Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Japanese Culture Weekend - Part 2, the Sumo Tournament

After 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.

We had 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 done.
 
 
 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.



 
This was very interesting and I’m glad we were able to see it in person!

4 comments:

  1. What a fascinating post! Thank you for sharing!

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  2. How small did you feel next to them? In western media they always portray them as really huge.

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  3. Amazing Pictures! Thanks for all the info. I saw the pic.s when you first posted them but I didn't have time to reply till now. The poses, the hair, the outfits, and the stylized moves are fascinating. Japanese culture is colorful in more ways than one.

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  4. Wow, so amazing that you got to see this in person! I was curious about the bow-like thing at the end, apparently it's called yumitori-shiki.

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