JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when traveling.


Last additions - Sumo 相撲
su292-20130125-2014.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su291-20130125-2007.jpg
Hakuho beats Kakuryu.Jan 29, 2013
su290-20130125-2000.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su289-20130125-1999.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su288-20130125-1992.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su287-20130125-1990.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su286-20130125-1985.jpg
Ozeki Kakuryu in an 2013.Jan 29, 2013
su285-20130125-1984.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su284-20130125-1982.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su283-20130125-1979.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su282-20130125-1978.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su281-20130125-1969.jpg
Yokozuna Hakuho vs. Ozeki Kakuryu in Jan 2013. They are both Mongolian.Jan 29, 2013
su280-20130125-1967.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su279-20130125-1964.jpg
Kisenosato loses this one.Jan 29, 2013
su278-20130125-1961.jpg
Harumafuji's common technique is to sidestep his opponent and push him out from behind.Jan 29, 2013
su277-20130125-1958.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su276-20130125-1952.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su275-20130125-1945.jpg
Harumafuji doing his very low stance.Jan 29, 2013
su274-20130125-1938.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su273-20130125-1935.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su272-20130125-1932.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su271-20130125-1931.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su270-20130125-1929.jpg
Ozeki Kisenosato vs. Yokozuna Harumafuji in Jan. 2013.Jan 29, 2013
su269-20130125-1923.jpg
Ozeki KisenosatoJan 29, 2013
su268-20130125-1916.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su267-20130125-1907.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su266-20130125-1902.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su265-20130125-1901.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su264-20130125-1892.jpg
Ozeki Kotooshu in Jan 2013.Jan 29, 2013
su153b-20130125-1863.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su153a-20130125-1864.jpg
The "Full House" banners are unfurled above the Shinto-style roof.Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1846.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1845.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1842.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1838.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1836.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1834.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1827.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1823.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1822.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1817.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1813.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1811.jpg
Yokozuna HarumafujiJan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1808.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1800.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1797.jpg
Yokozuna Harumafuji from Mongolia performs the dohyo-iri ring-entering ceremony.Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1794.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1790.jpg
Yokozuna Harumafuji from Mongolia performs the dohyo-iri ring-entering ceremony.Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1789.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1783.jpg
Next is Yokozuna Harumafuji.Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1773.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1759.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1756.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1752.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1746.jpg
Yokozuna HakuhoJan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1735.jpg
Yokozuna Hakuho from Mongolia performs the dohyo-iri ring-entering ceremony in Jan. 2013.Jan 29, 2013
su119-20130125-1736.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
063e-20130125-1425.jpg
Giant portrait of Ozeki Kotooshu.Jan 29, 2013
063d-20130125-1422.jpg
Giant portrait of HarumafujiJan 29, 2013
063c--20130125-1420.jpg
Giant portrait of KyokutenhoJan 29, 2013
063b-20130125-1426.jpg
Giant portrait of Yokozuna HakuhoJan 29, 2013
063a-20130125-1418.jpg
Giant portrait of BarutoJan 29, 2013
043-20130125-1363.jpg
I usually eat two bowls. Only 250 yen per bowl.Jan 29, 2013
042-20130125-1362.jpg
The banquet hall in the basement is used as a dining room during lunch time during tournaments. 大広間Jan 29, 2013
041-20130125-1364.jpg
The chanko-nabe menu changes a few times during the tournament. The recipes are from various sumo stables.Jan 29, 2013
040-20130125-1361.jpg
Entrance to the dining room for chanko-nabe. It's downstairs in the basement.Jan 29, 2013
034e-20130125-1365.jpg
Print Club photo sticker booth.Jan 29, 2013
034d-20130125-1356.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
034c-20130125-1352.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
034b-20130125-1351.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
034a-20130125-1350.jpg
Sumo figurines.Jan 29, 2013
032a-20130125-1348.jpg
Sumo service entrance for groups.Jan 29, 2013
028e-20130125-1336.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
028d-20130125-1335.jpg
Another prize from Fukushima Prefecture.Jan 29, 2013
028c-20130125-1334.jpg
Mushrooms from Oita Prefecture.Jan 29, 2013
028b-20130125-1333.jpg
Prize from Fukushima Prefecture.Jan 29, 2013
028a-20130125-1331.jpg
Prize from Miyazaki Prefecture.Jan 29, 2013
027b-20130125-1339.jpg
Trophies for the Three Outstanding Prizes (Technique, Outstanding Performance, and Fighting Spirit) from the Japan Sumo Association.Technique Prize (Gino-sho), Outstanding Performance (for most Yokozuna/Ozeki upsets, Shukun-sho), and Fighting Spirit (Kanto-sho).Jan 29, 2013
027a-20130125-1329.jpg
Plaques for the Three Outstanding Prizes (Technique, Outstanding Performance, and Fighting Spirit) awarded by two newspapers.Technique Prize (Gino-sho), Outstanding Performance (for most Yokozuna/Ozeki upsets, Shukun-sho), and Fighting Spirit (Kanto-sho).Jan 29, 2013
026d-20130125-1327.jpg
Closeup of old Nameplates of tournament winners that were on the Emperor's Cup.Jan 29, 2013
026c-20130125-1326.jpg
Old Nameplates of tournament winners that were on the Emperor's Cup.Jan 29, 2013
026b-20130125-1325.jpg
Old Nameplates of tournament winners that were on the Emperor's Cup.Jan 29, 2013
026a-20130125-1324.jpg
Closeup of nameplates of tournament winners on Emperor's Cup.Jan 29, 2013
025a-20130125-1323.jpg
Closeup of Emperor's Cup.Jan 29, 2013
023b-20130125-1321.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
023a-20130125-1320.jpg
In the entrance hall are life-size cutouts of the top wrestlers.Jan 29, 2013
018d-20130125-1311.jpg
Two small shrines outside.Jan 29, 2013
018d-20130125-1309.jpg
Taiko drum towerJan 29, 2013
018b-20130125-1308.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
018c-20130125-1310.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
018-20130125-1312.jpg
After you go through the ticket gate, the front of Kokugikan has two large murals.Jan 29, 2013
018a-20130125-1313.jpg
Jan 29, 2013
su300-20060119IMG_6219.jpg
Bow twirling (called Yumitori-shiki) is the final ceremony at the end of the tournament day which is around 6 pm. Feb 22, 2009
su261-20060119IMG_6215.jpg
The cushions are quickly cleared away.Feb 22, 2009
su257-20060119IMG_6206.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su301-20050508IMG_0703.jpg
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.Feb 22, 2009
su263-20060119IMG_6226.jpg
The thrown cushions are hastily piled up at ringside.Feb 22, 2009
su252-20060119IMG_6198.jpg
AsashoryuFeb 22, 2009
su262-20060119IMG_6216.jpg
Also see my YouTube video of the flying cushions.Feb 22, 2009
su260-20060119IMG_6214.jpg
Hakuho collects his pay.Feb 22, 2009
su251-20060119IMG_6194.jpg
Lots of sponsors for this match between Asashoryu and Hakuho on Jan. 19, 2006. Both Mongolians.Feb 22, 2009
su258-20060119IMG_6207.jpg
There goes Asashoryu.Feb 22, 2009
su256-20060119IMG_6205.jpg
If you want to photograph sumo, you'll need a good telephoto lens. The sumo ring has mostly tungsten lighting.Feb 22, 2009
su209-20050508IMG_0689.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su253-20060119IMG_6199.jpg
Asashoryu and Hakuho glare at each other.Feb 22, 2009
su259-20060119IMG_6212.jpg
The striking yokozuna upset makes the crowd go wild as they throw zabuton cushions in glee.Feb 22, 2009
su213-20050508IMG_0635.jpg
Sumo scoreboard. The names of all the wrestlers are displayed in the order of the sumo matches (from right to left). The winner is indicated with a red lamp.Feb 22, 2009
su254-20060119IMG_6202.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su204-20050508IMG_0640.jpg
Hakuho throws salt on the sumo ring.Feb 22, 2009
su255-20060119IMG_6204.jpg
A false start by Hakuho.Feb 22, 2009
su210-20050508IMG_0691.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su250-20060119IMG_6191.jpg
Another match with Asashoryu.Feb 22, 2009
su200-20060119IMG_6146.jpg
A large cushion is brought in for Kotooshu.Feb 22, 2009
su205-20050508IMG_0641.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su211-20050508IMG_0692.jpg
Asashoryu won this one.Feb 22, 2009
su207-20050508IMG_0686.jpg
The most famous Mongolian sumo wrestler is Asashoryu who has been quite controversial at times.Feb 22, 2009
su198-20060119IMG_6135.jpg
Hakurozan on the right in Jan. 2006.Feb 22, 2009
su201-20060119IMG_6148.jpg
Kotooshu sits on his own cushion at ringside before his bout.Feb 22, 2009
su202-20050508IMG_0637.jpg
Besides Europeans, there are numerous Mongolians in sumo. This is Hakuho in May 2005. He's now a yokozuna.Feb 22, 2009
su212-20050508IMG_0693.jpg
Asashoryu collects a big paycheck.Feb 22, 2009
su208-20050508IMG_0687.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su196-20050508IMG_0666.jpg
Seeing sumo live is much better than seeing it on TV. The atmosphere can't be beat when you're actually there. Taking photos and videos are of course permitted.Feb 22, 2009
su191-20050508IMG_0645.jpg
Kokkai means "Black Sea."Feb 22, 2009
su199-20060119IMG_6136.jpg
Hakurozan at the initial charge.Feb 22, 2009
su206-20060119IMG_6153.jpg
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.Feb 22, 2009
su189-20060119IMG_6184.jpg
The referee points his fan toward the side of the winner.Feb 22, 2009
su195-20050508IMG_0665.jpg
Roho vs. TochiazumaFeb 22, 2009
su197-20050508IMG_0667.jpg
Roho vs. TochiazumaFeb 22, 2009
su203-20050508IMG_0639.jpg
HakuhoFeb 22, 2009
su190-20050508IMG_0644.jpg
Kokkai on the left. He is from Georgia in eastern Europe.Feb 22, 2009
su193-20050508IMG_0656.jpg
And into the front row of spectators. I've never heard of any spectators who got injured by sumo wrestlers falling on top of them.Feb 22, 2009
su183-20060119IMG_6168.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su187-20060119IMG_6181.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su186-20060119IMG_6180.jpg
Trying for a yorikiri or frontal push out while grabbing the belt.Feb 22, 2009
su194-20050508IMG_0661.jpg
There were also two Russian sumo wrestlers. Roho and his brother Hakurozan. This is Roho in May 2005. Both got busted for drug use in 2008 and were kicked out of sumo.Feb 22, 2009
su184-20060119IMG_6178.jpg
The wrestler must start the match from a "three-point stand" position where both his feet and at least one of his hands are touching the ground.Feb 22, 2009
su176-20060119IMG_6139.jpg
Referees are also ranked. The higher ranking referees appear for the matches of the higher-ranking rikishi. They have different dress as the rank goes higher. The lowest-ranked referee may be barefoot.Feb 22, 2009
su177-20060119IMG_6193.jpg
The color of the tassel hanging from the referee's fan indicates his rank. Purple or purple and white indicates the highest ranking referee who judges the yokozuna matches. A red tassel is for the sanyaku matches (Ozeki, Sekiwake, Komusubi).Feb 22, 2009
su181-20060119IMG_6053.jpg
Once in a while, they freshen up the sumo ring, sweeping it.Feb 22, 2009
su192-20050508IMG_0655.jpg
Both tumble off the ring...Feb 22, 2009
su180-20050508IMG_0632.jpg
The referee is thrown into the crowd by the wrestler (by accident, of course). An attendant carries the water bucket out of the way so the referee does not crash into it and spill the water. A judge looks on concerned, while some spectators are amused.Feb 22, 2009
su188-20060119IMG_6182.jpg
Grabbing the opponent's mawashi belt to throw him down or out is a key technique.Feb 22, 2009
su182-20060119IMG_6165.jpg
Kotooshu on the right.Feb 22, 2009
su179-20050508IMG_0630.jpg
He defeats his opponent who also pushes down the referee.Feb 22, 2009
su171-20050508IMG_0673.jpg
There are many sumo techniques (called kimarite) to defeat the opponent. This is okuridashi or rear push out. Once your back is toward the opponent, you have little chance to recover.Feb 22, 2009
su178-20050508IMG_0625.jpg
Kotooshu is from Bulgaria.Feb 22, 2009
su174-20040916IMG_8916.jpg
Sometimes a match is too close to call. The ringside judges will hold a conference in the ring and either decide who was the winner or declare a rematch. The referee must accept the decision. Judges in the video room may also examine a replay on video.Feb 22, 2009
su185-20060119IMG_6179.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su173-20050508IMG_0472.jpg
Overarm throw called uwatenage.Feb 22, 2009
su166-20050508IMG_0615.jpg
Many matches also have sponsor who pay money to the winner of the match. Each banner represents a sponsor.Feb 22, 2009
su169-20050508IMG_0606.jpg
The initial charge or tachiai is crucial, and can determine who will win the match. The rikishi on the right has charged earlier than the other, giving him the advantage.Feb 22, 2009
su175-20060119IMG_6086.jpg
After losing, Takamisakari dejectedly leaves the ring. The crowd sympathizes with him and applaud.Feb 22, 2009
su163-20050508IMG_0613.jpg
On the ring, they spread their arms to show that they carry no weapons.Feb 22, 2009
su170-20050508IMG_0672.jpg
Often the wrestlers will lock onto each other while gripping each other's mawashi belts (made of silk). (Ozeki Kaio vs. Tamanoshima in May 2005.)Feb 22, 2009
su167-20050508IMG_0617.jpg
TakamisakariFeb 22, 2009
su172-20040916IMG_9063.jpg
Oshidashi or frontal push out, a common technique.Feb 22, 2009
su162-20060119IMG_6081.jpg
Takamisakari does his "Robocop" act in his corner to psych himself up.Feb 22, 2009
su168-20040916IMG_9054.jpg
They glare at each other a few times before the match. They repeat the salt throwing and glaring for four minutes before the match starts.Feb 22, 2009
su160-20060119IMG_6109.jpg
They spit out the water into a small bucket in the corner.Feb 22, 2009
su165-20040916IMG_9034.jpg
Musoyama (in Sept. 2004).Feb 22, 2009
su158-20050508IMG_0611.jpg
Then they rinse their mouths with water for purification. Another wrestler holds the water ladle and tissue paper.Feb 22, 2009
su161-20060119IMG_6170.jpg
Then they throw salt onto the ring for purification. They do this a few times before the match. These are all Shinto-based religious rituals. Even the roof above the sumo ring looks like a Shinto shrine roof.Feb 22, 2009
su156-20040916IMG_9020.jpg
The yobidashi changes once in a while. Dressed in black and sitting as one of the judges is former yokozuna Chiyonofuji, now Kokonoe oyakata.Feb 22, 2009
su153-20050508IMG_0595.jpg
A portrait of Asashoryu is ceremoniously unveiled in the Kokugikan. On the right is the tournament date, on the left is the rikishi's name, and the sponsor's name is on the bottom. The portrait is actually B/W photo hand-painted in color.Feb 22, 2009
su119-20060119IMG_6034.jpg
Side view of Asashoryu's dohyo-iri. Looks like we'll have to wait a lot longer to ever see another Japanese yokozuna. No one is even on the horizon as of this writing. The next yokozuna might as well be another foreigner (Baruto perhaps).Feb 22, 2009
su164-20040916IMG_9051.jpg
AsashoryuFeb 22, 2009
su157-20060119IMG_6160.jpg
The two rikishi who were called up go on the ring and stomp their foot.Feb 22, 2009
su150-20050508IMG_0589.jpg
Also on the first day of the tournament, the previous tournament winner receives a large portrait of himself to be hung in the Kokugikan. This is the ceremony for it.Feb 22, 2009
su115-20050508IMG_0578.jpg
He turns around and goes back to his place. You can see that his rope belt is tied with a single loop on the back. This is the Unryu style. It differs from the Shiranui style performed by Hakuho.Feb 22, 2009
su159-20060119IMG_6162.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su118-20050508IMG_0585.jpg
The yokozuna dohyo-iri ends. It is performed every day during the 15-day tournament as well as at exhibition tournaments.Feb 22, 2009
su154-20050508IMG_0609.jpg
And so the day's sumo matches continue as the wrestler walks up to the sumo ring to wait his turn.Feb 22, 2009
su113-20060119IMG_6042.jpg
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Feb 22, 2009
su111-20060119IMG_6040.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su151-20050508IMG_0590.jpg
In this case, Asashoryu receives a new portrait which is then unveiled. The portrait is usually sponsored by a major newspaper.Feb 22, 2009
su155-20060119IMG_6158.jpg
The rikishi sits at ringside until his name is called by the yobidashi (caller or usher) here who is announcing the wrestler's name while holding a fan.Feb 22, 2009
su109-20060119IMG_6038.jpg
He claps his hands and stomps his foot.Feb 22, 2009
su110-20060119IMG_6039.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su152-20050508IMG_0592.jpg
Everyone looks up at the unveiling of the framed portrait hanging near the ceiling. Also see my YouTube video of this unveiling.Feb 22, 2009
su116-20050508IMG_0581.jpg
Claps his hands for the last time. The man in purple is the referee.Feb 22, 2009
su108-20050508IMG_0577.jpg
Then he steps forward and turns to the front.Feb 22, 2009
su104-20050508IMG_0573.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su117-20050508IMG_0583.jpg
The two rikishi who escort him are either from his own sumo stable or an affiliate sumo stable.Feb 22, 2009
su112-20060119IMG_6041.jpg
He stomps the ground to drive away evil.Feb 22, 2009
su103-20050508IMG_0572.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su101-20050508IMG_0567.jpg
The yokozuna is flanked by two attendants, a sword bearer on the left and dew sweeper on the right. Their kesho mawashi ceremonial aprons are a matching set.Feb 22, 2009
su114-20060119IMG_6045.jpg
The ring-entering ceremony starts at around 4 pm. The yokozuna's rope belt and zig-zag paper streamers look very similar to the sacred rope found at Shinto shrines.Feb 22, 2009
su106-20040916IMG_8952.jpg
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.Feb 22, 2009
su054-20060519IMG_2915.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su053-20060519IMG_2911.jpg
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.Feb 22, 2009
su107-20040916IMG_8958.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su102-20050508IMG_0571.jpg
He claps his hands to get the attention of the gods. 横綱土俵入りFeb 22, 2009
su100-20050508IMG_0565.jpg
Right after the Makunouchi dohyo-iri is the Yokozuna Dohyo-iri. This is Yokozuna Asashoryu. A major highlight during the tournament.Feb 22, 2009
su105-20040916IMG_8949.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su050-20050508IMG_0552.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su049-20050508IMG_0548.jpg
Some of the designs on the aprons are quite beautiful. Some are also pretty much advertisements for the sponsor who could be a support group, fan club, company, or rich individual.Feb 22, 2009
su052-20060519IMG_2903.jpg
Hakuho, before he became yokozuna.Feb 22, 2009
su055-20060519IMG_2916.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su051-20050508IMG_0553.jpg
Roho's apron actually had little lights which flashed.Feb 22, 2009
su048-20050508IMG_0547.jpg
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.Feb 22, 2009
su046-20060119IMG_6027.jpg
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.Feb 22, 2009
su043-20060119IMG_6017.jpg
Feb 22, 2009
su047-20060119IMG_6028.jpg
Fortunately, there are many people who do appreciate sumo, like former French president Jacques Chirac. (THe current French president has no interest in sumo.)Feb 22, 2009
su041-20050508IMG_0544.jpg
Ozeki Kotooshu with an apron by Bulgaria Yogurt. (Kotooshu is from Bulgaria.)Feb 22, 2009
su040-20060119IMG_6012.jpg
Ozeki Kotooshu.Feb 22, 2009
su045-20060119IMG_6023.jpg
Unfortunately, there are people ignorant of sumo who think it is just nearly naked, fat men charging at each other. Famous American newspaper columnist Mike Royko once wrote one of the worse and most insulting pieces about sumo in his column.Feb 22, 2009
su042-20060119IMG_6013.jpg
Next are rikishi from the west side.Feb 22, 2009
su034-20060119IMG_5991.jpg
The colorful kesho mawashi are expensive to make, and each wrestler has a sponsor who donates an apron. The sponsor's name is usually on the bottom.Feb 22, 2009
su044-20060119IMG_6019.jpg
Takamisakari is one of the more popular rikishi.Feb 22, 2009
su038-20060119IMG_6007.jpg
After the last wrestler is on the ring, they all turn around and raise their arms.Feb 22, 2009
su039-20060119IMG_6009.jpg
Getting off the sumo ring.Feb 22, 2009
su037-20060119IMG_6003.jpg
The sumo tournaments are broadcast live every day on TV by NHK, focusing on the Makunouchi Division matches.Feb 22, 2009
su032-20060119IMG_5988.jpg
Next we have the ring-entering ceremony by the top division wrestlers in the Makunouchi Division. Rikishi from the east side come down the aisle first. They are led by a referee.Feb 22, 2009
su035-20060119IMG_6001.jpg
The higher ranking rikishi are at the end of the line. (Hakuho and Kotooshu here).Feb 22, 2009
su033-20060119IMG_5989.jpg
They enter as wooden clappers are clapped by someone.Feb 22, 2009
su036-20060119IMG_5994.jpg
They make their way around the ring.Feb 22, 2009
su030-20050508IMG_0518.jpg
On the first day of the tournament, the chairman of the Japan Sumo Association (shown here is Kitanoumi) and top rikishi go on the ring to convey greetings to the crowd.Feb 22, 2009
su028-20050508IMG_0529.jpg
JUryo wrestlers continue to fight.Feb 22, 2009
su031-20050508IMG_0521.jpg
The chairman of the Japan Sumo Association (shown here is Kitanoumi) greets the crowd and thanks everyone for coming.Feb 22, 2009
su027-20050508IMG_0505.jpg
You can see sumo for as cheap as 2100 yen. You can buy tickets at the box office where the tournament is held. The cheap tickets may sell out, so go early.Feb 22, 2009
su029-20050508IMG_0533.jpg
This is Hakurozan, who was arrested for drug use in 2008 and booted out of sumo along with his brother Roho.Feb 22, 2009
su026-20050508IMG_0496.jpg
The wrestlers are divided into east and west, and both groups perform the dohyo-iri. They wear colorful ceremonial aprons called kesho mawashi made of silk. They can cost up to 500,000 yen.Feb 22, 2009
su022-20050508IMG_0482.jpg
There are about 800 sumo wrestlers, called rikishi, and they belong to one of six divisions. Each day of the tournament starts in the morning with the lower divisions as you see here. They are skinnier and wear drab-looking black mawashi.Feb 22, 2009
su023-20050508IMG_0474.jpg
The sumo matches have five judges (shinpan), dressed in formal black kimono, sitting on each of the four sides of the sumo ring. There is also a referee (gyoji) on the ring. This is former yokozuna Takanohana who has lost much weight and looks like a kid.Feb 22, 2009
su025-20050508IMG_0495.jpg
Juryo wrestlers performing the ring-entering ceremony.Feb 22, 2009
su020-20060519IMG_2887.jpg
Grand sumo tournaments are held six times a year in Jan., March, May, July, Sept., and Nov. They are held at Ryogoku Kokugikan arena in Tokyo in Jan., May, and Sept. In March, it is in Osaka, July in Nagoya, and Nov. in Fukuoka. This is the Kokugikan.Feb 22, 2009
su021-20050508IMG_0476.jpg
Each tournament is 15 days long, and each wrestler in the top two divisions wrestle once a day. A wrestler must win at least 8 times during a tournament to get promoted. Otherwise, he is demoted in rank. The more he wins, the higher he is promoted.Feb 22, 2009
su024-20050508IMG_0487.jpg
One colorful highlight each day during a tournament is the dohyo-iri ring-entering ceremony performed by rikishi in the top two divisions. These are rikishi in the second highest division called Juryo. 十両Feb 22, 2009
ms113-20081017_2732.jpg
Maibara Mayor Michio Hirao greets the crowd. If he were a woman, he would not be allowed to stand in the sumo ring. Nov 08, 2008
ms142-20081017_2879.jpg
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.Nov 07, 2008
ms137-20081017_2858.jpg
Hakuho vs. KotomitsukiNov 07, 2008
ms133-20081017_2839.jpg
Ama is the winner. In Nov. 2008, he was promoted to Ozeki and was renamed Harumafuji.Nov 07, 2008
ms143-20081017_SUMO.jpg
Maibara Basho sumo booklet.Nov 07, 2008
ms141-20081017_2877.jpg
Yumitorishiki 弓取式Nov 07, 2008
ms129-20081017_2814.jpg
Inside the sumo arena. It was pretty full. Nov 07, 2008
ms138-20081017_2861.jpg
Hakuho vs. KotomitsukiNov 07, 2008
ms140-20081017_2868.jpg
Hakuho wonNov 07, 2008
ms139-20081017_2864.jpg
Nov 07, 2008
ms125-20081017_2782.jpg
Homasho had very smooth skin.Nov 07, 2008
ms134-20081017_2841.jpg
Kaio vs. KotooshuNov 07, 2008
ms136-20081017_2853.jpg
Hakuho vs. Kotomitsuki, the last bout of the day.Nov 07, 2008
ms120-20081017_2770.jpg
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.Nov 07, 2008
ms135-20081017_2845.jpg
Kaio vs. KotooshuNov 07, 2008
ms130-20081017_2821.jpg
KisenosatoNov 07, 2008
ms132-20081017_2835.jpg
Sanyaku wrestlers: Kotomitsuki, Chiyotaikai, and Kotooshu.Nov 07, 2008
ms126-20081017_2804.jpg
Ozeki Kotomitsuki signs autographs.Nov 07, 2008
ms131-20081017_2829.jpg
Sanyaku (top three ranking wrestlers) wrestlers: Ama, Hakuho, and Kaio.Nov 07, 2008
ms128-20081017_2754.jpg
RefereeNov 07, 2008
ms118-20081017_2760.jpg
TakamisakariNov 07, 2008
ms127-20081017_2808.jpg
Ozeki Kotomitsuki is interviewed.Nov 07, 2008
ms124-20081017_2796.jpg
Baruto shares a laugh. Nov 07, 2008
ms115-20081017_2739.jpg
TosanoumiNov 07, 2008
547 files on 3 page(s) 1