Sumo and Japanese Swords

Special Exhibition: Sumo and Japanese Swords

July 8 (Sat.) to August 28 (Mon.), 2017

Overview of the exhibition

The Osaka Museum of History will hold a special exhibition titled “Sumo and Japanese Swords” in the Special Exhibition Hall on the 6th floor from July 8 (Sat.) to August 28 (Mon.), 2017.

In the Edo period, some leading sumo wrestlers, such as yokozuna grand champions, were retained by daimyo military lords and allowed to wear swords. In fact, there remain many nishiki-e (color woodblock prints) depicting popular sumo wrestlers wearing swords. In the world of sumo, swords symbolized the status and power of sumo wrestlers. Some of the swords they carried were made by renowned swordsmiths of the time, including tachi “long swords” used by successive yokozuna grand champions in ring-entering ceremonies.

This exhibition will focus on tachi swords possessed by successive great yokozuna grand champions and other swords associated with sumo, while presenting unknown aspects of sumo culture by highlighting the meanings of swords in sumo and the history of yokozuna grand champions, which have been rarely introduced to the public, in addition to the techniques of swordsmiths and the beauty of swords. The exhibition will also showcase sumo-related artifacts, such as ornamental aprons worn by yokozuna grand champions and woodblock prints depicting sumo wrestlers, along with materials associated with Osaka Sumo (which is one of the origins of the present-day Nihon Sumo Kyokai), held in the collection of Osaka Museum of History to shed light on the history of the group of sumo wrestlers based in Osaka.

Special exhibition “Sumo and Japanese Swords”
Organizer Osaka Museum of History; The Sankei Shimbun; The Sankei Sports Shimbun; Operation Department, All Japan Swordsmith Association
Supporting organization Nestle Japan Ltd.
Cooperation Nihon Sumo Kyokai Sumo Museum
Planning cooperation All Japan Swordsmith Association; TV-Setouchi Create Co., Ltd.
Exhibition period July 8 (Sat.) to August 28 (Mon.), 2017
*Closed on Tuesdays except August 15 (Tue.), 2017.
Hours 09:30-17:00 (Fridays during the exhibition period 09:30-20:00)
*Please enter 30 minutes prior to closing.
Venue Special Exhibition Hall on the 6th floor, Osaka Museum of History access
Admission fees
Special exhibition only Advance ticket Advance pair tickets offered at discount Permanent and special exhibition
Adults JPY 1,000 (900) JPY 800 JPY 1,500
per two adults
JPY 1,500 (1,440)
High school /
university students
JPY 700 (630) JPY 500 - JPY 1,030 (990)

*The fees in brackets indicate prices for those in groups of 20 people or more.

*Admission is free for junior high school-aged and younger children, individuals with a disability certificate (plus one accompanying person).

*Unlike most other special exhibitions, this exhibition requires citizens of Osaka aged 65 years and older to pay the adult admission fee, though admission to the permanent exhibition is free. (A document certifying citizenship and age should be presented.)

*Advance tickets and pair tickets are sold at Osaka Museum of History and major ticket agencies from May 1 (Mon.) to July 7 (Fri.), 2017.

*Pair tickets are available for adults only. They can be used by one person for two admissions to the exhibition.

Number of exhibits Approx. 150 (Exhibits will be partly changed during the exhibition period.)