And Now for Something Compeltely Different

So. I have ended up following the big Japanese Sumo tournaments--my cable company offers the English language version of the NHK, the Japanese National Broadcasting company, and the NHK runs a half-hour show of highlights from each tournament's day. You can easily google the details if you wish, Sumo is a simple sport, really. Anyway, This tournament, or Basho, was won by a wrestler from Georgia. (Georgia in Caucasuses, not the other Georgia), Of the 40 or so 'Top Division' wrestlers, less than 10 come from out of Japan, and most of them are from Mongolia. I know of one from Bulgaria, one from Brazil, and this guy, who goes by the name Tochinoshin. He suffered a bad knee injury in 2013 that nearly ended his career, but he came back from the lowest ranking back up to the top Division and this tournament he triumphed. Match starts about the 5 minute mark, but its worth watching the whole thing. The guy talking at the start is in Japan and is a serious Sumo fan, so his commentary is enlightening.


Grim said...

I really enjoy watching Sumo. I have a solid track record of picking the winners, too.

Eric Blair said...

Sometimes you can tell who is going to win--almost like they psych each other out, but I've seen a bunch of surprises lately.

Tom said...

I really enjoyed watching sumo when I was living there. I haven't paid much attention since I got back, though.

I appreciate that the matches are fought within a Shinto shrine. I often rode or hiked out into the countryside and occasionally came across a weathered old shrine with a sumo ring in it. Once there was a whole gang of young boys at one practicing sumo. It was on odd sight seeing these skinny elementary school kids train at doing what I'd only seen massive professional sumotori do.

Some or maybe all of the classical Japanese arts that still exist do some of their training at Shinto shrines as well. I was fortunate enough to do that once. The training began with Shinto priests performing a ritual and then giving each of us a tiny cup of sake. For a day it was another world.