I got into Sumo this trip -- basho (tournements) only happen a few weeks out of each year; this was the first time I was in town when. Then, for two weeks, continuous bouts go on all day, and the last two hours (4 - 6 PM) are televised, just about the time I was checking into hotel rooms, and snapping on the TV. My last full day, I went across the Sumida River to the special Kokugikan sumo-stadium in Ryogoku, and bought a general admission ticket. (Supposed to sit way up top, but instead, I roamed all over, occasionally pausing in those areas with empty seats.) It was great, and I got some good photos, but we all know what sumo looks like. Outside the Kokugikan, however, there's this big tower, and just before the matches begin each morning a guy's up inside there beating out a special tattoo on a drum. The banners are associated with either individual wrestlers or the training stables (heya) they belong to -- not sure just which, but they are striking and I bought a souvenir cup decorated with them.

Much more about Sumo in my 2004 report, when I returned to the winter basho.
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