Colton Runyan

academic and informed sources on the history of sumo

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Posted (edited)

This thread is for sharing academic and informed sources (namely books and chapters within books) on sumo in the fields of history, literature, historical anthropology, and sociology. The sources are partitioned based on three criteria:

1. whether they are academic (professors, members of the sumo museum, etc.) vs. informed (any other author or clearly written for a general audience). 

2. has multiple chapters on sumo (long source) vs. one chapter/article/short stories within an anthology (short source).

3. in English vs. in Japanese.

The sources will be written in alphabetical order by author within each category. Sources I think are exceptionally useful will have an asterisk preceding the entry, but all have merit. Don't be surprised if there are only a few entries per category as it is a small field, but I will continue to add to this thread as I find more sources. Most modern pop culture books and all newspaper articles and databases are not included. I do not disparage these sources, but this is the not the thread for them. Please post in this thread if you have sources to include. Once I can verify them, I'll add them to the list at the top of the thread for quick reference.

disclaimer: I acknowledge that this post is merely my opinion on what goes where and what constitutes a proper source, but I do so as a PhD candidate whose dissertation heavily concerns sumo. Essentially, I've created this list because I want to share the major sumo sources in my bibliography so that you may embark on your own journeys into sumo history. 

 

Academic:

 

Long Sources (Eng):

*  Cuyler, P. L. Sumo: From Rite to Sport. New York: Weatherhill, Inc., 1979. 

* Guttman, Allen and Lee Thompson. Japanese Sports: A History. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2001.

 

Short Sources (Eng):

Bolitho, Harold. "Frolicking Dragons: Mythic Terror and the Sumo Tradition." A.S.S.H Studies in Sports History: No 2. Sport: Nationalism and Internationalism 2: 2-12, 1987.    

Cognan, Thomas J. The Tale of the Soga Brothers. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1987.

Dykstra, Yoshiko K. The Konjaku Tales: Japanese section (Honcho-Hen)(II). Kansai Gaidai University: Intercultural Research Institute, 2001.

——. “Notable Tales Old and New: Tachibana Narisue’s Kokon Chomonjῡ.” Monumenta Nipponica 47:4 (Winter, 1992), pp. 469-493.

Mills, D.E. A Collection of Tales from Uji: A study and Translation of Uji Shῡi Monogatari. Cambridge: At the University Press, 1979.

Thompson, Lee. “The Invention of the Yokozuna and the Championship System, or, Futahaguro’s Revenge” in Stephen Vlastos, ed. Mirror of Modernity: Invented Traditions of Modern Japan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998, 174-190.

—— and Nitta Ichirō. "Sumo Wrestling in the Tokugawa Period" in Gary P. Leupp ed. The Tokugawa World. New York: Routledge, 2021.

 

Long Sources (Jp):

Ikeda Masao. Dohyō ima mukashi. Tokyo: Jinbutsu ōraisha, 1967.

——. Sumō no rekishi. Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1977.

——. Ōsumō shi nyūmon. Tokyo: Kadokawa, 2020. 

Nitta Ichirō. Sumō no rekishi. Tokyo: Yamakawa shuppansha, 1994.

——. Sumō: sono rekishi to gihō. Tokyo: beisubōru magajin sha, 2016.

Obinata Katsumi. Kodai kokka to nenjῡ gyōji. Tokyo: Yoshikawa kōbunkan, 1993.

*** Sakai Tadamasa. Nihon sumō shi. Tokyo: beisubōru magajin, 1956-1964.

Tsuchiya Yoshitaka. sumō. Tokyo: Hōsei daigaku shuppankyoku, 2017.

Wakamori Tarō. Sumō ima mukashi. Tokyo: Kawade shobō shinsa, 1963.

 

Short Sources (Jp):

 

Informed:

 

Long Sources (Eng):

Sharnoff, Lora. Grand Sumo: The Living Sport and Tradition. New York: Weatherhill, Inc., 1989.

 

Short Sources (Eng):

Hikoyama, Kōzō. Sumo: Japanese Wrestling. Tokyo: Board of Tourist Industry, Japanese Government Railways, 1940.

 

Long Sources (Jp):

Nitta Ichirō. sumō no himitsu. Tokyo: asahi shuppansha, 2010.

 

Short Sources (Jp): 

 Masukawa Kōichi. Awasemono. Tokyo: Hōsei daigaku shuppankyoku, 2000.

Edited by Colton Runyan
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This is a fantastic list, thank you very much. I, for one, am very much looking forward to reading your dissertation (if at all possible) once it's complete and published. And congratulations on the latest tournament win! 

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I wrote a long thesis at one point (2002ish).  If you like, I could try and pull that out and share the citations (maybe even the paper).

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47 minutes ago, Muhomatsu said:

I wrote a long thesis at one point (2002ish).  If you like, I could try and pull that out and share the citations (maybe even the paper).

Please do. I'd love to take a look at it. 

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11 hours ago, Colton Runyan said:

Please do. I'd love to take a look at it. 

Some of these may be included in your list above:  

Boyadjiev, Nickolay T. 1999. Sumo Exposed: The Invention of Tradition in Japan’s National Sport.  Boston: Harvard University.

Cuyler, P. L.  1985. Sumo: From Rite to Sport.  New York: Weatherhill.

Fujitani, T. 1996.Splendid Monarchy: Power and Pageantry in Modern Japan. Berkeley: University of California Press. 

Hall, Mina. 1997.The Big Book of Sumo. Berkeley: Stone Bridge Press.

Hikoyama, Kozo. 1940. Sumo Wrestling (Tourist Library: 34). Tokyo: Board of Tourist Industry, Japan Government Railways.
Newton, Clyde.  2001.  “Suggestions for reviving Sumo’s Popularity”.  Sumo World, November 2001.  Tokyo. 

Newton, Clyde. 1994.  Dynamic Sumo.  New York: Kodansha America.

Nippon Times Magazine.  “It’s a Sumo World”.   Saturday November 9th, 1946

Sharnoff, Lora.  1989.  Grand Sumo: The Living Sport and Tradition.  New York: Weatherhill.

Thompson, Lee A.  1998. “The Invention of the Yokozuna and the Championship System, or, Futahaguro’s revenge” in Staphen Vlastos (ed.), Mirror of Modernity: Invented Traditions of Modern Japan.  Berkeley:  University of California Press.

And some links that may no longer work.

Internet Source.  Grand Sumo Home Page. http://www.wnn.or.jp/wnn-t/index_e.html.

Internet Source.  Renma’s Sumo Wrestling History. http://www.renma.com/martial-arts-history/japanese/sumo/
 

Let me know the best way to share the paper with you.

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Posted (edited)

Just a quick question - for the book-based sources, were they easy to find in print? I'm vaguely interested in getting my hands on some of these sooner or later, but if they were already going out of print then it might obviously be difficult. And I also sort of assume that it's easier getting even the English sources in Japan?

Edited by Seiyashi

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On 15/06/2022 at 22:30, Seiyashi said:

Just a quick question - for the book-based sources, were they easy to find in print? I'm vaguely interested in getting my hands on some of these sooner or later, but if they were already going out of print then it might obviously be difficult. And I also sort of assume that it's easier getting even the English sources in Japan?

The vast majority are easy to find. I purchased all these books, save for Sakai Tadamasa's godsend of a book (which set me back 50,000 yen), from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.jp, or kosho.or.jp. Dykstra's translation of the Konjaku is quite expensive, but you should be able to get the rest of them for "reasonable" prices. 

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The paper was sent!  Enjoy reading my rantings!

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