We are about to start the second week of the Haru basho. It’s been a glorious 8 days so far, and I am deeply grateful that the NSK has found a way to continue to conduct tournaments in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. I count myself and truly blessed in that I have been able to travel to Tokyo multiple times to watch sumo in the Kokugikan. What I see in the tournaments in the past year is a dispersed, quiet set of die hard sumo fans, willing to attend sumo in person and show their support. First, I want to remind everyone how sumo is meant look and sound like. The video is refreshing, a call back to a time before COVID. Having been in the Kokugikan for a bit match, I can tell you the video does not do it justice.
I know for most, the NHK highlights is all they get to see. But this video captures some of the absolutely wild, screaming, crazy atmosphere that can grip the home of sumo when a big match is on the torikumi. This is how sumo is supposed to be, this is how it is supposed to feel when a big match happens (such as Enho vs Ura). I dearly hope that we can return to this mode of sport. Just look at all the people, they are everywhere! In the hanamichi, in the box seats, filling the zabuton, and I assure you every seat is filled all the way up to the rafters. They are losing their minds as Asashoryu and Hakuho face off for the yusho on day 15.
I think next, I should share this one, with a bit of news. According to Tachiai contributor Herouth, the YDC is in fact going to meet following the Haru Basho. I have a guess what they might say. Let’s put his here in case we may not see its like again for a time.