Thursday, January 10, 2013


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.  

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