(Based on information supplied by Andy Adams, publisher of Sumo World magazine, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Professional sumo wrestlers in the upper ranks are salaried. In the lower ranks, wrestlers get an allowance each basho (tournament). For 1997, the allowances were:
Jonokuchi and below (banzuke-gai/mae-zumo): ¥70,000
In addition, yokozuna (Grand Champions) get an allowance for preparing their tsuna, an elaborate, very heavy white rope belt similar to the ceremonial ropes at Shinto shrines. The tsuna is worn during official Sumo Association special events throughout the year, and during ceremonies held during the tournaments. For the three yearly Tokyo basho, the yokozuna used to get ¥150,000 for preparing their tsuna, but apparently that has changed and they are now reimbursed according to claims they submit to the Sumo Association (all in excess of the former ¥150,000 allowance).