Sumo Wrestling…..a haibun.


For the past 6 months, I have been watching sumo bouts.  It doesn’t matter that your honorable opponent might outweigh you by 50 lbs, it’s all in the technique.  Apparently, the point is to ‘unseat’ the man opposite you and do it in seconds.  These two refrigerators smash into each other, and you go for the shoulders.  This creates  2 tons of power in the smashing.  Sure there are other things that go into this sport, like slapping flesh hard, slapping  the face, grabbing the opponent’s belt and trying to hurl him across the ring of sand.  And out into the audience.  Generally these men are big and to have one land in your lap must hurt.  There is a lot more to sumo, but I’m learning.  Armchair, here.

Lady Nyo


I love Sumo wrestling. Or at least I think I do. Perhaps it is the only sport where I don’t feel like I have to hold in my stomach sitting there. Watching those mountains of flesh-men grapple with each other makes my heart beat hard. There is such history around this sport, and such a deep tradition. The fact that they gorge themselves with a purpose makes my heart sing. How wonderful that you can eat and eat without any concern for weight or fashion!

And, did you know that those belts they wear can cost a million yen? Or so I have read. I have also read that Sumo Wrestlers are some of the most humble and gentle of men. Here, have another bowl of rice.

Mountains of flesh pound

A ring of sandy earth

Cunning and strength vie.



Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2019

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