Did you know that the rope that the Yokozuna wears around his waist is actually made from cannabis? In this article, we will introduce the relationship between Japan’s national sport, Sumo and Yokozuna, and cannabis plants.
The ropes that Yokozuna wear around their waists, called “Mawashi (まわし)” are made from the fiber of the hemp plant.
In Japan, hemp grass has been used in sacred places and ceremonies since ancient times.
For example, ropes hung at shrines and cannabis decorations handed out at New Year’s.
In Shintoism, cannabis is said to mean “cleanliness,” and the strong, straight fibers of cannabis grass are believed to wipe away human impurities.
The strong and straight fibers of the cannabis plant are believed to wipe away the impurities of the human body. Cannabis is often associated with the image of cannabis as something illegal and dangerous, but it is actually a very sacred plant.
Sumo is not a sport but a ritual?
Sumo, Japan’s national sport, is often thought of by modern people as a sport or a competitive event, but it is actually a kind of ritual.
In the Heian period (794-1185), Sumo was first held as a ritual to pray for the harvest of crops. In the Edo period (1603-1868), Sumo became a popular form of entertainment along with Kabuki(歌舞伎).
The rules and traditions of Sumo have been passed down unchanged since ancient times.
In particular, the Shiko (The action of a Sumo wrestler opening his legs, holding his hands on his knees, alternately raising his feet high and stepping down forcefully) performed by Sumo wrestlers in the ring is said to be a remnant of a gesture to drive away misfortune and impurities from the land and to pray for a good harvest.
If Sumo is not a sport but a kind of Shinto ritual, then it makes sense that the hemp plant, which is considered sacred, is used.
Why is the rope of Yokozuna made of hemp grass?
I mentioned above that Sumo is a Shinto ritual, and Yokozuna is the highest rank in the ranking of Sumo wrestlers.
They are sometimes called “Hinoshitakaisan(日下開山)” which means “Unequaled(天下無双)”.
The rope that the Yokozuna wears around his waist is made of hemp grass.
The rope they wear around their waist is made of hemp grass, or more precisely, three tightly wound bundles of hemp grass covered tightly with white cotton. By wearing this sacred plant, the Yokozuna is given the title of “One with divine skills beyond human power”
The reason why Yokozuna ropes are made of hemp grass has something to do with Japanese traditions and rituals.
Incidentally, the rope is not allowed to be touched by women.
The rope is made by the Sumo wrestlers of the stable to which the Yokozuna belongs, and by craftsmen who are experts in their field, who carefully handle every single strand of hemp grass. Finally, when the rope is fastened over the Yokozuna’s make-up Mawashi, the Yokozuna becomes the unsurpassed “Hinoshitakaisan(日下開山)” which means “Unequaled(天下無双)”.
This time, we explored the reason why Yokozuna ropes are made of cannabis, but what do you think?
The history of Sumo, which was Japan’s national sport and also a Shinto ritual, had something to do with it. If you ever have a chance to watch Sumo, you might find something different if you pay attention to the sacred plant, the hemp plant.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)