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November 17, 2011

2011 November Grand Sumo Tournament


On Tuesday, Kam had a day off and I was just about ready to go off to work at FN when he received a call from his boss, asking what we were doing that afternoon. The reason she wanted to know was because she had free tickets for us to see the 2011 November Grand Sumo Tournament that's happening in Fukuoka at the moment! 

Unable to believe our luck, I got in touch with my boss and managed to figure out a way to go to Fukuoka Now offices and work for a few hours, before meeting up with Kam for some Sumo times. As we had been wanting to see the tournament, it was very lucky to get tickets for free- a fact that we realised when we saw how good our seats were (and how much they would have cost us).




We shared a four person box with Kamil's co-workers Tani-san and Hashimoto-san, who are both super friendly...



We were lucky to be handed a bunch of information about the tournament in English, so I read up on the history, rules and traditions of Sumo in between rounds. Below is the list of matches we watched...


I was really excited to see the Sumo tournament, however I didn't expect it to be as interesting as it was!  Once I was up to speed with the rules, the bouts were very exciting, and the skill of the sumo wrestlers was really apparent as the matches' participants increased in rank. A bout can be over so quickly, but can still be thoroughly entertaining...




There is a great deal of tradition and symbolism in every action that leads up to the actual fight in Sumo wrestling. I don't know how to explain it, other than to say that it is a very respectful sport, with a tangible sense of history about it...


Did I mention how good our seats were?!


The last match of the day was between the highest ranking Sumo in Japan, Hakuho. He is the only Yokozuna in Japan at the moment, and before coming to Fukuoka he had just taken his 20th tournament victory. He made short work of his match against Goeido (who is ranked Maegashira#1), and finished the tournament for the day.




Yay sumo! Kam's workmates posed with a cardboard cutout of Fukuoka's star sumo- Kotoshogiku from Yanagawa City. He has just been promoted to Ozeki rank (second highest ranking) and also won his match on the night we saw him...


We had a photo with Kotoshogiku too!





We really enjoyed the whole event, and were very grateful to Kam's boss for giving us the tickets. The tournament itself goes for 14 days, so I definitely recommend for any foreigners in Fukuoka to go have a look whilst it's here!

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