Kofuen Sumo Ring

Kōfūen Sumo Ring.

Kōfūen Sumo Ring (光風園相撲場) is located in Honjō, Yurihonjō. It was the first permanent sumo ring in Akita prefecture. It was first built in 1907 and has been used by many of the great, old yokozunas.

Using the facility

If you wish to avail of this faciliy, perhaps to practice for the Akita International Sumo Basho, you must contact Honjō Board of Education at 0184-24-6287. The cost is ¥200 per hour. A large blue tarp covers the ring, this must be removed before practice and replaced afterwards.

Kōfūen & Sumo

The following letter seems to be the only information available about this sumo ring.


◎Kōfūen & Sumo

August 1914: Asahiyama vs. Haguroyama.

My Grandfather Sutō Zen'ichirō's (須藤善一郎) goal in constructing the Kōfūen Sumo Ring was that in Honjō's Atagoyama (愛宕山), he wished to revive the yearly sumo events that had prospered before the Meiji restoration, but that had died out completely after the abolition of the Han system (Japanese feudal system), to propagate Sumo among the area's young people, and furthermore, and to create excellent wrestlers from the area.

And, receiving the support of people from neighboring towns and villages, in 1907, they circled out a sumo arena, and it was completed with four posts supporting the shachihoko-decorated roof of the ring, and on July 11th a magnificent opening ceremony was held. With its four posts and prepared with seats for thousands of spectators, this permanent sumo ring (of which, at that time, there were very few in the country), was opened.

The origin of Kōfūen name came from Kōfū Seigetsu (光風霽月). In August 1913 a sumo wrestler by the name of Kotsugai Teizō (小番貞蔵) from Tamanoike, Koyoshi, in Honjō City, entered the Tokyo Grand Sumo under the name Terukaze Sadatarō (光風貞太郎) that had been given to him by his grandfather. Terukaze later got promoted to the komusubi rank (the 4th highest rank in sumo).

The year after the completion of this sumo area on Sept 21st and 22nd 1908 the Yokozuna at that time, Umegatani, and ōzeki Komagatake (駒ヶ岳) held a fight and more than 4,700 people attended. After that every year in August the young people of the neighboring towns met up for Hōraka zumō (放楽相撲), an event for amature sumo wrestlers.

Entrance stone (thing?)

In 1933, my grandfather built a shrine deifying Nomi no Sukune, who stood in one corner of this sumo ring and was called the "god of sumo," and every year they gathered for the Hōraka zumō and held a festival.

During my childhood, around the years 1937-42, every summer the Tokyo Grand Sumo Provincial Tour came, and the Yokozuna of those times, Tamanishiki, Musashiyama, and Minanogawa, and also, the Futabayama group and others came.

My grandfather died in April 1937, at the age of 75, and my father upon succeeding him, in the middle of this time of war, joined in the boy's youth club's sumo practice, (and) after the war in 1948 he resumed "Kōfūen Hōraku Sumo, " but this "Fukkatsu Hōraku Sumo" (Revival of Hōraku Sumo), on August 1950, this third time was the last. Still, as for the Tokyo Grand Sumo, the Terukuni Haguroyama group was visiting the ring, and this was not, I believe their last provincial tour to our ring.

The sumo ring's 3.9 meter diameter was outdated, and since the Sumo Association increased the standard, the Grand Sumo Provincial Tour, youth association sumo, and the national sumo meet were unable to be held there.

After this, this sumo ring remained in this state where it was unable to be used for years. Also, 野見宿禰 in 1987, had leaks in the roof, and the building was finally demolished. Still, the area of this sumo ring was passed down from my grandfather to my father, and my mother inherited it. My mother donated it to the city of Honjō, so now it is used as land for Honjō Park. Previously, the four posts supported a shachihoko-decorated roof, but this roof was unfortunately broken as well, so the roof was removed, and only the four pillars remained.

A letter by Sutō Zen'ichirō’s grandchild Sutō 恒久

Akita Sumo History












光風圏 須藤善一郎孫 須藤恒久氏  書簡



Kōfūen Sumo Ring
Akita, Honjō, Detomachi, Aza Satōbatake

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See also