Sumo Wrestling

Japan is home to numerous sports out of which sumo wrestling is one of the most popular sports in the country.

It is Japan’s national sport and the game boasts of a legacy that extends upto 1000 years. Sumo is a sport where two wrestlers known as rikishi face each other in a circular area. The Japanese people consider Sumo as a modern Japanese martial art. But then the sumo is a traditional game and even today involves many ritual elements. For example salt is used in the game as a purification agent; which is a ritual that was used in the Shinto religion. Despite the advent of imported sports from the West, the traditional games of Japan like sumo wrestling has not lost popularity in the country. Kyoto is a city where sumo wrestling is still popular and the city hosts many sumo wrestling tournaments.

Crow Sumo Wrestling is a traditional ceremony that is celebrated in the month of September at the jinja Shrine. The highlight of the event happens when after the ceremony the priest holds a bow and arrow in front of the hosodono pavilion and then leaps in a sideways motion and lets out a cawing sound in the manner a crow in a unique manner. This ritual is followed by sumo wrestling matches among the children of parishioners. Jinja Shrine is strategically located; it is situated in near vicinity to the jinja-mae stop on the City Bus Line.

Besides these other festivals dedicated to sumo wrestling are also held in the city. Hassaku-sai is a festival dedicated to sumo wrestling and is held at the Matsuo Taisha Shrine. During the festival a sumo wrestling tournament is held along with other ceremonies. The festival is celebrated in the month of September. Some other festivals of Kyoto which celebrates the form of sumo wrestling are Hosho-e, which is held at the Miyake Hachimangu Shrine and Harvest Festival, which is celebrated at the Oharano-jinja Shrine.

Apart from the festivals the wrestling tournaments are also popular in Kyoto. Overall there are six tournaments are held each year, all of which showcase the best of sumo wrestling in Japan. Three of the sumo wrestling tournaments is held at the The Sumo Hall in Ryogoku, Tokyo and the remaining three are held Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka. Each of the tournaments commences on a Sunday and continues for the next 15 days, before climaxing again on a Sunday.
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