Osaka, Out Of The Box, Sumo — March 4, 2015 at 10:03 PM

Morning Training of Kasugano Sumo Stable!

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Morning practice of the sumo wrestlers from Kasugano Stable (春日野部屋), preparing for the grand spring tournament in Osaka. Tochinoshin (栃ノ心 剛), a wrestler from Georgia perfecting his style.

Morning practice of the sumo wrestlers from Kasugano Stable (春日野部屋), preparing for the grand spring tournament in Osaka. Tochinoshin (栃ノ心 剛), a wrestler from Georgia perfecting his style.

Sumo morning practice at Hoshida Kaikan in Osaka:

This coming Sunday, March 8th, the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament will be held in Osaka. All regional sumo stables arrive in Osaka a few weeks prior to the start of the tournament. A friend invited me to come and enjoy the morning practice sessions of the Kasugano Stable (春日野部屋). These practice sessions are commonly known as “asageiko”. The only requirment, you need to get up early. This sumo wrestlers are early birds.

Meeting sumo’s great wrestlers:

The dohyō (土俵) was in a small area of the Hoshida Kaikan, a small walk from Hoshida station. We arrived at 7.30 in the morning and the asageiko had already started. Present where Gōeidō (豪栄道), a sumo wrestler from Osaka, Aoiyama (碧山), a sumo wrestler from Bulgaria. Tochinoshin (栃ノ心 剛), a wrestler from Georgia and Tochinowaka who is retired and current head coach of Kasugano stable. Many other sumo fans were in the small visitors area watching their favourite sumo stars.
All of them practiced very intensive for about 4 hours. This was the moment many fans at waited for, to get a picture with their wrestler. There was even a young mother who give her baby to Gōeidō for pictures taking. Many also signed their names in illustrious kanji on a shikishi (色紙). Myself, I had to opportunity to have my picture taken with Tochinoshin and Aoiyama (碧山).

History of Sumo (相撲):

Tochinoshin (栃ノ心 剛), a wrestler from Georgia during the morning practice in Osaka.

Tochinoshin (栃ノ心 剛), a wrestler from Georgia during the morning practice in Osaka.

In addition to its use as a trial of strength in combat, sumo has also been associated with Shinto ritual, and even certain shrines carry out forms of ritual dance where a human is said to wrestle with a kami (a Shinto divine spirit). It was an important ritual at the imperial court. Representatives of each province were ordered to attend the contest at the court and fight. They were required to pay for their travels themselves. The contest was known as sumai no sechie, or “sumai party.”
It’s believed that a ring, defined as something other than simply the area given to the wrestlers by spectators, came into being in the 16th century as a result of a tournament organized by the then principal warlord in Japan, Oda Nobunaga. At this point wrestlers would wear loose loincloths, rather than the much stiffer mawashi wrestling belts of today. During the Edo period, wrestlers would wear a fringed decorative apron called a kesho-mawashi during the bout, whereas today these are worn only during pre-tournament rituals. Most of the rest of the current forms within the sport developed in the early Edo period.
Professional sumo (大相撲 ) can trace its roots back to the Edo period in Japan as a form of sporting entertainment. The original wrestlers were probably samurai, often rōnin, who needed to find an alternative form of income. Current professional sumo tournaments began in the Tomioka Hachiman Shrine in 1684, and then were held in the Ekō-in in the Edo period. Western Japan also had its own sumo venues and tournaments in this period with by far the most prominent center being in Osaka. Osaka sumo continued to the end of the Taishō period in 1926, when it merged with Tokyo sumo to form one organisation.

Gōeidō (豪栄道), a sumo wrestler from Osaka signing a shikishi (色紙) for a fan after the morning practice in Osaka.

Gōeidō (豪栄道), a sumo wrestler from Osaka signing a shikishi (色紙) for a fan after the morning practice in Osaka.

Gōeidō (豪栄道):

Gōeidō Gōtarō (豪栄道 豪太郎, born April 6, 1986 as Sawai Gōtarō) is a sumo wrestler from Osaka Prefecture, Japan. He made his professional debut in January 2005 and reached the top makuuchi division in September 2007. His highest rank to date has been ōzeki which he achieved following the July 2014 tournament. He is regarded as one of the most promising Japanese wrestlers in sumo today. He holds the modern record for the most consecutive appearances at sekiwake, at 14.

Tochinoshin (栃ノ心):

Tochinoshin Tsuyoshi (born 13 October 1987 as Levan Gorgadze, Georgian: ლევან გორგაძე) is a professional sumo wrestler from Mtskheta, Georgia. He is a member of the Kasugano stable and made his debut in March 2006. He reached the top makuuchi division just two years later in May 2008. His highest rank has been komusubi. After a long hiatus due to injury, he has made a dramatic comeback, logging four championships in a row in lower divisions on his way back to the top division.

Aoiyama (碧山):

Aoiyama (碧山), a sumo wrestler from Bulgaria signing a shikishi (色紙) for a fan after the morning practice in Osaka.

Aoiyama (碧山), a sumo wrestler from Bulgaria signing a shikishi (色紙) for a fan after the morning practice in Osaka.

Aoiyama Kōsuke (碧山 亘右) (born June 19, 1986 as Daniel Ivanov, Bulgarian: Даниел Иванов, in Elhovo, Bulgaria) is a professional sumo wrestler or rikishi. He made his debut in 2009, reaching the top division two years later, debuting in the November 2011 tournament where he won the Fighting Spirit award along with Wakakōyū.
After wrestling for ten years and doing amateur sumo for three, he entered the professional sumo world at the introduction of fellow countryman, ōzeki Kotoōshū, becoming only the second Bulgarian rikishi. He joined Tagonoura stable, run by former maegashira Kushimaumi. When asked by his coach whether he preferred mountains or rivers, he chose mountains and so was given the ring name of Aoiyama, meaning “blue mountain”.

Kasugano stable:

Kasugano stable (春日野部屋) is a stable of sumo wrestlers, part of the Dewanoumi ichimon or group of stables. As of April 2013 it had 22 wrestlers. It is currently one of the most successful stables, with six sekitori wrestlers, including the Georgian Tochinoshin and the Korean born (but Japanese national) Tochinowaka, who uses the current head coach’s old ring name.
It was originally founded in the mid 18th century by a wrestler named Kasugano Gunpachi. It became inactive for a long time but was led in the Meiji period by a referee named Kimura Soshiro (this is no longer allowed as oyakata must now be former wrestlers). He adopted as his son the Yokozuna Tochigiyama, who led the stable for over thirty years. He in turn adopted as his son the 44th Yokozuna Tochinishiki, who became the head in 1959 whilst still an active wrestler and later served as the chairman of the Japan Sumo Association. Tochinoumi took over upon Tochinishiki’s death in 1990 and led the stable until his retirement in 2003. The stable absorbed Mihogaseki stable in 2013 when its stablemaster (former ozeki Masuiyama Daishiro II) reached the mandatory retirement age. (Profiles of wrestler, history of sumo and Kasugano stable: courtesy of Wikipedia)

Useful Sumo related links:   See All Pictures Here!

Grand Sumo Tournament Osaka Official Sumo Homepage   Head Coach of Kasugano stable

Gōeidō (豪栄道) Tochinoshin (栃ノ心)Aoiyama (碧山)Rikishi (力士)

Tochinoshin (栃ノ心 剛), a wrestler from Georgia didn’t mind posing for a picture with me.

Tochinoshin (栃ノ心 剛), a wrestler from Georgia didn’t mind posing for a picture with me.

Morning practice of the sumo wrestlers from Kasugano Stable (春日野部屋), preparing for the grand spring tournament in Osaka.

Morning practice of the sumo wrestlers from Kasugano Stable (春日野部屋), preparing for the grand spring tournament in Osaka.

Morning practice of the sumo wrestlers from Kasugano Stable (春日野部屋), preparing for the grand spring tournament in Osaka.

Morning practice of the sumo wrestlers from Kasugano Stable (春日野部屋), preparing for the grand spring tournament in Osaka.

Morning practice of the sumo wrestlers from Kasugano Stable (春日野部屋), preparing for the grand spring tournament in Osaka.



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