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Yokozuna MusashimaruHis last dohyo-iri.
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Former yokozuna Taiho, Takanosato, Kotozakura, and Wakanohana watch intently.
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Musashimaru right after I shook his hand.
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Asashoryu sips water offered by Ozeki ChiyotaikaiAs soon as Asashoryu entered the arena, many wrestlers went up to him to offer water as a show of respect.
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Asashoryu and TochiazumaAfter offering water, Tochiazuma shares a laugh with the yokozuna.
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Friends after allKyokushuzan chats with fellow Mongolian Asashoryu.
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Konishiki also sings. (His company arranged the entertainment.)
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Musashigawa Stable wrestler wearing Aloha-print yukataFlowery pattern (plumeria) with "Musashimaru" imprinted.
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Sumo match with kidsA retirement ceremony for an important sumo wrestler includes a variety of activities besides the actual ceremony of cutting away the topknot. It involves almost the entire Japan Sumo Association, and most wrestlers in the top three divisions (Makushita, Juryo, and Makunouchi) also appear in exhibition matches.
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Takamisakari for butsuri keikoEverybody cheered whenever he entered the ring.
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Kumu hula Sonny Ching beats the ipu gourd drum, a traditional Hawaiian instrument. This must be a first, a kumu hula performing on the sumo ring in Japan.
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Snip by Yokozuna Asashoryu and a symbolic passing of the baton from one foreign yokozuna to the next (and only) foreign yokozuna.Mongolia's Golden Age of Sumo has begun.
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The final cut by stablemaster Musashigawa Oyakata.
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Musashimaru and his flowersThis was his last appearance at this retirement ceremony.
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"Robocop" Takamisakari gets readyThe top-division Makunouchi wrestlers went through their matches quickly.
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Final match of the day with Yokozuna Asashoryu
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Sumo. A college sumo club. Sumo ring is just a mat (no dirt) for Budo Hajime at the Budokan.
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Sumo at the Budokan.
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Sumo. Even little girls participated in Budo Hajime at Budokan.
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JR Koiwa Station has this statue of Yokozuna Tochinishiki, a famous sumo wrestler who was from Koiwa.
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Statue of Yokozuna Tochinishiki (1925-1990) inside JR Koiwa Station. The statue is now a popular meeting place inside the station.
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Statue of Yokozuna Tochinishiki inside JR Koiwa Station. He was the 44th yokozuna and head of the Japan Sumo Association during 1974-1988. The new and current Kokugikan was built under his watch.
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It's a very good likeness, and almost life-size. After retiring as an active wrestler, he became Kasugano oyakata.
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Kotoshogiku showed his trademark back bend dubbed "Koto Bauer." Matsudo, Chiba
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Sitting on the right is the Sadogatake Stablemaster, former Kotonowaka who married the daughter of his late master former Yokozuna Kotozakura.Victory parade in Matsudo, Chiba.
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A video still in front of Matsudo Station.
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Baruto from Estonia and Tochinoshin from Georgia chat with each other (probably in Russian).
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Ozeki Chiyotaikai
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Ozeki Chiyotaikai works out.
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Ozeki Chiyotaikai 大関千代大海
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Ozeki Kotomitsuki signs autographs.
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Ozeki Kotomitsuki 大関琴光喜
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Baruto signs autographs. This is something we cannot do during official sumo tournaments.
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Kisenosato signs autographs. He's quite popular with the ladies.
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Finally, Yokozuna Hakuho appears. At first, his tsukebito attendants declined autographs. But when a lady following him asked for an autograph, he stopped and said okay.
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A large crowd instantly formed around Hakuho.
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Takamisakari swings around the helpless young boy.
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Baruto also flies the kid around.
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Rikishi waiting his turn to go in.
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Sumo wrestler's hairstyle.
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Ozeki Kotomitsuki
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Ozeki Chiyotaikai
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Ozeki Chiyotaikai says, "Sorry, no time for more autographs."
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Yokozuna Hakuho and his yokozuna rope belt.
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Yokozuna Hakuho waits to enter the sumo ring.
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Yokozuna Hakuho's yokozuna rope is held by his attendant wearing white gloves.
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Yokozuna Hakuho rests until it's time for his dohyo-iri ring-entering ceremony. Behind is Mt. Ibuki.
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Takamisakari carried a little boy (crying) from Maibara during the ring-entering ceremony.
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Yokozuna Hakuho performs the yokozuna dohyo-iri ring-entering ceremony. 横綱白鵬
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The Shiranui style has both arms extended outward when going up. 横綱白鵬 不知火型の土俵入り
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Baruto flashes the peace sign to a photographer.
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Baruto shares a laugh.
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Homasho had very smooth skin.
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Baruto and Yokozuna Hakuho at Naritasan Shinshoji for Setsubun bean throwing on Feb. 3, 2013.
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Ozeki Kisenosato and Okinoumi at Naritasan.
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Baruto at Naritasan Shinshoji for Setsubun on Feb. 3, 2013.
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Baruto and Yokozuna Hakuho.
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Musashimaru gets his setsubun beans at Narita-san.
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Musashimaru throws setsubun beans at Narita-san
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Musashimaru and Dejima
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The mannequin is a slightly larger-than-life likeness of Yokozuna Kitanoumi performing the Yokozuna Dohyo-iri (ring-entering ceremony). Yokozuna Kitanoumi Memorial Hall, Sobetsu, Hokkaido
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It sort of looks like Kitanoumi...
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The chairman of the Japan Sumo Association (shown here is Kitanoumi) greets the crowd and thanks everyone for coming.
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The higher ranking rikishi are at the end of the line. (Hakuho and Kotooshu here).
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Ozeki Kotooshu.
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During a sumo exhibition tour in the US, first lady Nancy Reagan rejected having the yokozuna ring-entering ceremony performed in the Rose Garden of the White House. It was performed at the State Department instead with Secretary George Schultz attending.
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Wrestlers wait until everyone is on the ring. Notice that Takamisakari (second from the left) and the rikishi on the far right have almost the same aprons. They will serve as the sword bearer and dew sweeper for the yokozuna ring-entering ceremony.
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Baruto, from Estonia, at the center. He's well on his way to become Ozeki. There are many foreign sumo wrestlers. Unfortunately, there are none from Hawaii. Mostly Europeans and Mongolians.
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He claps his hands to get the attention of the gods. 横綱土俵入り
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He extends his arms to show that he conceals no weapons. I'm not too crazy about the way Asashoryu does the dohyo-iri though. A few little details make it less dignified.
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He stomps the ground to drive away evil.
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Asashoryu performing the yokozuna dohyo-iri or ring-entering ceremony. There are two styles of the yokozuna dohyo-iri. One is the Unryu style which Asashoryu performs. One hand is on his hip as he rises here. 雲龍型
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Yokozuna Hakuho
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Yokozuna Harumafuji
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Musoyama (in Sept. 2004).
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Takamisakari
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Kokkai means "Black Sea."
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Roho vs. Tochiazuma
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Kotooshu sits on his own cushion at ringside before his bout.
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Hakuho throws salt on the sumo ring.
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Ama, another Mongolian and now Yokozuna Harumafuji. The Mongolians are taking over the top echelons of sumo dominated by foreigners. We haven't had a Japanese yokozuna since 2003.
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Asashoryu collects a big paycheck.
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Ozeki Kakuryu in an 2013.
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The bow twirler is a Makushita Division wrestler (third highest division). Afterward, the entire sumo ring is covered with a cloth. Also see my Kokugikan photos here.
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