Mongolian-born wrestler incited Japanese to get to grips with sumo


NAGOYA, Japan (Reuters) – The sound of bodies slapping opposite any other rocks a gloomy sumo “stable” in a Japanese city of Nagoya, as 11 enormous wrestlers wearing usually loincloths take turns throwing any other out of a ring of sand.

The wrestlers, or ‘rikishi’, during a prestigious Tomozuna fast spend some-more than 3 hours any morning practicing binds in Japan’s 15-century-old inhabitant sport, with improved confronting a initial to tumble or be forced out of a ring.

With singular accede postulated by sumo’s ruling body, Reuters was means to observe a stable’s wrestlers training during their proxy Buddhist church bottom for a Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament that began final week, gaining discernment into a intricacies of sumo.

Entering a universe of sumo is to eat, live, and breathe Japanese – from a samurai-style topknots to a firm hierarchy.

But a tough training and tradition-bound ways have put off many Japanese youth, withdrawal sumo to be dominated by unfamiliar – mostly Mongolian – wrestlers, who face a exhausting trail to assimilation.

“Language was a biggest source of stress,” pronounced Tomozuna Oyakata, improved famous by his fighting name Kyokutenho, a initial Mongolian-born wrestler to lead a sumo stable.

“I couldn’t know anything when we was being scolded, or even when we was being praised,” pronounced a master, one of a initial 6 Mongolians to be inducted into a competition in 1992.

Today, a one-time champion, who was innate Nyamjavyn Tsevegnyam, speaks near-flawless Japanese, has a Japanese wife, and has given adult his Mongolian nationality to turn Japanese – a requirement to turn a sumo master, or ‘oyakata’.

8,000 Calories a Day

After finale use during 10:30 a.m., a wrestlers association with fans, pointer autographs and poise for photos before a initial of their dual daily meals.

Lunch, prepared by a youth wrestlers, is a widespread of pig’s feet, grilled and deep-fried sardines, steamed rice, and ‘chanko nabe’ – a signature hot-pot plate compared with sumo wrestlers, who are pronounced to devour 8,000 calories a day.

The wrestlers snooze for several hours immediately after eating, wearing oxygen masks to assist breathing.

Full acclimatization into Japanese enlightenment means that unfamiliar wrestlers face no ill-will.

“We wear a topknots, kimonos and sandals, and live by Japanese rules, and a manners of sumo,” pronounced Tomozuna Oyakata.

“It’s usually by possibility that we were innate a opposite nationality.”

Click here for a print letter showcasing Reuters’ singular entrance to a Tomozuna sumo stable.

Writing by Chang-Ran Kim, Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor, Clarence Fernandez and Karishma Singh


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