The Cynical Traveller Goes To… Sumo
There’s something indescribably erotic about two 400kg men mashing into each other. Maybe it’s the breasts or perhaps the thongs, but there must be some reason why Sumo wrestlers get all the good women in Japan.
Having the extraordinary good luck to steal someone’s front row seats, we were close at hand to witness the physical perfection that is Sumo.
Of course, the great thing about watching sumo is that it is not only a “sport”, but an enormous boost to the self esteem as well.
To the untrained eye, it may look like two McDonalds addicts slapping each other in a fight over the last French fry, but Sumo is so much more tactical than that.
There appear to be three main styles of fighting:
The slap – A fantastic opportunity to see huge waves of rippling flesh.
The sidestep – What do you do when 400kg of man is heading your way? Get the hell out of the way (This is heavily frowned upon by traditionalists and suicidal maniacs alike) .
The wedgie – You pick up a 400kg man by the underpants and carry him out of the ring. He spends the next week pulling said pants out of his, not inconsiderable, bottom.
But the fighting is only a small part of the event. Sumo is in many ways, all about ritual. The referee will hold his fan while the two fighters purify themselves and the ring. Then they’ll crouch down ready to fight and… they’ll get up again and do the same thing. They seemingly do this around 540 times before they actually deem each other worthy to wrestle with.
Of course, the slow pace of sumo, 15 minutes of waiting for 10 seconds of action, can often cause the fans of faster sports to lose interest. Fans of American football and baseball should feel right at home however.
On the day we went, Mongolian Yokozuna Asashoryu won his twelfth straight fight to take an unassailable lead in the tournament. Despite being one of the greatest sumo of the age, he is not popular in Japan due to a clinical condition he suffers from, called foreignness.
However, we whooped and cheered when he won. We gaijin have to stick together.
The Cynical Traveller
NEXT WEEK – The Cynical Traveller goes to… Fuji (and climbs it)
This entry was posted on Saturday, May 28th, 2005 at 4:21 pm and is filed under Sports, Tokyo. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.