Wail for good health

TOKYO: One-year-old babies were made to cry on May 1 at Tokyo’s popular tourist town of Asakusa while nearly 900 spectators cheered on.

A total of 74 babies participated in the event. In the traditional ritual called ‘Naki-zumo’, or crying sumo in Japanese, two babies are held in the arms of university sumo club members and brought to the ring. The one that wails loudest wins the tournament and is also granted long and healthy years to come, following the Japanese proverb “the more the babies cry, the healthier they grow up”.

The presenters who hold the babies try their best to make the contestants cry by making scary faces, putting masks of monsters. According to Mainichi Shimbun, babies are crying less and less every year, and the presenters are finding it difficult to make them wail. On the other hand, there were babies who began laughing or even remained asleep.