Saturday, March 13, 2021

March 2021 Grand Sumo Tournament

Don't ask me why I find this so interesting, I just do. Maybe because it's so Japanese and historical, and just so different from any sport I grew up knowing about. What do you think about sumo?

If you are new to this sport, you can read some background on it here

There are six grand sumo tournaments each year.  Normally the second tournament, which is in March, is held in Osaka, but due to covid-19 restrictions, all tournaments are held in Tokyo until further notice. The tournament runs from Sunday March 14th to Sunday March 28th.  

Ticket prices range from 38,000 yen for box seats to 3,800 yen for arena seats. If you aren't traveling to Tokyo now, you can watch the action on NHK TV.  The banzuke, or rankings list for the March Tournament can be found here, if you are interested. There are also several YouTube sumo channels in English. They are pretty interesting and worth checking out.

In addition to all tournaments being held in Tokyo, there are some other coronavirus precautions. (From the official Sumo website)

【Entering the venue】
○ You have to be wearing a mask (covering mouth and nose) and sanitize your hands at the entrance.
○ Your body temperature will be measured. Please be aware that your admission will be denied if the temperature is 37.5℃ or higher, depending on the temperature measurement result.
○ Alcohol is prohibited at the venue. It must not be brought into the venue and it is not sold at the venue. If Alcohol is spotted, it will be confiscated by a staff member at the venue.
○ You cannot re-enter the venue.
○ Please refrain from bringing any food or drink to the venue.

○ Only two spectators are seated in each masu-seki (box-seat), which usually accommodates up to four. Only every other chair-seat is sold, so there is one empty seat between two spectators. Please refrain from using seats you have not purchased. That includes seats of family members as well as seats left empty to create social distance between spectators.
○ Loud cheering is prohibited. Please applaud instead to support Rikishi.
○ The way of exiting the venue is regulated. As soon as the bouts are finished, the venue will be left by using the respective exit dedicated to each of the four seating areas.

【Concerning eating and drinking】
○ Please refrain from eating or drinking while at the seating area. (Necessary hydration though is allowed.) Please use the designated "food and drink space" as well as benches for eating and drinking.
○ Please check the maps inside the building concerning food and drink sales.

○ Please refrain from addressing Rikishi as well as Oyakata. Shaking hands and asking for autographs is currently not possible.
○ Please keep your part of the ticket for 14 days after visiting the venue. A follow-up confirmation might become necessary.
○ Please register with the COVID-19 contact confirmation app (COCOA).


diamondc said...

Pamela: I know that Sumo's are revered, they are like a God to some people.
It is an interesting sport, the clothing is a bit unusual.
Have a sweet day


Queeniepatch said...

I also fell in love with sumo when I first arrived in Japan. Probably because it is so 'Japanese', steeped in history and oozing with culture.
Another great attraction is that the bouts are so short, no need to sit for hours to watch something.
I was once invited to a day in a box seat at the winter tournament. The Emperor came to watch and there was a fantastic festive atmosphere.

Jeanie said...

The rules are as interesting as the match, which does sound intriguing.

Leonore Winterer said...

I'm glad the Japanese are not taking tradition more serious than being careful in a pandemic! Sounds like the new rules are pretty reasonably.