KCP Students Attend Futenno Sumo Match

Recently, KCP staff and students attended a sumo extravaganza. It was not a regular tourney, but an event in honor of the renowned sumo wrestler Futenno, who has retired and will become an Oyakata, a master of Sumo house.

Over a dozen culture class students went with Michiko-san to see the sumo spectacle.  Extra tickets were also sold to other students, including continuing U.S. program students. They gathered at a station near the KCP campus at 10:30 am and took the subway and JR to go to Ryogoku. Ryogoku Kokugikan Stadium is just 3 minutes from the station.  Once there, they were greeted by sumo wrestlers (actually, they lined up in the entrance hall but could barely be seen since so many people tried to take pictures of and with them).

KCP students with a sumo wrestler. | KCP Flickr

The event included traditional ceremonies like cutting off the retired wrestler’s topknot. A small tournament was held between lower, middle, and higher ranked wrestlers.  A regular tournament usually lasts 15 days: the champion is decided based on the number of winning games.  In this commemorative event, people could see who won each match, but no champion was chosen.

In the cavernous sumo stadium. | KCP Flickr

The event, which started at 11:30 am and ended at around 4 pm, was broadcast live on the internet.  Futenno was called “blogger sumo wrestler;” an internet broadcast of a sumo wrestler’s retirement event had happened before in the history of sumo.

Two sumo wrestlers begin the leg-stomping shiko ritual in the ring. | KCP Flickr

You can visit Futenno’s blog here, and read more about the event in a previous Window On Japan post.

Click here for more KCP photos about the spectacular sumo event!