Segments in this Video

Tokyo, Japan (01:50)


Tokyo is the most populated urban area in the world. Most sumo schools (heyas) are located in the Ryogoku district; the first sumo fights occurred over 2,000 years ago. Sumo became a martial art in the 8th century.

Dewanoumi's Heya (03:49)

Therapist and osteopath Tomoyuki Inui cares for the 40 wrestlers that live in this heya. Bernard Fontanille meets wrestler Isano Tora who discusses the role of medicine in wrestling. Inui treats a wrestler with shoulder pain.

Caring for Sumotori (03:30)

Inui explains how he became involved with sumo and discusses treating the mental and physical health of a wrestler. Wrestlers aspire to reach the rank of yokozuna.

Sumo Training (04:59)

Sumotori practice for four hours a day, six days a week and consume 8,000 to 10,000 calories a day as part of their training. After meals, sumo wrestlers rest while their bodies process calories. Tora discusses the mental fortitude of sumo wrestlers; he aspires to be a yokozuna.

Chinese Medicine and Osteopathy (04:28)

In addition to treating sumotori at the Dewanoumi heya, Inui treats patients in a clinic. He treats a patient experiencing with sciatic nerve pain and discusses the difficulty of treating patients of a larger size. Inui believes we should not hide symptoms with medication.

Treating Mind and Body (02:16)

Inui considers the biggest difference between treating sumo wrestlers and other patients. He treats a patient experiencing numbness in his right hand and muscle tension in his left arm. Professional sumo tournaments occur every two months; injuries can immediately affect ranking.

Health Risks (04:07)

Former sumo champion Ukushi wrestled for nine years before becoming a cook; he lost 60 kilos. Inui discusses the death of a wrestler who reached the rank of Ozeki and health problems many sumo wrestlers face. Japanese culinary culture is changing.

Credits: Japan: Sumo Secrets—World Medicine (00:30)

Credits: Japan: Sumo Secrets—World Medicine

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Japan: Sumo Secrets—World Medicine

Part of the Series : World Medicine
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $299.85
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



Sumo wrestlers have a proverb: “Wounds sustained on the dohyô (the ring) are cured on the dohyô.” Sumo is a sport of self-sacrifice in which wrestlers learn to master their bodies; medicine occupies a highly ambivalent position in their world. Bernard Fontanille has permission to examine daily life in a “heya,” a sumo training stable. He meets Inui Tomoyuki, a man who uses Chinese medicine and osteopathy to treat Sumos in a unique way.

Length: 26 minutes

Item#: BVL120540

ISBN: 978-1-63521-629-5

Copyright date: ©2015

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