Bawling babies face off in Japan's 'crying sumo'
Japan Today -- May 15
More than 100 Japanese babies faced off Sunday in a traditional "crying sumo" ring, an annual ceremony believed to bring infants good health.

In the sumo ring at the precinct of the Kamegaike Hachimangu shrine in Sagamihara west of Tokyo, two hulking wrestlers held up toddlers wearing tiny sumo belts and aprons to try to make them bawl.

Wrestlers sometimes shake the babies gently to encourage tears.

"My boy was crying from the very beginning and I felt a little bad," Tomoyo Watanabe, the mother of Zentaro, told AFP.

"But as I watched my baby crying, I was praying for him to grow up healthy and strong after this event."

The "crying sumo" is held at shrines and temples nationwide, to the delight of parents and onlookers.

"The cries of babies are believed to drive out demons and protect the infants from troubles," said priest Hiroyuki Negishi.

The ceremony is believed to date back more than 400 years.

News source: Japan Today
Jan 17
NHK is apologizing after issuing a false alert that said North Korea had probably launched a missile and warned people in Japan to take cover. (NHK)
Jan 17
Following the release of its first edition in 1955, publisher Iwanami Shoten's Kojien has become one of the most respected and widely used dictionaries in Japan. Since 1998, the tome has been on a 10-year update cycle, and so last week's release of Kojien's seventh edition was a big deal not just for linguists, but for Japanese society in general. (rocketnews24.com)
Jan 17
Spending by visitors from abroad during their stays in Japan exceeded 4 trillion yen for the first time on record in 2017, the Japan National Tourism Organization said in a preliminary report on Tuesday. (Jiji)
Jan 16
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 41-year-old man who is suspected of stealing the wallets of dozens of sleeping passengers on the Yamanote Line since last year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Jan. 16). (tokyoreporter.com)
Jan 16
Eight corpses possibly belonging to North Korean nationals have been discovered aboard and near a wooden ship that washed ashore in Kanazawa City earlier this month, reports NHK (Jan. 16). (tokyoreporter.com)
Jan 16
A woman in her 60s in Fukuoka Prefecture died in 2016 after being infected with Corynebacterium ulcerans, becoming the first victim of the zoonotic disease in Japan, health ministry officials said Monday. (Jiji)
Jan 16
Police and consumer centers across Japan have received more than 1,500 inquiries from people affected by a scandal involving a gala dress kimono retail and rental firm. The total value of contracts drawn up between the firm and the consumers who have consulted with the centers has topped 270 million yen, or nearly 2.5 million dollars. (NHK)
Jan 16
With the investigation into the rigging of arcade games widening in scale, Osaka Prefectural Police have re-arrested the president of a management company over the alleged fraud of additional persons, reports NHK (Jan. 13). (tokyoreporter.com)
Jan 16
A man was arrested Monday on suspicion of stabbing two men the previous night, one fatally, in what appeared to be random attacks, the police said. (Japan Times)
Jan 16
A branch of Yokohama District Court on Monday ordered the city of Zushi, Kanagawa Prefecture, eastern Japan, to pay 1.1 million yen in damages for leaking information that led to the murder of a 33-year-old woman by a stalker. (Jiji)