Shitatenage is one of the most commonly used throwing-techniques in sumo. It is an under-arm throw ("shitate" means that the attacker's arm goes on the inside of the opponent's arm, usually gripping mawashi (the belt). "Nage" is the throw). The throw will be initiated while the sumotori (wrestlers) are, more or less, facing each other. The attacker will pull his opponent downwards while turning away from him.
If the attacker pulls his opponent forward in the throw, it's shitatedashinage ("dashi-nage" is a throw where no "main body parts are touching each other").
Shitatenage is easy to mistake for uwatenage. Uwatenage is an over-arm throw ("uwate" is "putting the arm over the opponent's arm, usually holding mawashi"). The names of the throws vary with the grip: inside or outside, holding mawashi or not, and so on.
The stronger - or larger - the rikishi (wrestler) is, the less throws he is likely to perform. Sumotori like the great yokozuna Akebono, Takanohana, and Musashimaru seldom relied on throws. Push-, crush- and thrust-techniques were frequent, though. The lighter, faster, and more agile kind of rikishi, like komusubi Kotooshu and sekiwake Hakuho will use throws in almost half of the bouts they win. Chiyonofuji, probably the greatest yokozuna in the post-war period, was known to be partial to throws.
Of 571 bouts in the Makuuchi division (Haru and Natsu Basho, 2005), 14 (2.4%) were won by shitatenage.
Back to the kimarite menu
My sources are www.scgroup.com/sumo and www.sumo.or.jp/eng/index.html