Sumo tournament in Tokyo in January 2018 大相撲一月場所
First sumo tournament of the year
The first championship of this year 2018 began on January 14 in Tokyo and the fights will be linked for two weeks at the Kokugikan stadium in Ryôgoku. If you're there, it's not too late to buy your tickets!
Hatsu Basho, the first in a series
Hatsu meaning "beginning" , one suspects that this will not be the only sumo tournament of the year. Indeed, in addition to frequent exhibition tournaments, every two months an official tournament takes place to classify the wrestlers. They are called the Honbasho .
The wrestlers of the two highest divisions thus fight each of the fortnight of the tournament while those of the lower divisions fight approximately every two days. They all hope for more wins than losses in order to have a good place in the banzuke , bimonthly ranking of sumo wrestlers. Of the six main tournaments, three take place in Tokyo and the rest take place in Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka. It is at the Kokugikan of Ryôgoku in Tokyo that the wrestlers fight this month.
To read: Chanko nabe, the sumo meal
In the center of attention
From the platform of Ryôgoku station, we can see the stadium in which all the fights have taken place since 1984 , wedged between the Sumida river and the Edo-Tokyo museum . The fights intensify in the middle of the afternoon when the most anticipated wrestlers enter the arena, or dohyo . The Kokugikan can accommodate more than 11,000 people , we can easily imagine the electric atmosphere that must reign at the end of the day when the last fight is over.
See also: Ryôgoku Kokugikan
This year, the stakes are all the more important as 2017 was full of scandals . Early retirement, salary sanctions, hierarchical downgrades and sexual harassment, the world of professional sumo wants to improve its image among the Japanese with this first tournament.