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asa_love

master thesis on sumo

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I'm thinking of doing a master degree thesis about sumo -

can anyone give me advice/ points of interest I should look into?

thanks

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Which field/subject? Where are you based? What are your interests (regarding sumo, but also in general)? What kind of materials do you have access to/does your university have? Do you speak/read Japanese?

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Which field/subject? Where are you based? What are your interests (regarding sumo, but also in general)? What kind of materials do you have access to/does your university have? Do you speak/read Japanese?

field/subject = philosophy, but can also lean towards "japanese studies".

I'm based in England. My interests- philosophy, food, music.

As for materials, i'm just hoping that I can visit some actual sumo stables to get INTERESTING first hand material.

I do speak/read a decent amount of japanese.

thanks!

Edited by asa_love

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field/subject = philosophy, but can also lean towards "japanese studies".

I'm based in England. My interests- philosophy, food, music.

As for materials, i'm just hoping that I can visit some actual sumo stables to get INTERESTING first hand material.

I do speak/read a decent amount of japanese.

thanks!

Your biggest problem would be to find something that hasn't already been covered. Check the Sumo Forum archives, for instance. Do a bit of Googling.

Orion

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field/subject = philosophy, but can also lean towards "japanese studies".

I'm based in England. My interests- philosophy, food, music.

As for materials, i'm just hoping that I can visit some actual sumo stables to get INTERESTING first hand material.

I do speak/read a decent amount of japanese.

thanks!

Your biggest problem would be to find something that hasn't already been covered. Check the Sumo Forum archives, for instance. Do a bit of Googling.

Orion

There you go! You can do your thesis on Doreen.I'm that's never been done before.

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I actually really hoped to include how attitude change happens

how foreign rikishi adapt to japanese customs (or never adapt to them)

and how people like chiyotaikai who used to be "huryou" can change so much

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Defining your topic will be key to deciding what you want to look at and realising the amount of material that you need. A masters degree does not need a huge amount of new material, just enough to make your study stand out as something original. Access to a heya will take a fair amount of pulling strings and you needing to be specific about what you are after. I would think that something connected to a foreign rikishi might be a good idea, and perhaps targetting a small heya might help as well. You'd have to have a bit of a feel for the place before you got a really good insight into what was happening and to sort the tatemae from the honne. A foreign rikishi might be a little more open in this respect, although not invariably. You might be better to drill down on one or two foreign rikishi and their experiences rather than trying to survey them all or try to present something as representative of all foreign rikishi.

You could work on a hypothesis of something taken from the many books about sumo published for an English-speaking audience in the 80s and 90s and investigate it to see if it is an actuality or has become an accepted 'insight' that has changed over time (or perhaps never actually existed the way as it was 'mystified'). There have been a few things written about heya and the social hierarchy of sumo in Japanese by a scholar named Oinuma. Mark Panek's book, Gaijin Yokozuna, about Akebono, might give a slighter franker account of certain issues. You might be able to get some insight from retired (foreing) rikishi as well. They might feel a little freer to talk about matters in the past and not incriminate anyone in the present. Of course, their accounts might not be able to be verified by what you see or others around them.

Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions, but I think it could be interesting to let this discussion develop with members putting their ideas forward.

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There have been a few things written about heya and the social hierarchy of sumo in Japanese by a scholar named Oinuma.

Damn Sasa, I know I'm not the biggest scholar in the world, but aren't we forgetting someone..?:)

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There have been a few things written about heya and the social hierarchy of sumo in Japanese by a scholar named Oinuma.

Damn Sasa, I know I'm not the biggest scholar in the world, but aren't we forgetting someone..?:)

Well, of course I am aware of your work but as far as i am aware you haven't published anything yet, have you? This owuld make it more difficult for asa_love to get hold of your work than Oinuma's. You used Oinuma, didn't you? Also, the context that I was referring to was sumobeya not university sumo clubs.

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Hahaha, just kidding.

Would be a tough one to work your way through 100 pages in Dutch...:)

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There have been a few things written about heya and the social hierarchy of sumo in Japanese by a scholar named Oinuma.

Damn Sasa, I know I'm not the biggest scholar in the world, but aren't we forgetting someone..?:)

Well, of course I am aware of your work but as far as i am aware you haven't published anything yet, have you? This owuld make it more difficult for asa_love to get hold of your work than Oinuma's. You used Oinuma, didn't you? Also, the context that I was referring to was sumobeya not university sumo clubs.

Can anybody explain why my own reply didn't get through? I don't think it was out of order.

Orion

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Hands-on (traditional) anthropological/ethnographic) inquiry into the world of sumo in the cultural globalisation prism (talk of today/yesterday), would be interesting, of course, with the all the foreign rikishi having stepped in and dominating. That's something I'd do if I hadn't had one MA already and would be competent in this particular field (and had any knowledge of Japanese). Actually, I can think of this. Can also come out as a doctoral dissertation with proper (broader, that is) focus.

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