Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Sumo Shrine, the Big Prize, and Beast Sneaking Pic With Sumo
Sumo began as a ritual of Shinto (Japanese religion) and dates back over 2000 years. Originally sumo was used as a way to entertain and please the g-ds with the hope that the g-ds would bring healthy harvest in return.
The traditions of sumo all point to purification rituals of Shintoism.
We found two small Shinto shrines within the inner gates of the sumo hall - like many shrines they were guarded by a pair of kitsune. Kitsune or foxes are considered to be protective beings with supernatural abilities such as possession, invisibility, manifestation in dreams, illusions, and driving people mad. Kitsune are protective, but will use their supernatural abilities to trick those who are overly proud, greedy or boastful.
After checking out the shrines, we headed inside to the lobby where we found the ranking and awards display... included was the big prize handed out at the end of each tournament: the Emperor's Cup.
Next we checked out the sumo wall art inside of the lobby and the museum... the Beast also snuck in a photo with a sumo wrestler.