I hit the jackpot this weekend. Sallie, my Civil Engineering friend and I went shopping on Saturday leaving the men home. Well, I hit the sumo jackpot. I try to collect a lot of sumo dolls and stuff, but its rare when I find one. I scored at Dragon Fly Second Hand Store #2, our second stop, by finding a great statue of an old yokosuna, (I need to find out who he is.) Then, then we went down town and I found yet another Sumo doll on sale even ($77.???) and finally a third which is absolutely huge. I don't think I can even get it in my display case.
Sumo is a great sport to watch as it's a very old sport, with lots of pomp and interest. Nothing like WWW, which I never watch, nor like Greko Roman wrestling. Nor is it just big men pushing eachother out of the ring. Everything is steeped in tradition from the clay ring that takes a Master to build, to the uniforms they wear, to the dress of the umpires and judges.
And less and less is it fat men who are sumo. The current Yokosuma isn't fat at all, in fact he is mostly muscle and technique and while I don't particularly like him, you must admire his ability.
I like Kaio, an aging Oseke who is so injured I feel for him, yet he keeps winning. Ama is another favorite of mine. Young, skinny, looks like a fly against some of his opponents, has a fighting spirit and doesn't mind taking on the big boys, and he wins more than loses.
This basho, I have a new favorite. Futemo, who has risen quickly up the ranks and is a real giant killer. He is a joy to watch and even if his win/loss record isn't the best, he has knocked out some of the top guys.
Yokosuna lost his second match last night and by another Russian. There are a number of non-Japanese in the sport. The Yokosuna is Mongolian as is Ama. There are a few folks from Russia or the Baltic area. The number of "foreigners" is limited in Japanese sumo, and it would be nice to see a Japanese come up thru the ranks and take over the top spot,, but I don't see anyone on the horizon.
I hope we can get Japanese Sumo in the states when we come home. I will certainly miss it.