Sumo Wrestlers

Hirakuza Osaka: Sumo Wrestling’s Latest Entertainment Show


Sumo wrestling has always been a staple of the Japanese culture. Its traditions and social impact have continued to fascinate people all over the world. The history from its conception to now is over 1,500 years. It is Japan’s national sport as well as an amateur sport from grade school to college, and those who have made it their commitment for life are considered professional athletes.

Visitors to Japan can go on guided sumo wrestling experience tours or purchase tickets to official matches and tournaments. You can see them in their training stable called “heya,” which showcases their workouts, eating habits, and day-to-day activities. If you’re lucky, you can watch an exhibition match in the heya.

However, you’ll only be watching from the comfort of the sidelines. That’s why seeing this new interactive concept brought to life for everyone’s enjoyment is so exciting.

Sumo Hall Hirakuza Osaka

Sumo Hall Hirakuza Entrance
Photo Credit: Sumo Hall Hirakuza

The Sumo Hall Hirakuza, located in Osaka, is bringing us a fresh new perspective this upcoming spring by allowing us to personally interact and experience sumo wrestling firsthand with these professionals in an all-new experimental entertainment show.

This is in the hope that by bringing more inbound visitors to experience the allure of Japanese culture, it will increase in part the benefits of tourism to this amazing country.

Rules of Sumo Wrestling

The center of the elevated stage where the wrestlers perform is called the dohyo. Numerous straw bales form a circle, while the inside of the floor is covered in a layer of sand to maintain traction and stability while wrestling occurs.

You will observe the ritualistic and symbolic gestures before the match starts. This includes the always popular and familiar salt tossing to purify the dohyo.

sumo wrestling match
Photo Credit: Sumo Hall Hirakuza

To win, the sumo wrestler must force their opponent out of the ring. There are multiple winning techniques that can lead to this through pushing, gripping, lifting, thrusting, and throwing. The wrestler must have any part of their body other than the soles of their feet outside of the ring. Size and strength vs. superior technique in these moves can often decide the match. It’s anybody’s game.

What to Expect at the Hirakuza Sumo Show

The shows will occur twice a night and are one-hour performances. The schedule of the show is broken down into several parts. From the entrance and introduction to the main performance and dinner to post-performance photos and chatting. It’s short, simple, sweet, and highly entertaining. Each performer is a former professional sumo wrestler, but their practices are still taken seriously and these guys continue to train like nothing has changed.

Seating

Hall Seating
Photo Credit: Sumo Hall Hirakuza

There are three separate levels of seating to view the show from around the ring. Where you sit can affect how you experience the entertainment and adrenaline of the show. The closest seats (S) will have you see the sand flying and the sweat dripping. If you are more of a casual observer, you can get the more affordable 2nd (A) and 3rd level (B) seating.

Introduction

The announcer will give a brief explanation (in English) of the history of Sumo. They will then explain the rules, standard practices, and regulations. You will witness what the ruling board constitutes as legal and illegal moves and etiquette outside the ring. Of course there is no punching or kicking, hair pulling, or any below the waist moves. This is all done in a comical performance called Shokkiri.

Shokkiri Match

shokkiri sumo match
Photo Credit: Sumo Hall Hirakuza

The Shokkiri match is not an official bout but a comedy show by two lower-ranking wrestlers. It’s a skit showing you what moves should not be performed, as well as unacceptable behavior while in the ring. It’s choreographed, funny, and downright entertaining. You would never think it, but sumo wrestlers happen to have a great sense of humor.

Interactive Demonstrations

Sumo Hall Hirakuza Experience
Photo Credit: Sumo Hall Hirakuza

After the Shokkiri performance, we now get into the main part of the show. This is where several short bouts and practice matches will take place. Matches only last from a few seconds to several minutes. The matches may be short but the energy put into it is electrifying. Here’s where you come in.

Volunteers can wear a sumo wrestling suit and compete with these professionals in front of an energized crowd. You will start with practicing Shiko (the go-to move of lifting one leg high and stomping it on the ground before doing the same with the opposite leg) to warm yourself up, along with other stretches like the Matawari and Suriashi.

It’s a great way to test your mettle and realize how much effort, work, and strength is needed to compete on such a competitive level. Of course, these guys will go easy on you but can you imagine them going at you like you were their most difficult opponent?

This will be a great story to share with others, and after the show, you can have your picture taken with the sumo wrestlers.

Enjoy a Traditional Bento Box

You won’t be eating like the sumo wrestlers, who enjoy the food staple known as Chankonabe or sumo stew, but we can get you the next very best thing.

Taking a page from traditional Japanese entertainment, where food is offered during intermissions, you can also enjoy Japanese cuisine with a traditional meal included with every ticket purchase. Several bento options are available, such as yakisoba, takoyaki, sushi rolls, tofu, and chicken.

What Will This Show Cost You?

For dinner and a show in Osaka, ticket prices are relatively reasonable. It’s an extra treat for yourself or with a group that you should not pass up on. You may never have another opportunity for something this unique.

  • (S) – ¥16,000 yen ($106.22 USD). Note that this price is for both adults and children.
  • (A) – ¥12,500 yen Adult ($82.98 USD), ¥9,000 yen Child ($59.75 USD)
  • (B) – ¥9,500 yen Adult ($63.07 USD), ¥7,000 yen Child ($46.47 USD)

Sumo Hall Hirakuza

This is just one small part of what Osaka offers. It is deeply embedded into the city culture and the country’s identity. It is a popular tourist attraction bringing in plenty of foreign observers who want to witness sumo firsthand. So add this to your travel itinerary and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of watching one of the newest stops in Japan.

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