Fewer and fewer people today are participating in sumo. So much so that none of the Yokozuna or Grand Champions today are from Japan. This trend is becoming so worrisome that the Japanese have even come up with an expression for it. It's called the "3k." The 3ks are kitanai kiken and kitsui or dirty, dangerous and demanding. I think this goes not only for Japan but also for any "developed" nation in these modern technologically advanced times. Today, everything is so instant that people have become adverse to things that make them uncomfortable and thus things supremely traditional like sumo begin to suffer. As a martial artist, we don't have the luxury to forego the 3ks. Training is supposed to be a bit dirty (we are all sweaty), a bit dangerous (it is a martial art) and quite demanding (how else are we going to get good?). Being uncomfortable just means that we are growing and being exposed to things that we are not accustomed to.
I have posted a video that follows the life of an apprentice sumo wrestler so that we can see what it is like to train in one of the most demanding traditional Japanese arts. As always, sometimes we need to peek into another person's life to gain perspective on our own.