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Posts tagged sumo


Sumo in Tokyo (January 2010)

Papa Ramen

papa ramen copenhagen sign SKYDEBANEGADE 16

Papa Ramen @ Skydebanegade 16, 1709 København V

I had ramen in Copenhagen a couple times last summer but neither bowl was great. I tried to eat at Papa Ramen last year too, but they were closed. This year I got there before they shut down for the summer and it was great! I think the noodles were homemade, the seasoning and toppings perfect, and I really loved the three paper-thin slices of chashu. They have a second branch on Studiestræde, with lower prices, that will not be closing down for the summer. I plan to visit there (and Slurp Ramen Joint which has been on summer break but will be reopening next week) soon.

sumo wrestlers papa ramen copenhagen window decor

Papa Ramen window decor

papa ramen copenhagen SKYDEBANEGADE 16

Tonkotsu bowl at Papa Ramen

Asashoryu’s final yusho

asashoryu yusho sumo

朝青龍 明徳の最後の優勝

Between November of 2002 and January of 2010 Asashoryu dominated the sport of sumo. He was the champion 25 times. His main competition was Hakuho, who won the tournament 12 times during that same period. Since Asashoryu’s retirement, after his final victory–pictured above, Hakuho has gone on to win 25 more times, including the last two tournaments this year.


kotoshogiku sumo

Kotoshogiku on final day of January 2010 tournament

One of these days I’ll get back to Japan and shoot some sumo now that I actually know how to photograph indoor sports.

More than six years ago, when I took today’s photo, Kotoshogiku was a rather mediocre komusubi (the fourth highest rank). He lost this bout and finished the tournament 6-9. Recently he has been much better. He was the first Japanese sumo wrestler to win a tournament, this past January, in over a decade. In the current March tournament he is undefeated. Another tournament yusho and he could become the first Japanese yokozuna in a long while.

A closer look at the Sumo dohyo

sumo dohyo a closer look 相撲 土俵 clay foundation ring

相撲 土俵

Baruto on the rise

baruto sumo

Japanese kids approaching Baruto in January 2010

I haven’t watched, or even followed, sumo for a couple years now. In part, it’s because of Baruto. A larger part is because I’m not in Japan. However, I did follow sumo, as closely as one can outside the country, in 2011 and early 2012 largely because of Baruto. He was to sumo what Fernando Valenzuela was to MLB in the 1980s. I saw Baruto live several times in 2009 and 2010 when he was an up and comer, a fan favorite (unlike most of the gaijin sumo). He rose to the top, earned Ozeki status, and won the championship just two years after I took today’s photo.

Unfortunately, injuries cut short his stay at the top and he retired last year.