Sumo is a form of wrestling which goes back to the earliest historical records in Japanese history. In modern times, sumo has become a professional sport and is extremely popular, arenas for sumo are plentiful throughout Japan. Since it is native to Japan, can perhaps better be described as the national sport rather than baseball, the only competitor for the title. Sumo combines some of the most public forms of Shinto ritual with the stupendous sight of wrestlers weighing up to 265 kilograms (around 580 pounds) slamming into each other. At a glance, outsiders are repulsed, but continued exposure converts many into fanatics. The object is to throw the opponent down or shove him out of a small ring. Wrestlers may trip or slap with an open hand, but eye-gouging, hair-pulling, and hitting with a closed fist are not permitted. The sport has a very hierarchical organization which is said to be feudal (and is often criticized for continuing feudal patterns of behavior which are outdated and undemocratic).