Akinomaki

Meiji era sumo on film

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The National Film Archive of Japan has opened a new site, The Meiji Period on Film, and has published there a few short films. One is Ryogoku ozumo recorded 1900 - of course b/w and silent. https://meiji.filmarchives.jp/works/03.html

the 13min. film is here: https://meiji.filmarchives.jp/works/03_play.html

- so far I only managed to record it directly with the OBS software

The shikona of the 2 rikishi of the torikumi are shown (likely staged for the film, hardly from a basho), the winner gets marked with a slash.

In the middle there is also a yokozuna dohyo-iri of Konishiki

04.jpg

One weird bout, compared to which Ura looks like a conventional rikishi - a Komidori  小緑 apparently not in the DB wins vs. Osaki

02.jpg

Inagawa is shown rejoicing very un-present-sumo-like after his win over Kunimiyama

and the hilite is yokozuna Konishiki vs still ozeki Ozutsu

03.jpg

shikona list 逆鉾、海山、太刀山、駒ヶ嶽、錦山、緑島、大崎、大砲、小錦、小緑、稲川、国見山、朝汐、梅ヶ谷、荒岩、常陸山

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6 minutes ago, luispereira said:

what the hell is that in the 5:20mins bout?:D damn!

 

It looks like a planned spectacular stunt.  The first attempt failed, so they did it again.

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ohh,  right.. I see now, thks

by the way, during history did the size of the dohyo changed? (it came to mind after seeing this)

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30 minutes ago, luispereira said:

ohh,  right.. I see now, thks

by the way, during history did the size of the dohyo changed? (it came to mind after seeing this)

Si.

The diameter of the ring is 15 shaku (4.55 meters), which increased from 13 shaku (3.94 meters) in 1931.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dohyō

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Just watched this gem. Pretty cool to have something for comparison with todays sumo. The dohyo not only was smaller, the surface seems pretty soft. Not at all like today. I had my eyes mostly on the gyoji. They had one foot pointing towards the rikishi at tachiai. Today i'm used to that during the preparing chiri-chozu (correct term?). When it's time for tachiai todays gyoji face the rikishi full frontal. They didn't wear any head gear. Some of them wore kataginu over their kimono, some gunbai seemed to be larger and more "individual". And whatever the gyoji around 10:00 had in his obi was more like a wakizashi, than a tanto.

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The bouts - a pity no kimarite is shown, maybe it was not so important at that time - I added higher ranks known for the approximate  time

海山-逆鉾 Kaizan- Sakahoko

駒ヶ嶽-太刀山Komagatake-Tachiyama - the linked 2 are both not yet shown active in 1895

緑島-錦山 Midorishima-Nishikiyama - Midorishima only a much later, Nishikiyama not in 1895

小緑-大崎 Komidori-Osaki- the acrobats - this Komidori some years earlier than the one in the DB

小錦-大砲 Konishiki-Ozutsu  Ozutsu not yet in the DB for 1895

Konishiki does a hitori dohyo-iri 一人土俵入り - dohyo-iri alone - but with attendant(s): In 1895 he was no yokozuna yet, but he is called yokozuna in the film -likely the film contains material from 1895 till 1900. Hitori dohyo-iri is a term from the Edo period: to distinguish it from the usual dohyo-iri of the many. Not only yokozuna, very impressive rikishi were also made to do it - e.g. Ozutsu before he was yokozuna

國見山-稲川 Kunimiyama-Inagawa  - rejoicing

梅ヶ谷-朝汐  Umegatani- Asashio Asashio not yet in the DB for 1895

常陸山 -荒岩  Hitachiyama-Araiwa

Edited by Akinomaki
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2 hours ago, Benihana said:

The dohyo not only was smaller, the surface seems pretty soft.

You see that in a lot of sumo from around then, including what appear to be official basho. The entire dohyo was less well-packed. I suspect the change came with the construction of the first Kokugikan, moving competition indoors. The dust raised by fighting on a soft dirt surface would have become intolerable in short order.

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Looking closer at the related information shows that the material is actually from 1895, the film was published in 1900 -  none of the rikishi in the film had a higher rank then - most are not in the DB for the time

meijisumo01.jpg

http://kobe-eiga.net/aboutus/

Quote


Film Discovery
The Kobe Planet Film Archive continues to re-discover legendary films that were thought to have been lost.
Main discoveries include:

Ryogoku Grand Sumo in 1895 (Meiji nijyuhachinen no Ryogoku oozumou)
1900 Cinematography: Tsuchiya Jyoji

Edited by Akinomaki

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sumo in video from the XIX century.... and I thought kinta was a pioneer.... at that time he was only a baby!:D

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14 hours ago, luispereira said:

what the hell is that in the 5:20mins bout?:D damn!

 

"Thank God we got the camera out for that one!"

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The dates seem to be very unreliable: this YT video with the same Konishiki-Ozutsu bout  shown by NHK some years ago actually gives a basho date for it: day 5 January basho 1897 - Konishiki is yokozuna, Ozutsu m1, and HItachiyama-Araiwa as from 1901, Haru d7, both sekiwake - but both bouts are taken from the 1900 film: also NHK is prone to errors.

a later bout and dohyo-iri follow, which look  like a real basho

Edited by Akinomaki
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15 hours ago, Akinomaki said:

Konishiki does a hitori dohyo-iri 一人土俵入り - dohyo-iri alone - but with attendant(s): In 1895 he was no yokozuna yet, but he is called yokozuna in the film - likely the film contains material from 1895 till 1900. Hitori dohyo-iri is a term from the Edo period: to distinguish it from the usual dohyo-iri of the many. Not only yokozuna, very impressive rikishi were also made to do it - e.g. Ozutsu before he was yokozuna

This dohyo-iri from the film was also on NHK before. Like the bouts above, in a much worse condition than the newly published (restored) complete film. The first of a dohyo-iri collection in a niconico video https://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm20070539

The old film had this big curtain put in the back to improve the quality.

Hitachiyama very likely, Umegatani maybe is a film from the Meiji era - Nishinoumi is already the Taisho era.

Edited by Akinomaki
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