Tuesday, May 17, 2011


We went to a sumo tournament this weekend as you may know and as promised, here are some pictures. It's hard to take pictures of sumo when you have a tiny lens and sit pretty far away. This was a mural outside the stadium.

Before each division starts wrestling they get introduced by walking out in reverse rank and forming a circle and doing a ritual I might be able to explain better if I understood Japanese. I do understand though, that sumo ties into Shinto (Japanese religion) and so the roof hanging over the ring represents a Shinto shrine. The wrestlers must be in the intermediate ranking to earn a ceremonial apron (kesho-mawashi) and each one is hand made. Each one cost at least ¥2,000,000 yen which is about $20,000. 

*Photo by Sara Rathgeber*➚

Then the wrestling starts. Every bout begins with a singing announcement of the wrestlers names and then the wrestles throw salt to purify the ring and have 4 minutes to stare each other down and then walk off to get a drink of water and throw more salt to intimidate their opponent. (There didn't used to be a time limit!) The actual wrestling sometimes only takes a few seconds! 

*Photo by Sara Rathgeber* ➚

It was pretty cool and we definitely had a good time!

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