attending the wedding on Saturday and staying overnight in Sapporo, we attended
the Sumo Tournament on Sunday. Sumo is a centuries old Japanese sport having its
origins in the Shinto religion. Sumo matches take place in a ring that is 4.55
meters across, called a dohyo. The little diaper thing they wear is called a fundoshi. The one
who is forced out of the ring or who touches the ground is the loser.The Japan Sumo Association is in charge of it
all. Currently there are 43 training stables with about 660 wrestlers. There
are many rules sumo participants must follow.It’s more a way of life than just a job.
good seats that were very close.The daylong
event we attended began with the lower level sumo wrestlers.
In the middle of the day were some
informational demonstrations, including how the samurai type hair style is
I was amazed by how large, yet how flexible these guys are.
This was followed by some traditional, maybe
ritual, type things.
The final part of
the day was the big guys – the Professionals. A good number of them are not
Japanese, which was kind of surprising for me.
There is a lot of salt throwing.
We witnessed several different winning
techniques – chest slapping, grapping the fundoshi and picking up the opponent,
leaning to the side and causing the pusher to fall forward, to name a few.
At the end the
winner did a little dance with a big bow like tool.
was very interesting and I’m glad we were able to see it in person!