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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Girls Sumo Wrestlers Dream Of Going Professional

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Nana Abe, 12, is a real sumo champion: She has been training since she was 8 years previous and has not often misplaced a contest. In Japan, membership sports activities are a big a part of adolescence and what number of college students bond with their classmates. Sumo — a historic Japanese martial artwork and longtime favourite sport within the nation — is open solely to males on the skilled degree, however that doesn’t cease some ladies from training it as a membership sport.

Tokyo-based photographer Yulia Skogoreva has been photographing ladies and younger girls who follow sumo for years. “The traditions in Japan are sophisticated,” says Skogoreva. “When folks come and go to the nation, that is a part of why they adore it a lot, as a result of a lot of that custom remains to be intact. However there’s additionally the query of gender equality, and may we determine a solution to have each?”

Abe’s dream is to proceed her profession as knowledgeable, however proper now there is no such thing as a method for ladies to proceed after commencement from college within the present system. Feminine sumo wrestlers on the membership degree are passionate in regards to the sport and provides their sweat and tears to show that they should compete. “I want that these ladies might have the chance to proceed their profession,” says Skogoreva. “In the intervening time even in Japan only a few folks know that feminine sumo exists. I hope that my venture will assist these ladies to get extra consideration and attain their objective sooner or later.”

Skogoreva, who has lived in Japan for over 10 years, understands the dream {of professional} athleticism, and her objective is to seize motion and house in a nonetheless picture. She grew up in Moscow and ceaselessly went to see ballet. She ended up in Tokyo to check at Nippon Pictures Institute and continued to {photograph} dance. “I just like the pure state of individuals shifting,” Skogoreva says. “Dancers overlook in regards to the digital camera, they only do what they do. I began seeing dance strikes once I watched all types of sports activities.”

She was particularly fascinated about sumo, which has many rituals forward of the fights that may usually appear like dance — the skilled wrestlers typically strategy the ring in colourful costume that reveals their rank, and opponents assemble on the dohyō (the raised ring) forward of the match to stomp and exhibit in a choreographed ritual ceremony known as the “dohyō iri.” Skogoreva was initially curious in regards to the world of male sumo wrestlers, as a result of she had by no means heard of girls taking on the game. Then a pal despatched her an article a couple of feminine sumo wrestler, and her curiosity was piqued. “It’s an extremely tight-knit and closed-off world. It took greater than a 12 months to get the permissions to {photograph} there. I reached out to Russian wrestlers, after which once I got here again to Tokyo with pictures of Russian wrestlers, it turned so much simpler.”

She plans to maintain engaged on the venture, photographing sumo wrestlers in Japan and elsewhere, in addition to persevering with to {photograph} Nana and her older sister, Sakura. “They’re rising and altering yearly. I’d like to preserve photographing her till she graduates college, and possibly even after.”

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