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Why Do Sumo Wrestlers Wear Diapers?

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Pippa Corbett Profile
Pippa Corbett answered
Sumo wrestlers don't actually wear diapers - they wear a loincloth-style belt called a 'Mawashi'.

Sumo wrestler wearing diapers?
Whilst it might look as if sumo wrestlers wear diapers, the Mawashi loin-cloths they actually wear are very different.

For starters, they're not designed to be soiled - they are not very absorbent, and probably wouldn't be able to contain the excrement that a sumo wrestler's 20,000 calorie-a-day diet probably produces (sorry about that image).

The Mawashi loincloth is steeped in history, and is worn during training matches and official bouts.

The garment is notoriously difficult to tie up, and is almost 30 feet long when stretched out.

I find it interesting that, once a sumo wrestler enters the ring, a Mawashi stops being just a simple garment and becomes an integral part of the fight!

Sumo wrestlers often grab hold of their opponents by their Mawashis, and there are various techniques for tying up a Mawashi which a fighter can use to his advantage.

Mawashi can even be doused in water - to make them more difficult to hold onto!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Sumo is the national sport in Japan. It's an authentic peek into Japan, dating back to ancient Japanese culture.

The wrestlers are called Rikishi- 'strong man'.

Every wrestler wears a thick silk belt (more like a small diaper) to their waist which can be grabbed by the opponent and used to throw the wrestler out of the ring.

The Samurai Japanese warrior wear Fundoshi – the underwear, which most of all resembled a diaper.

You can still see that kind of outfit in a Sumo wrestler tournament on your Tokyo vacation (one of the best of Tokyo Attractions).

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