Japan Architecture Tours – Robert Day Travel Blog

Unique Japan Tours in Architecture, Art, Design and Culture by Robert Day Travel

AN AFTERNOON AT THE SUMO – HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MAY 2016 JAPAN TOUR

One of the highlights of the May 2016 Japan Fashion, Architecture & Design Tour was spending the afternoon at a Sumo tournament. It was a wonderful spectacle of colour, ritual and noise. To book or to find out more about a Japan tour by Robert Day Travel – Japan Architecture Tours, contact us at http://www.japanarchitecturetours.com/contact-us.html

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The Sumo ring or Dohyo features many Shinto symbols

A Sumo “wrestler”, or Rikishi as they are known in Japanese, spend many hours a day, training over many years to reach the highest rank of Yokozuna. Weight gain is an important part of a Rikishi’s rise through the sumo ranks

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Rikishi perform a number of rituals prior to the bout

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Rikishi wear colourful yukata when the head back to their stable when their bout is over

Believed to have started as an organised sport around 2000 years ago, Sumo developed into the spectator sport that most resembles modern Sumo during the Edo Period (1603-1868). It is Japan’s National sport filled with ancient Shinto religious rituals and symbols, colourful costumes and based on very simple rules.

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Salt is thrown into the air prior to the bout for purification

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One rikishi grabs for the mawashi (belt) of the other to gain ascendency

The rules of Sumo are very simple – force the other rikishi out of the ring or make him touch the ring surface with another part of his body other than the soles of his feet.

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A frontal shove is a popular move in Sumo

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Rikishi grapple to gain the upperhand and force the other out of the ring

Over the 15 days of a tournament, a Rikishi must win a majority of bouts in order to gain promotion. The ultimate goal is achieve the highest rank of Yokozuna.

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The Yokuzuna or Grand Champion performs an elaborate rituals at the start of the final rounds

One of the most colourful parts of a sumo tournament is the daily Dohyo-iri or Ring Ceremony during which the Rikishi enter the Dohyo (ring) wearing their colourful Kesho-mawashi (decorative aprons)

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The brightly coloured Kesho-mawashi are displayed during the daily Dohyo-iri

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The yumi-tori (bow twirling) ceremony is performed by a rikishi from the same stable as a Yokozuna at the end of each day of the tournament

To book or to find out more about a Japan tour by Robert Day Travel – Japan Architecture Tours, contact us at http://www.japanarchitecturetours.com/contact-us.html

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Colourful banners of the various Sumo stables decorate the entrance to the Sumo stadium

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Sumo is even more enjoyable when you go with a mate

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Sumo is very much part of the Shinto religion and some shrines have their own Dohyo

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An ancient Sumo rikishi is featured at the Sumiyoshi Shrine in Fukuoka, a shrine dedicated to Sumo

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