Hav­ing a bawl: Tear­ful tod­dlers battle in ‘cry­ing sumo’ in Ja­pan

The China Post - - ARTS & LEISURE -

More than 100 ba­bies faced off in the sumo ring on Satur­day in an an­nual con­test pit­ting cry­ing tod­dlers against each other in a Ja­panese tra­di­tion be­lieved to bring in­fants good health.

The “cry­ing sumo” event, held at Tokyo’s Sen­soji Tem­ple in the his­toric Asakusa dis­trict, saw hulk­ing sumo wrestlers at­tempt to make 120 ba­bies bawl on com­mand to the de­light of par­ents and on­look­ers.

The cer­e­mony dates back some 400 years and is held at shrines and tem­ples na­tion­wide. The rules vary from re­gion to re­gion — in some ver­sions the ba­bies are raced against each other to see who will cry first, while in oth­ers the first crier is the loser.

In the Asakusa event, which has it­self been run­ning since 1991, pairs of tod­dlers were brought into the sumo ring, where real sumo wrestlers held them and shook them gen­tly as a ref­eree shouted, “Cry! Cry!”

The win­ner was judged to be the in­fant who loud­est.

Some burst out scream­ing with lit­tle prompt­ing, but oth­ers re­quired judges en­ter the ring wear­ing a devil mask, drawing laugh­ter from the au­di­ence.

cried

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quick­est and

AFP

Ba­bies held by stu­dent sumo wrestlers cry while a ref­eree, in a tra­di­tional cos­tume watches dur­ing the “Baby-cry Sumo” com­pe­ti­tion at the Sen­soji tem­ple in Tokyo on Satur­day, May 30.

AFP

Ba­bies held by stu­dent sumo wrestlers cry while a ref­eree, in a tra­di­tional cos­tume watches dur­ing the “Baby-cry Sumo” com­pe­ti­tion at the Sen­soji tem­ple in Tokyo on Satur­day.

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