Kintamayama

Sumo articles by journalists who are Forum members/or not

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Well just read the last "Sumo focus" by our own Orion in the "Kansai Time Out." Sadly the great magazine has succumbed to the pressure of the modern media world and has ceased publication. The last issue is September.

Sayonara KTO.

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Actually a blog article but:

Funny machine translation.

Orion is mentioned.

Funny machine translation.

http://mayoacademy.com/blog/?p=209

I had to copy this-the last sentence of the blog:

Competition athletes wearing a simple "loincloth" - a few meters long, in the waist and crotch wound for a few laps, and then plugged.

Edited by Kintamayama

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Actually a blog article but:

Funny machine translation.

Orion is mentioned.

Actually, in general it is quite an improvement on some machine translations I've seen; the technology is bound to start improving some time, though the E-J/J-E direction is probably among the toughest, since there is no linguistic connection between the languages at all (fortunately coorrecting it is how I make my living); but in this case I can't exactly recall what I really said -- for sure something has been lost in translation. :-)

Something similar happened when I gave an interview to a Mongolian woman journalist, mainly on Hakuho; her English was not good (though at least a whole lot better than my Mongolian); her fellow journlist on the same program was very good at English so I hoped there was some communication out of sight. The translated report (M-E) had me cringing, but when I was next in the same room as Hakuho he tapped me on the arm and said very pleasantly, "I was reading about you in the paper recently" -- so it must have come out all right in Mongolian. (W00t, w00t, w00t...)

You win some and you lose some; but in general I try to assume that a journalist (resident, would-be or visiting) is honest, and I do my best to tell it as I see it. OTOH, I have a short but growing list of people, going back more than 30 years, who try to use sumo as a way to inflate their own egos.

Orion

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SARS and the concelled World Champs were in 2003, not the 1990s. Nevermind, I'll go back under my rock.

Right. The SAARS outbreak came in 2003, at the time of my first trip to Mongolia with a Habitat for Humanity team. We practically had the big MIAT plane to ourselves.

MB also says "It's even been reported that visitors to the Kokugikan during the basho's 15 days of action will also be asked to use hand spray at the stadium entrance. " Hardly a stretch of the imagination, as this actually happened every day in the May basho.

And on the final day, one reason there are fewer tojitsuken is that a band has to be fitted in.

Orion

Edited by Manekineko
fixing quote

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Just heard from a Japanese friend that when they called Hakkaku Beya this week to enqire about watching keiko they were asked if there were any foreigners in the group. (Applauding...)

I don't have any problem with Hakkaku, being a frequent asageiko watcher there, but are they still blaming the H1N1 on foreigners? We don't even have to doi the quarantine thing at Narita anymore as we did in May! (Shaking head...)

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Just heard from a Japanese friend that when they called Hakkaku Beya this week to enqire about watching keiko they were asked if there were any foreigners in the group. (Applauding...)

I don't have any problem with Hakkaku, being a frequent asageiko watcher there, but are they still blaming the H1N1 on foreigners? We don't even have to doi the quarantine thing at Narita anymore as we did in May! (Shaking head...)

My girlfriend is a teacher in a Japanese elementary. She went to Taiwan in summer, and the school made her quarantine herself for 5 days before she was allowed to go back to class. So she missed the first few days, which they'll no doubt hold over her head next time she needs a favour. So yes, they're blaming the H1N1 on foreigners. Last figures I saw suggested that Taiwan had 1/4 of the case per capita that Japan does. It began as a "foreign disease", and they are unable to change their thinking as the situation changes. Stereotypical Japanese 'thinking'.

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Leave it to MB to stir up the controversy-what we say here in our own backyard, he says out loud in public-I'm not sure the Kyokai will appreciate this-they may even revoke his license to cover sumo.. Wow..

http://tiny.cc/xFWdF

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MB really does seem to have it in for Kaio. His previous column here talked about much the same thing. He claimed in that one that Kaio has reached ozeki standard (ie 10 or more wins) "just 22" times. Actually it's 24, and he also neglects to point out that Chiyotaikai and Musashimaru are the only ozeki ever to have done it more often. He might also have mentioned that although Kaio has dipped below 10 wins 18 times in the 42 basho in which he's kachi-koshi'ed as an ozeki*, that's not actually that bad compared to Takanohana I's 28 times in 44, Asashio's 24 in 31(!) and Hokutenyu's 22 in 38.

*Not including the most recent tournament as the column I'm discussing was written before it.

Edited by ryafuji

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This is what I needed; some historical perspective. Kaio doesn't look all that bad comparitively, as you have pointed out. I was watching sumo for a good chunk of Musashi's Ozeki stint, but I had little to compare him to at the time. Okay, I will give Kaio a little more slack.

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Leave it to MB to stir up the controversy-what we say here in our own backyard, he says out loud in public-I'm not sure the Kyokai will appreciate this-they may even revoke his license to cover sumo.. Wow..

What license? Did he manage to get a Press ID in the end, for an online column? Good luck to him, if it's true. That would make him currently one of two.

On Sunday I noticed Clyde Newton still wearing the Press ID he gets for his ghost magazine, that AFAIK is only sold inside Kyokai premises.

Orion, back from Fukuoka in body but not entirely in spirit ;-)

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10 wins is the minimum required for those in the sport's second rank

rubbish

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10 wins is the minimum required for those in the sport's second rank

rubbish

Oddly enough, the exact same issue was phrased in a much more reserved fashion just one paragraph earlier.

While we're fact-checking, this immediately didn't quite add up when I was reading it:

In so many ways, the Mongolians dominated the world of sumo in the years of 2000-2009. Between them, Hakuho and Asashoryu took an incredible 36 of 60 possible Emperor's Cups. Ten individuals shared the remaining 24, with former yokozuna Musashimaru top of the non-Mongol pile with nine.

That of course would have left only 15 yusho to 9 rikishi, which should come as a surprise to Kaio, Taikai and Tochiazuma who by themselves already combine for 10 total, leaving 5 yusho to another 6 rikishi...

I presume Mark still is no friend of the database. Witchcraft!

Edited by Asashosakari

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I presume Mark still is no friend of the database. Witchcraft!

Wow that is beyond lame.

I guess it would have taken some oomph out of your conclusion had you mentioned Kaio shares 3rd place for most yusho in the decade?

Can we expect a online correction Mr. B?

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I guess it would have taken some oomph out of your conclusion had you mentioned Kaio shares 3rd place for most yusho in the decade?

In fairness, while probably chosen out of convenience 2000-2009 is a rather awkward timeframe to make the point he was trying to make. If we're going with arbitrary endpoints anyway, one might as well start with Kyushu 1998 which marked the start of the post-Taka/Waka era (who had taken the previous 4 yusho), resulting in a three-year period that was essentially one huge free-for-all pileup for yusho honors (and in many cases long overdue ozeki promotion), held together by Musashimaru's blossoming into a yokozuna, and a credible one at that.

After Hatsu 2002 you have a short interim period with Maru taking three out of four yusho (#4 went to Chiyotaikai), followed quickly by the start of the Asashoryu(/Hakuho) era in Kyushu 2002. Starting in 2000 rather than, say, 2003 needlessly obscures the point Mark was going for.

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In fairness, while probably chosen out of convenience 2000-2009 is a rather awkward timeframe to make the point he was trying to make. Starting in 2000 rather than, say, 2003 needlessly obscures the point Mark was going for.

Considering the whole article was based on the "end of the decade", he was somewhat tied to this time frame from the onset. No excuse for the bad data though.

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Despite my personal considerations of MB you have to give him credit for putting it out in public for consideration. The question is how many people at the NSK would read it or, for that matter, how many Japanese people at large would read it? If enough did and took their grievances to the Kyokai would it make a difference?

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The question is how many people at the NSK would read it or, for that matter, how many Japanese people at large would read it?

Given that it was published in an English-language paper, the question pretty much answers itself, I think.

If enough did and took their grievances to the Kyokai would it make a difference?

That assumes that it's actually a significant enough grievance among Japanese fans. This article is pretty much the first thing I've seen that appears to claim that it is. There's some grumbling, sure, but we're not exactly seeing the Kyokai phonelines light up with outraged callers AFAICT. Though perhaps Mark's simply voicing what nobody else dares to write, I dunno.

I like how Mark proposes the "simple" solution of doing away with the kadoban system altogether, follows up with "oh, of course there's the question of how to handle ozeki promotions if that happens", and then proceeds to not bother outlining any answer whatsoever. (And seeing the unspoken assumption that you can simply turn ozeki into a super-sekiwake rank and still maintain "the respect afforded ozeki" is always amusing.)

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The question is how many people at the NSK would read it or, for that matter, how many Japanese people at large would read it? If enough did and took their grievances to the Kyokai would it make a difference?

Let me make a rough guess. To the nearest round number: 0.

Years ago when Andy Adams was still runing 'Sumo World' an American reader wrote to him urging him to take up some then-current problem with the Kyokai: "They will listen to you!" -- to which Andy replied realistically that this was not so, and he would not like to make any suggestions to the Kyokai on how to run its affairs. (I am paraphrasing.)

That said, the people in the Kokugikan office are very helpful to those of us, including MB, I'm sure, who try to put the word out about sumo; I can always drop in and get a (free) Xerox of the latest page of foreigners to update my chart; and only last week when I went in to buy banzukes for five visiting African journalists I was about to brief, one of my acquaintances there suggested (free) posters as well, and rolled them up for me. This turned out to be a brilliant idea, as the banzukes were for the past Kyushu basho, but the posters were brand new -- and the visiting journalists were very pleased to have these spectacular souvenirs. I was happy too because that briefing raised to 58 the number of different countries whose journalists I'd helped to get a sumo story. (Whatever above, it is funny...)

Orion

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