Sweet on Sumo

We went to our first Sumo Grand Tournament this past weekend and I have a serious confession to make:

I’m totally hooked on Sumo Wrestling.

I truly think it’s the coolest professional sporting event I’ve ever attended.

There was great excitement from Little Cutie as we arrived at Ryogoku Kokugikan, the Sumo Hall, and saw the same kind of banners lining the perimeter as were at her  sumo tournament at school last Spring.

sumoproflags

The entrance to the Sumo Hall is also flanked by two incredible murals.  I thought the perspective of this one was particularly interesting.

sumomural

Sumo is just as much as about the ceremony and rituals as it is about the actual bouts.  I found the Ring Entering Ceremonies mesmerizing and loved the rhythm of the wrestlers entering the dohyo {ring}.

enteringring

sumoarms

After the Ring Entering Ceremony the athletes clapped their hands, then performed a leg-stomping shiko exercise to drive away evil spirits from the ring.  Very dramatic!

sumoclap

footstomp

And still, before the wrestlers could get to actual contact there was more ritual, including tossing salt into the ring to purify it.

sumosalt

And now we were ready to get to it!

faceoff

wrestling

And then just seconds later, it was over! {a match is won by knocking your opponent out of the ring or if you force your opponent to touch the ground with any part of their body except for the bottoms of their feet}

winner

The next big Sumo Tournament is in May and I absolutely want to go.  The burning question, however, is whether my very non-Japanese knees could handle sitting in the “premier” seats down on the tatami mats for hours on end!

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6 Responses to Sweet on Sumo

  1. Suzy says:

    It’s a funny thing how easily one gets hooked on Sumo! I had exactly the same experience when I spent my semester in Tokyo! Never got to go to a match but I watched obsessively on TV! I’ll date myself a bit but back in the day I was a HUGE Takanohana fan!

  2. Kelly says:

    Wow – now I must research more sumo wrestling! I had no idea about all the traditions. Such an awesome sport.

  3. amberinjp says:

    いなあー! Looks so cool!! I definitely have to go now after I move this spring!!! Thanks for the post!

  4. Kim says:

    Hi-
    Our Girl Scout troop is attending world thinking day and Japan happens to be the country we picked to display/learn about. Would it be ok to use some of the pictures of the sumo wrestlers you have on here?
    It would be so great to have actually pictures instead of pictures in a book. Please let me know.
    Thank you,
    Kim
    (I love your blog, I have been following you before you moved to Japan!)

  5. feltsocute says:

    Absolutely! Enjoy World Thinking Day. I have to find out what country Little Cutie has!

  6. george says:

    Great Shots! Takes me back…

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