Ready, Set . . . Sumo!

Contributor: Roxann Penny. Lesson ID: 12365

Most western sports require players to be fit and trim and in shape. There's a sport where bulking up (and out) is essential. Learn about the centuries-old Japanese Sumo culture (including a recipe!).



learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Did you know that Japan is the only country where Sumo wrestling is played professionally? Read on to learn more about this ancient Japanese tradition.

The Sumo Tradition of wrestling dates back nearly 2,000 years.

In ancient Japan, Sumo wrestling was performed as a trial of strength in combat, and as a form of entertainment for the ancient Shinto gods. Shinto is a form of religion practiced in Japan. Today, Sumo wrestling is considered the national sport of Japan, and as previously mentioned, Japan is the only country where Sumo wrestling is played professionally.

Take a closer look at this ancient tradition with this video presented by National Geographic, Sumo Wrestling 101 | National Geographic:

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Once you have completed viewing the video, take a few minutes to discuss with your instructor what you learned. Consider these questions in your discussion:

  1. Did anything surprise you about the tradition of Sumo wrestling?
  2. How does this sport differ from other professionally-played sports you know about?
  3. What is the main goal in Sumo wrestling?
  4. How important is a Sumo wrestler's diet to his success?

Do you think you could be a Sumo wrestler? National Geographic further explores what it takes to become a Sumo wrestler with this video presentation, Could You Be A Sumo Wrestler? | National Geographic:

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When you are finished viewing and discussing the videos, move on to the Got It? section of this lesson to explore more about the Sumo tradition.

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