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