Sumo!

I had my first sumo experience today – and I loved it! 🙂

There is a sumo tournament in Nagoya right now, so I and a couple of friends decided to check it out. I think it’s one of those things you just have to do if you’re in Japan! It’s a little bit touristy, but that also means it’s very foreigner friendly (which can be helpful!). There’s even a ticket website all in English, here.

The tickets were valid from 8.30 am, but we got down there about 10.30. The ticket allows you to go in and out, so after checking it out we went into Sakae for a quick brunch. I’ve never been to a live sporting event, so I didn’t really understand the whole wander in and out thing, but by the end of the day I saw that it was quite necessary! Even when we got back around midday, the gymnasium was half empty.

We saw plenty of おすもさん wandering about between the subway and the gymnasium, and I was quite fascinated to see them just hanging around. The whole thing struck me as quite odd, in that the wrestlers are treated a lot like animals – even I was thinking of them as animals who had been set free for a wander between viewings. They are kept in a ‘stable’ with a ‘stable master’ and the way they are paraded around makes them seem a lot like horses!

I was quite amazed by how different the wrestlers looked. Some were huge, but some were actually quite small. One was even pretty cute!! And, despite their large stomachs and ‘moobs’ they really did seem extremely fit, and you could see the strength in their leg muscles. Some of them were capable of raising their legs a lot higher than I could ever hope to!

Anyway… I took heaps of photos, and a few videos. The whole collection can be seen at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/haiku_girl/sets/72157606272294649/, but here are the highlights:

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