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Green Park Santo was the site for the Ozumo Maibara Basho or Maibara Exhibition Sumo Tournament on Oct. 17, 2008. It was nice sunny day. Banners with the name of famous sumo wrestlers (rikishi) were up. グリーンパーク山東
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Gate to the sumo arena. The gate opened at 8 am. The last exhibition sumo tournament held in Shiga was in 1999 in Nagahama Dome.
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Tickets please. We all got a sumo booklet with pictures of all the wrestlers.
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Arch to the sumo arena. 大相撲米原場所
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Two sumo wrestlers near the gate greeted spectators. The sumo contingent's stop in Maibara was part of their autumn exhibition tour. The day before, they were in Noto, Ishikawa Pref.
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Taiko drummer added atmosphere.
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The sumo arena was under a large tent. The ground was covered by a blue, vinyl tarp.
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Arena layout and ticket prices. The cheapest ticket was 4,000 yen and the most expensive near ringside was 14,000 yen.
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Sumo souvenir shops and food stalls.
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Sumo souvenirs
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Zabuton cushions with "Maibara Basho" imprinted were also sold for 1100 yen.
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Day's bouts.
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Miyabiyama stands near the entrance gate to sign autographs.
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Outside the tent arena was a grassy area where the rikishi warmed up. About 160 rikishi were in the tournament.
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Push-ups
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Mt. Ibuki in the background.
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Baruto from Estonia and Tochinoshin from Georgia chat with each other (probably in Russian).
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First the lower ranking Makushita wrestlers practiced on the ring.
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Banners above written with "Maibara Basho" and "Full House." It actually wasn't sold out.
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Later, the top division Makunouchi wrestlers started practice. They wear white mawashi belts.
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Ozeki Kotomitsuki practicing.
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One benefit of exhibition tournaments is that the rikishi are able to practice with different wrestlers from different stables.
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Baruto practicing.
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Kotooshu
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Maibara basho zabuton cushions
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Ozeki Chiyotaikai
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Ozeki Chiyotaikai works out and gives a great photo op.
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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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Yokozuna Hakuho signs autographs. Unfortunately, Yokozuna Asashoryu was in Mongolia recovering from an injury.
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A relaxing day at sumo. Notice the seat numbers written on the vinyl sheet. Four seats per "box" called masu-seki.
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At 11 am, it was sumo with the little kids. Here's Takamisakari. 人気力士とちびっ子の稽古
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Takamisakari swings around the helpless young boy.
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高見盛
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In the end, the kid pushed out Takamisakari.
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Baruto and kid.
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Baruto also flies the kid around.
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Up you go...
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Ha-ha, I pushed you out...
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Upsy daisy
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Around 21 kids from Shiga got to push around these rikishi.
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Chiyotaikai and kid
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West side
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Hanamichi to the sumo ring
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From 11:40 am, sumo matches began. Started with the Makushita wrestlers. (Notice their black mawashi belt.)
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Makushita match
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About 1,800 people attended the sumo tournament.
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A comedic sumo called shokkiri. 初切
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Comedic sumo. It actually takes quite a bit of practice to put on comedic sumo, another thing we don't normally see during regular tournaments.
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Boxing
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Singing sumo jinku songs. 相撲甚句
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At around 1 pm, the Ring-entering ceremony by Juryo wrestlers on the east side. 十両土俵入り
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Dohyo-iri Ring-entering ceremony by Juryo wrestlers on the east side.
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Dohyo-iri Ring-entering ceremony by Juryo wrestlers on the west side.
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Dohyo-iri Ring-entering ceremony by Juryo wrestlers on the west side.
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Taiko drumming demonstration. 檜太鼓打分け
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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 Kaio
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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 to be put around him by his attendants.
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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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Demonstration of putting on the yokozuna rope belt on Yokozuna Hakuho.
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This is something we don't seeing during regular grand sumo tournaments held every other month in Tokyo (3 times), Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka.
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Pulling it tight.
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This is the Shiranui style with two loops in the back. The rope has a wire core to stiffen the rope. 横綱白鵬 不知火型
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He faced all four directions before stepping down from the ring.
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Picture-taking with Maibara mayor.
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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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At around 1:30 pm, the Makunouchi dohyo-iri ring-entering ceremony is held. This is the east side.
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Takamisakari carried a little boy (crying) from Maibara during the ring-entering ceremony.
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Makunouchi dohyo-iri ring-entering ceremony.
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Baruto
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Makunouchi dohyo-iri ring-entering ceremony on the west side.
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Chiyotaikai and Kotooshu
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Makunouchi dohyo-iri ring-entering ceremony on the west side.
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Now the Yokozuna dohyo-iri ring-entering ceremony.
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They set up up to the ring.
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Yokozuna Hakuho performs the yokozuna dohyo-iri ring-entering ceremony.
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Yokozuna Hakuho performs the yokozuna dohyo-iri 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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Maibara Mayor Michio Hirao greets the crowd. If he were a woman, he would not be allowed to stand in the sumo ring.
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Now the top-division Makunouchi wrestlers start to fight. The judges enter. This is former Ozeki Kirishima.
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Tosanoumi
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Kokkai (left)
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Takamisakari
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Takamisakari does his robocop routine.
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Takamisakari wins. He declined to sign any autographs, and just ran back to the dressing room. He must be tired of being mobbed all the time.
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Miyabiyama sits in a spectator seat as he waits his turn.
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Baruto flashes the peace sign to a photographer.
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Baruto is a big guy. He's Ozeki material. (Currently Komusubi.)
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Baruto shares a laugh.
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Homasho had very smooth skin.
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Ozeki Kotomitsuki signs autographs.
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Ozeki Kotomitsuki is interviewed.
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Referee
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Inside the sumo arena. It was pretty full.
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Kisenosato
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Sanyaku (top three ranking wrestlers) wrestlers: Ama, Hakuho, and Kaio.
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Sanyaku wrestlers: Kotomitsuki, Chiyotaikai, and Kotooshu.
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Ama is the winner. In Nov. 2008, he was promoted to Ozeki and was renamed Harumafuji.
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Kaio vs. Kotooshu
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Kaio vs. Kotooshu
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Hakuho vs. Kotomitsuki, the last bout of the day.
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Hakuho vs. Kotomitsuki
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Hakuho vs. Kotomitsuki
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Hakuho won
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Yumitorishiki 弓取式
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After it ended, the wrestlers rode on these buses. The next stop was Kyoto. Their autumn exhibition tour lasting till Oct. 26 would then take them to Tokushima, Kochi, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, Hiroshima, and Yamaguchi Prefectures.
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Maibara Basho sumo booklet.
   
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