Top 5 traditional sports in Japan

In a country like Japan, sport occupies a very important position in their culture. Japanese sports are known around the world and there are many foreigners who want to learn and practice those sports.

In this article, we would like to introduce to readers 5 traditional and popular sports of this rising country.

1. Sumo

One of the national representative traditional sports is Sumo, wrestling derived from performances during festivals and holidays at the Shinto shrine.

There are six annual tournaments held each year: January, May and September in Tokyo, March in Osaka, July in Nagoya and November in Fukuoka. Each round lasts 15 days.


The form of this sport consists of two large men standing face to face in a round of land and a Sumo match is ended when one person kicks the other out of the ring or touches the ground. Sumo requires complex rules and the whole form as well as techniques for posture, attack and tactics that excite viewers into arguing.

This is probably the most famous and well-known subject in Japan. When you come to Japan you will feel impressed when going to a Sumo festival.

2. Judo

This is a martial art that protects itself from Japan and is now popular among fans around the world. Based on the principle of leverage and using the opponent’s power to his advantage, today Judo is one of the Olympic competitions. The Kodokan Training Center in Tokyo is the ideal place to see Judo students trained and sometimes have performance experts.


3. Karate

Karate is a form of non-weapon combat, developed by farmers in Okinawa when they were banned from carrying weapons by ruling classes. The highlight of karate martial arts training is that when focusing on the strength of a hand or foot, a professional karate athlete can knock down a stack of bricks or a thick stack of wood with a single blow. The Japanese Karate Association in Tokyo is a place where visitors can see how well-trained students are and how the experts practice.


4. Kendo

Kendo is not as famous as Judo or Karate, but it is still a very popular sport in Japan. This equipment has a bamboo sword called Shinai and an armor called Bogu. The Nippon Budokan in Tokyo is the best place to see this kind of martial art.


Kendo is a form of fencing in which two opponents must wear a heavy cotton-lined armor, painted on the outside and attack the opponent with a bamboo sword, Kendo athletes will have to hit the opponent in 4 special areas are the head, throat, torso, arms. The player who scores the previous two points within 5 minutes of play will be the winner.

5. Kyudo

Kyudo is a technical sport derived from archers from ancient Japan, it is also called Kyujutsu, mainly for personal spiritual training and to increase concentration. At archery temples occasionally organize archery competitions combined with the principles of Zen Buddhism.


Currently, more than 130,000 people play the sport in the world. The main equipment of this sport is quite simple, but also quite expensive: a Japanese bow, also known as Yumi, is quite long (about 2m). Then you need Ya, arrows made from bamboo, and Yugoke – a glove. But the highlight of Kyodo is not equipment but technique, the fact that there are many people injured when doing this sport due to its requirement that when you pull the bow you will have to pull the arrow to Next to the ear and release the archer, this could cause an ear injury. And also to say, in this sport, you hit the target beer is also very difficult.