Last week, Sumo wrestling tournament was held in Tokyo. (3 times a year held in Tokyo, Spring is Osaka, Summer is Nagoya, The end of year is Hakata.) At Ryogoku, there is a Kokugikan sumo tournament hall near the JR Ryogoku station. During the tournament, you can see many sumo wrestlers near the hall. I meet them in the morning, because the game starts 8 AM. The tournament starts the low ranked wrestlers, and top wrestlers fight early in the evening, and the game finishes by 6 PM. The history of sumo is very long, you can read the article of “Nihonsyoki” that was a fight at the emperor’s court in 7 century. In July 7th 734, Syomu emperor watched Sumo, it was the first record for a game held in the presence of the emperor. After that, they held sumo match periodically in the court, it was said the ceremoney of Sumai-no-sechie. Folklorists said sumo was not only entertainment sport but also deity’s ceremoney as a supplication for abundant crops at first, therefore the Yokoduna’s wearing white cord and wrestler’s leg raising and stomping in the ring remain ceremonical meanings.
I had once gone to the sumo game in 1992, which was the final match for the retirement ceremony of Chiyonofuji who was 58th yokoduna. I looked for those photos in my closet. They are too old not digital.
At last, it is a strange photo. What do you guess the black and white long cloths at the porch?
The cost of Sumo tornament’s tickets are from 2,100yen to 11,300yen a day. Requesting information: TEL:03-3622-1100 (Kokugikan ticket office), Ticket O-Sumo (Japanese), ticket oosumo (English), twitter @sumokyokai