Well on Saturday we went to the Sumo at Ryogoku. It was day 7 of the tournament and we were eager spectators. There were 8 of in total, Paul, Joss, Natalie our housemate, 2 friends from London, Piumi and Matt and 3 of Nat's workmates.
Now the rules of sumo seem pretty simple, push, shove or employ whatever method at your disposal to get the large chunk of a man opposite you out of the ring (dohyo) or onto the ground - before the same happens to you. However a fair bit of the time is taken up by the ritual around this and trying to put your opponent off. Now to give you an idea of this process, we will try to describe it below:
The Sumo's enter ring, bow, throw salt, look like they are taking position ready to wrestle, but at the last minute one may get up, essentially faking out. Then each wrestler moves to their corner in a kind of waddle, throws some more salt, then takes position again to start the fight... or not. This part is greatly entertaining to the crowd, including us, and they get really into it. Of course that is not to take away from the excitement of the fight itself. They are often very short, and together with the lead up are very exciting. Over the course of the day each fighter has only one fight and we saw in excess of 30 such fights (not including the amateurs at the start of the day).
PM: Now although this seems exciting enough, it also seemed like a good idea to add a little spice by betting on selected matches with anyone willing to have a go. Somehow I came out on top, and everyone else decided they didn't want to play anymore!
Anyway below are a few pics from the day.
Us in the stadium, we weren't sitting this close, but whilst it was quiet were able to get up close to the dohyo.
The skinny guy (well all things are relative aren't they?) was a paid sumo wrestler and won this bout with his agility. Although it seems improbable that he could move up into the higher pro ranks.
This large fella is a Bulagarian (the hairy chest made him stand out somewhat) and was a former Olympic wrestler, but turned to the world of Sumo. He was unbeaten in the tournament up until this match, when he unfortunately ended up eating clay.
Now, although the Sumo itself was a very full and exciting day, we also had planned a cruise on Tokyo Bay in the evening. It was a lot of fun, with over 2000 people crammed onto a rather large vessel, here are some nice pics.
Us with Nat, our flatmateUs with Matt and Piumi
Jocelyn with Tokyo in the background.
Well that is all for now, we are off to Okinawa this Thursday where we hope to get a few tips on how to add a few years to our life.