(proofreaded by Barbara Ann Klein)
Japan, the birthplace of sumo, the country that any fan of this sport wants to visit. In September 2006 I went to watch the Aki Basho live. This is the story of my trip to the land of the rising sun.
Introduction - The journey begins - First contact with sumo - The show starts - The fight of the gods - Tourism across Tokyo - Komatsuryu dojo - Tomozuna beya - Barbara and the typhoon - Senshuraku - Senshuraku party - Daishi - Feel the sumo
Barbara and the typhoon
The next morning I decided to tour around Tokyo a bit more, beginning with the Meiji Shrine which I referenced earlier. While I was walking around Shibuya, Barbara Ann Klein, whom I had contacted by email on several occasions, called my mobile phone to say that she had arrived Tokyo the previous day to watch the rest of the tournament and that we could meet inside the Kokugikan. I must say that Barbara is one of the most endearing persons I've ever met, and one who has a genuine passion for sumo. She even has close relationships and friendships with many other wrestlers like Asashoryu and some oyakata. For several years, she had gone to watch all the tournaments in Tokyo and would sometimes also travel to the other three cities, and because of that, she is well known among the wrestlers. I enjoyed her company a lot, and since that day. we watched all the remaining days together until the end of the tournament. She introduced me to Katrina Watts, currently the president of the Australian Sumo Association, who was in Tokyo working for the International Sumo Federation. Later I’ll tell you about the concert of Daishi which we three went to on the last day of my stay in the Japanese capital
And the typhoon? Well, it was just an anecdote. That day, a strong storm that was around the southern part of the country, was expected to move to the north and cross the center of Tokyo. Apparently, though, while it was rising, it moved to the west and, ultimately, the typhoon was only some winds stronger than usual and some rain, but come on, nothing that I hadn’t already seen on other occasions. I don’t know if I was disappointed or not, because I have never experienced the force of a hurricane. I really wanted to know what it was like, but I have heard from people who had suffered one that it is something better to avoid, so I think that I preferred not to experience one and to have a peaceful stay in Tokyo, without typhoons or earthquakes or any other similarly scary events.The end of the trip was approaching. It was now already Senshuraku and with it, I would have to conclude my visit to the center of the sumo world. But I still had some things to see and enjoy in these last days.