In Japan, Sumo is the form of competitive full-contact wrestling. In this practice, the wrestler attempts to force his opponent out of the circular ring or touching the ground with any body part. Japan is the only country where sumo practiced professionally. The origin of sumo in Japan. In Japan, sumo is considered a national sport. Sumo refers to modern Japanese martial arts. Sumo wrestlers was an oracular ritual connected with prayers for the harvest originally. Gradually it evolved into a spectator sport and first became a professional sport during the Edo period (1600- 1868). In 1909, the first official sumo arena was built in Tokyo. In 1925 the Japan Sumo Association was formed. With the radio broadcast in 1928, sumo became popular with the general public. When the 11,000 seat sumo arena facility was built in 1928, Sumo's popularity soared. Many ancient traditions have been preserved in sumo. In Japan, rules are regulated by the Japan Sumo Association. Wrestler's life in japan is highly regimented. In Japan, most of the sumo wrestlers are required to live in communal sumo training stables.
In ancient times Sumo originated as a performance to entertain the Shinto deities. There are many rituals with the religious background which are still followed today such as, the symbolic purification of the ring with salt. Simple rules are followed as, the wrestler who first exits the ring or touches the ground with any part of his body besides the soles of his feet loses. A ring, made of clay and covered in a layer of sand matches takes place on that ring. A match usually lasts only for a few seconds, but in rare cases, it can take a minute or more. In sumo training, wait for gain is an essential part. Wrestlers can easily find themselves matched off against someone many times their size, as there are no weight restrictions or classes in sumo. Six tournaments are held every year in Japan, three in Tokyo (January, May, and September) and one each in Osaka (March), Nagoya (July) and Fukuoka (November). Each wrestler performs in one match per day except lower-ranked wrestlers who perform in fewer matches. The duration of each tournament is 15 days. After each tournament based on wrestler's performance ranking hierarchy is updated and the wrestler's classification is done by ranking hierarchy. "Makuuchi" is the top division and "Juryo" is the second division. For each day of the 15 days, tournament tickets are sold. Through the official vendor or via busysumotickets.com you can purchase tickets in advance. Otherwise, you can purchase it at convenience stores or the stadiums. You have the option of sitting on traditional Japanese-style floor cushions, or in modern stadium-style chair seats when attending a sumo tournament. If you have to take full Japanese experience you should go for Japanese style seating.
Rules of the Game: Sumo wrestling is a set of objectives, rules, and traditional practices. In the middle of the ringed platform that is 4.55 meters in diameter, two wrestlers face off. Two wrestlers spend several minutes engaging in a few ritualistic practices, wearing using a belly band. The ritualistic practices include stomping the feet, clapping the hands, and throwing handfuls of salt to purify the ring. These rituals have historical value and help to preserve the traditions. The only objective of the sumo wrestler is to either force his opponent out of the ringed platform or to make him touch the surface with any part of his body other than the soles of his feet. Including pushing or lifting the opponent out of the ring, there are 70 different ways to win a match. The key part of becoming a good sumo wrestler are Agility, Balance, Strength, and Speed.
At a sumo tournament there are three main seat types:
- Japanese Style box floor seats
- Arena style chair seats
- Ringside floor seats
Japanese Style Box Floor seats:
If you want to take full Japanese experience you should go for this seat type. Sit Japanese style on floor cushions within a small designated box area, by removing your shoes. In this type, you will also get a great vantage point from which to witness the action. These seats are a bit closer to the action than the arena-style chair seats.
Arena Style chair seats:
If you are not comfortable to sit Japanese style, then Arena Style chair seating is the best option for you. These seats are divided into three categories A, B, and C. A is the closest, and C is the furthest from the dohyo. Prices vary from 4,000 yen to 10,000 yen. These are the least expensive seats at sumo tournament venues, in addition to the familiar comfort of a chair. The only drawback is they are slightly back from the action. Bringing binoculars is the option if you are concerned about being able to see.