Recently, the folks from Buy Sumo Tickets started selling tegata on their website. Tegata are the stylized hand print autographs offered by the top sumo wrestlers. They’re usually done in either the vermilion (red/orange), or black with black calligraphy.
Obviously, they still sell tickets to sumo tournaments and other sumo-related events, like retirement celebrations, Fall tour events, Amateur sumo tournaments and such. It will be a while until I get a chance to go back to Japan, so I jumped at the opportunity to get a tegata.
For full disclosure, Tachiai is an affiliate of Buy Sumo Tickets. That means if you make your purchase through through our links or mention Tachiai in the comments at checkout, we get a portion of the proceeds to help the site.
I picked the red Hakuho tegata you see here. I was a bit apprehensive about getting it through the mail, especially rather fragile items. I’m the type who still likes going to physical stores and buying stuff there because I know what I’m getting. But I was very impressed by how well the tegata was packed. It was definitely packed with care, with stiff cardboard on front and back to brace it. It wasn’t just loose in an envelope. I also had to sign for it and it seemed to be from a different delivery service than I’m used to. I’m not sure if it’s a special contractor used by the Japan Post or not but it wasn’t any of the usual folks.
Anyway, I tweeted about my tegata when I received it and I meant to write about it then, too, but the tournament distracted me. I had set the packing aside and was just very impressed with the quality of the shipping, so I wanted to share my experience since this is how they ship all of the tegata. I know I’m not special but I wanted to make sure that they know that too and that I got the same shipment option as a customer who isn’t an “affiliate.” It seems to have come through the EMS service offered by Japan Post, with red bilingual stickers saying “Keep Dry” and “Do Not Bend,” which the delivery people apparently actually paid attention to. My wife mentioned that her mom uses it to send us stuff and she’s been happy with it.