Very Rare 1933 Imperial Japanese Navy Training Fleet Los Angeles Visit Sumo Competition Award Trophy
This is a real one of a kind item - it is a award trophy for the winner of a sumo competition held in honor of the visiting ships of the IJN training fleet in 1933. The words on the cup, from right to left, are
"Imperial Japanese Navy Training Fleet Welcoming Sumo Meet"
"Showa 8th Year April 20th"
"Donated by, in Los Angeles, Kataoka Clock Shop"
During the 1920s and 1930s there were a series of annual training missions by the IJN visiting various parts of the world. These were cruises using older navy ships to train up new cadet officers and also act as a goodwill/diplomatic gesture. They visited places like Australia, Europe, and the US. On this trip it was the cruisers Iwate and Yakumo visiting the US West Coast. The Japanese community supposedly turned out in numbers for this event, and I guess this sumo wrestling match was held as part of the celebration. Sumo wrestling was a part of sailors' training routine, it seems, as I've seen many photos of sailors doing these competitions on deck. I suppose whoever held this trophy must have been the winner of this competition. I bought this in Japan, so this was an item that was taken home by a sailor on one of these two ships. He must've been the talk of the town as they toured LA!
Showa 8th Year was 1933, when Japan's relations with the US was already starting to strain since this was the year it left the League of Nations. That happened in February 1933.
The trophy is metal and probably silver plated - the tarnish on the surface suggests it's silver, but I don't think the underlying metal is silver. The base is solid wood.
Condition: The trophy is slightly bent to one side. The wood base is a bit cracked in places. Parts of the metal has some surface wear and weathering. Please see pictures.
Size: 21.5" tall, 6" wide at the base
Please note that shipping is included in the item price. Also, any cups and bottles you buy with this trophy will also be shipped free.