History of “Sumo” and how to see a sumo tournament. An introduction of “Sumo”.
Sumo is a Japanese wrestling sport which is a living example of traditional Japanese culture. The purpose of sumo bouts were performed as a way to pray for bountiful crop or to predict whether that year's harvest would be good by two healthy men wrestling in front of the God in shrine. In current Japan, sumo is still a popular sport. Many shrines provide “dohyo” which is a circular ring for contest court. The origin of professional sumo can trace its roots during the age of the samurai period which already existed individuals and group sumo wrestlers. In present day, Japan Sumo Association orginzated the sumo tournaments.
They called the sumo wrestler “rishiki” in Japan. They are wearing nothing except “mawashi” (loincloth) like belt while wrestling by two opponents. The winner wrestler to force his opponent to step out of the ring or any part of opponent's body touches the ground except feet. An opponent fell outside of the ring or body touches ground will judged as lose the field. Wrestlers are able to procees push and grapple during the match, but fraud will be judged if use fingers or kick. Sumo has variety of technique skills, “harite” and “tsuppari” are skills to force opponent down by palm of hand. It is not fraud but it looks like beating up action to each other. The highest technique is “yorikiri” by force opponent out of the ring while holding his belt. Fraud or cheating such as grab component's mawashi or topknot will automatically loses the match.
Professional sumo divided into ten ranked divisions based on the record in tournaments. From lists from top are ”Yokozuna (橫綱)”, “ōzeki (大関)”, “Sekiwake (関脇)”, “Komusubi (小結)”, “Maegashira (前頭)”, “Jūryō (十両)”, ”Makushita (幕下)”, ”Sandanme (三段目)”, “Jonidan (序二段)”, “Jonokuchi (序の口).”
Sumo tournaments run in January, March, May, July, September and November yearly in Japan. Tickets are sold for each day of the 15-day tournaments. Three tournaments take place in January, May, and September in Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo. Another three tournaments holds in March in Osaka, July in Nagoya, and November in Fukuoka. Many rishiki will join the tournament, so normally start at 10:00 until 18:00. However, ”Makuuchi” the top division from “Maegashira (前頭)” to ”Yokozuna (橫綱)” normally starts around 15:45 in the afternoon. (Last day of the tournament starts at 15:20) The tickets for tournament fold in Ryogoku Kokugikan cost around 2,200 ~ 14,800 yen per ticket.