13.09.2006 22 °C
Spent my second day in Tokyo watching big men in small pants fight, fight, fight! Although, the pomp and ceremony that precedes each romp usually lasts a fair bit longer than the bout itself. Say maybe 4 to 1, given that fully-qualified contestants are allowed a maximum of 4 minutes to stomp about, scatter salt and psych each other out. It was awesome.
Highlight for sure was the half-pint holding his own—even after being caught in a headlock for well over a minute—and valiantly coming out the victor. Certainly the longest match of the day. The crowds' response was immediate and overwhelming. Woo!
It's quite a spectacle to witness the vertical leg stretching that is part of the warm-up-psych-out routine. Anyone managing a perfect 180 elicited much applause from the audience (and hushed astonishment on my part. How these guys manage to keep their balance...wow. They couldn't have impressed me more if they'd bent down straight-legged and touched their toes).
(Actually, that's a lie.)
It was also something to see both wrestlers collide and topple over the dohjo into anything that might lay in their path, be it empty seat, ref or fellow sumo (poor dears aren't quite nimble enough to move out the way).
All that palm slapping and pants pulling. Kudos guys.
The rain persisted and I relented, bought an umbrella. For a country with such urban population density, they certainly make big umbrellas. Perhaps it's a method to enforcing personal space. Something that, to my delight, has yet to be rigorously violated.