Published: September 17th 2007September 17th 2007
Since I have been in Japan I have been wanting to go to a day at the Sumo. Sumo is a part of traditional Japan and it was on the top of my must do list.
Sumo only takes place a few months a year. The tournament starts on the first Sunday closest to the 10th of the month and lasts for 2 weeks. I went to the first day of the tournament with Cate and Daria. We got up very early and caught the first Shinkansen to Tokyo so we could line up for tickets. The early start was worth it, Sumo was fasinating and exciting.
A day at Sumo
9am Preliminary bouts
9:30 Jonokuchi-Makushita division bouts, lowest rank Juniors
2:35 Juryo wrestlers ceremonial entrance
2:50 Juryo division , young hopefully wrestlers
3:30 Association chairman address, on the opening and closing day of the tournament, welcomes and thanks the crowd
3:50 Makuuchi wrestlers ceremonial entrance, senior wrestlers step in the ring in their ceremonial aprons
3:55 Yokozuna Grand champion ring entrance, champions clap their feet and drawing spirited calls from the crowd
4:00 Makuuchi bouts the highest division of wrestlers start
5:15 Final day top ranked wrestler ritual, breif ceremony
6:00 Bow dance ceremony, distinctive drumming encouraging fans to come again
My thoughts on the day
Th day was long but interesting. I enjoyed watching the ceremonies and seeing the crowd become part of the day. In the morning it was very quiet and we got to go and sit down the front of the stadium. I wouldnt have wanted to be in the front boxes as the Sumo's often fell into the crowd and by gosh if one of them feel on you well you would be very sore and a little flattened.
We stayed a watched for a while and then went a looked in the shops and brought a few souvenirs. Feeling a little hungry we went to a near by restutant and had Chanko, which is the tradition food that the Sumo's eat. It was Oishi, a big pot of vegies and chicken, like a stew really. The people that owned the resturant were lovely and very chatty.
After our lunch we headed back to the stadium to watch the big boys. They were very large but so strong and aggressive. I was so engrossed watching them, some of the bouts lasted a
few seconds and some a few minutes. The sumo's encourage the crowd and there were loud cheers and clapping. Before they wrestled they trew salt as it is believed from ancient times that the salt purifies the ring as a sacred place. They stamp their feet to squash out the bad spirits and sip water to purify their bodies. Each movement of their body is a religious ritual.
It is said that there are 82 techniques used to help them win, to me it just looked like the grabbed hold of each other and worked as hard as they could to get the other of of the ring or off his feet. The big guys were very entertaining and after the last bout was won everyone in the crowd through their cushions into the ring, it looked very cool.
It was a great day Im very glad taht I got to go and see a day at the Sumo. After a long train ride home due to a 2 hour delay because of the rain we made it home.
There are more photos below