Held at the Mizutani Shrine in Yabu “Nettei Sumo” was a court ritual that has been practiced since the Heian Period. The sacred practice is done on all fours which is said to ward off the evil spirits. Two men dressed in blue Kamishimo (a ceremonial dress) appear, and a series of ritual gestures is done with a wooden sword before the start of the sumo match. The men take off the top parts of their costumes and shout “Yoi, Yoi, Yoi” while standing on all fours. The motion of bringing the hands down to the earth calms down the universe. Afterwards the participants hold each other’s necks and hop three times, a fortune is told depending on whether the wrestlers can return to their original positions. The action of repeating the same ritual is called “Nettei, Nettei”, and due to the sumo gesture of stepping repeatedly it has been named Nettei Sumo. This ritual has been around for many years, and is said to be the original form of sumo wrestling. It has been designated as cultural property both nationally as well as within the prefecture. The practice has continued to be treasured by locals.

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  • Address: Mizutani Shrine, 235 Okumeji, Yabu City
  • Tel: 079-663-1515


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