If you ever find yourself in Japan, I have one piece of advice for you (well, several, actually…but I’ll address those later):
Go to see a sumo tournament live.
A few months ago I had to plead total ignorance regarding sumo. Big fat guys who “wrestle”…right?
Well, I still don’t know too much about it, but I know more now than I did then. A few times a year, sumo tournaments are held. We were fortunate enough to be able to attend the September tournament last year in Tokyo.
It was fascinating.
|Processing in for the beginning ceremony.|
Two wrestles face each other in the ring. There are two ways to win a round: Push your opponent outside of the ring, or knock your opponent down.
|A close call...|
|The judges discussing the decision.|
A round begins when the two wrestles throw salt in the ring to protect themselves from injury. They squat, opposite each other. A referee stands between the wrestles, just inside the ring. When both wrestles are ready, they lean forward and put their fists to the ground. This can take a long while to lead up too-most wrestlers use the entire four minute limit allowed. From what I could gather, the suspense leading up to the actual wrestling was just as important and the wrestling itself.
If you are really interested in sumo, check out this website.