Departmental Bulletin Paper 力士考: 考古資料分析による扁平雷の解釈
A Study of the Rikishi : An Interpretation of the Henpei-mage Based on Archaeological Analysis

基峰, 修

(32)  , pp.85 - 104 , 2016-09-12 , 金沢大学大学院人間社会環境研究科 = Graduate School of Human and Socio-Enviromental Studies Kanazawa University
According to the Nihon-shoki (the oldest chronicles of Japan), rikishi was a designation for strong men of great repute. The study of the rikishi is deeply connected with sumo wrestling and has been treated as the history of sumo. Archaeological research on rikishi has studied the rikishi haniwa (terracotta figures depicting a rikishi). The henpei-mage (flat topknot hairstyle), characteristic of the rikishi haniwa, has never been examined substantially. However, in recent years, an opinion has emerged that it is the figure of the sumo wrestler wearing a mask; thus, it is necessary to re-examine conventional understanding of the henpei-mage including the interpretation around archaeological genealogy. In this paper, I analyze the henpei-mage of the rikishi haniwa and examine its character based on how mounded tombs were constructed. I then compare it and the hairstyles of rikishi depicted in mural paintings of the mounded tombs of Koguryo. By clarifying their similarities and differences, I attempt a new interpretation of the henpei-mage. Based on this examination, it is thought that the rikishi was a hereditary social group attached to the local elite. The evidence that the hereditary social group and the sumo came across the sea is not seen in documented historical materials and other archaeological documents. However based on the comparative analysis in this paper, I point out that its evidence is not only the figure, a loincloth and half-nakedness, but also the henpei-mage hairstyle that are common to both. I conclude that the henpei-mage of the rikishi haniwa is a reflection of sumo being the imported performing arts.

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