Classroom Resources

Sumo Related Activities

Students are introduced to and learn about sumo through key words and phrases presented in a number of games and activities.

Level: Primary

Kids Web Japan has information on sumo aimed at school children:

Sumo Keywords Activity

With word and picture cards made from the above chart, students can play カードあわせ(matching games), しんけいすいじゃく (concentration) and カルタ (snap).

Rank Activity

Sumo wrestlers work their way up the ranks aiming for grand champion (よこづな). The ranking can be demonstrated by a diagram in the form of a pyramid.

Task 1

Learners are given the pyramid with the ranks written in hiragana cut into sections. They reconstitute the pyramid, and read out the ranks.

Task 2

Learners are given an empty pyramid, and use the hints below to fill it in.

Empty pyramid sheet

Hints for empty pyramid sheet

Sumo Rules

Task 1

At middle years level students can show their understanding of the rules of sumo by looking at the pictures below and filling in the sentences with the appropriate rikishi's name.

  1. ________のかちです。________のまけです。
  2. ________のかちです。________のまけです。

Senior students can look at the above pictures and use ~たら expressions to explain the rules.
eg. 力士(りきし)が土俵(どひょう)からでたら負(ま)けです。相手(あいて)を土俵(どひょう)からだしたら勝(か)ちです。

Some useful words are

つく to push over/fall
おす、たおす to hit/touch

Task 2

Senior level students can be given the pictures below and asked to explain what moves are not allowed, using the expression
~てはいけない eg. くびをつかんではいけない

Alternatively, students can match the pictures to the following explanations:

  1. くびをつかんではいけない。
  2. かみをつかんではいけない。
  3. ゆびをはんたいにまげてはいけない。
  4. パンチをしてはいけない。
  5. ひざげりをしてはいけない。

Extension task:

Once students have become familiar with explanations of rules using the above expressions, they can be given the task of explaining the rules of other sports.

Sumo Bout とりくみ

Middle years students can give themselves しこな (rikishi names) and compete in the following kinds of sumo bouts. Fellow students can play the roles of よびだし(ring attendant) and ぎょうじ , calling out the appropriate expressions.
For the necessary language, see the アラカルト section.

うでずもうArm wrestling
ゆびずもうGrip hands and try to push down the opponent's thumb with your own.
しりずもうStand back to back and try to push your opponent out of balance with your behind.

Additional Resources

Please read the Teacher’s Notes on Sumo.