Illustration of Sumō Wrestlers entering the Ring at Kanjin Matches (Kanjin Ōzumō Dohyō Iri no Zu)
Painted by Utagawa Kuniyoshi Tokyo Shiryō Collection 587-C38-1

This is a nishiki-e (colored woodblock print) of the Annual Matches held at Ekōin Temple in Ryōgoku in November 1849 (Kaei 2). This work depicts the scene where Sumo wrestlers on the East headed by the Ōzeki Tsurugizan had finished their parade into the sumo ring, and the wrestlers on the West were stepping onto it.

While "Complete Illustrations of Famous Places in Edo-the Precincts of Ryōgoku Ekōin Temple" is a work that depicted a small hall at Ekōin temple from outside, this "Illustration of Sumō Wrestlers Entering the Ring at the Great Kanjin Zumō Matches" is a work that depicts the inside of the sumō hall. These two drawings give us a better understanding of the entire picture of a sumō hall in the Edo period.
In the center of the picture, a sumō ring is depicted with four pillars supporting the roof. These pillars were removed in 1952 (Showa 27), but originally represented the four gods supposed to reign over the four cardinal direction: the blue dragon of the east (blue), the red phoenix of the south (red), the white tiger of the west (white), and the black tortoise of the north (black). This picture indicates that all four pillars on the sumō ring were red in the Edo period.