Takanohana's Teachings of Sumo - Special International Children's Workshop

Updated: Jul 23, 2019

Takanohana’s Sumo for Children - An initiation to Japanese Culture through the gests of Sumo – exceptional Workshop by the legendary Yokozuna aimed at giving foreign children a hands-on experience of sumo as a means of initiation to Japanese Culture.

On July 5th, 2019 the Japan Institute of Culture & International Exchange hosted a workshop lead by the legendary Yokozuna Takanohana to introduce international children to the teachings of Sumo. Children from over 10 different nationalities participated in learning the basic moves of Sumo starting with Shiko (leg lift stomping) warm-up exercise that Takanohana Oyakata described to the children as "the fundamental move that strengthens your base, and with repeated practice will allow you to develop and reach your dreams".

The next move that was taught was that of the push. Pulling, he explained comes naturally, but sumo uses the counter intuitive move of pushing to make it a bare handed weapon for defense. It is the very basic move in Sumo that we master in order to defend our selves and most importantly our families, he tells the children.

The warm up was followed by Takanohana-san explaining the words that hang on the walls of his dojo"技練心磨" that literally means Technique-Practice-Heart-Refine, i.e. Practice and more practice makes perfect, but without forgetting to engage your spirit.

After a good warm up, Takanohana-san called upon the children to challenge him to sumo wrestling.

• Workshop Content:

i. Short introduction by Director of the Japan Institute of Culture & Int'l Exchange

ii. Takanohana’s hands on Sumo

Sumo style warm-up

“Shiko” (sumo stomping)

iii. Sumotori with and against Takanohana

iv. Q&A

v. Commemorative Photo session

vi. Takanohana Stable style Chankonabe (sumo hot pot stew)


Takanohana Koji (貴乃花 光司) is a former Japanese sumo wrestler, stable-master, and coach. Son to legendary Ozeki Takanohana Kenshi, Takanohana was born into the renowned sumo family, called the "Hamada dynasty". Often referred to as the "Prince of Sumo", Takanohana throughout his career continued to make moments that remain engrained in history, from being the youngest ever to reach the top division at the age of 17, the youngest ever to defeat a yokozuna, youngest ever to be promoted to Ozeki, and only one to accumulate so many top division titles before becoming the 65th yokozuna (highest rank in Sumo), with the sixth highest record ever of winning tournaments. He has been named one of the most influential figures in the Heisei Era.

After retiring at the age of 30, he became head coach and stablemaster of the Takanohana stable from 2004 through 2018 and served as director on the board of the Japan Sumo Association between 2010 to 2018. In 2019, Takanohana Koji founded the Takanohana Basho General Incorporated Association, dedicated to enriching lives through the practice and spirit of Sumo-do, with emphasis on children.

Hosted by the Japan Institute of Culture & International Exchange

& the SDGs Future Investment Laboratory

Supported by ORIENTALBIO Co., Ltd., and Aqua Bank Co. Ltd

Operations by The Taiso Suishin Iinkai

©2018 by Japan Institute of Culture & International Exchange.