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 illustration of a yokozuna (the highest rank in sumo wrestling) during the ring-entering ceremony. Wearing a fringed ceremonial apron and a white rope with folded strips signifying his rank, the wrestler stamps his foot, holding his arm out to the side. He is accompanied by two attendants sitting on either side of the ring, one bearing his sword, while the referee crouches at right. A great depiction of this important ritual from this ancient sport.
Artist - Kunisada II (1823 - 1880)
Image Size - 14 1/8" x 29" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with good detail as shown. Three separate panels. Slight paper remnants on reverse from previous backing. Horizontal centerfold. Thinning areas, repaired, wrinkling throughout. Please see photos for details.
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