What is a sumo stable?

The Japan Sumo Association entrusts the training of sumo wrestlers to sumo stables. These stables are operated by elders (stablemasters), and the wrestlers are simultaneously members of the Sumo Association and belong to a stable. As a rule, wrestlers cannot transfer to another stable, and there are no matches between wrestlers from the same stable in official tournaments. In addition, several stables form a group called an Ichimon(Sumo stable’s clan), and the current sumo world is divided into five lineages.

Sumo stables are places where stablemasters who hold elder stocks train wrestlers, and they receive training costs and maintenance fees from the Japan Sumo Association. The form was established in the middle of the Edo period, and wrestlers must belong to some stable.

Furthermore, sumo stables are also places that continue to preserve Japanese traditional culture. Here, sumo techniques and manners that have been handed down from ancient times are carefully taught and passed on to the next generation. Wrestlers not only practice but also experience traditional lifestyles and meals (such as Chanko-nabe), giving them an opportunity to understand the deep history and culture that the sport of sumo holds.

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A day in a sumo stable

The article is about a sumo stable. First, let's talk about the morning practice. The start time varies depending on the stable, but most start early in the morning (the sumo stable I belonged to started at 6 a.m.) and finish around 11 a.m. Meals are twice a day, with the first one being chanko after morning practice. The stable master and sekitori eat first, followed by the rest in order of their rank. In stables with many rikishi, the last person may not finish eating until around 2 p.m. After that, if you're a sekitori, you have free time until the evening chanko. Some people do voluntary training at the gym, and if they have a family, they go home and prepare for the next morning's practice.

On the other hand, young wrestlers who are not sekitori clean up after the morning chanko and then take a nap in the large room (once you become a sekitori, you get your own room) until the evening. From around 4 p.m., they start cleaning and preparing for the evening chanko. After dinner, they have free time until bedtime (in the sumo stable I was in, lights were out at 10 p.m.)

For those who want to know more, please read this article of mine

The Impact of Sumo Stables on the Community

Sumo stables contribute to various regions. Sumo stables are closely tied to the local community. Sumo wrestlers participate in local festivals and events, interacting with the local community. This creates a strong bond between the local residents and the wrestlers. In addition, sumo stables also contribute to the local economy. Tourists come to watch the morning practice, bringing business to local shops and restaurants. Furthermore, it is common for sumo stables to source food and other supplies from the local area.

When I was an active wrestler, I had opportunities to participate in local festivals and karaoke competitions, take photos with locals, and drink with them.

We also held events such as making rice cakes at the sumo stable during New Year's and distributing them to locals.

Most sumo stables are located near Ryogoku Kokugikan, so if you visit Ryogoku, you can see many sumo wrestlers.

Sumo stable’s clan "Ichimon"

Currently, there are five clans in sumo: Dewanoumi, Nishonoseki, Tokitsukaze, Takasago, and Isegahama. In the past, it was allowed to be unaffiliated, but now it is mandatory to belong to one of these clans, and all stables belong to one of these five. 

Joint practices and other activities are conducted among the sumo stables belonging to the same clan. If a Yokozuna (grand champion) is born from a clan, they also perform a rope-making ceremony for the Yokozuna.

My experiences in the sumo stable

I spent my youth in a sumo wrestling stable. There were tough memories as well as good ones. There were scary seniors, but also kind ones. I still keep in touch with my older brothers and classmates. In the sumo stable, I have memories of being celebrated by the stable master on my birthday and when I became an adult. The sumo stable felt like one big family, and it remains a fond memory for me.

The training in the sumo stable was incredibly strict, but I believe that it is because of these experiences that I am who I am today.


Currently, the number of sumo stables where you can observe practices and other activities is limited, but I believe it is possible to visit. Also, near the Ryogoku Kokugikan, you can see sumo wrestlers. If anyone is interested in visiting a sumo stable, please contact me.


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