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snepcasciud

gyōji dress

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Hi everybody.

I'd like to know when the sumo referee, the gyōji, has adopted the shinto dresses that we see today. I know that gyōji already existed in Edo period but I can't find any woodblock print of that period in which is shown a gyōji with shinto dresses during a sumo fight. Can you help me?

Thanks in advance,

Luca.

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From memory, the outfits that the gyoji wear at honbasho are styled on outfits that the Ashikaga shogun wore. This means we are talking the period 1336–1573. These styles were chosen to give sumo a visible sense of antiquity but only appeared in the early 20th century. I believe it was around 1909/10, when a number of other developments took place in preofessional sumo. Prior to that, gyoji wore the formal attire of the day, with winged shoulders. Check out examples here

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Thanks a lot! I've found a couple more of woodblock prints of Edo Period where the gyoji dressed the kamishimo, without hat.

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It's not too hard to find early 20th century photos of sumo, with gyoji in kamishimo, usually posed in a studio, but sometimes not.

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The present-day gyoji costumes are based on the hunting dress of the Ashikaga shogun period and were first worn in May 1910 (writing from memory here). When the first covered Kokugikan was opened in 1909 the Kyokai people wanted something more colourful than the existing gentleman's costume, the simple blue kami-shimo, and commissioned a firm that made robes for the Imperial Family to design something more spectacular. So the 'modern' costumes came out the following year.

Orion

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