Last night our two older kids, Eric and our friend Y. went to watch the sumo tournament in downtown Osaka. The Tournaments are held 6 times a year at different large cities across Japan.
I’ve enjoyed sumo – and collecting little figurines – since I first came to Japan. But Eric is an even bigger fan, and knows all of the wrestlers, their records… Even our kids have gotten into it. Last year we waited too long to buy the cheap tickets, so this year we made sure we could go.
We got a late start, but still loved it!
One of the things that is fun about sumo is the advertisements. Advertisers will pay big money to the winner of more popular matches, and just before the match men will walk up on the platform carrying large placard signs with the advertisers names on them. Despite being a sport very entrenched in Japanese culture and even religion, if you look closely you can see the western influence:
Owen got into cheering in Japanese for some of our favorite wrestlers. Annie was a bit indifferent, until… right after the show, when she was quite insistent on finding a sumo wrestler she could have her picture taken with. We stood at the front entrance as the crowds poured out the doors…
Finally, we didn’t think we were going to meet one, so Eric tried his best to pose…
It didn’t work.
Thankfully, several minutes later, one strapping young man made Annie’s day.
Then, as we walked behind the building to the parking lot, three more came around.
Annie was thrilled because the guy in the middle patted her head. She swooned in the car on the way home.