Saturday, February 28, 2009

I ♥ Kotooshu

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I can't believe I forgot to post about this!
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Earlier this month, Otis and I took a group tour to a 1-day sumo tournament. I've seen sumo a gazillion times on the tube, but this was my first time to see it live. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!! My interest in sumo had always just been cultural, there are lots of really interesting sumo traditions and customs, and it's just so........Japanese. But I'm a huge fan now!
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Ryogoku Kokugikan

This arena is mainly used for sumo, but it also hosts other sporting events, concerts, etc. The tower to the right holds a huge drum that they beat before a tournament
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Sumo wrestler at McDonald's
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We had about 2 hrs to kill before the tournament started, so we walked along the Sumida River and around the neighborhood. We stopped for a quick bite at McD's because we weren't sure what kind of food (if any) would be available in the arena. Turns out there's tons of different food inside. As we were walking around, we passed a building down the street from the arena, on the 2nd floor we could see some of the wrestlers getting their hair done (a wrestler's hair is a major part of the sumo tradition).

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We had great seats. The lower level is box seats, and you sit on the floor on cushions. The upper level has regular seats. We were in the first row of the upper level. I can't imagine enduring the 6-hr tournament sitting on the floor!

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Ozeki doyho-iri. (Ring entering ceremony of the champion rank) Kotooshu is facing the camera in the black kesho-mawashi with rainbow pattern

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Kotooshu whoopin' Asashoryo's ass! Woo hoo!

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In the end, it came down to Kotooshu against Hakuho. Hakuho won. Eh, it was a great match anyway, very intense. I really like the one-day tourney (most tournaments are 15 days), it's instant gratification, since the winner is decided that day. It's a lot of fun watching your favorite wrestler battle his way through the ranks to the final match (if you picked a good one).

It's interesting to note that none of the day's top performers, Kotooshu, Hakuho and Asashoryo, who are, respectively, one champion, and two grand champions, are Japanese. K is from Bulgaria, H and A are both Mongolian. Hakuho is the current grand champion.

We had a great time, I can't wait to go again!

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5 comments:

Lulu said...

Oh wow, I am so jealous because I would love love love to see sumo live. It is on my 101 list!

It looks like so much fun- Shun works in Kameido which is near Ryogoku where the Sumos are and once I met him near work and saw sumo wrestlers on bicycles! Was so funny to see but amazing as well.

Looks like fun!

Robin Vistnes said...

That is so way cool! I can't pronounce all those names and words (the outfit) but I bet it was very intense to watch. Did you learn about all the tradition? That history stuff is too cool. I wish I appreciated hisory when I was in school and was actually paying to take it and get a grade- if I knew then what I know now...

Slime said...

Lulu - DEFINITELY do it! It's really incredible to see it live, so much more....intense and powerful than watching it on TV. I can just picture those sumos on bikes, too funny!

R - I already knew a whole lot about sumo, the history and traditions were the only reason I was interested in it. But now the competition/sporting part is really exciting for me. I know what you mean about appreciating history way back when, I feel the same about wait a total waste of time men are! If I knew then what I know now! LOL

Gina said...

I am so glad you guys went!!! I have NEVER been and I would love it! I would love to go and watch sumo!!! Very very cool!!! : )

Slime said...

Gina - you should totally go! The tickets are really reasonable, the boys might enjoy it too. I didn't think it was really a kid thing, some parts got a bit long and boring, but there were tons of kids there!

Even though I'm not a fan of sitting on the floor, the atmosphere down in the box seats (4people to a box) was really fun and lively, like a gigantic picnic!