Regular Members
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

198 Excellent

About Yatagarasu

  • Rank

Profile Information


  • Heya Affiliation
    Kise, Isenoumi
  • Favourite Rikishi
    Harumafuji, Ura, Ikioi, Yoshikaze, Hokutofuji, Abi

Recent Profile Visitors

441 profile views
  1. Senshuraku parties

    I did May 2017. It's a good time of year to be in Tokyo as it's not too humid and, if your timing is right, you can also catch the Sanja Matsuri, which is incredible.
  2. Senshuraku parties

    Thank you so much for your post! That's very helpful indeed. I may well be in touch by DM in the future, once I have some firm travel dates; I'm aiming for the September one, if not then maybe the January basho. Thanks again.
  3. Japan Times Sumo Column Request

    Slightly OT, but I would totally be up for a sumo cookbook, with official recipes for chanko and side dishes/specialities from each heya or from famous rikishi. Wouldn't mind trying one or two of Tamawashi's cookie recipes.
  4. Japan Times Sumo Column Request

    Onna-zumo. After I saw Wakamidori mentioned in another thread this really piqued my curiosity. Some people here have referred to it having been considered akin to 'mud-wrestling' in Japan in terms of his past entertainment value, but this lady had obviously earned the respect of her male peers so it can't have been that cheap a spectacle. How does one choose a heya? Sometimes there are family connections or one is scouted, but if one is totally new to it, how does the selection process work? Can you audition for a few at the same time, have a trial live-in period to see how you fit there...? What factors would you take into account when selecting one? The oyakata, the size, wanting to train with a particular sekitori already there...? Family life of rikishi. There have been a few features on Japanese TV focusing on the family lives of sekitori and spending a day with their wives and kids. This sort of insight would be interesting to learn more about - do they need to seek permission from their oyakata to get married? Does one need to be of a certain rank and what happens if a married rikishi drops below sekitori; does he have to move back into the dorms at the heya? In fact exploring adjustment to losing rank and its accoutrements would be an interesting feature too. Okami-san, both in terms of their role and some of the individuals, who have some really cool achievements in their own right. There seems to be little coverage of their existence in the English-speaking press.
  5. Women mount dohyo during emergency at jungyo

    Well indeed. While I can understand concern of parents, of both boys and girls, for their children not to get injured in the dohyo, cuts and scrapes are essentially a normal part of any child growing up who isn't permanently rolled in bubble wrap. Any kid doing sports, whether among only girls, only boys, or mixed, can end up with an injury and I do empathise with parents who might have reservations about putting a child in a situation that is more likely to 'attract' injury. That said, all of the worst injuries I've suffered in life have arisen in perfectly ordinary non-sport circumstances: broke my ankle falling down some stairs at a train station, required stitches following a cut on some broken crockery and, when I was a kid, was accidentally hit in the face with a bat by my younger sister, acquiring a scar. We were playing in the garden because, ironically, my mother forbade us from playing in the street with the other kids for fear of, among other things, being injured. My point is that people have to draw a line somewhere with the degree of acceptable risk in dohyo events. Perhaps an easier and more valid distinction is that children can compete if they are already members of some sort of sumo or wrestling club at school. Then at least they are unafraid of taking a tumble and know how to fall. I guess I was lucky though - my sister and I were given toys (dolls, toy cars, lego, my little pony, computer games, toy dinosaurs...) without any distinction between them being 'for boys' or 'for girls'. My dad taught us both of us how to change a plug or a tyre but also how to bake a kickass apple pie. For him they were both equally worthwhile life skills for being an all-rounded human. It's not until I've grown up that I realise that we were perhaps unconventional by 1980s standards.
  6. Women mount dohyo during emergency at jungyo

    Boooooooo! <throws tomato>
  7. Sumo Superstitions

    I saw a makuuchi do this in the most recent basho - I forget who - a kind of ‘sign of the cross’ with the salt on each shoulder and a few other places as well. At first I thought he was perhaps a Christian but then it occurred to me he was probably purifying his joints and body to keep them safe from injury.
  8. Funny videos and photos of rikishi at play

    Reservoir Doraemon.
  9. Hakuho’s father just passed away.

    Very sad to see such a diminutive little coffin compared to him in his younger days. I raise a glass - seems like he was quite the legend.
  10. Women mount dohyo during emergency at jungyo

    Whichever translation you take, Ikenobo's arguments remain self-contradictory and, frankly, self-interested. Either children risk getting injured or they don't. If they do, then no kids in the dohyo events. Simple. And while she's at it she may as well ban sumo in schools. Bah! It doesn't suit her long-term interests to expressly support breaking tradition in sumo, but suited her when her daughter came to inherit the mantle of the Ikenobo school. It seems a lot of people are clutching their pearls and hiding behind tradition over a possible floodgates argument that they are unwilling to step up and openly admit: the vibe I get is that they fear that if you allow women to set foot on the dohyo, next you'll have them infiltrating the very inner sanctum of sumo, being gyojis or shimpan, or - heaven forfend - living in heya as rikishi or being NSK shareholders! Nobody for one minute is advocating mixed sumo in the sense of pitting male and female competitors against each other in competition or having mixed living quarters for male or female rikishi. The feeling of brotherhood or sisterhood in single-sex team sports can have its own merits. Many women might spar with male opponents in training in various other contact sports (I have enjoyed mixed sparring in both fencing and kendo, for example), but would never want to compete against them in tournament conditions for a number of logical and scientifically sound reasons (that said, I think some UFC women have expressed that they'd be happy to fight men, but that's a different debate). Mixed gender competition is not what this is about and the traditionalists can be assured that there is no appetite for that. But it might just be nice if the non-rikishi women in sumo, such as the Okami-san, the parents and daughters of rikishi and prize-giving officials, could participate in the same way as their male counterparts. I loved that Kakuryuu swept his little girl in his arms when he posed with his trophy and had her next to him in his photo. But she won't be able to cut his mage on the dohyo when the time eventually comes, which I find very sad indeed. Really, how would allowing her this privilege make the sky fall?
  11. Senshuraku parties

    So. Senshuraku parties. I note that a few heya allow tickets to be purchased by the general public so I was thinking of going along to one later in the year. Has anybody here attended one? If so, what can one expect? I'm guessing some sort of semi-formal dinner, drinks, speeches and listening to rikishi sing, maybe even a danpatsu-shiki..? Is it something you can attend alone and are they gaijin-friendly in the sense that gaijin who appreciate sumo and respect the formality of the occasion, rather than going as a tourist spectacle, are welcome (my level of Japanese is pretty basic, but I have six months to gambarise)? Any insight gratefully received.
  12. Women mount dohyo during emergency at jungyo

    Oh come on! They’re kids! They’re pretty much equally robust at that age and the rikishi obviously aren’t brutalising them given how often they have kids in the ring with them on jungyo. Safety concerns were really so great that they left it to four days prior to the event to issue the notice, when they’d been so looking forward to it? Poor show.
  13. Women mount dohyo during emergency at jungyo

    I recall seeing a few of them asked for comment on an NHK World News report (a minister, the Governor of Tokyo and someone else) - I will try to find the clip. But as it was in the immediate aftermath of the emergency, only their comments on the 'life and death' aspect were aired - I don't know if more was said. As I recall, elsewhere (I may have seen it in one of your own newsletters, in fact) the Governor of Tokyo said that she didn't have the energy to take this fight and sends her deputy for trophy-giving. This smacks of tired resignation, rather than actual acceptance; a feeling painfully familiar to many women.
  14. Women mount dohyo during emergency at jungyo

    There are photos of her participating in various sumo-related ceremonies at the shrine. As for the dohyo itself, I don't know, though I've tried looking for information. There might be something out there in Japanese. But if she wasn't allowed on the dohyo, then that puts sumo's 'tradition' in conflict with the Shinto standards it purports to emulate. As to why the Mayor Nakagawa may not have said anything before now, I suspect it was because she figured that if the Mayor of Osaka was shouted down for years, then who would bother to listen to her, a comparatively minor official. I cannot criticise her for being buoyed by the recent public reaction and media spotlight to seek to progress the issue, while everyone is finally listening, especially as a lot of women hold key political posts at the moment. With an increasing number of female politicians in key posts and changing social values in Japan, this issue is unlikely to go away.
  15. Women mount dohyo during emergency at jungyo

    For me, the whole ‘it’s tradition/religious custom’ arguments go out the window when you consider the fact that for many years the most recent head of the Tomioka Hachimangu - the very home of sumo - was a woman. The gyoji are symbolic of Shinto priests, as indicated by their dress. If the real religious role that underpins their ceremonial function can be performed by a woman in real life for real Shinto followers at the sumo shrine, then as far as I am concerned, so can theirs. You’d need some Olympic level mental gymnastics to argue otherwise. It was mentioned elsewhere in the thread that the ‘tradition’ is apparently an Edo confection which, on the long timeline of sumo, is comparatively recent. If this is indeed the case, it makes even less sense to uphold a regressive amendment that is more constrictive than the original rules.