Sumo Wrestler wearing getaUtagawa Kunisada (1785-1864)Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Art Resource, NY
Sumo Wrestler wearing geta
Utagawa Kunisada (1785-1864)
Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Art Resource, NY

Shoes for Sport


Although Sumo wrestling involves wrestlers dressed only in mawashi loincloths, outside of the ring, wrestlers wear large sandals carved from solid wood to make them stronger and more stable. Sumo requires great physical strength and balance. Matches are won when a wrestler is pushed out of the ring or when any part of a wrestler's body except his feet touches the ground.

Kurogane Geta

Martial arts originated in Japan with the samurai, who trained daily in order to remain ready for battle. Jujitsu, the oldest martial art, included a variety of strategies such as wrestling, kicking and hitting vulnerable parts of an opponent's body. From this grew Judo and Aikido. These solid iron geta are worn when training to strengthen leg and foot muscles. Each shoe weighs five kilograms.

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