Sumo Pictures (Sumo-e)
Sumo was another of the principal entertainments of the common people of the Edo period. Among ukiyoe, "sumo pictures" were popular commercial items and, as paintings of people, were in fact second only to "portraits of actors." Both sumo and actor paintings were characterized by the exaggerated expression given to muscles and body contour. The peak period of sumo-e production was the 20-year period between about 1780 and 1800 when such famous wrestlers as Tanikaze, Onogawa, and Raiden were active. Chief among the painters of this genre were Katsukawa Shunsho, Shunko, and Shun'ei. In addition to works depicting actual bouts, there were scenes that showed wrestlers applying make-up or wrestlers entering the ring. It is interesting to note that ukiyoe artist Sharaku produced four paintings of the child wrestler Daidozan, who made his debut at the age of seven.