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Sumo Champion Ring-entry Ceremony in Tokyo

by Jan 13

Dezuiri is a ring-entry ceremony (dohyo iri) by Yokozuna (sumo champion) done in early January at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. This year there are three yokozuna: Kisenosato, Hakuho, and Kakuryu. Kisenosato (pictured here) is the newest Yokozuna becoming one in 2017. He is the first Japanese sumo wrestler to be promoted to yokozuna in almost 20 years. Hakuho and Kakuryu are Mongolian.

Shimpan - ringside judges

Sumo Wrestler showing off his love of anime on his kesho-mawashi (decorative silk apron).

A Yobidashi (announcer) leads the procession followed by a Gyoji (referee), Tsuyuharai (dew-sweeper), Yokozuna, and Tachimochi (sword bearer).

There are two styles of ring-entry ceremonies - Unryu and Shiranui. Hakuho does the Shiranui style from Shiranui Koemon (1825-1879) which is an offensive stance with both arms extended when rising up.

The sword signifies the traditional samurai status of a yokozuna.

Yokozuna Kakuryu

Kisenosato and Kakuryu do the Unryu style based on Yokozuna Unryu Kyukichi (1822-1890). Unryu is a defense stance with the right arm extended and the left arm held to the chest when rising up.

There's confusion over the styles because an expert got them mixed up so really the Unryu style was from Shiranui and vice versa.

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