Ca: Ryogoku


Grand Sumo at Ryogoku kokugikan in Tokyo Japan ABOUT "DOHYO-IRI"

This is a scene of "DOHYO-IRI", it means "enter the ring".


They are high ranking wrestlers,

but Yokozuna wrestlers, highest ranking wrestlers, do "Yokozuna dohyo-iri",

so they don't join this ceremony.

The ceremony is done for purifying the area.


They put on beautiful aprons. It's called "Kesho Mawashi",

it means "an apron decorated beautifully".

They are made of silk and are very expensive.

It is said that the cost of an apron is over ten thousand dollars.

"Kesho mawashi" is usually given to wrestlers by sponsors.

Therefore the names of the wrestler and his sponsor are embroidered on the aprons.

photo: September 2013


Grand Sumo at Ryogoku kokugikan in Tokyo Japan ABOUT YUMITORISIKI

A sumo wrestler gives a performance with a long bow

after the last match of the day.


The performance used to be given by a champion wrestler of the grand sumo

tournament as "a winner's performance".


However, nowadays it is given by a wrestler who belongs to the sumo stable

which  has a Yokozuna rank wrestler.


In addition, it used to be performed at the end of the tournament,

but now it is performed after the last match of each day.


If the wrestler drops the bow in the performance, he needs to pick it up with his feet,

because  touching the ground with his hand means "defeat" in sumo rules.

Actually, however, performers are well trained, so I have never seen a wrestler drops

the bow in his performance.


This wrestler is SATONOFUJI. He belong to the sumo stable

which has a YOKOZUNA rank wrestler, "HARUMAFUJI".

He performed the with the bow very well.

photo: September 17


Grand Sumo at Ryogoku kokugikan in Tokyo Japan ABOUT SALT

Sumo wrestlers scatter salt before their matches.


They do it for purifying the sumo ring.

↓This wrestler scatters more salt than other wrestlers.


Each wrestler scatters salt by his own style.

Some of them scatters a lot salt in distinctive ways,

other wrestlers scatter a little salt quietly.


photo: September 2013


Grand Sumo at Ryogoku kokugikan in Tokyo Japan ABOUT SHIKO

Sumo wrestlers often do these movements.


Wrestlers open their legs and put their hands around their knees and lift up their leg, then stamp the ground with their feet strongly.


A series of these movements is called SHIKO.


Sumo is a part of a Shinto ritual.


Shiko is done for purifying the area and pouring gods' energy into the land.


In addition, Shiko is regarded as a basic training for Sumo wrestlers.


It doesn't look so hard, but actually the movements are very tough.

It helps strengthen the lower half of your body, if you keep on doing this exercise regularly.

photo: September 2013


Grand Sumo at Ryogoku kokugikan in Tokyo Japan

Sumo is a national sport of Japan and one of the country's oldest professional sports.


They hold grand sumo 6 times a year.

We can see grand sumo in Tokyo in January, May and September.

They hold grand sumo in Osaka in March,

in Nagoya in July, and in Fukuoka in November.


I love watching sumo, because it's exciting and the rules are very simple.

The wrestler must force his opponent out of the ring

or to touch the ground with anything other than the soles of his feet.

When the wrestler is thrown down or pushed out of the ring,

the referee raises his fan to announce the winner.

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About me

  • Hi there! I'm Lala. I'm a Japanese living in Tokyo. I'm an English speaking licensed guide and authorized tour conductor. If you have questions, please leave comments on this blog or send me e-mails. lalalamumin☆ (please replace ☆ with @ when you send me e-mails)

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