Big Sumo Shirts

Time for a new feature — website review of places that feature Japanese or Japanese-themed goods. ^_^

First on the docket is Big Sumo. This company specializes in t-shirts with a Japanese Sumo theme. There are a few t-shirts that don’t have the sumo theme (one with a a squid, two with a Geisha girl, one with a shark, one with a dog). There are 25 different t-shirts (one geared to women), one “hoodie” shirt, and one baseball cap.

Shirt sizes run from small to XXXL. XXL shirts cost an extra $1.50 and XXXL cost an extra $3.00. In my opinion, they should have a 4XL shirt size as well, even if there is an extra cost. Another negative is that not all shirts have all sizes. So if you are a 3XL kind of guy, the choices are limited. Considering the store is Big Sumo, one would think the store would carry plenty of larger sizes for all their t-shirts. There’s also a lack of black t-shirts if you like those (as I do).

The above “Beer” t-shirt is the one I purchased (sorry there isn’t a bigger image and I don’t have a digital camera to get an instant picture). I picked this one because it has a Kanji for “draft” (η”Ÿ or “nama”) and the Kana for the word “beer” (ビール or “biiru”). The t-shirt is of a higher quality and still wears well after several washings. The printing has faded slightly after several washings (no runs through the dryer) but nothing out of the ordinary. So the $18+ per t-shirt is not money wasted IMO.

There are a few brick-and-mortar stores where one can pick up these shirts in person, mostly in California, but also with a store in Hawaii and Oregon. However, the folks that run the company also tour the U.S., attending various Asian and Japanese events (such as Denver’s Cherry Blossom Festival). So you can also pick up shirts at those events.

I found customer service to be very good, but this is a small company so keep that in mind when calling for whatever reason you have. I did have a problem making an order due to a website glitch, but they were able to get things right and my order went through with no snags.

Bottom line: I wish they had more black t-shirts, more shirts with Japanese writing (Kanji/Kana mix), and more shirts in larger sizes. I also wish that the shirt images on the website could be expanded to a larger size to get a better look at the imprints on the shirts. That aside, I found the shirt I order very comfortable and a favorite to wear. As such, I recommend t-shirts from them if you are looking for a t-shirt with a Japanese or Asian theme.

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