Sumo, Japan's national sport, includes elements of Shinto ritual, Chinese Confucianism, and court pageantry of the Heian Period. It maintains traditions of the samurai martIal arts and has adapted to 'TV pageantry.' These elements make it one of the most exciting and, at the same time, most frustrating spectator sports. How do you know when the sumotori will actually clash? What is the referee yelling? What do the passing of water to the next combatant, the throwing of salt, and the staring and glaring mean? The EssentIal Guide to Sumo explains these and other mysteries in cross-referenced Japanese and English glossaries of over 500 terms. Additional help is provided in sections that group terms by category, provide stable addresses and chanko nabe recipes, and explain the <banzuke hyosumotori. Photographs and line drawings illustrate many of the terms, and a bibliography provides sources for further reading.