Kari Grohn's Home Page - Japan - Sumo


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Dezuiri, Meiji Jingu (明治神宮), Tokyo 

Dezuiri is a sumo ring-entering ritual by reigning yokozuna in the sanctuary of Meiji shrine. The yokozuna is purified by a shinto priest in this ceremony. Mongolian-born sumo grand champion Asashoryu performed dezuiri at Meiji shrine in Tokyo as part of the New Year offering. Asashoryu (b. 1980) is the first sumo wrestler from Mongolia to reach the rank of yokozuna. He is also currently the only active yokozuna. Unlike his Hawaiian (born in Samoa) predecessor Musashimaru, Asashoryu is relatively lightweight (about 148 kg). He has successfully relied on speed and technique to compete against his, often much heavier, opponents. 

Dezuiri (手数入り, でずいり) is an old expression for yokozuna dohyo-iri. Dohyo-iri is performed by active yokozuna at the beginning of every tournament day to purify the dohyo (ring). In the ceremony performed by a yokozuna having his sixtieth birthday a red suna (normally a braided belt of white linen) and the same style of dohyo-iri when he was active are used. Only a handful of these ceremonies have taken place (Tachiyama 1937, Tochigiyama 1952, Tsunenohana 1956, Tochinishiki 1985, Wakanohana I 1988, Taiho 2000, and Kitanofuji 2002.