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Friday, July 24, 2009

Salt Sprinkling In Sumo

On mounting the dohyō the wrestler performs a number of rituals derived from Shinto practice. Facing the audience, he claps his hands and then performs the leg-stomping shiko exercise to drive evil spirits from the dohyō.

Stepping out of the ring into their corners, each wrestler is given a ladleful of water, the chikara-mizu ("power water"), with which he rinses out his mouth; and a paper tissue, the chikara-gami ("power paper"), to dry his lips. Then both step back into the ring, squat facing each other, clap their hands, then spread them wide (traditionally to show they have no weapons).

Returning to their corners, they each pick up a handful of salt which they toss onto the ring to purify the ring ridding of evil spirits. Some also sprinkle salt on their body to pray for protection. The salt also serves as sterilisation for abrasions during the match.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

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