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Chiyozakura

Sumo DVD's

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i intend on picking up the first DVD of the series, the price is right 980 yen, and will post a short review.

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Damn 980Yen...thats SUPER cheap. There must be soemthing up with that DVD, most Japanese DVDs are at least 3,000 to 4,000 yens. I am too intrested in the review...and the sleek binder is nice.

Upon further review I can see why its cheap. This is the first part of a 20 part DVD series that spans over the history of sumo from pre 1945 to today, broken up in various volumes. So in the long run its undeerstandable why each volume would only be 980-1260 yen because if u buy all 20 volumes its a lot of money. But it definilty looks cool, and I think most sumo fans will at least pick up a few of the volumes. If I can im definitly going to try and get them deleived either to my house of my grandma's in Tokyo and pick them up when I get back there this summer.

Edited by Shibata-gumi

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The inaugural DVD is ¥980. Subsequent DVDs of the 20-volume set will be ¥1260. Baseball Magazine Co., which publishes the monthly "Sumo" magazine, is an affiliate of the NSK. The video footage in the DVD are from the Kyokai archives. Obviously, the NSK is using the DVDs to promote interest in ozumo. A great portion of the cost of most DVD is for the acquisition of rights. In this case, that would be non-existent or negligible.

A few years ago, the Kyokai gave away for free a DVD of sumo history at an Open House. I assume the contents of the current set would be an expanded and dressed-up version of that with additional features from the magazine and commentary by Kyokai people.

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I suppose the DVDs come only in Japanese? If they contained English subtitles that would be something to look for even for the non-Japanese sumo fans.

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I don't think that they have English subtitles. I would still be interested to watch them, but the format of 20 magazines with 30 minutes each published weeks apart will make it too expensive to have them sent over to Europe. What a pity... maybe they will publish the whole set later on?

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Actually most of these video are already available - the DVD is more of a companion to a set of magazines, each set covering a specific period. The first one is from 1974-1975, covering Ozeki Takanohana, followed by 1981-1983 featuring Chiyonofuji, for instance.

It's not as if they uncovered hitherto undiscovered video, but basically they have re-edited whatever they have to accompany the magazine. I actually saw an old set of video, originally sold for around 10,000 Yen covering all Showa Era rikishi for about half the price at a Book-off store one time but they are for VCR. They have another set for Heisei rikishi for little less price.

There are a whole slew of these DVD magazine series sold in Japan on subject matters ranging from Opera to World Heritage sites. I guess if you want old video on DVD with accompanying articles, these are pretty good as you won't be overwhelmed at one time as you get a little bit at a time.

Incidentally Baseball Magazine Sha, the publisher of this sumo set and Sumo magazine is not an affiliate of the Kyokai though the Sumo magazine says it is an official organ magazine of the Sumo Kyokai. The company publishes a bunch of sports magazines in addition to the Sumo magazine, though sometimes I wonder how they can keep publishing the sumo magazine with dwindling subscriber base. The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper's Ozumo magazine switched from monthly to bi-monthly last year and NHK's Ozumo Chukei magazine only publishes bi-monthly more catering to its TV coverage than extensive sumo articles, hardly much about sumo history or non-sekitori rank rikishi.

Since the Sumo magazine costs 860 Yen, it may not be a bad deal and will make a nice collection but I will look for the set on Yahoo Japan Auction or at a Book-Off once the whole series is complete.

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Incidentally Baseball Magazine Sha, the publisher of this sumo set and Sumo magazine is not an affiliate of the Kyokai though the Sumo magazine says it is an official organ magazine of the Sumo Kyokai. The company publishes a bunch of sports magazines in addition to the Sumo magazine, though sometimes I wonder how they can keep publishing the sumo magazine with dwindling subscriber base.

I called Baseball Magazine Sha (Company or Corp.) an affiliate, which is not the same as a subsidiary. An affiliate is a organization that is related to another but not strictly controlled by it, as with a subsidiary relationship. If the magazine claims "it is an official organ . . . of the Sumo Kyokai," I would say it has a very close relationship with the NSK. The publication of the sumo magazine is facilitated by the full cooperation of the Kyokai in the form of access to rikishi, oyakata and other personnel as well as its archives of historical material and records.

In North America, a "network affiliate" is a local broadcaster which carries some or all of the programs of a TV or radio network but is not owned by the network.

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You know - it'll never happen, but a series of such themed 30-minute videos would probably make a good re-introduction of sumo on Eurosport, ESPN, etc. Might hook a different kind of audience than the rapid-fire basho coverage of the Sumo Digests formerly shown, too...

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I got Volume 1 today. Wasn't planning to buy these but there was a stack of them on display at Shinjuku Kinokuniya and they're just too cheap to resist!

Volume 1 covers 1974-1975. The magazine is 35 pages color with features on Takanohana and Kitanoumi, information on each of the DVD bouts, and lots of other various data. The DVD shows a few bouts from each basho and also includes some bits and pieces of other footage like promotion & retirement announcements, yusho parades, etc.

There is NO audio commentary at all on the DVDs. The only commentary is some minimal subtitles in Japanese. The overall impression is close to raw archival footage.

I haven't watched much old sumo footage before, so it was great to see bouts of Wajima, Kitanofuji, Takanohana, Kitanoumi, Kaiketsu, and one bout with a very young Chiyonofuji. Just as fascinating (to me at least) are the shots of the 70s audiences and the emperor. The DVD is not very long -- 30 minutes -- but overall the package seems like a steal at 980 yen.

There is no English on the DVD nor in the magazine, so I suspect if you can't read Japanese these will not be enjoyable unless you can already recognize most of these rikishi pretty well.

Edited by Umigame

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I'd say Y980 is worth it just for the first Takanohana-Kitanoumi yusho kettei-sen on DVD.

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I bought/watched it today. It was worth the ¥980 but not much lot more. A couple things stood out: Kitanoumi's inaugural dohyo-iri at Meiji Shrine; a few seconds/final decision of the last hikiwake between Mienoumi and Futagodake; a kinboshi over Kitanoumi by my man Washuyama; and the tsuppari-fest of the century between Fujizakura and Kirinji. The sound track was pretty lame though... canned crowd noise with dubbed over gyoji... (The hakkayois and nokkotas didn't match with the bout.... not even close.)

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