I had the great fortune to attend one day of the 15 day long Sumo tournament held in Osaka on March 20th.
Opening ceremony for the high ranked matches:
Throwing salt to purify the ring:
Though the earlier matches in the day are between less famous and lower ranked wrestlers, they do not lack any of the excitement and drama of the later matches. A further bonus is that before the seats fill, you can go down next to the ring to see the matches up close.
As there is no weight class separation in sumo, some matches are between wrestlers of considerable size difference. Bigger wrestlers have an advantage of being harder to move and pick up, though it is offset by the greater speed and agility of smaller wrestlers.
While the below wrestler was forced out of the ring:
A subsequent match of different wrestlers with a similar size disparity:
Resulted in the smaller wrestler out maneuvering his larger opponent and winning the match.
A Geisha or Maiko hired by an older couple to entertain during the matches.