I was drawn to sumo by a friend who was an outright sports nut, any sport, he wanted to attend it at least once, so 18 years ago he dragged me to Kokugikan, and after a few failed attempts, we managed to get tickets and actually got inside. The atmosphere was intoxicating, we sat in the balcony, among a group of old men, who shared their sake and sembei with us, we brought them beers in return, enjoying one bout after another, what a memorable day it was. Later I discovered that there were wrestlers from Hawaii involved, then later I discovered that some of the stables in our neighborhood. Living in shitamachi, the sumo world was all around me, I was literally walking in it at times. On a few occasions, I actually bumped into Hawaiian sumotori out shopping or around the neighborhood. Growing up on Oahu, the Hawaiians turned me into a huge sumo fan.