Friday, July 25, 2014

Hakuho Falls

Several times a year there is a sumo tournament and now is one of those times.  For 15 consecutive days in Nagoya, large men are pounding against one another, attempting to push the other to the ground or out of the ring.  There is a lot of show to the whole ordeal.  Throwing salt into the ring, stomping, slapping thighs, angry stares.  More and more displays of anger.

While Hakuho is not without his own displays, the first time I saw him I was impressed by his composure and calm.  He is the ultimate of sumo wrestlers, having long winning streaks and many tournament wins.  But today, I saw Hakuho lose.  What happens when a hero goes down, when the flawless becomes tarnished?  Hakuho has lost before and he will lose again.  He is human and this is perhaps part of his heroism, that he loses and still maintains his fearlessness in the face of the possibility.

But I wonder who has more fear, the champion or the amateur?  Does one have courage without fear?  The calm in Hakuho's face is not impermeable.  I don't understand the sport of sumo well enough to understand why he is a good wrestler.  But in his stance and gaze there is a look into fear and fearlessness to which I think humans can relate.

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