Barely a week after getting off the roller coaster that was Wacky Aki, our favorite sumo wrestlers will begin their Fall (巡業 – Jungyo) promotional tour. Bruce has mentioned the grueling schedule but Tachiai’s analysis provides more context to how challenging that schedule will be.
We mapped the Fall tour which consists of 22 different event sites that the crew will visit over the month of October, tracing a winding, 2500 kilometer journey across the breadth of southern Honshu, from Chiba to Hiroshima. No venue is visited more than once. Although there are three days in Osaka and two in Hiroshima, each site is in a new city within them. Add in stops in Yokohama, Fuji, Nagano, Kyoto, Nara…Holy crap, this is my next vacation itinerary!
This schedule does allow many of the Japanese rikishi to pay visits close to their hometown (shusshin 出身. The tour will pass through Ibaraki, home of Kisenosato and Takayasu. Ishikawa is home to the resurgent Endo and a leg in Shimane prefecture may help recharge struggling Okinoumi. Additionally, Goeido and Ikioi lead the Osaka contingent and Mitakeumi is from Nagano.
To give it some context, Josh, helped me liken these tours to breaking bands who sometimes play more than 120 gigs a year. But Hakuho has done this for more than a decade. It’s a hard life. There’s little “off-season” time to be with family. And for the foreign wrestlers, Jungyo brings you no closer to home. However, bands do have the extra hurdle of international tours; traveling extensively in the US and Europe with the occasional jaunt to Japan and other Asian countries with Western music scenes (I’m not talking Justin Beaver tours where he can take 20 months off and play a few gigs at big cities).
Since these wrestlers put in such rigorous work, I hope to bring more coverage of these tour dates in the intervening month between hon-basho (本場所).