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"Nishiki-e" pictures were popular during the Edo period, especially ones that depicted famous sumo wrestlers, such as Raiden and Tanikaze.

Sumo inspires artists to express the spirit of Japan

Woodblock prints, paintings, musical works and modern art highlight ancient sport

KAZUYUKI TETSUMURA, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

First-time visitors to the Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo stadium in Tokyo's Sumida Ward are invariably amazed by the pageantry surrounding the sumo ring -- the yokozuna grand champions parading in their ceremonial aprons, the gyoji referees in their costumes, the prize flags and so on.

The inside of the hall looks like a huge display of traditional arts and crafts.

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