June 22, 2008

Sumo Weekend, Day 2

We met friends of Ms S' in Pasadena for breakfast. Then we took the beer hat on a tour of greater and lesser lady shops of Pasadena.

It was hellaciously hot, so we stopped for my first Pinkberry, which was neither pink nor berry.

Then we and Billo's Caracas Boys wended our way to the stadium.

The crowd was really mixed. There were people from all walks of life...but not many chicks on a ladies' sumo weekend, frankly. Musashimaru, a retired yokozuna from Hawaii, moved around our side of the auditorium during the exhibition.

The exhibition itself was fabulous. Because I came with no expectations, I couldn't have been disappointed. On Day 1, I concentrated on figuring out how to follow what was going on, and how to score. As I got a little better at it, I also tried to learn the names of some of the winning moves. Much easier than remembering the infield fly rule, I tell ya.

Who knew that there would be commercials? Every match is sponsored. Men with banners parade slowly around the dohyo before each match, while the announcer says things like "Sponsored by Sakura, maker of the Sumo Grip pen". For more about sumo, you should go here. I won't bore ya, but I loved it. The ceremony, the strength and power, the outfits.

After the competition concluded, we left the auditorium. Our path took us past an area with people hanging out. What did they know that we didn't? Turns out that we were outside the locker rooms. The rikishi (wrestlers) passed right by us and posed for pictures. This is Ama, an ozeki (second highest rank), from Mongolia:

Eventually they cleared the area, but when we got to street level we found more rikishi, fans, the sumo bus.

I'd say we had about as much fun as two people can have on a girls' sumo weekend.

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