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About Iwagakki

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  • Birthday 12/08/1969

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  1. Iwagakki

    Wakanohou arrested for drug possession

    This whole business is just unbelievable. Warning: Rant Pending I can't believe that Wakanoho was so foolish to risk his entire career just to smoke a joint. All the arguments about "it's only pot" and the supposed extreme reaction to it aside, it's against the rules. It's just against the rules, that's all. I mean...Maybe the rules are dumb and maybe they aren't, but that's not the issue. It's against the rules. I mean, it just shows me that he didn't really comprehend what he's supposed to be ABOUT. Sumo is the strictest meritocracy in the world. You win, you go up. You lose, you go down. Sumo is about honor and discipline. I have been known to rant otherwise, but it's more than a game, and more than a contest. It is the sole remaining vestige of a code of living and a code of being. It is a WAY. It is to confront and make peace with death, and with mortality, and to conquer fear and transcend life and pain and... The actual bouts are only the show. They are the demonstration of your progress along the WAY. (God, that sounds so hokey, I'm slapping my own face for even saying it...) But it's true. All three of these guys have been out of step. They smoked pot, and it was against the very nature of what they claim to want to be about. Not because pot was such a horrific thing, but because it was undisciplined, and unworthy to do it. It's base, and it's against the rules. Someone who is actually about what these guys say they are about, does not betray it the way they did. Now they are threatening to sue? Good Grief, could you manage to betray what you love in order to keep it any more than that? Where is the honor? Where is the dignity? Where is the respect? I wonder if I am the only one who feels this way? I could kinda respect Wakanoho, because he was genuinely showing some class in the face of his mistakes, and the consequences of his mistakes. He almost went out on his shield, you know? He was doing it right. He apologized, and he bowed, and he faced it like a man. He almost achieved a sort of status of dignity in defeat that he couldn't have any other way. He could become a fallen angel or a flawed and tough and stoic man, who gritted his teeth and beared with it stoicly and strongly through adversity. I think that could pay off dividends for him far beyond what he could have had in sumo. I'm not saying it would, but sumo is precarious, and life is shifty. He wasn't ever going to be Richijo, or even continue in sumo as Oyakata in his thirties. But if he just holds the faith, and keeps his hinkaku, he would be forgiven, and have plenty of life left in Japan. Maybe a little bit of making the rounds on cheezy tarento shows, and a little bit of this and that? Pretty soon, a movie and a commercial. A book deal. Even flawed, a pothead. If he just doesn't betray sumo, and the way he claims to stand for, he could be fine. But NOOOOO. He says "Wahhhh!!! I'm gonna sue you....It's not fair..." Boohoo. What happened to "I believe in sumo" ? ARRRGHHHH!!! I expected it from the others, because they are nothing but thugs, but him? Now what's he gonna do? Piss and moan all the way back to Russia? Regret being a whining ..... the rest of his life? He never did GET it and he doesn't get it now. (Hit the wall...) OK, rant over.
  2. Iwagakki

    Cider, mead, and other things

    It is Canadian in a way. There is another winery called JOST Vineyards in Nova Scotia, that makes a maple syrup wine. There is also Lang winery in BC that makes a red wine that is sweetened with maple syrup. Good stuff. Should be the national drink of Canada.
  3. Iwagakki

    Cider, mead, and other things

    I dragged up this old topic---a no-no, I know. But this topic is just right for today. One of the reasons I have been so scarce around the forum for the past year is that I decided, since I love mead so much, to open a winery. A meadery, in fact. Well, whatever. It has been fantastic. A lot of work. Paperwork mostly. You wouldn't believe the paperwork. The original application was about 3 inches thick. The regulations...good grief. Background checks, and bank records, multiple bonds and tax bonds and page after page of forms and questions. I had no idea. Getting labels OK'd, even, is a big deal. It's all good now. That part is done, and I'm officially a WINERY (Clapping wildly...) Still a very small, very "rustic" sort of operation. But hey, you have to start somewhere, ne? I'm making two varieties of mead, a sweeter one, and a drier one. Nothing fancy. Just a good, honest, down-to-earth mead. The main product, though, is something really special. Maple Syrup Wine. Really, maple syrup. People ask me if it's good on pancakes. I tell them, "NO!!!...But it's good WITH pancakes." (Welcome...) I vaguely remembered Gusoyama saying this about maple beer. Brilliant!!! Maple beer? (An idea...) What fun. Anytime anyone happens to be around Northern Minnesota, I'd love to have a glass of mead or maple wine waiting for you.
  4. Iwagakki

    What are your professions?

    Back when I first joined the forum, I was an artist full time. Over the past few years I've had some kids, and now I have a real job. I'm a museum curator. I design exhibits and lecture. I have been giving lectures lately at the University on the subject of Indigenous Art and a related topic, Cultural Trauma and Grieving. I have been working on a book about the subject of multiple string grief in response to cultural and social trauma. Boring and dry stuff, actually. I don't know what ever possessed me to start this... I don't work in art much anymore, except to do some freelance illustrating and photography. I am currently working on my MBA. I will be done soon, and THAT'S IT!!! :-D I hate school. And...I am FINALLY realizing my dream...to be a brewer full time. I own a small (but growing rapidly) winery. Someday soon, I can quit all this fancy-schmancy crap, and dodder off into my winery, and forget about how important everything (supposedly) is.
  5. Iwagakki

    Asashouryuu preparations Aki 2008

    I'll agree that some of the comments further up in the thread are over-the-top (especially "his legacy will be that of one of the worst yokozuna in history"), but let's not engage in revisionist history here. All those other yokozuna were criticized plenty in their time. Edit: Actually, upon re-reading your post, I'm not even sure what your point is supposed to be. Is it that forum members don't remember that those other yokozuna were also embroiled in public scandals and are thus thinking Asashoryu is worse than he really is, or is your point that those other yokozuna escaped the kind of media scrutiny that Asashoryu routinely receives? You seem to be arguing both, but they're partially exclusive. Oh, I don't know. I think a lot of forum members don't care to remember that Yokozuna seem to be perpetually involved in scandals, and that the media seem to play up the "black yokozuna/black ships" angle a little more with Asashoryu, than with others, and that the public, (including forum members) tend to be overly influenced by the media's bias on Asashoryu.
  6. Iwagakki

    Asashouryuu preparations Aki 2008

    Uh, what? There were tons of complaints about Takanohana's long absence. (Edit: And the fact that he went to France to get treated, incidentally.) There were also calls for him to retire immediately if he didn't put up yusho-quality numbers once he finally returned in Aki 2002 and short-term speculation that he would be doing exactly that after he started that basho only 3-2, staved off only when he rallied to a 12-3 finish. I'll agree that some of the comments further up in the thread are over-the-top (especially "his legacy will be that of one of the worst yokozuna in history"), but let's not engage in revisionist history here. All those other yokozuna were criticized plenty in their time. Yeah, you're right. I guess I didn't say it very well, but there certainly were calls for his retirement after a few absences. But not for a long time. Anyway, I was trying to make the point that the expectations were different, and for all the criticism leveled against Asashoryu, the expectations of him are higher(?) than they were for previous yokozuna. Another thing is that he, virtually alone, "carried" sumo for a long time, and this is how it goes? Also, I mis-stated Asashoryu's record. I didn't include the suspensions and after.... And...There wasn't THAT much of an outcry about Takanohana going to France. A few people looked askance of it, and there were several mentions of the sentiment "Aren't Japanese doctors good enough?" Nobody was calling for his head on a platter, at least.
  7. Iwagakki

    Wakanohou arrested for drug possession

    I'm amazed we didn't catch on earlier. Now that I look back, it seems like Wakanoho really did seem like a pothead sometimes. Maybe he's different in real life, but I always thought some things he did were really odd. Not too long ago, there was that picture of him with his hands up in the air, and someone commented that it showed how he's out of step, or out of touch with the rest of sumo, or something like that. I thought that too. His demeanor and style on the dohyo, which is all I have to guess him by, also seemed sort of strange sometimes. The sort of "juvenile" things, and the jumping out of the way, and that smarmy grin/swagger....classic pothead. Anyway, I had been thinking he had this kind of "slacker" vibe, or something. Would explain a lot.
  8. Iwagakki

    Asashouryuu preparations Aki 2008

    I can't believe you guys. What a bunch of "newbs".... Either you are new to sumo and don't remember life before Asashoryu, or you all have incredibly short memories. Allow me: Akebono. Yokozuna record-432-99-166. In 2000, he went 76-14, with really good records, except January, where he had an 11-4. In 2001 January, he was 0-0-15 and retired. Went out on his shield, eh? By some definitions, his record speaks for itself, and says he was a really great yokozuna. He really was amazing, actually. However, he wasn't without criticism, and he was definitely involved in a scandal or two. He was known to "express himself" once in a while, to the press as well. Still, his name and "hinkaku" weren't always mutually exclusive. So what example is this PARAGON of sumo manliness up to now? World famous punching bag, and professional buffoon. Surely an example of everything we look for in a yokozuna. His record as a yokozuna was 432-122-166 Takanohana? Oh, right. He really is dignified. Oh, except for the, uh, mind-control scandal, or the accusations of this and that. Or how about the petty stuff about his mother, and about his childishness surrounding the funeral arrangements of his father? Wasn't he under the spell of some svengali-type character? Wow, just dripping with hinkaku, isn't he? Oh, but he did win 22 yusho or something? His overall record as a yokozuna was 429-99...not bad...unless you count the ones he missed....201. In his last 10 basho, his record was 16-7-120 How many people were there squalling about his record, or his behavior? Nobody, because Takanohana was a media darling. The great Musashimaru spent his last year at Yokozuna with a record of 5-9-69. His overall record as a Yokozuna was 216-67-115. He missed more than half as many matches as he won as a yokozuna. It took a looooooong time before anyone was calling for him to retire. a lot longer than missing half a basho with a sore elbow. I won't even talk about Wakanohana..... I reckon they didn't go to many of the jungyo either, during the months and months they missed. I mean, Musashimaru missed three basho in a row, and then had 6 matches and missed a couple more. I'd think he didn't go on tour during that time, but I sort of remember that he was otherwise "visible" doing other things. You know what Asashory's yokozuna record is? 333-55-17. He has been Yokozuna for more than 5 years. I'd say he's been pretty durable, and dependable. Too much so, in fact. Every other Yokozuna before him had gobs of time off, and they were able to escape the spotlight for months at a time. The only reason we EVER hear about Asashoryu's antics is because he's not a media darling like Takanohana. And because he isn't all cheery with the peon reporters, they are always painting him in a biased light, and helping to fan the flames against him. Well, not exactly against him, but just sort of a bias. It sells, you know? When it came to other yokozuna, every little outburst or indiscretion (and there have been many) was put down to "Boys will be boys..." or to "That's just proof of his champion's temperament..." in the papers, and in public opinion. But since Asashoryu isn't such a media darling, and because he is so standoff-ish about it all, he is held to a different standard. Actually, he's a dick to the media, and they jump on him every chance they get, and he's even more of a dick to them. Anyway, I never was a big fan of Asashoryu, but I think this bias against him is really unfortunate. As yokozuna go, he's pretty decent, and the crap he's pulled is no more and no less than Takanohana, Akebono, Wakanohana....(I think Musashimaru didn't pull any crap...) or the great Chiyonofuji ever pulled. And anyway, so what if he's not like all the others? Should he be like Kitanoumi? Admittedly, Kitanoumi looks pretty good on paper. But look where that's gotten sumo.... Asashoryu isn't the cause of poor management.
  9. Iwagakki

    Hakuho Print

    Perhaps the wrong place, but.... I have 4 remaining Chine-colle/Intaglio prints of Hakuho. Free for the asking. 1/5 and 2/5 are not perfect, but still nice. 3/5 is quite nice. 5/5 is very nicely aligned, but the chine-colle is coming up a little. Chine-colle is a technique of placing bits of glued paper on the print before placing the print plate on the print. I think in this print there are 22 pieces of colored paper under the etching print. This print has a nice "old" look to it, with the subdued colors and "drypoint" print look. It's about 11" by 11" (or 28.5 cm by 28.5 cm, in the modern world). anyone wants one, pm me.
  10. Iwagakki

    Natsu basho ticket sales - new guidelines

    :-) I don't come around much anymore, but this thread reminds me why I miss this place.... Well played boys
  11. Iwagakki

    Quotes from Day 15 - Hatsu 2008

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martinet "In an extended sense, a martinet is a person for whom rules and etiquette are paramount: martinets often use etiquette and other rules as an excuse to trump ethics, to the point that etiquette loses its ethical ground. "
  12. Iwagakki

    Day 5 Pics - Hatsu 08

    "Haku" -na Matata! What a wonderful phrase "Haku" -na Matata! Ain't no passing craze It means no worries for the rest of your days It's our problem-free philosophy Hakuna Matata! Hakuna Matata? ta, what a wonderful day
  13. Iwagakki

    Day 4 Pics - Hatsu 08

    "Alright... who had beans for lunch???"
  14. Iwagakki

    Asa in hot water again?

    I have been following this thread, and the story in the Japanese media as much as I can. It's been on tv a lot. Asashoryu is injured. Legit. He did something he shouldn't have, maybe. I guess it's not a great idea to be running around helping charities in Mongolia when you should be doing your "duty" in Japan, for the NSK. Whatever. He's not in great condition mentally or emotionally, I have heard. What he needs is a break from all the crap. That's what this is all about, I think. He needs some "me time" and that just isn't allowed when you are the property of the NSK. The poor guy can't sleep, he sits up all night watching TV and spacing out. He paces constantly and is on the verge of tears half of the time. Sensitive wimp indeed. He went to Japan as a teenager, and before he had time to truly understand what was really going on, he was in sumo. Now he is suffering the consequences of a decision he made as a kid. I don't think he had any of this in mind when he went to school in Japan. I bet he just wanted to take advantage of some opportunity, and figured he was a good athlete, and so on. Now, just a few years later, everyone and their brother criticizes him and demands that he give up his self to fit their mold. That sucks for him. Really. I don't think he figured that he was going to have to basically stop being Mongolian, in order to become Asashoryu. Anyway, he's having a really tough time. Hasn't anyone else noticed that he takes off home at any chance he can? for years now. After every basho, he's taken off to Mongolia as soon as he's done washing his socks. When he's there, he's all smiles, having a good time just being loved by the people around him. Nobody talking shit about left handed kensho, and whatever other petty thing they can come up with. It is all petty, snipey, stupid little shit. But in Mongolia, he's just loved. Maybe it doesn't even matter to him if it's all on tv, and BIG. I bet it's just cool for him to go there and not have every nasty little person talking bad about him whenever he turns on the TV or radio. That shit's gotta wear on a guy. He's just a guy who's better at sumo than anyone else. He's not a Japanese salaryman, and he's not one of the "sheeple". He's just some guy trying to do what he thinks he should do, with what he has available to him. I think he's a great athlete, and a good guy, who just wants to do the best he can in life, and he doesnt' deserve to be "hammered down" just because he isn't like you or me, or some ridiculous Japanese ideal. Sumo is a less good thing without him, and it's a less good thing because of the way he is treated in Japan. I hope he takes the time to have surgery, recovers and trains back to the demon he was a couple years ago. I hope he goes on to win enough yusho to break St. Taiho's record, and then I hope he leaves Sumo altogether the day after that, and that he can go on to live a nice life back home in Mongolia with people that love him and respect him.