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Juryo: Salt-Throwing | by jpellgen (@1179_jp)
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Juryo: Salt-Throwing

Sumo takes a great deal of its ceremony from the Shinto religion. Here we see the salt-throwing ritual (shiomaki) which is done as a purification act before the bout. It is perhaps the most famous element of a sumo match.

 

Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium is home to the March honbasho, one of six grand sumo events of each year. Japan is the only country where this indigenous sport is practiced professionally. Tournaments originated in Nobunaga's time and gained popularity through the Edo period. Today, sumo is one of the most popular sports in Japan along with baseball. While the premise of sumo is simple (toss your opponent out of the ring), there are subtlties and ceremony that make it a fascinating sport.

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Taken on March 23, 2009