Lol went to a sumo match with Jocelyn and Kim on Sunday. The stadium had the most tourists I have seen confined in a single area. I guess it is one of those quintessentially Japanese things to do here. I guess that's part of the reason we wanted to go so bad too. As much as I hate to admit it, we are just as bad as the rest of the gaijin here. Haha.
We bought souvenirs and ate chanko, a soup like dish that the sumos eat. And took a lot of pictures...(I really need to buy a cord so I can start uploading all my pics...) The days events started at 8 am, but thankfully we decided not to show up till 1ish. All the junk matches are at the beginning and get progressively better as the day rolls on.
Basically we didn't know what the heck was going on till the very end. And we didn't know any of the sumos till we learned their names through the souvenirs we bought. We cheered for Kim's "shirt guy" and my postcard sumos. Lol they are supposed to be the best two. Good thing I bought the postcards, lol otherwise we would have had no idea. And we read about a Bulgarian guy that was featured in the English pamphlet.
There were actually a fair number of white sumos. We would try to figure out if they were Japanese or white when they came out. Some were hard to tell. Consider that we were in the second highest section. AND our tickets were $50! I cannot even imagine how expensive the seats close on the first level were... haha but anyway, Jocelyn would be like, "Ok, he has chest hair. Def a white guy!" Lol the funniest test of race ever!
The nice thing is that the sumos are so big, really easy to see, even from the second level. Its nothing like a baseball game. Def get to see all the action. Haha sounds kinda obvious, but it made a big difference!
The matches went really fast. At the beginning the two competitors would enter the ring and banners of their sponsors were brought out. One of them was sponsored by the big ochasuke brand (lol I don't know the name, but I could recognize the packaging) and later someone was sponsored by McDonalds!
Most of the time was spent in preparing, kinda like how baseball players do a routine before they face a pitcher. They would slap themselves, drink water, spit it out, kinda flour their hands up (like with stuff rock climbers use I think), throw salt, enter the ring, and if they thought it appropriate step away and do it again. They seemed to have an unlimited amount of time to start. Some sumos would back out multiple times before they actually started. I think they would back out to kinda psych the other one out. Idk for sure though. None of us knew the rules :)
It was interesting because there was a featured article on the Bulgarian in the handout, like I said earlier. Apparently he beat a grand master champion a few years ago and that's when he really got famous. We were talking and were like, "I wonder what the Japanese think about him?" Its like getting beat at your own game. There was a lot of commotion before his match. He lost pretty quickly and the crowed cheered a lot. It seemed as though the crowd was definitely not for him in that match. I think for the Japanese people there was some satisfaction in seeing him loose to a Japanese sumo. Or at least I would assume so.
Kim and Jocelyn were rooting for him and after the day was finished we asked Landon if he was too. He said definitely not, he was going for the Japanese guy. I'm pretty biased in this case. Lol I like to think that Japanese people have superiority of genetics or whatever for stuff like this. Of course I know its not true. But for some reason I still seem to think stuff like that. Lol it makes me laugh.