Monday, October 1, 2012

(147) Τhe top

So here’s how it goes: there’s a lot of ceremony in sumo. And one of the most impressive ceremonial aspects is the entrance in the ring (which is called “dohyo”/土俵) of the champion (who is called “yokozuna”/横綱); the whole thing is called “yokozuna dohyo iri” (横綱土俵入り). When a sumo wrestler is elected yokozuna, there is a public ceremony in one of Tokyo’s main Shinto shrines, Meiji Jingu and in this ceremony the wrestler is being awarded the special belt-symbol of his rank which is made of a thick white rope and a diploma saying that he is now a yokozuna. Right after that, the new yokozuna performs a dohyo iri right there, in the shrine’s front yard; this is the first time he is presented to the public wearing his belt (by the way, his title comes from this belt –“yokozuna” literally means “side rope”) and bearing the title that will accompany him until the end of his sumo career. The picture is from this dohyo iri of new yokozuna, Mongolian Harumafuji last Friday, September 28.  

(For a bigger version of this picture both in color and black and white, check my "Japan Arekore" set on Flickr)

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