Monday, 26 September 2011

Sumo saturday

On saturday we went off to watch the sumo wrestling, a tournament that has been going on for two weeks and ended yesterday. We were up in the gods but still had an amzing view of the intriguing proceedings. The "fights" go on all day, but only really get exciting when the top blokes come out from about 2pm onwards, and it's a lot of fun.
The stadium is massive and if you want to sit near the front, you have to book cushions on the floor. If you're too near the front, you risk getting squashed! The "ring" has a temple-type roof over it and I'm wondering if this is because the area is sacred.
The top wrestlers come out in a dramatic ceremony. Each of their names are read out individually and they climb up into the "ring" in their full regalia, to massive cheers from the onlookers.
While they wait for their turn, each wrestler sits at the side of the ring. Some have their own cushion which is dutifully brought in and out as they need it.
There is a lot of showiness before the fight. Salt is thrown several times and the classic leg lift and thigh slap is also done to great effect.
Once both wrestlers have their fists on the ground (please excuse the copious amounts of bum shots) the match begins.
The matches are often over in seconds, but can be quite dramatic. The loser is the first man to touch the ground with anything other than the soles of his feet.
Sometimes it looks pretty painful - especially when you've got a two ton sumo wrestler hurtling towards you!

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