Yasukuni Jinja (靖国神社), which is dedicated chiefly to war dead soldiers, is one of the most well known Shinto shrine in Japan. For details about this shrine, see the article on Yasukuni Shrine.On a day in mid-April, professional sumo wrestlers devote their bouts to the shrine divinities.
Hono-Ozumo at Yasukuni Shrine
Yasukuni Shrine holds a grand festival biannually - in April and in October -, and for the spring festival(the Shunki Reitaisai), some 200 professional sumo wrestlers including yokozuna of Ozumo (the Grand Sumo Tournament) devote their bouts at the sumo ring of this shrine, though the date will be set at a little before the festival.
Sumo matchs have been dedicated by professional wrestlers every year ever since the founding of the shrine in 1869.
From 9:00am to 9:30am, the Dohyo Matsuri, a Shinto ritual dedicated to deities of sumo, is held at the sumo ring (dohyo) to pray for peace, good harvest, etc.
Seats are already almost full at this point.
After that, wrestlers begin warming up until around 10:30am.
First, matches of 120 makushita-rank wrestlers take place from around 10:40am.
After the matches of makushita, from around 0:20pm, sumo jinku are sung. A sumo jinku is a kind of song sung by sumo wrestlers as a performance.
At around 0:30pm, Shokkiri is performed. Shokkiri is a commedy explaining the foul plays of sumo.
From 0:50pm, Juryo dohyo-iri, or the ring-entering celemony of Juryo-rank wrestlers, is practiced.
After the ring-entering celemony, yagura-daiko performance takes place. Yagura-daiko is the drum which is used to announce the beginning and end of the day's match, along with some other purposes.
Matches of 28 Juryo wrestlers begin from around 1pm.
After the matches of Juryo wrestlers, first, the ring-entering celemony of Makuuchi-rank wrestlers are conducted.
Then, from around 2pm, the ring-entering celemony of Yokozuna, or the grand champions, is practiced.
After that, makuuchi-rank wrestlers devote their bouts.
When the bouts of Makushita end at around 2:45pm, the San'yaku Soroibumi is performed. This is a celemony done by the highest-ranking sumo wrestlers (yokozuna, ozeki, wakizeki, and komusubi rank wrestlers.)
The Koreyori sandan is the last three matches of highest ranking wrestlers including yokozuna and ozeki.
When all the matches of the day end at around 3pm, the Yumitori-shiki is performed as the closing celemony. This is a dance using a bow to prase the winner.