Sumo, known as the national sport of Japan, is as full of excitement and spectacle as it is steeped with history and tradition. Dating back to as early as the third century, sumo took root as a form of performance to entertain Shinto gods. Through the centuries, it evolved from being an imperial ritual performed before the emperor to a professional spectator sport during the Edo period. Modern day sumo tournaments are no less full of ancient ceremony and ritual. From the wrestlers’ dress and appearance to the layout of the ring, every element of the sport is awash with meaning. Attend any sumo match and you will be amazed at the sheer athleticism and sportsmanship of the wrestlers. Clashing against each other within a fraction of a second, opponents stand their ground with all their might. Step right, step left, and a heave, one throws the other out of the ring. Within seconds the match is over, and the crowds are exploding with excitement. Explore below to learn more about the ancient art of sumo and how to join in on the excitement of a live match.