Saturday, March 7, 2009
Sumo locker room....
Or is it? Okay, it's not the sumo wrestlers' locker room. In fact, 3/4 of the room was the dohyo (or practice ring) and the spectator area and the other 1/4 of the room was the kitchen. I kid you not, the only thing separating the two for a while was a flimsy curtain.
How did I end up there? Good question! Some friends of my husband's family own a sushi restaurant and they're big sumo fans and some of the sumo guys are regular customers when they're here in Osaka. The Osaka tournament will start soon meaning the guys are here already practicing. Our friends managed to get us into a semi-private practice session; there were maybe 75 spectators there including a few members of the press, friends/family etc. After the practice, we got to sit down and enjoy a little chanko-nabe in the same place the sumo wrestlers would be eating (after actually hitting the "locker room"). I saw some of the food they'd be eating and it was impressive. I've never seen that much kimchee all in one place, never mind all the other katsu, rice, noodles, and donuts too (by the dozen!).
Over the last several months I've become something of a sumo fan. When the tournaments are on tv, I love to watch and I'm sad if I miss a day. I confess I still don't know all that much about it, but the basic rules are fairly straightforward making it easy to watch and enjoy.
Oh and to give you some idea of how big this guy is, I'm about 5' 8" tall and weigh about 120 pounds - this guy weighs nearly 3 times as much!