|Address||6-361-1 Ishokabe, Kashiba City [Map]|
1) Nijo-jinja-guchi Station, Kintetsu Minami-Osaka Line
About a 16 minute walk from the station, 1.4km
2) JR Goido Station, JR Wakayama Line
About a 17 minute walk from the station, 1.4km
3) Kintetsu Shimoda Station, Kintetsu Osaka Line
About a 20 minute walk from the station, 1.6km
24 hours, 365 days
In Nara, there are many places related to sumo wrestling. One of them is Koshioreda, the field of broken loins. It is believed to be the place where Taima-no-Kehaya and Nomi-no-Sukune tested their strength against one another. Nearby, you will find Mawashi-ike Pond (Kitsui, Kashiba City), where it is said that these two sumo wrestlers put on and washed their mawashi, or sumo loincloth.
Kashiba City is home to the Osaka Yamaguchi-jinja Shrine (Anamushi), where sumo performances had been dedicated to the deity Gozu-Tenno until the 1970s. In addition, sumo groups bearing the names of villages, such as Ryofukuji, Taima, Katsune, Kamada, and Goido, often appear in the Takezono Diary (1833-1872) . Old tombs of sumo wrestlers can be found in the surrounding temples and cemeteries, which suggests that sumo must have been very popular during the modern period in these villages, located at the foot of Mt. Nijo.
The following story is found in Nihon Shoki (Chronicles of Japan), completed in 702.
In the Taima Village of Yamato, there was a man named Taima-no-Kehaya, who boasted of his strength, claiming that he could smother oxen .
However, another man of strength, Nomi-no-Sukune, who lived in the Izumo Village of Hatsuse, declared, “I am the strongest man in Japan!”
At Tenran Zumo, a sumo match held in the presence of an emperor, the winner was decided instantly by one kick from Sukune, breaking Kehaya’s loins and killing him on the spot.
As a reward, the emperor gave all the fields of Kehaya to Sukune.
This is the Koshioreda that still remains today.
This story is also found in the Yamatoshi (1729-1734), making Koshioreda well known as the location of the fight between these two strong men. The story suggests the sumo festival originated in the Nara period (710-793). The official record says that the oldest sumo event was held in 734.
Koshioreda was organized for visitors just recently in 2017. There is currently no parking or lavatory, but a statue makes the spot. It looks an ordinary place surrounded by rice fields and apartments, but you can almost picture the two wrestlers fighting at this place. Although it is interesting, Koshioreda may not be enough to take up your entire visit. The place is located on a nice walking trail. About 300 meters south, there is Chimata-ike Pond where you can see the beautiful Mt. Nijo reflected in the water. The photo below is the mountain reflecting on a rice field next to Koshioreda. In this area, the mountain is a landmark that people are very familiar with.
In addition, Taima-mura Village (currently Katsuragi City), the hometown of Taima-no-Kehaya, is not very far from here. There you can visit Sumo-kan Kehaya-za (Sumo Museum), where you can learn about the history of sumo or even try sumo games yourself!
Nomi-no-Sukune is enshrined at Sumo-jinja Shrine in Sakurai City. If you are a great fan of sumo, you may want to visit these three cities: Kashiba City, Katsuragi City, and Sakurai City.
Koshioreda is found along with the bypass heading for toward Mt. Nijo.
This article referenced 奈良ローカル通信, dated on June 18, 2016.
Photos are also borrowed from the original article, except the first (from Kashiba City’s website) and second photo.