Sumo is not just about contact wrestling. It’s about velocity; it’s about strategy; it’s about rituals. And it’s these multifaceted elements that keep audiences hooked. One of those is illustrator Satoko Fuke, who recently teamed up with lifestyle brand Felissimo to create a series of whimsical sumo-inspired products like salt shakers and glasses that are not only filled with salt and water but with humor too.
Sumo Wrestler Salt Shaker
One of the most-iconic and memorable rituals in sumo is when the rikishi grab handfuls of salt and throw it onto the ring in a ceremonial act of purification to exorcise evil spirits from the ring. Now you can ceremonially douse your food at the table with this sumo wrestler salt shaker (1,800 yen).
Fun Fact: Each wrestler has their own style of salt-throwing. Some grab a fistful and toss it high in the air while others just use a pinch. Throughout a single basho, or season, 600kg of salt will get used.
Sumo Wrestler Zipper Pouch
The sacred dohyo, or elevated straw ring, inspired this pouch with sumo wrestlers on each side of the zippers (2,800 yen). The embroidered ring lets you recreate a sumo match wherever you are.
Fun fact: the dohyo is made from 20 curved bundles of straw called tawara. But four of them at the east, west, front and back are set back behind the ring. This gives rikishi who have been pushed to the edge, just a little bit more room to try and fight back, hence called tokudawara or value-tawara.
Sumo Water Glasses
Inspired by the effort that rikishi put into building and maintaining their physique are these water glasses (1,000 yen) that use an optical illusion to make lower-ranking wrestlers appear as large as their top-ranking brethren. When water is added to the glass, the refracted light distorts the illustration.
Fun fact: the most-common food that sumo wrestlers eat to gain weight is a hot pot dish called chanko. It’s easy to make in large quantities and can be cooked with meat, fish and lots of vegetables.
(p.s. all these fun facts come from Satoko Fuke’s wonderful, illustrated dictionary of sumo terminology and trivia, unfortunately available in Japanese only.)