Powerful Ring-Entering Rite for Rebuilding CelebrationOffered by Sumo Wrestling Grand Champion at Kyoto's Kamigamo Shrine
The ceremony of entering the ring conducted by Kakuryu, the 71st "Yokozuna," or grand champion sumo wrestler, was dedicated to Kamigamo Shrine in Kita Ward, Kyoto on October 17. This event was held to celebrate "Shikinen Sengu," or periodical rebuilding of a shrine carried out every predetermined number of years, which will continue until 2020. Visitors observing the ceremony shouted "Yoisho," a call of encouragement as he stamped on the ring.
The event was concurrently held with "Ozumo Kyotobasho," or sumo tournament in Kyoto, which was held on the same day. After offering a prayer at the main shrine in the early morning, Kakuryu passed through the shrine's Torii gate along with other wrestlers at 9:00 a.m. Wrestler Shodai held the role of sword-bearer and wrestler Nishikigi's part was to lead the way for the Yokozuna to enter the ring. Proceeding to the front of the cone-shaped sand mounds before the "Hosodono" worship hall, Kakuryu then vigorously performed the "Unryu-gata," or flying dragon style of ring-entering ceremony.
Kakuryu, who was offering the ring-entering ceremony for the second time to the shrine, said, "I believe that I have shown a bit growth in conducting the ring-entering ceremony since the last time which was immediately after becoming a Yokozuna."(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)