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

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Rolling huggles are a prominent feature of bouts.

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Biting is prohibited but sometimes unavoidable.

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

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Go for the throat!

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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.

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

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

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

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

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The chap who declares the winner

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

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Check out Mike’s blog entry here

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