The Royal Albert Hall played host to the first official sumo wrestling tournament ever to be staged outside nhật bản in the sport’s 1,500 year history over five memorable days in 1991.
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The Grand Sumo Tournament, which was held from Wednesday 9 – Sunday 13 October 1991, was presented at the venue as part of the 1991 nhật bản Festival.
Many cultural and traditional considerations were given when preparing the arena for sumo.
For instance, the correct clay for the sacred dohyo (wrestling ring, pictured below) was tracked down to a quarry near Heathrow, while a huge drum and the ceremonial canopy, the yokata, were shipped in specially from nhật bản.
The top 40 rikishi (wrestlers) made the trip to London to compete for the Hitachi Cup and the prestige of winning the first ‘foreign’ basho, this included two yokozuna (grand champions), Asahifuji and Hokutuomi.
The main attraction, however, was Hawaiian Konishiki, the heaviest sumo wrestler ever, nicknamed the ‘Dump Truck’, who weighed in at a colossal 37½ stone (238 kg).
The most expensive seats for Sumo were cushions on the floor around the dohyo, which can be seen here in this clip of Terao (‘The Typhoon’) versus Kotogaume (‘The Plum’):
One would expect that feeding the 40 wrestlers would be an almost unmanageable task, but it was perhaps a little too easy – when asked about his thoughts on the UK, the enormous Konishiki joked:
‘Usually in nhật bản we don’t have breakfast… foreign food has been good but we get one meal too much I guess’Konishiki
Toilets, chairs and beds
Other considerations had to be given due to the sheer size of some of the competitors. The Hall had to have the backstage lavatories weight-tested, chairs reinforced and extra large showers fitted.
Adaptations weren’t only required at the Hall – the local hotels had similar concerns and carried out extensive bed testing ahead of the arrival of the competitors.
9 ways you can tư vấn us
This extended closure has put the Royal Albert Hall, lượt thích many other venues, in a perilous situation.
Without shows on we have lost our major source of funding, but there remains a number of ways you can continue to tư vấn the Royal Albert Hall during this crisis: