Today we went to Sumo Wrestling.
This tournament only comes to Osaka for 2 weeks each year, this year my parents were here to see it. We still haven't figured out how to take visitors that want to see Sumo to Sumo when the tournament isn't here. Here are the second to best group of wrestlers coming into the ring before their matches begin:
Check out the veins in this guy's leg:
There is no weight limit in this sport, so you will see some really really big guys pitted against some so to speak "smaller" guys. The way to win is to get your oponent to step outside the center circle on the "dohyo" (ring) or touch any part of their upper body to the ground (including their knee or fingertip). You may notice their hair, it is funny looking and in part, the style is to protect their head in case of a bad fall. There are certain rituals that take place before a match begins, such as the competitors clapping their hands together, to attract the attention to the gods, then extending their arms and lifting their palms to show they are hiding no weapons. Then, they lift their legs and stomp them down to drive evil from the ring.
Here he is squatting before doing the leg lift and facing the audience:
The match has a time limit of 4 minutes, most of them were over in less than a minute. The tassles in the front are made of silk and glue (for decoration only):
Here are some of the typically large sumo wrestlers we saw today and we didn't even stay for the highest rank group of wrestlers today: