In the hierarchy of Japanese sumo wrestling, the Makuuchi Division is the best of the best. Here, Makuuchi competitors participate in a traditional ring entering ceremony, where they perform a series of actions similar to the moves they use in competition. Flickr user Luke Robinson captured the climax of the ceremony in today’s Photo of the Day, taken at a sumo wrestling tournament at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center in Fukuoka, Japan.
The Nihon Sumo Kyokai Tokyo Grand Sumo Tournament kicked off in Japan this past Sunday, beginning two action packed weeks of Sumo excitement. Naturally, Gadling had room in the travel budget to send a couple of bloggers, so we captured some video from the first round of matches.
If you’ve never seen real Sumo wrestling in action, it’s a pretty fantastic spectacle, complete with everything from traditional salt throwing and the closing bow dance to all of the white people in the only concession stand line that serves hot dogs and popcorn.
The concept is simple: the first man to push the other outside of the ring or (sometimes) off of his feet is the winner. But the delicacies of the game, the tradition surrounding the event, the excitement of the crowd, the roaming wrestlers in the hall and the energy surrounding the entire building are amazing.
If you’re ever on holiday in Japan and considered looking into tickets, best pony up the fifty bucks for the cheap upper ring seats — it’s totally worth it.