Once again it is summer and the Nagoya tournament is well underway. As usual, legendary grand champion Hakuho is leading the way. For those of us following sumo these days, we are witnessing sumo history in the making. Hakuho holds most of the individual sumo records and those he doesn’t hold yet, he is well on his way towards capturing.
I love sumo. To me it embraces so much wonderful culture and heritage. Most modern martial arts stem from sumo and those that don’t often borrow many concepts from sumo. Furthermore, sumo is one of the most sportsmanlike and honourable professional combat sport. The matches are short and usually not savage, and though wrestlers suffer from strains and sprains, they rarely suffer from direct contact or intentional injuries. The wrestlers compete for victory and honour, not simply to defeat their opponents.
Sumo wrestlers train hard for many years. they start young and live fully immersed in the sumo world. They eat, sleep and breath sumo for most of their young lives and through their formative years. These wrestlers understand that it takes years of hard work and focus to become excellent at what they do. They are truly artists and they embody the spirit of “bushido”, Japan’s samurai code. To fully understand and appreciate the wonders of the Japanese culture, one has to look no further than one of it’s most sanctified and revered sports, sumo.
Edward, Smith’s School of English Otsu