Friday, June 27, 2008

Genki




A Sumo Stable is comparable to a monastery. Young men enter right after high school and renounce the modern world. A stable is run by a former Sumo wrestler and his wife, they become the young men's parents and consider themselves a family. In order to become a Sumo you must have a sponsor, you are not evaluated on your size or strength but on your spirit and mind. There are no weight classifications in Sumo and I was assured that size doesn't matter. Mike and I got to experience a little in the daily life of a Sumo. We went to a stable run by a man and his wife, they have nine wrestlers living there. Despite the sand ring on the first floor the house was immaculate. A Sumo cannot wear western clothes again until he retires, when out in public they wear kimono. Daily practice runs from 7-11 AM, then they eat a delicious stew called chunko nabe and many bowls of rice, they eat only twice a day and sleep right after eating. Young men want to be Sumo but their parents often object because of the unusual and demanding lifestyle. Lately there have been several foreign Sumo, from Mongolia and Bulgaria, this has Japanese Sumo fans concerned about the focus of the sport as Sumo is the National Japanese sport and is supposed to be more spiritual than athletic I think. Sumo retire in their early to mid thirties and go on to open chunko nabe restaurants or run their own stable.

1 comment:

Jan said...

I bet they would love your lasagna!!!