Sumo Prints - The ancient sport of Japanese sumo wrestling proved a popular subject for woodblock print artists during the Edo and Meiji eras. Portraits of individual champion wrestlers often depict them during the ring entering ceremony, wearing a ceremonial belt that opens into an apron trimmed with fringed. Other designs show the athletes in action during matches, with the referee and judges present in front of crowds of other sumo and enthusiastic patrons. Matches were sometimes held on the grounds of a temple to raise funds for the temple, with temporary arenas erected for the event. These interesting prints are a nice choice for a collector interested in this classic Japanese sport.
Comments - Terrific depiction of the sumo wrestler Umegaya Totaro performing the ring entering ceremony before a match taking place before dignitaries. He raises one foot high beneath his ceremonial apron, the fringe swinging as he moves, one arm thrust out at his side. He is accompanied by two fellow athletes, one of whom carries his sword upright. The referee crouches at left, holding his fan level. Other referees and wrestlers are gathered along the edge of the ring at left, with guests and uniformed men in boxes at upper left. A nice historic subject with lively color and wonderful detail.
Artist - Toyonobu (1859 - 1886)
Image Size - 14 1/8" x 27 5/8"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels, backed with paper. Small repair, a few small stains. Please see photos for details.