Tomioka Hachiman Shrine - Sumo


Tomioka Hachiman Shrine is also known as the birthplace of Kanjin-zumō (勧進相撲?), founded in 1684 and origin of the current professional sumo.

Two basho (Spring and Autumn) were held at the shrine every year under the permission of the shogunate, and banzuke and other major systems were created in this period. After almost 80 years, basho had been held also in other places in Edo (Tokyo), then Ekōin came to hold all basho since 1833. In Meiji period (1868–1912), sumo strengthened the relation with Shintoism to survive because of losses of supports from the shogunate and daimyos, who lost power by the Meiji Restoration, thus the Shinto shrine came to be valued further by sumo.

In 1900 (Meiji 33), the stone monument to commend successive yokozuna, the Yokozuna Stone (横綱力士碑, Yokozuna Rikishi-hi?), was built by Jinmaku Kyūgorō, the 12th yokozuna. Now, the stone inscribed with the shikonas of all yokozuna until Hakuhō Shō, the 69th yokozuna, and "unrivaled rikishi" Raiden Tameemon. The shrine has many other stone monuments related to sumo.

Thus, when a rikishi reaches the rank of yokozuna, a dedication in the form of dohyō-iri is done at the shrine.

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