Sumo Shimekomi (competition belt)

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What is the shimekomi?

Shimekomi is the belt that is used by rikishi during tournaments. It is also called torimawashi and mitsu. Only juryo rank and above can wear a shimekomi. Makushita and below wear the same belt they use for everyday practice.

Do shimekomi have to be a certain color?

Yes, they do. They must be made of satin in a shade of dark blue or purple. Currently, however, sekitori do not follow the rule, wearing belts of a variety of colors.

How wide and long are shimekomi?

It depends on the size of the rikishi. The length is usually 8 to 10 meters, and the width is about 80 cm. The belt is folded into six lengthwise and wrapped around the rikishi five or six times.

Do rikishi wear anything under their belts?

No, they don’t. They are not allowed to wear anything. They wear cottonfundoshi (old-style cotton underwear) under their kesho-mawashi.

Are women allowed to touch shimekomi?

No. Women are not allowed to touch them. Even in stores that carry them, everything including, ordering, production, and delivery, is handled by men.

Are colors stipulated for practice belts?

Sekitori wear white belts, while those of makushita and under are black or purple, never white. All practice belts are made of cotton.

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