Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sumo 相撲

Saturday, Heather and myself joined my Japanese Sensei Shinobu, and Skeet, in a trip to the Tokyo Ryōgoku Kokugikan to see the ongoing Sumo Tournament. In all the years of Japan visits, it was the first time I had seen Sumo live and I must say it was pretty entertaining. There is a bit of pageantry surrounding the tournament that was mildy entertaining, but the fighting was clearly what people were there to see. The Ryōgoku Kokugikan itself is used exclusively for Sumo, and was a very nice venue to see the fighting from even the highest vantage point. We were about half way up and still had a very nice view. We probably could have bought seats in the lower bowl section, but this is all Tatami seating which means sitting on your knees and ass for 3 hours, something none of us were into. There was a total of 35 matches and they were all pretty good with both of the Yokozunas, Hakuho and Asasyoryu easily winning their matches at the end. It actually can get pretty exciting when someone gets thrown clear off the ring and falls into the crowd, usually mashing the fans in the first couple of rows. Having seen these 300-400 lb. guys in person, I would not want them falling on me from any height. Heather and I will definitely take the opportunity to go again, and I would recommend it as a great way to spend part of a day in Tokyo or one of the other large cities that the tournaments are held. The film above is the final match of the day between Hakuho and Miyabiyama and as always there are a few more pics in the flickr folder.
Click here for Sumo Wikifacts.


Amanda, Ian, and Addison said...

Exciting! We're going next Saturday. Cannot wait! Collectively, we all enjoy sumo - even little Addison, who's favorite wrestler is Hakoho. :)

Heather said...

Hey Amanda!
Hope you had a pleasant Holiday season.
I think you guys will all have a great time. I happen to be a fan of Hakuho myself and it was pretty cool to finally see him and the other wrestlers in person. Dont forget the camera, and if you get there early you can catch a lot of them walking down the sidewalk and into to the front of the building. Good chance to see them up close. Your kids would probably dig that.

tornados28 said...

That looks like a great event to go to live. I was watching some of it on TV and I saw one of the wrestlers go flying into the stands. I would think some spectators would get crushed and injured.