The Spectacular Sport of Sumo|重量级格斗


by William Ryan

This must-see Japanese sport can be found no place else.

  The traditional Japanese martial art known as sumo wrestling has existed since ancient times. Originally practiced at the Shinto rituals and agricultural rituals, the sport enjoyed strong support from Japan's imperial court. Provincial representatives, who were the local politicians of their time, were even required to compete in these contests.


  Modern sumo still retains many of the elements from ancient times. The manner in which competitors squat facing each other and clap and spread their hands to show they are unarmed is ritualistic and goes back to the earliest days of sumo. Sumo's popularity as a spectator sport rose in the 1600s, and it was finally established as Japan's national sport in 1909. As a matter of fact, the only country where there are professional sumo wrestlers is Japan.


  Sumo wrestlers are large, powerful men whose tremendous size, strength, and leverage are their only weapons. The objective of the two combatants is to push the other out of the ring, which is called a dohyo. Perhaps the most spectacular aspect is the crouch and charge. Both wrestlers must jump up from the crouch position at the same time. Failure to do so will cause the referee to restart the match. Sumo matches are short as most last less than one minute.


  Very strict rules govern not only the competitive sport of sumo but also the lives of its competitors. Known as rikishi, sumo wrestlers are traditionally required to live communally in training stables called heya. Sumo training is extremely demanding with many beginner trainees finding it too difficult and ending up quitting. Sumo wrestling has six divisions or levels, with makuuchi being the highest. At any point in time, there are about 16 or so competitors at this level, and they are called maegashira. A grand champion is known as a yokozuna and, interestingly, more than one wrestler may hold this title at the same time.

 

重量级格斗

这项非看不可的日本运动在别的地方找不到了。

  这项以相扑之名而为人所知的传统日本武术自古以来便已存在。这项运动最初是在日本的神道(编按:日本本土的一个宗教)仪式和农业仪式上实行,并得到日本朝廷的大力支持。甚至连各地方诸侯,也就是当时的地方政治人物,也被要求参加这些竞赛。


  现代的相扑运动仍保留着许多远古时代的要素。相扑的比赛方式是两位选手面对面蹲踞、拍掌,并摊开双手以显示自己没有携带任何武器,这项惯例可以追溯至最早的相扑运动。相扑在十七世纪兴起成为一项相当受欢迎且可供人们观赏的运动,而它最终于 1909 年被确立为日本的国技。事实上,日本是唯一拥有职业相扑选手的国家。


  相扑选手都是体型魁梧而有力的男人,他们巨大的体型、力气和压制人的手段是他们唯一的武器。两位选手的目标便是将对方推出称为『土俵』的圆形场地之外。这项运动中最引人注目的方面也许就是蹲踞和进攻。两位选手必须在同一时间下由蹲踞的姿势跳起来。如果没有这样做的话裁判就会让比赛重新开始。相扑比赛的时间很短,大多数比赛都持续不到一分钟。


  相扑这项竞技运动不仅规则非常严格,相扑选手的生活也十分严谨。相扑选手以『力士』之名而为人所知,他们传统上必须集体住在称为『相扑部屋』的训练所。相扑的训练要求很高,使得许多新进的受训者发现太过辛苦,最后就打了退堂鼓。相扑运动分为六个等级或是位阶,其最高的等级称为『幕内』。不论何时,这个位阶都会有大约十六位选手,而这些选手被称为『前头』。最高位阶的冠军选手被称为『横纲』,有趣的是,同时可能会有不只一位选手拥有这项头衔。




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The Spectacular Sport of Sumo|重量级格斗