TANJUNG BENOA, Bali (BPN) – A Friendly Sumo Game and a Japanese Tea Ceremony demonstration was held at Hotel Nikko Bali Benoa Beach, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between Japan and Indonesia, on Sunday, June 10, 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).
“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,” Makiko Iskandar 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.”
Two professional sumo wrestlers performed their skill at the beach during the event that was attended by more than 250 enthusiast spectators. 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.
“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. We are pleased during our stay here and next year, we wish to bring everyone from the Tatsunami-beya for a holiday in Bali too,” said Tatsunami Oyakata.
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 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.
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.
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.
“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, General Manager of Hotel Nikko Bali Benoa Beach.