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Mark Buckton

Izutsu Beya famous in France?

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Izutsu Beya had a visit from some French yesterday pre Kokugikan gathering - donned in hats, scarves etc (it was chilly).

Appeared they were following a French language guide book listing Izutsu as the place to be! (Hugging...)

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I don't think this beya is more famous than others. There are very few books in French about sumo. The most famous book must be Ozeki Kirishima's autobiography.

I remember reading guidebooks that were giving directions to go see sumo keiko, maybe this heya is know for allowing foreigners watching the keiko ? So i don't think Izutsu beay is better-known in France than the others heyas. Other opinions welcomed !

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I know that Dewanoumi, Tomozuna and I think Musashigawa are listed in 'Japan' guidebooks as easy to watch keiko at - and you never really go an early morning around Ryogoku without seeing at least 3 / 4 or half a dozen folk, maps in hand.

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I know that Dewanoumi, Tomozuna and I think Musashigawa are listed in 'Japan' guidebooks as easy to watch keiko at - and you never really go an early morning around Ryogoku without seeing at least 3 / 4 or half a dozen folk, maps in hand.

Unfortunately the guides are written by hacks who simply copy what they can find already in print. I see tourists almost every day, maps in hand, being turned away. (Dewanoumi always sends out the Mongolian who apparently speaks more reliable English than his Japanese counterparts.) In one case I came across some very disappointed French visitors who complained that the information provided by the plane magazine said they could just walk into any heya and watch. (In the case of Izutsu, which I personaly have found very awkward to visit since the old shisho retired) I wonder if they, or their informant, had read Liliane Fujimori's French translation of Kirishima's book -- as an active rikishi he was in Izutsu, though he was shamefully treated by the current master before he finally managed to buy the Michinoku myoseki and set up his own heya.)

In short, there is far too much misleading, outdated, or simply wrong information out there. I believe, however, that some Kyokai peple are looking into setting some sort of system. But it still doesn't address the fact that foreigners (and sometimes their Japanese guides) need to be told that asageiko isn't a show put on for their entertainment, but is the daily routine that makes rikishi. Visitors are flies on the wall, not guests of honor. (One of the things I most miss in Tokistukaze-beya since the scandal and the subsequent changes, is that it has become closed. Before, it was the most open heya, with a message posted on the wall in English, saying that visitors were welcome, but they should observe the regular standards of politeness, and if it was their first time they should sit on the benches specially provided at the back. Ah, those were the days. I still miss the former master, Ozeki Yutakayama, who I saw on TV in my first visit to Japan back in 1968, and later often met when I came back to live here in 1973.

Orion

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Is Tokitsukaze supposed to be closed? The Okamisan always invites me & my friends to come as she knows we are friends of Toyonoshima. Are other people turned away if they are not connected? Recently a friend of mine went there as well when I couldn't go, she just called ahead.

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I was at Tokitsukaze last week - they were open.

A while ago too - no probs. (except Toyonoshima shirking it a bit)......

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Is Tokitsukaze supposed to be closed? The Okamisan always invites me & my friends to come as she knows we are friends of Toyonoshima. Are other people turned away if they are not connected? Recently a friend of mine went there as well when I couldn't go, she just called ahead.

Oh no, I didn't mean that. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression. I was contrasting the former total openness, long gone, complete with a large instructive announcement in English on the wall and special benches for first-timers, with their having returned to the more or less standard system of ringing in advance if you are a stranger, or just asking politely at the door.

Orion

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Is Tokitsukaze supposed to be closed? The Okamisan always invites me & my friends to come as she knows we are friends of Toyonoshima. Are other people turned away if they are not connected? Recently a friend of mine went there as well when I couldn't go, she just called ahead.

Oh no, I didn't mean that. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression. I was contrasting the former total openness, long gone, complete with a large instructive announcement in English on the wall and special benches for first-timers, with their having returned to the more or less standard system of ringing in advance if you are a stranger, or just asking politely at the door.

Orion

Thanks so much for the clarification! :-)

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Izutsu Beya's popularity in France is no doubt due to Kirishima and Terao, two young, svelte, good-looking up-and-coming Maegashira who were quite popular during the Paris exhibition of 1986. From what I understand, Kirishima in particular was thought to resemble French actor Alain Delon. (Sometimes this is confused with Terao, but a Google image search will reveal the resemblance to Kirishima.) I imagine guidebooks written after the Paris exhibition put Izutsu Beya in there because of this popularity, and successive guidebooks have just been repeating the same information.

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Maybe it's the group-factor. Groups found to be loud, so novadays most Heya do not like groups that much. I have been asked "hitori desu ka?" (are you the only one?) when I asked if I could watch - and bingo, no problem. Never.

Wasn't Chiraque a fan of...well, of whom?

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(Just what doctor ordered...)

I am sure. Was an Oyakata asking.

There must be a few that don't have an okamisan...

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