Sumo + Sushi to spotlight Japanese culture with bento boxes and wrestling

Experience a slice of Japanese culture without taking out your passport this weekend.

On March 3 and 4, three champion sumo wrestlers will bring their sport to the PlayStation Theater for Sumo + Sushi, an event that combines the traditional competition with a side of a delicious dinner.

“This is a really fun event for sumo-enthusiasts and folks that are completely new to the sport alike,” said Sam Minkoff, owner of SE Productions, which is behind the event.

Bona fide fans of the sport might recognize the three competing wrestlers — Byamba, Yama, and Ramy — who all hold championship titles and weigh a whopping 1,500 pounds combined. (At 600 pounds, Yama is believed to be the heaviest Japanese person ever.)

Still, those with no knowledge of how the Japanese national sport works will learn the basics of the rules, history and culture through the emcee, USA Sumo founder Andrew Freund.

As for the sushi, those who opted for a ticket that includes food are given miso soup and edamame to start. At intermission, they receive bento boxes prepared by kosher sushi spot Sushi Tokyo that include spicy tuna, California and salmon rolls; fresh nigiri; an Asian-inspired salad; chicken teriyaki; and a dessert. Vegetarian boxes are also available.

If you’re feeling thirsty, hit up the cash bar for Hakutsuru Sake or a beer like Sapporo or Kirin.

Big spenders who go for the VIP Skybox experience ($3,500 for admission up to 14 guests, including open bar) will have their bento boxes prepared by the high-end Japanese restaurant Megu.

The fun doesn’t end with your meal. According to Minkoff, one of the best parts of the event comes near the end, when six audience members with “Get In The Ring” tickets are invited to wrestle the professionals themselves.

“That’s always a crowd pleaser,” Minkoff said.


Sumo + Sushi is March 3-4 at 5 p.m. and 8:30 pm. at PlayStation Theater | 1515 Broadway | tickets from $45 at sumoandsushi.com

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