The Grand Sumo Tournament

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

Himonya Matsuri

Seems that the mini-procession yesterday was just a warm-up for today’s festival.

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The chap with his back to us is hitting two sticks together to keep the team in time

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I like the contrast in this one

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Check out the little kiddies hitting the big drum

More photos on Flickr

The procession – from behind

A few photos taken today on the streets around our house

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*Twinkle*s off to Kansai for a few days. It’s going to seem quiet around here…