Thursday, August 23, 2007

SPORTSHYPE: Sumo September Tournament

For the first time in four years, the ancient sport of Sumo has two Yokozunas, or Grand Champions.
Asashoryu, on the left, has dominated the sport for years, since the fall of the great Hawaiians, Akebono and Musashimaru, and the brothers Takanohana and Wakanohana. Hakuho, on the right, has just been promoted to Yokozuna.
Sumo has six fifteen-day tournaments (or basho) each year, every other one of which is held in the Ryogoku Kokugikan, the famed Tokyo arena, as is the upcoming one from September 9-23. The Emperor himself often shows up for several days in the latter part of the tournament.

Now there's been some controversy over Asashoryu lately -- he's been accused of feigning injury to avoid a tour; he was caught playing soccer back home in Mongolia... but there's still no one like him in the game today. Check out this compilation of some previous showdowns with Hakuho:

They're the Yokozunas, but these guys might also have a say in who grabs the Emperor's Cup this time around.

In closing, I'd just like to say to the Sumo Association: I would buy a whole heck of a lot of Sapporo and Hello Kitty merchandise if I could watch these tournaments in a real-time webcast. I'm just sayin'...

Nihon Sumo Kyokai (Japan Sumo Association) English Page
Ticket Information for September Tournament (Lots of highlights and history, including a great recipe for Chanko-nabe, the stew the wrestlers eat!)

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