Sumo in Hawaii, 1914.


Big Troupe of Wrestles Arrives on Tenyo Maru—Matches Begin Saturday

Headed by Tachiyama, mightiest wrestler of all Japan, a troupe of 54 of the greatest mat artists of Dai Nippon arrived this morning on the T. K. K. liner Tenyo Maru. They have come to Honolulu for a series of performances, beginning on Saturday night at Athletic park.

Tremendous big fellows, mighty of girth and of limb, are these  Japanese wrestlers, and as they lined the deck of the Tenyo Maru this morning they attracted the immediate attention of the thousands of Japanese and others who had assembled at the dock. The picturesque dress of the Nipponese wrestler—silken over-kimono, a sort of under-garment falling below the knees, girdle, and above all the peculiar headdress—make the athletes conspicuous anywhere, and they are still more conspicuous because of their size, far greater than that of the ordinary Japanese.

The wrestlers will be in Hawaii for several weeks. The arrangements for the series of matches at Athletic park are nearly complete. The matches start at 7 o’clock on Saturday night, and a number of local Japanese athletes are anxious to match skill and brawn against the famed champions from the empire.

This morning and informal committee of Japanese went out to the Tenyo Maru to receive the wrestlers. Arthur K. Ozawa, who has been somewhat in charge of the advance arrangements here, and several Japanese newspapermen met the steamer off port. At the dock to receive their comrades were W. Uchiumi and K. Yamanishi, who arrived here on May 22 as advance agents for the troupe. Uchimi is a retired wrestler and will probably act as referee at some of the matches.

The wrestlers will be matched somewhat according to weight and previous records. Tachiyama is billed to appear every night. He has been the undisputed champion of Japan since he won the title in a series of desperate matches with contenders for the crown left by Hitachiyama, an old veteran who was declared to be the greatest of all Japan’s champions.

Tachiyama has amassed a fortune estimated at half a million dollars during his career. He is a big, good-natured man, standing about six feet three inches and weighing in the neighborhood of 315 pounds. He is said to be quick in spite of his enormous size. Many of these wrestlers seem to be mountains of flesh, which is an advantage at the Japanese style of wrestling in short, furious bouts much like two bulls locking horns.

Spectators at Athletic park recently have noticed a high skeleton tower of wood being erected in deep center field and wondered what the structure was for. This is put up to observe and old custom in Japanese wrestling circles. Early in the morning on the day when matches are to take place, a gong is beaten for a half hour to an hour by a herald who announces the matches.

Champion Wrestler of All Japan Here With Comrades

Tachiyama (“Mountain of Swords”), who is the premier mat artist of Japan, will appear nightly at the local matches.

(Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7/9/1914, p. 9)


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Volume XXII, Number 6940, Page 9. July 9, 1914.

Sumo in Hawaii, 1914.

Famous Japanese Wrestler Arrives.

The Japanese of Honolulu are lately planning to welcome the famous Japanese wrestler named Tachiyama.

He is the wrestling champion in Japan, and famous because the other wrestlers can’t topple him, according to the rules of that sport.

This Japanese and his fellow wrestlers are on their tour around the world, staying at each place they will visit, and while he is here in town, the Japanese here who are skilled in that sport will try to face him, and so too other famous contestants here of other ethnicities.

According to the Japanese who have seen him and are familiar with this famed wrestler, the people here will be astounded when they see him, when this Japanese enters into the wrestling ring.

(Kuokoa, 7/10/1914, p. 5)


Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LII, Helu 28, Aoao 5, Iulai 10, 1914.