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Nomi no Sukune wrestling Kuehaya by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.
    • Period: Legendary Period
    • Occupation: Fighter
    • Family: –
    • Birth: –
    • Death: –


Kuehaya of Taima (蹴速) was a man dating back to the reign of Emperor Suinin. In the 7th year of the Emperors reign, he was declared the strongest man in his court.12 He was so strong that he could break horns and straighten out hooks; Kuehaya claiming that no-one could beat him.

One minister by the name of Nagaochi was sent to bring Nomi no Sukune and they were ordered to wrestle.

Both initially kick one another but Kuehaya is killed after being kicked in the ribs and groin, and Nomi no Sukune was then given his lands and allowed to stay at court.2

This story is likely a fabrication and a way to show how the Haji took over land in Yamato from older less influential familes.

These exploits have seen him credited with founding sumo, though not of modern rules.1


1. Borgen, R. (1975) “The Origins of the Sugawara. A History of the Haji Family”. Monumenta Nipponica. Vol.30 No.4 pp.405-422
2. Aston. W.G. (1896) “Nihongi Volume 1: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to AD697”. Tuttle Publishing.

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