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Sumo! 相撲!

April 7, 2008

Due to a bit of a flu scare in Hong Kong leading to the closure of primary schools for two weeks, I was able to go on my trip to Japan a bit earlier than expected.  Now, the one thing that I wasn’t looking forward to was the picture/fingerprinting as part of the new security measures Japan had implemented.  However, aside from not agreeing with it in principle, the whole process was relatively painless and really only added about 30 seconds to the entry procedures.

I love watching sumo.  I’ve been to several bashos (tournaments), all in Osaka and thankfully, the timing of my trip this year was right for me to attend a day of the Spring Basho ( 6 per year, 15 days long). For those who have never seen it live,  it is considerably more than two fat guys bashing into each other.  Keep in mind that this is a sport which has remained generally unchanged for around 2000 years and has a strong basis in the Shinto religion of Japan.  The energy of the crowd, the tactics of the wrestlers (rikishi), a particularly dramatic take-down; they all contribute to making it a great spectacle.  Particularly exciting is when a Yokozuna (top ranked wrestler) gets beaten and the crowd throw their zabuton (cushions) onto the dohyo (ring) while the bewildered Yokozuna stands there trying to figure out what went wrong.

Just a wee taste of the photos.  I’ll post more near the end of the week when I get my film back from the lab.

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