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 - Handsome triptych depicting sumo wrestlers in the ring before the start of a match. The wrestler in the center gestures with his arm as he stamps his foot, two other athletes crouching on either side of him. He wears a rope or tsuna with folded strips of paper signifying his rank as a yokozuna or grand champion sumo. Each of the wrestlers wears a ceremonial apron trimmed with fringe. A referee waits at right, wearing a diamond print kamishimo over an olive green kimono and holding a fan. A great image of this ancient sport, with wonderful detail and vibrant color.
Artist - Kuniaki II (1835 - 1888)
Image Size - 13 3/4" x 28 5/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with good color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. A few losses, small holes, repaired. Wrinkling throughout. Please see photos for details.
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