Japan Times: 'Sumo is often called "kokugi" in the Japanese media and by the population at large, and kokugi is a phrase most dictionaries translate as "national sport." Likewise, sumo is performed at a stadium known as the Kokugikan — with "kan" meaning hall or stadium.
'However, few with an in-depth awareness of the professional game would ever refer to sumo as simply a sport. It's more of a "way," with sumodo a term often heard in professional circles. Also, unlike nine other nations, Canada (lacrosse in summer and ice-hockey in winter), Argentina (pato — a sport played on horseback similar to polo), and Mexico (charreria rodeo) included, Japan has no legally recognized national sport.'