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  • OK - here are the tickets for Sumo

  • Look what I have! I'm going to my very first Sumo tournament!

  • And Aya's going to be our Sumo guide.

  • Yeah!

  • Sumo guide, teach us!

  • [Life in Japan Theme Song]

  • Let me seewhat did we find?

  • Can you put it on? Let's see.

  • Alright! Mr Mario, all set.

  • We're going to have fun, huh?

  • You got the Switch, you got your backpack,

  • You got your Mario outfit

  • And we're going to go to Uncle Paul and Tia Pri's. Alright, let's go.

  • We're dropping Joshua off here at Ruth's brother's house, Paul, and Tia Pri.

  • And he's going to hang out here while Ruth and I go to SumoYES!

  • We've lived in Japan for seven years, but this will be our very first time to a Sumo tournament.

  • To help us navigate it, Ruth's friend Aya is going to meet us at the stadium and be our guide.

  • Sumo is the official sport of Japan, full of tradition and ceremony,

  • so having our friend with us is a huge benefit to understanding the overall Sumo experience.

  • We arrived at the station.

  • I think we found the right station. We did.

  • We exited the station at Ryougoku and headed towards the stadium or Kokugikan.

  • The drums and the flags tell you that it's tournament day.

  • Sumo tournaments last for 15 days and are full of matches all day long.

  • This tournament, called the Grand Tournament, is typically held in Osaka, but due to the pandemic was moved to Tokyo this year.

  • It's a perfect chance for us to check out Sumo for the first time.

  • We've got our papers here

  • The stickers. Oo stickers, very nice!

  • Alright!

  • So you can get different omiyages (souvenirs) for the different players?

  • So each player has their own omiyage?

  • The famous... The famous ones?

  • So all of these are the champions from previous years.

  • That is your favorite of all time? Yeah, yeah!

  • Chiyonofuji

  • So 69 and 71 are still Yokozuna, so the top notch...

  • And they're still working, but they're absent today.

  • He got injured yesterday. Oh! Bummer!

  • This guy's Hawaiian. So is this one.

  • And he's Hawaiian also.

  • The stadium was operating at limited capacity, but I was still able to try something I had been wanting to try: Sumo Curry.

  • Sumo Curry! Sumo curry.

  • If I eat enough of this, do you think I can get their size?

  • I hope not.

  • With a belly full of Curry, I felt a bit like a sumo wrestler

  • and it was time for the main event: the sumo match itself.

  • The trophy was awaiting the winner, so it was time to see who would fight for the win.

  • We're going up up up to our seats.

  • There are six different divisions in sumo.

  • Wrestlers move up and down between divisions based upon their record.

  • If you have a winning record after the tournament, you move up.

  • If you have a losing record, you move down.

  • The day starts with the lowest division competing first and moves up in prestige as the day goes on.

  • So he's calling the next player? Um hum.

  • Each wrestler is called into the ring and stretches and prepares for the match.

  • As you move up in divisions, this ceremony becomes more and more elaborate, as we will see.

  • Normally a stadium is full for a Sumo tournament, but the restrictions due to the pandemic keep the attendance and cheering to a minimum.

  • What is the goal? What are they trying to do?

  • To win the match, to win the point?

  • Going outside... Outside of the ring?

  • They have to put only here, the bottom of their foot.

  • So only their feetthe bottom of their feet can touch.

  • So if they put their hand down, or knee

  • Or elbow, they're out.

  • This is one of my favorite wrestlers.

  • This is one of your favorites? The one on the left or the right?

  • Yea, left.

  • What is his name?

  • Abi.

  • He was the strongest level but then he moved down.

  • So since he won, does he stay there then and fight the other ones?

  • No.

  • Just one match and you're done. Yeah

  • Only one match one day?! Oh!! Yeah.

  • So everyday, one match? Yeah.

  • Well, I'm glad you saw it today.

  • They prepare everyday for just one match.

  • Just some seconds.

  • So how many different Sumo wrestlers are there?

  • How many? I don't know.

  • Many of them? Yeah.

  • So each of these is a wrestler's name.

  • Oh my! Yeah.

  • So that brown little banana-thingy is where the emperor sits when he comes to watch.

  • Private booth for the emperor. Nice.

  • Who are the players up on the walls here?

  • The winners. The winners of each year?

  • Each tournament.

  • Each tournament's winners. OK.

  • How many tournaments in one year? Six.

  • Are the matches usually very fast? Yeah, usually.

  • What is the highest level of player?

  • You mean Yokozuna?

  • Yeah- how do you, how do they say it?

  • Yokozuna. Ah, Yokozuna.

  • We can't see Yokozuna today

  • Yeah, they're not playing right now.

  • So today the strongest wrestler is Ozeki.

  • So you have to reach the top level and win at that level to win the tournament?

  • Yeah. Ok.

  • How much do they have to eat? Like, what is their diet?

  • Sleep and eat and practice.

  • It looks like he hurt himself.

  • Is it common for them to hurt themselves? Yeah.

  • He says "No thank you, I'm going to walk off."

  • So now what is going to happen, Aya?

  • So, it's a kind of ceremony.

  • A ceremony?

  • Cool, they have special outfits.

  • Certain traditions are reserved for the higher levels of play, such as these entrance ceremonies.

  • At this level, a lot more time is taken before the actual match,

  • with wrestlers sizing up their opponents, returning to the ring side and slapping themselves without reserve.

  • At this level, water and salt now becomes available to the wrestlers to use.

  • Throwing salt in the ring is a form of purification before the match.

  • Wrestlers are able to return a couple of times to do this until the match actually begins.

  • Up on the wall here, it shows the names of the players and the matches we're on right now.

  • Whoever wins, the red line stays over them.

  • So this next one is one of Aya's personal favorites, huh? Yeah.

  • What's his name?

  • Him.

  • The one on the left? The right.

  • Right? Oh the one on the right.

  • The man in the red, what is his name?

  • He was the winner- he was one of the winners of last year.

  • Let's see how he does today.

  • Not this time, huh?

  • And now here comes the top level for this tournament.

  • The first guy down therehe's Brazilian.

  • Before the top level plays, they're announcing the matches for tomorrow.

  • Now the judges are getting into place here.

  • And at this level, Aya said that all of the players, they get their own cushion to sit on.

  • Their cushions have their name on it.

  • It's kind of like...kind of like probably a movie star gets a chair with his name on it.

  • And the first match is almost ready to go.

  • Oh, Aya is a true Sumo fan! She has Sumo socks.

  • Look at those! Those are awesome!

  • That's a true fan.

  • Are you going to be rooting for the Brazilian?

  • Sure. Go Brazil!

  • Yea, Brazil!

  • The short guy, what is special about him?

  • He throws a lot of salt.

  • Oh, he throws a lot of salt? Yea.

  • He's sponsored by a salt company? Oh that's ironic.

  • What's the salt guy's name?

  • These are quite the prematch warmups.

  • Look at his hand of salt, Nate!

  • That other guy's like "Don't need too much more."

  • More sponsors.

  • We had a great time learning all about Sumo with Aya,

  • and even though we had a lot of questions, she was a patient teacher.

  • We liked it so much, we'd like to go back again.

  • And if you like the videos we make, then please subscribe to our channel.

  • Your support makes all the difference! Until next time, we'll see you Life in Japan. Bye bye!

OK - here are the tickets for Sumo

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We Go To Our First Sumo Tournament | Life in Japan Episode 102

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    Summer posted on 2021/04/09
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