Kintamayama

Sumo articles by journalists who are Forum members/or not

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credit where credit's due

That being the case, I should state here my ongoing appreciation of the Doitsubase, which is not the only stats source out there but infinitely the best and saves me from having to trawl through the yomiuri's Japanese archives.

And to John, who not only provided me with some insight into the mind of an Irish sumo wrestler (a very scary place) but also pointed me back to the Kaio-nage thread that ran here after his pop goes the elbow treatment of Toyonoshima in January.

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Apologies for the potential thread-hijacking, but this is something I've wondered about before...

That being the case, I should state here my ongoing appreciation of the Doitsubase, which is not the only stats source out there but infinitely the best and saves me from having to trawl through the yomiuri's Japanese archives.

Without giving away company secrets, can you give a few details about your newspaper's own data archives, James? How comprehensive, any particular focus (e.g. straight data as in the Doitsubase vs. ready-made "interesting" trivia), etc.

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Kaio - should he retire or not? debate spawned by James's newest Yomiuri article now has its own thread.

Edited by Manekineko

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Chicken is the favorite meat for chankonabe because chickens stand on two legs, and a Sumo wrestler strives to stay standing on two legs during a match. Cows and pigs stand on four legs and if that happens to a wrestler he has lost the match. So just out of the superstition, chicken is the most common meat although fish, pork, beef and horse are still popular.
:-) Edited by Peeter

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Non - member but quite intriguing:

Eh, the comment thread (critical and thus quickly closed...good old ABC) was more insightful than the article. My favourite part:

The Onoe stable is one of the smaller stables competing at the highest levels of this Japanese sport. But it was still run like a secret society or a religious cult.

Outsiders were rarely welcomed, especially if they were a foreign TV crew.

But after weeks of coaxing and cajoling, the stable-master, Keishi Onoe, agreed to give us unprecedented access to his cloistered kingdom.

Our camera would be allowed to follow every moment of stable life.

Maybe you weren't welcomed right away because you were asking to be extremely intrusive? Nah, couldn't be the reason at all.

Edit: Oh yeah, one more:

But the biggest scandal to sully sumo in recent years was the death of Takashi Saito.

Like Shohei Iwasaki, Saito was a novice. The 17-year-old had joined a stable in the hope of making it big.

That, of course, is utter nonsense. By his parents' own admission, he was convinced to join Tokitsukaze-beya because they felt it was the only way to get his life straightened out. That's surely not all that rare (though perhaps less than in years past), but you can't tell me that recruits like that actually dream of "making it big" unless they also have an abundance of physical tools (e.g. Chiyotaikai).

Edited by Asashosakari

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Non - member but quite intriguing:

Eh, the comment thread (critical and thus quickly closed...good old ABC) was more insightful than the article. My favourite part:

Exactly. Intriguing.

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Ed Odeven normally covers basketball for the JT.

And I may be putting myself in the firing line, but he has completely got the wrong end of the stick, hasn't he? Railing against performance-enhancing drugs and referring to BALCO etc when these tests were for narcotics and the like. Which would still be in the system at least two days after the "advance notice". But whatever.

;-) (Nervously waiting for my comeuppance)

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And I may be putting myself in the firing line, but he has completely got the wrong end of the stick, hasn't he? Railing against performance-enhancing drugs and referring to BALCO etc when these tests were for narcotics and the like. Which would still be in the system at least two days after the "advance notice". But whatever.

Well, as I pointed out to the collective apathy of everyone, if they hadn't done the two-day advance warning before the first round of tests back in April, Asashoryu would have flown to Mongolia as scheduled and missed the tests - now that would have made the Kyokai look bad. Anyway, I agree - I think some people are just looking for any available stick to beat the Kyokai leadership with, no matter how dumb the argument might be.

Not that it's a particularly new development, of course; the recent rounds of scandals have merely dropped the minimum assumed level of competence required of a writer before somebody higher up in the food chain starts thinking, "yeah, I'm sure X has something worthwhile to say on this whole sumo thing". It's one of the paradoxa of modern journalism (and really, it's just a reflection of modern culture) - the more controversial and complicated an issue, the more "experts" there are.

Edited by Asashosakari

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Edit: Oh yeah, one more:
But the biggest scandal to sully sumo in recent years was the death of Takashi Saito.

Like Shohei Iwasaki, Saito was a novice. The 17-year-old had joined a stable in the hope of making it big.

That, of course, is utter nonsense. By his parents' own admission, he was convinced to join Tokitsukaze-beya because they felt it was the only way to get his life straightened out. That's surely not all that rare (though perhaps less than in years past), but you can't tell me that recruits like that actually dream of "making it big" unless they also have an abundance of physical tools (e.g. Chiyotaikai).

Since you mentioned this I can add that in the past year I have met so many parents & grandparents of especially the younger rikishi & made friends with them. Sometimes over dinner I will ask the big question if I don't already know the obvious answer.. "why did xx-kun join sumo?"

The ones who weren't doing sumo or judo in school before joining often seem to be in the following classes:

-didn't want to go to high school.....

-liked sumo & thought it was a good alternative to studying 7 more years before starting work

-didn't know what to do & parents liked sumo so they gave it a try....

I laugh sometimes when I watch them at practice being hazed & pushed to the limit... some stables not allowing them to have mobile phones, computers & the like & I think "is this really easier than going to high school?" no.gif

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Not a very meaningful comment, I'm afraid -- clipped beyond recognition! This AFP team actually went, after the keiko session, to interview Harumafuji at chanko time, so I hope that somewhere there is a really good report of that. I suspect it is an editor's hand that added that stuff about the secretive world etc., etc. A lot of sumo training has always been open to visitors with the right approach.

(Though this did not apply to the two foreign ladies -- could have been mother and daughter -- who turned up at Kasugano yesterday at 9:45 and said in English that they just wanted to take photos. Fifteen minutes after being turned away, they came back to ask if they could come at eight the next morning. Same result. It's not that the Kasugano people are anti-foreigner or anti-visitor -- I was in there with my own American guest, having asked in advance, and the only other people watching when we went in at eight were another middle-aged foreign man escorted by a Japanese woman. But people who just turn up with a map and ask in English tend to get an immediate "No".)

Orion

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Not a journalist, not a forum member (who of us is these days..), but..

http://yakyuubaka-snowman.blogspot.com/200...o-westling.html

hmmmm, he calls himself snowman and complains about marihuana tzetzetze (Whatever above, it is funny...)

Wow. I'm guessing there was either a brutal Google-like translation-bot at work here, or this person's getting the wrong help in engrish class. I totally understand where he wants to go with this, and he's obviously not a happy camper.

And, from his viewpoint, I can't say I blame him.

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Not a very meaningful comment, I'm afraid -- clipped beyond recognition! This AFP team actually went, after the keiko session, to interview Harumafuji at chanko time, so I hope that somewhere there is a really good report of that. I suspect it is an editor's hand that added that stuff about the secretive world etc., etc. A lot of sumo training has always been open to visitors with the right approach.

The AFP team has now come out with not one but two articles based on their May 5 visit to Dewanoumi for keiko (to which Harumafuji went for degeiko), to Isegahama to interview Harumafuji, and later back at my place for a chat. Both are on p.3 of today's Japan Times -- the whole upper half of the page, plus one picture -- not much to show for about two hours the Frenchman spent at the camera! I haven't time to check if they're on the online version of Japan Times.

A comment I made in my earlier post (quoted above) is even more noticeable this time -- I don't know if it's an editor's hand or not, but extra bits about the background have been put inside , or right next to, a direct quote from me -- thus making it appear that I have said things I didn't -- e.g. "...said only the toughest survive life in the sumo stable, where roll call is at 3 a.m., ..." I said the first, or something like it -- but I certainly never said the second! The youngest normally get up about six, except when they've made a special pact to start extra early.

But the two articles, especially the interview with Harumafuji, make interesting reading, though a bit over-stressing the violent side, I think.

Orion

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