Akinomaki

Sumo and the Olympics

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Taikoubana said:

I guess they thought Nagano 1998 was good enough to warrant never including it in the schedule a second time. (Half-joking.)

To be fair, even as a sumo fan, the appearance of the makuuchi sekitori at Nagano wasn't particularly well-choreographed or awe-inspiring. It's understandable if the planners looked at it and decided it just didn't fit the theme of the ceremony, which drew a lot more on modern Japanese pop culture (the sole exception being the appearance of the Kamakura Gongoro Kagemasa character from the kabuki play Shibaraku). I for one had a start when I heard Final Fantasy's Victory Fanfare during the Parade of Nations.

Speaking of Shibaraku, I wonder whether it was the actual Ichikawa Ebizo XI playing the character as it's his guild's trademark. (Obligatory tangential reference to sumo - the bar brawl Ichikawa Ebizo XI was involved in indirectly tied into to the retirement of Takanohana's first pair of twin deshi, who were apparently acquaintances of the assaulters.)

Edited by Seiyashi
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17 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

To be fair, even as a sumo fan, the appearance of the makuuchi sekitori at Nagano wasn't particularly well-choreographed or awe-inspiring. It's understandable if the planners looked at it and decided it just didn't fit the theme of the ceremony, which drew a lot more on modern Japanese pop culture (the sole exception being the appearance of the Kamakura Gongoro Kagemasa character from the kabuki play Shibaraku). I for one had a start when I heard Final Fantasy's Victory Fanfare during the Parade of Nations.

Speaking of Shibaraku, I wonder whether it was the actual Ichikawa Ebizo XI playing the character as it's his guild's trademark. (Obligatory tangential reference to sumo - the bar brawl Ichikawa Ebizo XI was involved in indirectly tied into to the retirement of Takanohana's first pair of twin deshi, who were apparently acquaintances of the assaulters.)

The german commentator mentioned something about him being a famous Kabuki player, so it might be him.

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39 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

Are you referring to the pictogram sequence? 

Yeah...it was pretty clever. Just around number 27 or so it started to feel too long. 

Did anyone else notice the announcers (US) said the kabuki actor at the end was there to scare off evil spirits and cleanse the arena? I really don't know much kabuki, does it have ceremonial cleansing properties? If they need a sporting venue cleansed of evil, they have people specifically for that. Two of them now, even.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Churaumi said:

Did anyone else notice the announcers (US) said the kabuki actor at the end was there to scare off evil spirits and cleanse the arena? I really don't know much kabuki, does it have ceremonial cleansing properties? If they need a sporting venue cleansed of evil, they have people specifically for that. Two of them now, even.

That depends less on Kabuki as a discipline and more on this particular character portrayed within the context of his usual story, actually.

The character depicted is Kamakura Gongoro Kagemasa (KGK), who, as a historical figure, was a notable samurai who lived around the late 11th century during the time of the Genpei War, and lost an eye in battle at the age of 16.

Kabuki heavily dramatises his abilities in the play Shibaraku (lit: Just a moment/Wait a minute!, named after his very first line), which has him singlehandedly gatecrash the villain's attempted execution of a royal lineage, fight off five strong enemy combatants, scare off lesser mooks just by glaring at them, and convinces the villain to make amends just by talking to him. He's built up to be such an awesome and imposing figure that he decapitates a whole bunch of mooks in a single strike, and has the villain and his five henchmen leave the stage while gesturing in respect to him.

(Trivia: the play's title came from a moment of throwing it in, where a kabuki actor's colleagues refused to give him his cue and he shouted the line and entered anyway. The play has since become a trademark of that actor's lineage - the Ichikawa acting guild, the crest/mon of which is three squares within each other, and which appears on the sleeves of KGK's costume.)

The implication of course is that such a supernaturally strong character has the backing of kami, which makes his appearance capable of scaring off lesser evil spirits.

The closest Western equivalent I can think of would be the Knights of the Round Table - embodiments of chivalry and goodness, worthy of embarking upon the Grail quest.

That said, I don't expect people not attuned to Japanese culture (i.e. most of the OC's audience, but probably excluding most of us here) in general to grasp the significance of either the appearance of KGK, or yokozuna, since kami as a concept is....

Edited by Seiyashi
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Thanks for the context. TV announcers don't usually have that in their scripts.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, ryafuji said:

Well there are always surprise reveals at Olympic opening ceremonies - Naomi Osaka lighting the flame certainly wasn't announced in advance. But yeah, more in hope than expectation for many of us I imagine. 

I'm pretty sure if there was going to be any involvement the kyokai would have taken full advantage of the PR. Osaka is a single person. Much easier to keep it a secret. As far as I remember there was nothing sumo related in 1964 either. 

Edited by Kintamayama

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3 minutes ago, Hakumadashi said:

I didn't mean to send that(Shakinghead...)

You can delete posts, just saying...

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7 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

You can delete posts, just saying...

Got it now, the option didn't show up immediately, but after clicking on the notification of your reply it did. 

 

Here again: Teru could atleast wear his knee bracers during the dohyo-iri if he were to perform one for the Paralympics

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Since this will be my first and last visit to an Olympics thread, I would like to use the opportunity to apologize -- on behalf of the German nation -- to the world for Thomas Bach. We didn't know, too.

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1 hour ago, yorikiried by fate said:

We didn't know, too.

Of course we did. For a long time. But just like the rest of the world we didn't give a damn.

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5 hours ago, Dapeng said:

Anyway, Olympic is a good opportunity for NSK to promote themselves. Whatever the reason, NSK declined or was declined this opportunity. 

Time to take off the rose-coloured fan glasses and ask yourself: what exactly was there for the NSK to gain?

To be more specific: what good did Akebono's performance in 1998 do besides reinforcing old stereotypes - an obese guy in diapers going through weird motions and causing Awkward Silence among news anchors around the world. The most notable item was his being American, and presenting Hakuho wouldn't have made much difference.

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2 hours ago, Tsuchinoninjin said:

Soo... Paralympic opening ceremony?

Featuring #69 flanked by Yoshikaze, Miyogiryu, Izutsu and other walking wounded that got on the Great One’s bad side, perhaps?


(no disrespect intended to any Paralympians)

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After Beijing 08 all openings are pointless.

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Judging by that dancing ghost man, Hakuho wasn’t around to stomp out the evil spirits. (Laughing...)

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It’s their loss, they didn’t capitalize on what could have been a beautiful moment.

it could have been visual cultural poetry, having a kabuki actor, maybe a samurai, geishas, all dancing to soft Japanese classical music and then you switch to the 69th yokozuna and he just elbows the shit out of all of them, literally knocks the kabuki guy the fuck out and fist pumps while screaming FOR YOU FATHER, FOR MONGOLIA! And every single mummy in the NSK dies of a heart attack. 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Taikoubana said:

How disappointing. At this rate we may never see sumo in an olympics opening ceremony again. I guess they thought Nagano 1998 was good enough to warrant never including it in the schedule a second time. (Half-joking.)

To be fair, aside from a dohyo-iri there was hardly anything else in the ceremony (aside from the brief kabuki performance) that suggested anything about traditional Japanese history and/or culture. 

The universal reaction to the overall ceremony in Japan has been a giant "wtf was that?"

Edited by Kaninoyama

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1 hour ago, Kuhne said:

It’s their loss, they didn’t capitalize on what could have been a beautiful moment.

it could have been visual cultural poetry, having a kabuki actor, maybe a samurai, geishas, all dancing to soft Japanese classical music and then you switch to the 69th yokozuna and he just elbows the shit out of all of them, literally knocks the kabuki guy the fuck out and fist pumps while screaming FOR YOU FATHER, FOR MONGOLIA! And every single mummy in the NSK dies of a heart attack. 

I think we can close this thread after this masterpiece.

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3 hours ago, Jabbamaru said:

After Beijing 08 all openings are pointless.

I thought the same after Barcelona 92, but I reckon Beijing 08 was a wonder to watch.  

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5 hours ago, Jabbamaru said:

After Beijing 08 all openings are pointless.

London 2012 would like a word.

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14 hours ago, yorikiried by fate said:

Since this will be my first and last visit to an Olympics thread, I would like to use the opportunity to apologize -- on behalf of the German nation -- to the world for Thomas Bach. We didn't know, too.

Next time just send Johann Sebastian. He never disappoints :-)

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2 hours ago, hakutorizakura said:

Sooo... Closing ceremony perhaps?

You mean use the dohyo-iri that closes every basho?  Er ...

OTOH, typical Olympics programmers are clueless enough to put it there. Maybe the Japanese fans can think of it as re-consecrating the ground.

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2 hours ago, Yaochozuna said:

Next time just send Johann Sebastian. He never disappoints :-)

Only possible if there keeps being no yokozuna around to stomp out the spirits.

 

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