE: Oniwaka Rikinosuke was an extremely large child who participated in the ring entering ceremony (dohyo-iri) in the early 1850s.

Daidozan Bungoro, Famous Boy Sumo Wrestler

 

Wrestler: Oniwaka Rikinosuke (鬼若 力之助)

Date: c. 1850-1852

Publisher: Musashi-ya Isabur˘

 

Kuniyoshi - Oniwaka Rikinosuke

 

Wrestler: Oniwaka Rikinosuke (鬼若 力之助) in sum˘ attire

Date: c. 1850-1852

Publisher: Owari-ya Seishichi

 

Kuniyoshi - (sum˘)  w0000019

 

Wrestler: Oniwaka Rikinosuke (鬼若 力之助) in street attire

Date: c. 1850-1852

Publisher: Enami

Wrestler: Oniwaka Rikinosuke (鬼若 力之助) at age eight with his giant hand print

Date: 1849 (based on Oniwaka Rikinosukeĺs age and the seals of censors Fuku and Muramatsu)

Publisher: Matsu-ya

Another state of the above design.á Note that the hand print is entirely different.á

Kuniyoshi - (diptych, clouds) Nakamura Utaemon IV as wrestler Nuregami Ch˘gor˘ (R) & Ichikawa Hazaemon wrestler Hanaregoma Ch˘kichiin (L) in 'Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ kuruwa nikki', (8)1841

Wrestlers: Actors Ichikawa Hazaemon as the sum˘ wrestler Hanaregoma Ch˘kichiin (放駒の長吉, left) and Nakamura Utaemon IV as the wrestler Nuregami Ch˘gor˘ (濡髪長五郎, right) in the kabuki play Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ kuruwa nikki

Date: 8th month of 1841

Publisher: Edo-ya Matsugor˘

Kuniyoshi - (sum˘) Nioarashi Isogoro in street clothes (Marugame Genkai aratame Nioarashi Isogoro), pub

 

Wrestler: áNioarashi Isogor˘ (?磯五郎) in street attire (Marugame Genkai aratame Nioarashi Isogor˘)

Date: c. 1830

Publisher: Nishimura Yohachi

 

 

Image1

Actors: Actor Ichimura Uzaemon XII as sum˘ wrestler Akitsushima Kuniemon (秋津嶋, left) and actor Arashi Kichisabur˘ III as sum˘ wrestler Onigadake Horaemon (鬼ヶ嶽, right) in the kabuki play Sekitori Nidai no Shobuzuke

Date: 9th month of 1850

Theater: Ichimura

Publisher: Tanba-ya Hanjir˘

Ichikawa Danjuro VIII as wrestler Nuregami Ch˘gor˘ (R) & Arashi Rikan III as wrestler Hanaregoma no Ch˘kichi (L) in 'Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ kuruwa nikki', (2)1852

Actors: Actor Arashi Rikan III as wrestler Hanaregoma no Ch˘kichi (放駒長吉, left) and actor Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VIII as wrestler Nuregami Ch˘gor˘ (濡髪長五郎, right)

Play: Futatsu ch˘ch˘ kuruwa nikki (双蝶仝曲輪日記, Diary of Two Butterflies in the Pleasure Quarters)

Date: 2nd month of 1852

Theater: Kawarasaki

Publisher: under a single mountain is identified as Hori Takichi of Yushima in Kuniyoshi by B. W. Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961), but as ďta-ya Takichi in Publishers of Japanese Woodblock Prints: A Compendium by Andreas Marks (Hotei Publishing, Leiden, 2011)

Kuniyoshi - (sum˘) Ikezuki Geitazaemon, the big wrestler

 

Title: Ikezuki Geitazaemon (生月 鯨太左ェ門), the big wrestler

Date: c. 1844 (censor Watanabe Sh˘emon)

Publisher: Hon-ya Genpachi

 

Note: Ikezuki Geitazaemon was not a skilled sum˘ wrestler, but was a giant who was brought to Edo about 1844 as a special attraction to conduct a ring entering ceremony (dohyo-iri).á

Kuniyoshi - (sum˘) w0000015

 

Wrestler: Ikezuki Geitazaemon (生月 鯨太左ェ門) in street attire

Date: 1844

Publisher: Sa (phonetic pronunciation of )

Kuniyoshi - Sum˘ wrestler ďzora Buzaemon

 

Wrestler: ďzora Buzaemon (大武左衛門)

Date: 1827

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya Tobei

 

NOTE: ďzora Buzaemon had an unusually short sum˘ career.á He appeared only in the 1827 spring season, losing all seven matches, and retired immediately.

Kuniyoshi - (sumo) The yearly wrestling meeting (Sumo Nenki), showing Raigen-dayu, probably a veteran wrestler or an umpire, in a dark robe, seated with his hands in his lap (title framed with symbols of longevity)

 

Description: The yearly wrestling meeting (Sumo Nenki), showing Raigen-dayu (?太夫), probably a veteran wrestler or an umpire, in a dark robe, seated with his hands in his lap.á The title cartouche is framed with symbols of longevity.

Date: 2nd month of 1858

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya Tobei (山口屋藤兵衛)

 

áôRobinsonö refers to listing in Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints by Basil William Robinson (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1982) and its privately published supplement.

 

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