Today, myself and a couple of friends from Sheffield Uni +1, headed on down to the Grand Sumo Hall in Ryougoku, on the JR Sobu line just east of Akihabara.It’s day 9 of one of the six annual Grand Sumo Tournaments held throughout Japan.

It’s the first time I’ve been to see a sumo tournament. Despite having the cheapest seats in the house, we had a perfect view of the ring.

I don’t know much about sumo, and as there’s plenty of information out there I don’t think I’ll try and explain either. Instead, here’s a few shots of the action – a video will follow.

Flying Rikishi



Rolling huggles are a prominent feature of bouts.


Biting is prohibited but sometimes unavoidable.


Advertising Sumo style – these moving commercials parade around the ring between bouts.


Go for the throat!


Here, the famous non-Japanese wrestler whose name I forget picks up his opponent by his pony tail and throws him out of the ring.



On losing, it is common for wrestlers to crawl around and cry


These chaps get together to make decisions following bouts where it is not clear who has won



There’s a lot of posing. The higher ranking the wrestler, the longer they spend stomping and slapping.



Now there’s a sign of affection if ever I saw one.


The chap who declares the winner


When the wrestling is over, a wrestler performs a closing ceremony with a spinning baton.


Check out Mike’s blog entry here

6 Responses

    1. Thanks Jen!

      I was quite pleased considering we were 6 miles away from the ring!

      It was great to see jason (Leather) and Mike again too.

      (I hope you’re not dying of boredom in isolation, and feeling better.)

  1. First, I know your captions were joking. But, second, I have to state for the record that touching another wrestlers hair as part of about will result in an automatic loss. I don’t want people thinking the barbarian foreigner is really pulling someone’s hair! However, the gaijin blogger is pulling everyone’s let. 😉

    1. 🙂

      It was only after the match, looking at the photo that I saw that it could be interpreted as a wrestler being thrown out by the hair – he’d have to have pretty strong roots!

      One thing i was wondering – is slapping in the face really allowed? There was one foreign wrestler who I thought was taking it a bit far – looked more like boxing – but he wasn’t penalised for it.