TRIP TO JAPAN
(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


Senshuraku

The tournament had already been decided the previous day, so the excitement over the Makuuchi title was over.  Well, the truth is that there was little excitement in the tournament, anyway, as a result of the tremendous superiority of Asashoryu over the other wrestlers. But there was still much to see in the Kokugikan that day because there was a playoff in Jonidan to decide the championship and we also had to know who would receive the sansho awards. Thus, at around 10 am I was inside the venue, ready and willing to watch all the bouts. The last day, there are fewer bouts because most of the fighters have already completed their participation in the tournament, so the start time is a bit later than usual. That day, I went there with the two friends from Barcelona whom I met in the hotel the first day of my stay in Tokyo. They had already toured  throughout the island but I convinced them to return to watch a day of sumo, and so we went -  all three. That day I was also with John and Mark, and I bid them farewell with the hope of seeing them again soon.

Back to  the sumo bouts - the day was identical to the rest of the days until the regular Juryo bouts were finished. Then we saw the playoffs for the Jonidan and Juryo championships, and later all the awards for the five categories, Jonokuchi, Jonidan, Sandanme, Makushita and Juryo, were given. After that, the chairman Kitanoumi Rijicho went up on the dohyo with all the members of the sanyaku to thank the public for their support during the 15 days of the competition. Another novelty on senshuraku is the Sanyaku Soroi-Bumi, where the last three fighters on each side rise to the dohyo and perform a bit of shiko.

After the last contest of the tournament, it was time to announce the names of the winners of sansho awards, which went to Aminishiki, Kisenosato and Ama. Then the moment came for the presentation of prizes to the  winner of the Aki Basho, the Yokozuna Asashoryu.  I must say that  the number of trophies that are  handed to the winner is most impressive. The first, of course, is the Emperor's Cup, the most important of all, presented by Kitanoumi Rijicho. Then it was the turn of the Japanese Prime Minister, the newly elected Shinzo Abe, who rose to the dohyo to present a huge trophy. This he had to do with the help of a yobidashi, because the Prime Minister could barely lift it. For nearly half an hour, Asashoryu received numerous trophies from various  companies and foreign governments. Then it was the turn of the winners of the sansho awards, who jumped on the dohyo to receive their trophies. The day finished with rhythmic clapping performed with the public who still remained in the Kokugikan, and who, at  a fairly large number, were still enjoying, like me, the last moments of sumo.

I left the Kokugikan with sadness, knowing that I wouldn’t have another opportunity to watch sumo, at least for a while. Without a doubt,  the experience was worth it and I was already eager to repeat the experience soon.

Barbara and the typhoon
ozumo.jpg (6654 bytes)
Leonishiki's Sumo Room

Senshuraku party