Sumo wrestling. Well, we may be very familiar with this famous sport originating from Japan. Yes, when we hear the word “sumo”, we directly think about two big Japanese guys wrestling and trying to throw each others bodies with their feet stomping hard on the floor. But it is not the sport we are talking about now, it is about the high calorie fuel behind every sumo wrestler: chankonabe.
Sumo is a very different affair. With an elite number of wrestlers, Sumo has long been a closed sport, accepting only limited foreign entrants and has minimal outside interference. Traditionally, the only opportunity to see this ancient sport in action is at a 'Grand Tournament'. However, these grand tournaments are held only once every two months, alternating between the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo and another venue elsewhere in Japan.
In Japan Sumo is much more than just a sport. It is a living example of Japanese culture, traditions and history. And the rikishi or wrestlers serve as cultural ambassadors when they take part in events overseas. Sumo shows discipline, hard work and courage but not only inside the dohyō or ring, also outside and in wrestlers´ every day life.
At the mention of Tokyo, the first idea that comes to the mind is one that of colorful neon glittered streets and endless skyscrapers. What awaits you in the eastern side of the Japanese capital will leave you thinking this is a complete different city in Japan.
Springtime in Japan is nothing short of magical. It’s getting warming, the sun stays out longer, and the cherry blossoms are blooming on every corner. In Osaka, there are many things to do or see especially in the spring. One of my favourite things to do during is time is an activity that dates back to the Edo period, watching a professional sumo bout!
In this age of constant change and evolution, the ancient sport of sumo wrestling has remained relatively the same for the past 750+ years. Originally begun some 1,500 years ago as a celebration of peace on earth and bountiful harvests, the sumo tournament, now held six times a year, still pays tribute to its beginnings through various subtle rites and motions.