What is Sumo? 5/20/10

May 20, 2010

I have been a big Sumo fan since when I was very little, growing up in Japan. I have followed it as much as possible. There are 6 Sumo tournaments annually, January(Tokyo), March(Osaka), May(Tokyo), July(Nagoya), September(Tokyo), and November(Fukuoka), and each tournament lasts for 15 days from Sunday to Sunday. I have studied deeply for Sumo techniques and skills, and I know most of Juryo and Maku-uchi Rikishi (Rikishi is a sumo wrestler) by their names. Juryo and Maku-uchi are their classes, and from the highest rankings are Yokozuna, Ozeki, Sekiwake, Komusubi and Hiramaku in Maku-uchi class. Juryo is the next class to Maku-uchi, and there are several more classes below Juryo. Each Sumo match lasts a few seconds to a few minutes, usually it is very quick, but it has a wonderful drama to watch. The history of Sumo is very interesting, and the ritual and the ceremonial segments are very important.

Now it is in May Basho (tournament) in Tokyo. When I am in Japan during Basho, of course I go to Kokugi-kan (Sumo arena in Tokyo) to see their matches. Some of my old favorite Rikishi, like Chiyo-no-Fuji, have become Oyakata (Sumo teachers who own their own studios) , and we often see them in Kokugi-kan or on TV broadcasting as a commentator. During each tournament, I prioritize watching live Sumo on TV Japan! LA is 16 hours behind Japan in summer time, and it is a quite challenge to stay up late to watch. Sumo live broadcasting is between 12 to 2am. Alas. But as a true Sumo fan, I have to overcome this challenge. There are 3 more days to finish this Basho, and it seems Yokozuna Hakuho got the championship of this Basho. I love Sumo.

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