March 29, 2010

March 2010 Osaka Basho


Last Friday I managed to catch some sumo at the Osaka Basho. In order to get a ticket, I got up at 6am and caught the train down to Osaka. The Basho is held at the Prefectural Gymnasium in Namba. The tickets for the day go on sale from 8am and I wanted to buy a general admission ticket. It’s only 2,000yen – cheap for a whole day of entertainment.

The tournament starts at 10:45am and goes on until 6pm. Many people only show up for the last couple of hours when the makuuchi (top division of professionals) are on, so the crowd was thin for most of the day. This was great for me because I sat up the front until then. The officials actually let you sit anywhere until the ticket-holder of the seats arrive.

The juryo division enter the fray

From the start of the day until about 3pm it is the amateur divisions, the makushita (literally ‘under the curtain’) who have all of their bouts. Things are often over in the blink of an eye and the amateurs don’t play up to the crowd as much as the pros. They are more perfunctory and get on with it. I was surprised that even some of them seemed to have some avid supporters amongst the crowd, and the big guys always get extra cheers.

Yokozuna Hakuho throws salt into the air

Yokozuna Hakuho put up a nail-biting fight against Harumafuji. He’s strong and the crowd seem to love him. He won all of his 15 bouts for this tournament.

Full gallery of images can be seen here.


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