Sunday, August 22, 2010

Crying Baby Sumo Contest (Konaki or Nakizumo)

Crying Sumo (Konaki) or Sumo of tears (Nakizumo) is a popular annual Japanese contest for babies that take place all over the country. The festival held on Sunday by sumo wrestlers, the tiny winners are determined by who cries first. If both babies start crying at the same time the winner is the one who wails the loudest in the arms of sumo wrestlers. Japanese parents apparently believe the sumo-induced cries are beneficial, with the babies crying out as a prayer to the gods for good health. At the very least, it probably exercises the lungs.

Some babies reportedly refused to cooperate and stayed silent or even dared to laugh in the wrestlers’ faces. Or, at least, that wasthe case until the wrestlers resorted to slipping on their scary masks. The event is based on the ancient Japanese proverb that ‘crying babies grow fast’(naku ko wa sodatsu). It is thought that the louder the cry, the more the gods have blessed the child with strong and good health, are supposed to drive away evil spirits. is at least 400 years old.

Locations with Crying baby Sumo contests are the Sensoji temple,Tokyo, There are also contests at Ikiko shrine in Kanuma-ski, Tochigi, in September; Yamajioji temple in Shimotsu-cho, Wakayama, in October; and at Saikyoji temple, Hirado, in February.

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