Monday, May 19, 2008

day 142 - dohyo ring

The sumo ring (dohyo, literally 'clay and bales'), which really is circular, unlike the western boxing 'ring', is 4.6m in diameter and a little over 60cm (2ft) high. It is made entirely of rice bales and clay, with a topping of raked sand. The sumo bout takes place within an inner circle, representing infinity. Beyond the ring at the four compass points are the taokudawara or 'privilege bales', the only places where a sumotori may step outside the circle and not be disqualified. Above the ring hangs the yakata, a roof resembling a shinto shrine. Red, green, white and black tassels representing the seasons hang from the yakata's four corners. See day 72 for more.

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