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Sumiyoshi Jinja Shrine Dohyo-Iri Sumo Opening Ceremony

Photo by Oscar Boyd for Fukuoka Now

At approximately 2pm on Wednesday afternoon, tremors were felt at Sumiyoshi-jinja Shrine. “Jishin? Earthquake?” asked some locals, alarm in their eyes. But an earthquake it was not. Instead, something far more fearsome had arrived in Fukuoka: nine of the most powerful sumo wrestlers alive today.

Every year, Sumiyoshi-jinja Shrine hosts the yokozuna dohyo-iri ceremony, in which yokozuna (the grand champions of sumo) perform their ritual entrance dance. The ceremony is presented by the Japan Sumo Association and one is held before each of the major sumo tournaments (basho). With only six basho each year (and two of these held in Tokyo), Sumiyoshi-jinja is only one of five locations across Japan at which such ceremonies are held.

The ceremony marks just two weeks to go until the start of the Kyushu Basho grand tournament which runs for two weeks from 13. Nov (Sun.). If you’re curious about all things sumo, then take a trip across our website to our complete sumo guide. The guide introduces November’s tournament, sumo to look out for and contains enough sumo lingo to let you fake being a pro. All this and more, here:

Published: Nov 2, 2016 / Last Updated: Nov 11, 2016

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