NHK Charity Sumo Event

Ikioi Sings

During Saturday, the sumo worlds, attention was once again focused on Tokyo’s Kokugikan for the NHK charity event. This is a yearly single day program that features elements of Jungyo, at least one rikishi interview, demonstration matches, dohyo-iri and lots of celebrity appearances with famous rikishi.

There was an interview with Tochinoshin, and the people attending were treated to photos of his wife and child in Georgia. As expected, Ikioi treated everyone to his truly talented singing voice, and even Mitakeumi had a song with idol band WaaSuta.

Reports are that the event was sold out, and parts of it will be shown in Japan on NHK-G next weekend. Sadly for us sumo fans outside of Japan, we have to resort to finding parts of it on YouTube.

Eating Sumo: Which Rikishi Has the Best Lunch?

kisenosatoboxlunch
Photo by the author, pixelation by iPhone 7

The last time I visited Ryokogu Kokugikan, the lunch selections were named according to the various sumo ranks – “Yokozuna Box,” “Ozeki Box,” etc. But today, I went to the hallowed stadium for day 2 of the Hatsu-basho, and found that the bento selections had been named after some of our nearest and dearest superstars.

So, for a bit of fun, let’s run through each of the selections, and then you can vote for the rikishi with the best bento at the bottom (EDITED: all of the poll embeds were breaking so just leave your selection in the comments). All of these bento boxes are the same price, so your choice strictly comes down to the contents, and the descriptions are more or less verbatim as they are presented in English on the menu. If you want to be cheeky, feel free to create a menu for another rikishi’s bento in the comments.

Takayasu

  • “Dried pickled sour Japanese plum on the rice” (Umeboshi)
  • Mackerel in miso sauce
  • Chicken nanban
  • Lotus root seafood scissors
  • “Cut the cooked kelp”
  • Pickles marinated with soy sauce
  • Boiled mixed beans
  • Cherry tomato

Goeido

  • “Dried pickled sour Japanese plum on the rice” (Umeboshi)
  • Grilled beef
  • Beef croquette
  • “The spitted cutlet of pork”
  • Potato salad
  • Cherry tomato
  • Japanese style omelette
  • Kinpira burdock root

Kisenosato

  • “Dried pickled sour Japanese plum on the rice” (Umeboshi)
  • Salty mix of chicken and Japanese leek
  • Mushroom marinade (Marinated mushroom?)
  • Boiled egg
  • “Food boiled and seasoned: Radish, Carrot, Konjac, Shiitake mushroom, Japanese butterbur, Taro”
  • Honey pickled plum
  • Meat ball

Kakuryu

  • “Dried pickled sour Japanese plum on the rice” (Umeboshi)
  • Sirloin pork cutlet
  • Beefsteak
  • Boiled egg
  • Boiled vegetables: Carrot, Potato, Pumpkin, Broccoli
  • Pork sausage
  • Cherry tomato
  • Boiled mixed beans
  • Pickled vegetables

Hakuho

  • “Dried pickled sour Japanese plum on the rice” (Umeboshi)
  • Deep-fried chicken with Japanese leek sauce
  • Deep-friend Chinese style dumpling
  • Boiled egg
  • Boiled vegetables: Carrot, Potato, Pumpkin, Broccoli
  • Cherry tomato
  • Boiled mixed beans
  • “Stir-fry shrimp in chilli sauce”

 

Hatsu Dohyo Under Construction

Dohyo construction Jan 18

With the start of the much anticipated 2018 Hatsu basho just days away, the Kokugikan crew is busy constructing the dohyo that will be the focus for the January tournament. Re-built each time a tournament is about to start, the dohyo is a masterpiece of hand crafted earth, packed firm with simple wooden tools and laid out according to long standing tradition.

Early Saturday, Tokyo time, the dohyo will be consecrated in a solemn ceremony, and this event is typically open to the public. For sumo fans, it is a fascinating spectacle, and features attendance by many of the top men of the sport.

Aki Dohyo Complete – Consecration Saturday Morning

Dohyo-Ready

Construction of the Kokugikan’s dohyo for the Aki basho is complete, and is ready to be consecrated prior to Sunday’s first matches. In a solemn ceremony on Saturday, the dohyo will be blessed by shinto priests. Members of the public are welcome to attend the ceremony, which will be attended by the leading men of sumo and of the NSK. Immediately following the ceremony, the yusho portraits for both the Natsu and Nagoya basho (Hakuho) will be on display in front of the Kokugikan, prior to their being hung inside the stadium.

Aki Dohyo Construction Underway

Aki-Dohyo

With five days to go before the action starts in Tokyo, the build of the Aki dohyo is in full swing. According to reports by the NSK on twitter, the rough form of platform was completed by the end of the day Tuesday, with construction of the tawara progressing well.

Over the course of the next few days, the dohyo will take its ultimate shape, and be ready for battle by the consecration ceremony on Saturday.

UPDATE: Seems there is a “day of sumo” with none other than the legend Konishiki! It will be September 19th, and if any of our readers are or will be in Tokyo, I strongly encourage you to try to go. Konishiki is the reason I took notice of sumo to begin with, and seeing as it day seems to include a meal (like Chanko!), you can’t miss.