Presenting Sekitori: History, Materiality, and Embodiment in Contemporary Sumo

Giuliana F. Ciampoli
Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice

About this Item

Title
Presenting Sekitori: History, Materiality, and Embodiment in Contemporary Sumo
Contributor Names
Ciampoli, Giuliana F. (Author)
Davidson, Hilary (Thesis advisor)
Berthon, Magali An (Thesis advisor)
Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York. Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice (Degree granting institution)
Date
2023
Degree Information
M.A. Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York 2023
Advisors: Davidson, Hilary; Berthon, Magali An
Committee members: Byrd, Sarah; Carlson, Brooke
Department: Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
Abstract
Sekitori are the men who compete in ōzumō, the highest-level competition of Japanese wrestling known as sumō, which is widely recognized as Japan's national sport. The unique and meaningful dress and textiles used in ōzumō are rich in symbolism and historical significance. This paper aims to explore and interpret the dress of sekitori and its cultural importance, particularly for an unfamiliar, Western audience.The sport holds significance in Japanese culture due to its reliance on ritual and tradition and because it epitomizes certain Japanese values related to masculine identity and cultural legacy. This study demonstrates that the culture of ōzumō and the dress of sekitori exemplifies these values. By adopting Deborah Evanson and Joanne Eicher's comprehensive definition of dress, which this paper interprets as physical presentation, encompassing anything worn or held for the purpose of appearance, including sensory aspects such as sound, smell, body shape, size, musculature, hair, or any modification of the body at a given time.This research delves into the historical and contemporary significance of sumō's material culture with a particular focus on the details, origins, meanings and making of sekitori's dress. It also dispels misconceptions about a sport which until recently has been hidden away from outsiders in what is referred to as kakukai, or the sumō world, a term which reflects its exclusivity. Through this exploration, the paper contributes to a deeper understanding of sumō culture and Japanese craftsmanship, as well as what each reflects about Japanese culture.By examining the dress of sekitori, this study not only reviews the origins and development of sumō, intertwined as it is with Japan's history from myth and legend to the early twentieth century, but also reveals its deep interrelation with contemporary Japanese culture. Presenting a unique study of the dress of sekitori, an aspect of sumō that has received little attention in scholarship, this paper opens up new areas for further exploration in the field of dress and textile studies.
Keywords: Dress, History, Japan, Material culture, Textiles, Sumō
Subject
Asia
Japan
History
Textile research
Material culture
Textile fabrics
Sumo
Rights
In Copyright
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Identifier
FIT Repository ID: etd_000951
ISBN: 9798380478489
Related Materials
Also available from ProQuest
Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 85-04.
Type
Text
Thesis
Language
English
Publisher
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations; Theses

Citation

Ciampoli, G. F. (2023). Presenting Sekitori: History, Materiality, and Embodiment in Contemporary Sumo [Master's thesis, Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York]. FIT Institutional Repository. https://institutionalrepository.fitnyc.edu/item/132124
Ciampoli, Giuliana F. Presenting Sekitori: History, Materiality, and Embodiment in Contemporary Sumo. 2023. Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, Master's thesis. FIT Digital Repository, https://institutionalrepository.fitnyc.edu/item/132124
Ciampoli, Giuliana F. "Presenting Sekitori: History, Materiality, and Embodiment in Contemporary Sumo." Master's thesis, Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, 2023. https://institutionalrepository.fitnyc.edu/item/132124