Hotel Nikko Bali Benoa Beach Held The First Sumo Game in Bali

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Hotel Nikko Bali Benoa Beach Held The First Sumo Game in Bali

18 June 2018News

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between Japan and Indonesia, Hotel Nikko Bali Benoa Beach hosted a Friendly Sumo Game and a Japanese Tea Ceremony demonstration last Sunday, 10 June 2018. The events were a part of a series of a program to celebrate the anniversary, organized by Project Sakura 60, formed exclusively by Makiko Iskandar, the chairwoman of Japan – Bali Friendship Foundation (Yayasan Persahabatan Jepang Bali).

 

Two professional sumo wrestlers performed their skill at the beach during the event that was attended by more than 250 enthusiast spectators from various age group. The event was also attended by the Consulate General of Japan – Chiba Hirohisa, members of Bali Japan Club, as well as the children from Eben Haeser orphanage, Tatwam Asih orphanage, and Aikikai aikido club. The sumo wrestlers; Chiyonokuni Toshiki dan Chiyomaru Kazuki, train under Tatsunami-beya (Tatsunami House) led by Tatsunami Oyakata, the sumo leader. Both wrestlers are now in the highest ranking in sumo wrestling, Maegashira.

 

The sumo game began with some basic routines from the wrestlers’ daily exercise, followed by a short demonstration of the wrestling techniques between Chiyonokuni and Chiyomaru. The children were later invited to interact with the wrestlers and challenged to bring them down before competing in a game of tug of war. The activity on the beach concluded with a vocal performance from Hagurosato, the National Master of Sumo Jinku, who performed a traditional sumo song that he had personally written for the auspicious occasion.

 

Also taking place on the same day, guests were treated to a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, performed by Yasumaru Shusaku, a renowned tea master from Japan and Fukui Tomoya the wagashi master. The traditional tea ceremony focuses on the preparation, serving, and drinking of matcha as hot tea along with wagashi, a type of Japanese confectionery which often eaten together with the tea. During the demonstration, Yasumaru explained how Japanese tea ceremony is more than just a way of making tea, as every element of the tradition holds a special meaning to the master. For example, the pot used to boil the water was shaped in a mound, representing Bali’s famous Mount Agung, and the wagashi they served was colored in white and red – representing the colors of national flag from both countries. Through the ceremony, Yasumaru wishes that the good relationship between Indonesian and Japan will continue to flourish.

 

Continuing the series of event, a press conference was held on Tuesday, 12 June 2018, attended by 11 panelists sharing more insights behind the recent programs at Hotel Nikko Bali Benoa Beach. The panelists were:

Jean-Charles Le Coz – General Manager of Hotel Nikko Bali Benoa Beach

Makiko Iskandar – Chairwoman of Project Sakura 60 and Japan-Bali Friendship Foundation

Chiba Hirohisa – Consulate General of Japan in Bali

Fujino Minoru – President Central Human Rights Headquarter

Tatsunami Oyakata – Sumo Leader

Chiyomaru Kazuki – Sumo Athlete

Chiyonokuni Toshiki – Sumo Athlete

Hagurosato – National Master of Sumo Jinku

Yasumaru Shusaku – Tea Master

Fukui Tomoya – Wagashi Master

Ni Kadek Arik Yulyani – Tea Association Consultant

 

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share this unique Japanese culture with the people in Bali, and we thank everyone who supported the program and creating a successful event,” said Jean-Charles Le Coz, opening the press conference.

 

The sumo leader, Tatsunami Oyakata shared his experience while staying in Bali. “This is the first time the sumo wrestlers come to Bali, and even for only a few days, we have already fallen in love with this island,” Tatsunami Oyakata said in excitement, “We are pleased during our stay here and next year, we wish to bring everyone from the Tatsunami-beya to for a holiday in Bali too.”

 

During the press conference, Makiko Iskandar explained how meaningful it is to hold such event for the Japanese community living in Bali. “It was not an easy task to bring the sumo wrestlers to Bali. A lot of administrations and permits were required, not to mention their strength training and competition schedule in Japan,” she explained, “However, the 60th anniversary of Japan and Indonesia’s diplomatic relationship is a great milestone, and it was the perfect opportunity to showcase the prestigious traditional sport to the Japanese people living in Bali, especially the young ones.”

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