Atelier Naoko

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1/3- Tomioka Hachiman shrine and Sumo.

Hello. I am Naoko Takenobu and the editor in chief of “NAOKO AU JAPON”
In this page, I pick up a theme and serialize that several times. For the 1st theme, I pick up “Shinto shrines and temples in Tokyo which I recommend”. I would like to introduce Tomioka Hachiman shrine for this number and next one.

Tomioka Hachiman shrine is located in Monzen Nakacho( Metro: Oedo line and Tozai line). This shrine is in downtown. I like go there for waking with my husband in the afternoon of Sunday. We do window-shopping for the stalls and the shops of long standing on the way to the shrine, pray homage, and go to the nice restaurant for lunch, which is our routine course of the day. In this shrine, there are Yokozuna Stones and other memorial stones related sumo. To say honestly, I’ve known it these days from the blog of this shrine, though I have visited this shrine for many times and for long time. What a shame of me!  Tomioka Hachiman shrine seems to be famous for the birthplace of Kanjin-zumo, founded in 1684 which is origin of today’s professional sumo. So I went there to see the Yokozuna sumos this time.

First of all, I found the Ozeki stone and other memorial stones near the entrance. At the last line of the Ozeki stone, there is the name of Kotooshu Katsunori who is from Bulgaria and retired this year.

In this area, there are handprints and footprints of Sumo wrestlers. There is also stone monument which we can see the height of tall Sumo wrestlers in history. It is amazing to see the existence of the wrestler who was more than 2m 30cm in 1820.

When I saw Yokozuna stones, I felt it powerful. I can see the new name of Kakuryu Rikisaburo who was promoted to yokozuna this year and who is from Mongolia. In October 7, 2014 he came here and he engraved his name by himself.
Recently the persons who were promoted to yokozuna are mostly Mongolian and Hawaiian. I appreciate that a lot of Mongolian sumo wrestlers make sumo more exciting. Personally, I expect the wrestlers of the Minezaki sumo stable will engrave his name in the Yokozuna stone. Since sumo is national sport of Japan, I also expect that Japanese will get the position of yokozuna near future.

Monzennaka-cho is famous for Fukagawa-mesi, rice cooked with clams. So near here, there are a lot of fukagawa-meshi restaurant. Of course, I ate it for lunch. It was so nice!

For the next number, I write about the market of antiques at Tomioka Hachiman shrine.