Not only do we wish to supply superb rooms of art for our guests but also we wish those rooms to reflect Japan in some form. Our first AIH room encapsulates that through its subject, Sumo. Sumo is a Japanese national sport, but it is more than just that – it has a very special significance for all Japanese.
For example, the ceremonial leg raising and stomping before each sumo bout is believed to crush evil spirits in the ground beneath so that the earth becomes fruitful.
Leg raising and stomping on the ground also holds a meaning of success in the production of crops, and settling down with a family.
The traditional custom where a Japanese wrestler holds a baby to pray for its healthy development is still a popular pastime.
This ceremony, where the baby is held by a wrestler who symbolizes health and prosperity, aims to ensure the fruitfulness of children and grandchildren.
As most all the actions and customs involved in sumo have deep meanings, sumo matches can be regarded not only as competitive sport, but also as ceremonies to pray for human development.
Sumoembodies the wisdom which ancient Japanese people needed to sustain themselves in health under harsh natural conditions.
This is why sumo was practiced, purifying the precious Earth with water and salt, and compacting the ground, so that they could live in good health forever.
Sumo is the Japanese way of saying “thank you” to nature, and wishing for human prosperity.
Kimura claims, “I create these artworks by sketching daily exercises, practicing sumo myself, and involving myself spiritually in the sumo rituals as much as possible.
I wish to express all the fervent emotions found in sumo, the crystallization of Japanese culture, in paintings and terracotta.
I hope that you too will feel the brilliance of the wrestlers in the ring.”