Samurai Dave: The Roving Ronin Report

Rambling Narrative of Travels, Thoughts, and Embellishments

Outdoor Sumo at Yasukuni Shrine

In April, sumo gets back to its roots at Yasukuni Shrine with an outdoor event. In olden times, sumo was generally held outdoors at shrines and temples or before gathered assemblies of august groups such as the shogun, daimyo (feudal lord), even the Emperor.

Hono Ozumo is a special ceremonial sumo event held at a shrine such as Yasukuni Shrine. Lower rank wrestlers (maku-shita) and top rank wrestlers (maku-uchi) compete. Even the yokozuna the highest rank in sumo compete at Hono Ozumo. If there is more than one yokozuna, they will compete against each other. Sumo can have several yokozuna at the same time but it is relatively rare to have more than two. Usually to see a yokozuna match between two yokozuna is a rare treat. Only on the last day of a tournament can one see this and it’s very difficult to get tickets for that day.

This year was a chance to see such a yokozuna match, the first in four years as Yokozuna Asashoryu retired in February of 2010. Hakuho has been the only yokozuna until September of 2012 when Harumafuji was promoted. This was their first yokozuna match at Yasukuni.

For more pics – click here

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May 7, 2013 Posted by | japan, sumo, tokyo, yasukuni shrine | , , , , , | 22 Comments

Sumo – Hakuho vs Harumafuji at Outdoor Sumo Event at Yasukuni Shrine

Every April, Yasukuni Shrine holds a honozumo which is a ceremonial sumo event at a shrine. It’s free and open to the first 6000 people. This is one of the few chances to catch a yokozuna match where the top ranked wrestlers compete. Usually this only happens on the last day of a tournament which is often sold out.

This year (2013) newly promoted yokozuna Harumafuji faced off against the reigning yokozuna Hakuho for their first yokozuna match at Yasukuni Shrine. I was rather surprised by the results.

April 30, 2013 Posted by | travel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sumo: Asashoryu vs Hakuho – Yokozuna (Sumo Champion) Match at an outdoor sumo event

This is a little blast from the past – I was going thru some of my old archive footage and came across footage of an outdoor sumo exhibit from 2009 at Yasukuni Shrine that they do every April. I’ve gone to it a few times but only once got to see the two Yokozuna at that time face off against each other.

Usually you can only see Yokozuna fight each other on the last day of the tournament, a day which it is quite difficult to get tickets for so this was quite a treat. Yokozuna is a difficult position to reach and only a few ever reach it. There has been up to four Yokozuna at one time and there has been times when there has been none.

Asashoryu was Yokozuna from 2003-2010 and Hakuho has been one since 2007 so for only a short period of time could you see two Yokozuna compete since 2003.

For more sumo, check out this link to photos of Day 13 of the January 2012 tournament:

Sumo Photos

January 22, 2012 Posted by | 2009, asashoryu, japan, japanese culture, Sport, sumo, tokyo, yasukuni shrine, yokozuna, youtube | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Roller Derby Girls – Nashville Roller Girls: Heart-Takers & Ball-Breakers

Heart-Takers&Ball-Breakers – Nashville RollerGirls are an all-female roller derby flat track league based in Nashville, Tennessee. While I was home in Nashville, I took in a game and though at the time I didn’t have a clue how the game was played I had a good time with all the energy coming from the players and from the fans.

I was surprised to learn that today’s Roller Derby is actually a sport unlike its earlier predecessor which was more like WWF wrestling on roller skates. Since its recent revival, it’s one of the fastest growing female sports. I can’t wait till Japanese girls start doing it!

Nashville RollerGirls

Music by: Meant To Bleed

Meant To Bleed

I also made a video on Meant To Bleed at their live show at the Hard Rock Cafe in Nashville in June 2011

While I was in Nashville, I saw some of my friends play at the HardRock in Nashville so I decided to do a video on them.

From their Facebook: “Meant to Bleed is best described as a Rock band layered with elements of Rock, Metal, Punk and Pop.”

Basically they’re a fun group and I enjoyed the show. The rhythm (yeah I misspelled it in the video! sue me!) guitarist may seem familiar to those who have seen my Blackwood Fields video.

July 29, 2011 Posted by | music, musicians, nashville, rock, rock band, Roller Derby, Sport, Sports News, tennessee, vlog, WTF | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

San-San-Ku Tebasami Shiki (Japanese Archery Ritual) and Horseless Yabusame

Over the New Years holidays, Yasukuni Shrine holds an archery ritual known as San-San-Ku Tebasami Shiki. Two teams of archers shoot at targets whose measurements relate to the principle of ying yang. The ritual is held at the beginning of the year and it in olden times, it was the first archery event of the new year.

After the ritual, yabusame was performed. Yabusame is mounted archery where an archer rides a horse and shoots at the three targets. Yasukuni, however, doesn’t have the ground for such an event so they improvised using a fake horse and turning in around in a circle.

January 29, 2010 Posted by | Archery, japan, japanese archery, kyudo, martial arts, San-San-Ku Tebasami Shiki, Sport, tokyo, video, Yabusame, yasakuni shrine | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Aikido Demo at a Tokyo Garden

During the New Years holiday, I was at Hamarikyu Garden in east Tokyo to look at Japanese falconry when I came across a brief demonstration of Aikido. Aikido is as many people know a Japanese martial arts which is about redirecting an attacker’s energy and neutralizing them without causing them physical injury.

Though it doesn’t look like it, it was freaking cold being January 3rd!

January 4, 2010 Posted by | aikido, japan, japanese culture, Japanese martial arts, karate, martial arts, Sport, tokyo, video | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Yabusame – Gunslingin’ Samurai (Japanese Mounted Archery)

Yabusame is a Japanese Shinto ritual involving mounted archery. Archers ride at a full gallop and shoot at three targets set up at certain intervals. Hitting all three, an archer is considered to be very skillful. The ritual is purpose is to bring prosperity and peace.

The video is a complilation of Yabusame events I have been to over the last two years. There are two different schools of Yabusame – Ogasawara Ryu who perform at Asakusa (here 2007&2008) and Takeda Ryu who perform at Meiji Shrine (2006), Miura (2007), and Kamakura (Spring 2007 & Fall 2008)

The song is called “Gunslinger Man” and it fits with the old tradition of samurai on horseback using bows rather than spears and swords as they did later. The Yabusame costume looks rather cowboy-ish.

The music is by the Exotic Ones:
http://www.myspace.com/exoticones

This also a tribute to the memory of a friend of mine who passed away a few years ago:
Jack Hunter Dave, Jr who wrote and sung the song “Gunslinger Man.”
http://my.att.net/p/s/community.dll?ep=87&subpageid=150399&ck=

November 28, 2008 Posted by | Archery, Blogroll, culture, entertainment, festival, japan, japanese archery, japanese culture, life, martial arts, mounted archery, tokyo, travel, video, Yabusame, youtube, zen | , , , , , , | Leave a comment