Home‎ > ‎Artists‎ > ‎Ay-O (b. 1931)‎ > ‎

Sumo Wrestling

 

Japanese Color Screenprint

Sumo Wrestling

by Ay-O, 1984


IHL Cat. #816

About This Print

Source: Japanese Art in Detail, John Reeve, Harvard University Press, p. 92.

Sumo wrestling is another spectator sport, here captured in a vibrant modern print.  Sumo originated as part of the Shinto religion, perhaps 2,000 years ago.  Sumo tournaments were held at shrines as part of harvest thanksgivings, and even today the referee is dressed as a Shinto priest.  Sumo became a professionalized spectator sport during the Edo period and is now watched by millions on TV, not just in Japan.

This is a striking silkscreen print by Ay-o, the adopted name of a painter and printmaker based in Tokyo and well-known internationally. 

The two outsize bodies are squeezed into the space, giving it energy and drama.  By reducing virtually all detail to outline, the artist is able to focus our attention on the tensed toes and leg muscles, the wrestlers' arms grasping and attempting to push each other over, and the fringe and giant bow of their belts.  This image is based on a woodblock print by Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1864), and as a tribute his signature is included in the bottom right-hand corner.

香蝶楼 国貞画 Kōchōrō Kunisada ga


Utagawa Kunisada
The wrestlers (from left): gy ōji Kimura Kishinosuke, Koyanagi Tsunekichi, Shiranui Dakuemon, Toshiyori Hidenoyama, c. 1840
signed Kōchōrō Kunisada ga
香蝶楼 国貞画
Image can be found at http://www.kunisada.de/Kunisada-Sumo/Kunisada-sigend-Uhei-Keijiro.htm


Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #816
 Title  Sumo Wrestling
 Series  
 Artist
 Ay-O (b. 1931)
 Signature
虹 靉嘔
(Rainbow Ay-o)
 Seal  
 Publication Date  1984
 Edition  108 of 120
 Publisher  unknown
 Printer possibly Okabe Print Editions
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  excellent
 Miscellaneous
 Genre  modern print - silkscreen
 Format  
 H x W Paper  27 x 35 1/4 in. (68.6 x 89.5 cm )
 H x W Image  15 5/8 x 32 3/8 in. (39.7 x 82.2 cm) 
 Collections This Print  British Museum 1986,1029,0.3 (11 of 120); National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts 09800331 (16 of 120);
 Reference Literature  Contemporary Japanese Prints: Symbols of a Society in Transition, Lawrence Smith, Harper & Row Publishers, 1985, p. 27 and plate 3; Collected Writings of J. Thomas Rimer, J. Thomas Rimer, Vol. 11 The Collected Writings of Modern Western Scholars on Japan, Taylor & Francis Group, 2005, p. 48; Japanese Art in Detail, John Reeve, Harvard University Press, 2006, p. 92.
Comments