Akinomaki

Sumo and the Olympics

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So the sumo rikishi has reportedly gone kyujo.

Conclusion? It very well might have been a Yokozuna after all.

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On 04/08/2021 at 00:35, Eikokurai said:

Also, couldn’t they make it look like Hakuho so he got to take part in the Olympics in some way?

He looks more like he's been modelled on fan-favourite Akiseyama to me

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Posted (edited)

Some riders including our guy were complaining that the sumo figures were scaring the horses. Sounds like a lame excuse for bad results. They removed the figurines, and our guy promptly fell off his horse on his next run . Probably startled it wasn't there. 

Edited by Kintamayama
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I just heard from a reliable source that Hakuhou was originally supposed to be positioned at the equestrian contest near obstacle 10 but was replaced at the last minute with a statue as he did not receive prior permission from Shibatayama in triplicate. The rest is history. 

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Would have made sense, he could have immediately put the obstacle back together again.

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2 hours ago, Kintamayama said:

I just heard from a reliable source that Hakuhou was originally supposed to be positioned at the equestrian contest near obstacle 10 but was replaced at the last minute with a statue as he did not receive prior permission from Shibatayama in triplicate. The rest is history. 

There's also a wild rumor that Shibatyama jealously wanted to do it himself, but he scared the horses something awful.

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16 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

Most probably, yeah. I think you were referring to that big Towards Tokyo 2020 event they had a while back where Kakuryu was promising to show guests Japanese hospitality in English?

Since it was meant to capitalise on the influx of tourists for the Olympics who wouldn't normally be there for a basho, and there's no tourists now, doesn't seem much point in holding it.

Yes, I guess I knew this had to be the case, but thought I'd ask, in case it had blown by me unobserved. I watched more of the Tokyo Olympics than perhaps the previous three combined. We now patiently await a banzuke and hon-basho, and chase rumors and hypothetical scenarios with reckless abandon.

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7 hours ago, Kaminariyuki said:

There's also a wild rumor that Shibatyama jealously wanted to do it himself, but he scared the horses something awful.

It was the riders that were scared.

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narutobeya had a rooftop BBQ on Thursday; in the last image of their Instagram post you can see the nearby Tokyo Sky Tree decked out for the Olympics.

 

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On 07/08/2021 at 06:26, Kintamayama said:

I just heard from a reliable source that Hakuhou was originally supposed to be positioned at the equestrian contest near obstacle 10 but was replaced at the last minute with a statue as he did not receive prior permission from Shibatayama in triplicate. The rest is history. 

It would have behooved them to give him a break.

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13 hours ago, Yamanashi said:

narutobeya had a rooftop BBQ on Thursday; in the last image of their Instagram post you can see the nearby Tokyo Sky Tree decked out for the Olympics.

 

Australian or American beef, rather than wagyu? Looks pretty nice, including the Skytree.

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23 minutes ago, Kaminariyuki said:

Australian or American beef, rather than wagyu? Looks pretty nice, including the Skytree.

Horse.

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7 minutes ago, Benihana said:

Horse.

I think you're kidding but clearly you could be quoting the Japanese I can't read.

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44 minutes ago, Kaminariyuki said:

I think you're kidding but clearly you could be quoting the Japanese I can't read.

Just an educated guess.

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6 hours ago, Benihana said:

Horse.

According to the Benihana (USA) website, all their beef dishes are USDA Choice -- but I assumed you knew that.B-)

Australia has been the major supplier of beef to japan, but the pandemic has affected Aussie exports more than US, so they are comparable at this time.

The beef in the photo looks like lean grain fed beef.  Heya seem to get awesome meals when a supporter sends along some product as an in-kind contribution.  In the last few months, Narutobeya has gorged on cinnamon rolls, pizza and mixed seafood provided by members of the support group.

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While the meal looks quite tasty, it's not difficult for me to confess that I would really love to go to a good yaki niku joint about now. Well before the pandemic, I'd had wagyu dishes from various menus around the US in some very good restaurants, perhaps a dozen times. While I'm not such a beef expert that I could tell you what those dishes actually were, I can tell you what they weren't. 

Oh man, a platter of assorted raw cuts of real wagyu to be grilled at the table with friends, the proper assortment of sides, sauces, and garnishes. Maybe even some Japanese potato salad and a beer to wash it all down.

I can almost smell the scent wafting down the block...

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Posted (edited)

A bit more on Hakuhou and the Olympics, as posted today by the local media. Hakuhou "was expecting" to do the dohyo iri during the opening ceremony, but that did not happen. At some point he was chosen to be one of the torch relay runners in its last stages in the stadium. But due to the fact that he was kyujo when the offer came in and as such could not participate in the preparations, it didn't happen either.

As for other sumo people that did participate somehow in the Olympics, Takasago beya's Juryo yobidashi Rikinojou played the yosedaiko drums at some point during the boxing matches (which were held at the Kkan). According to the Takasago people, "We first saw it on TV and had no idea he was going to do it. When we asked him about it, he said he was told to absolutely keep it a secret.." Another participant was Juryo yobidashi Keisuke from Shibatayama beya, who used the wooden clappers (hyojiki) and was also asked not to divulge the secret beforehand.. The Kyokai was approached by the organizing committee for permission and they granted it.

 

 

Edited by Kintamayama
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So in the end it's sort of a grandly delicious irony that Hakuho, in pulling out all the stops to try and remain active as a rikishi during the Olympics, was passed over for consideration for inclusion in the Olympics precisely because of the measures he took making him unavailable.

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On 14/08/2021 at 15:58, Seiyashi said:

So in the end it's sort of a grandly delicious irony that Hakuho, in pulling out all the stops to try and remain active as a rikishi during the Olympics, was passed over for consideration for inclusion in the Olympics precisely because of the measures he took making him unavailable.

I agree with all of that except the "delicious" part. It's hard to say whether the rough time Hakuho gets from the kyokai is due to his style and demeanor, or whether it is due to racial prejudice, as several have suggested. I suppose the two issues are not completely separable. Sumo as a whole definitely missed the boat on the Olympics. The two small contributions Kinta mentions combined with a pathetic equestrian jump are a pretty sad showing, IMO. 

No offense to Seiyashi, and I suppose we all have our perspectives, but I don't find the irony delicious. I find it utterly distasteful. Sumo should have gotten a lot more coverage out of the Olympics, and Hakuho should have been a part of that, IMO.

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Did sumo get anything worthwhile out of the fairly prominent spot it had in the 1998 Winter Olympics opening ceremony? I'm not aware of any lasting effects. Methinks the "missed opportunity" narrative is somewhat overblown.

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It's also worth remembering that had COVID not happened, sumo would have had its own Olympic basho/jungyo, which suggests the plans for integration with the main Olympics were never that tight to begin with. It's definitely a missed opportunity, but the moment tourists couldn't come in en masse it's not something that shoehorning more sumo bits into the Olympics would have fixed, I think.

This might also sound a bit elitist/exclusionary, but I'd also rather new fans have the opportunity for longer, more substantive contact with sumo than just, to untrained eyes, "seeing a fat guy in diapers perform a funny dance on stage". God knows we've got enough of that misunderstanding altready.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

This might also sound a bit elitist/exclusionary, but I'd also rather new fans have the opportunity for longer, more substantive contact with sumo than just, to untrained eyes, "seeing a fat guy in diapers perform a funny dance on stage". God knows we've got enough of that misunderstanding altready.

Right. I can't help but feel that people are a bit naive in thinking Hakuho would have been presented to the world as the star athlete he is, rather than just another part of the entertainment programme. I've seen enough opening ceremonies to know that even fairly major cultural aspects of the hosting country routinely get given short shrift (or glossed over completely) by the TV commentators. Sumo is not very relevant to people in the world at large, that's just the way it is, and a five or ten minute spot isn't going to change that even if it takes place on a grand stage. There's nothing magic about sumo that's going to make tons of people go, "Wow, how did I never know I needed this in my life?!" just from one single exposure to a dohyo-iri or whatever the plan would have been.

(And people can point to social media etc. as the difference to 1998 all they want, the flipside of the potential for something to go viral and catch a lot of people's eyes is that stuff is also far more easily and quickly forgotten again nowadays.)

Edited by Asashosakari
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