Anyone familiar with the term "sumo" can make a pretty concise summary of how it works. It might go something like, "the first fat man to push the other one off the ring wins." And yet, accurate as the statement may be, the explanation hardly does any justice to the reason why sumo and its athletes have found such a special place in the hearts of its fans, both Japanese and non-Japanese alike. It certainly doesn't encapsulate why I became drawn to watching two overweight men wrestle. But are words enough to effectively express what makes sumo so damn cool? If they are, I lack the skill to string the right ones together.
So this blog of note-taking and doodles will have to do. Its primary purpose is to document my neophyte's journey to better understanding sumo. Secondary purposes include trying to improve my steadily increasing proficiency in Japanese and to salvage a rapidly deteriorating English writing ability. It's pretty clear that my reasons for creating this blog are self-serving, but I would probably be a little more than pleased with myself if I also happened to educate, or at least entertain, someone with it. I figure that by sharing the bits and pieces of what I come to learn about sumo's history, culture and traditions, I'll manage to give you a sense of what makes the whole so beautiful.