Sign in to follow this  
Inside Sport Japan

Ozumo at the Royal Albert Hall 2023

Recommended Posts

Awesome. I hold out small hope they might do an exhibition in Shanghai one day. I think people here would go for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that's somewhat unexpected news!

Back in 1991 when they last came over, Channel 4 had been airing sumo for several years, and there was a big Japanese trade push all year in the UK. Tickets were in very high demand and all five days sold out.

Will the current ad hoc Internet coverage generate the same sort of interest?

Edited by RabidJohn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, RabidJohn said:

Well that's somewhat unexpected news!

Back in 1991 when they last came over, Channel 4 had been airing sumo for several years, and there was a big Japanese trade push all year in the UK. Tickets were in very high demand and all five days sold out.

Will the current ad hoc Internet coverage generate the same sort of interest?

It's particularly odd since the official sumo phone app is blocked in the UK.

But, I'm in. Assuming it happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, RabidJohn said:

Well that's somewhat unexpected news!

Back in 1991 when they last came over, Channel 4 had been airing sumo for several years, and there was a big Japanese trade push all year in the UK. Tickets were in very high demand and all five days sold out.

Will the current ad hoc Internet coverage generate the same sort of interest?

If it’s a one-night only affair, I don’t think they’ll have too much trouble selling out. Overall, there’s probably more awareness of sumo now than before, it’s just more hidden, and sports I often assume have very little following manage to draw reasonable crowds with little media coverage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This, plus tours to China as recently as Asashoryu's tenure as yokozuna, at least go to show that the NSK isn't - and has never been - quite as insular as we think in terms of attracting some foreign viewership. But I do wonder what the impetus behind this return to RAH is, coming as it does somewhat out of the blue, and whether it had already been planned for, before COVID hit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was ironic that after the Albert Hall in 1991 UK's sumo coverage rapidly fizzled out when, in my opinion, there was plenty of mileage left in it.

Maybe this might rekindle a bit of enthusiasm in the powers that be.

Swami

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least now we'll know how many rikishi it takes to fill the Albert Hall.(Sigh...)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Swami said:

It was ironic that after the Albert Hall in 1991 UK's sumo coverage rapidly fizzled out when, in my opinion, there was plenty of mileage left in it.

UK interest peaked around that time, and Eurosport snapped it up.

Annoying for those of us who weren't about to invest in satellite TV for 1 program, but it probably brought ozumo to a wider audience overall.

Am I imagining having read somewhere that Baruto, Kotooshu and many of the other European rikishi were inspired by the Eurosport coverage when they were kids?

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Tigerboy1966 said:

Couldn't they bring it to Manchester or Liverpool or Leeds? The world revolves around me, dammit!

If they have it in Manchester, everyone in  Liverpool will be mad, and vice versa.  They should hold it in a town close to both of them, like, say, Wigan. 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, RabidJohn said:

UK interest peaked around that time, and Eurosport snapped it up.

Annoying for those of us who weren't about to invest in satellite TV for 1 program, but it probably brought ozumo to a wider audience overall.

Am I imagining having read somewhere that Baruto, Kotooshu and many of the other European rikishi were inspired by the Eurosport coverage when they were kids?

 

Given their age, that is probably true.  The worst thing about the Eurosport coverage was the awful commentary by Syd Hoare.  Otherwise it was OK while it lasted.  But Lyall Watson was superb with the C4 coverage.

Swami

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally a reason to visit the isles. And by end of 2023 it will be a lot cheaper to do so. Win-win for me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, we've reached at least half time of the pandemic by now? Great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good news but will it be a serious event or more like a jungyo where some of the bouts are about as real as WWE?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Jemuzu said:

Good news but will it be a serious event or more like a jungyo where some of the bouts are about as real as WWE?

The only 'serious' events are the six yearly honbasho.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Inside Sport Japan said:

The only 'serious' events are the six yearly honbasho.

The London Basho of 1991 was 'serious'.

I can tell the difference between demo bouts such as you see at jungyo or danpatsu-shiki, and the real thing you see at honbasho.

It was real. They hurt each other and there was blood.

We C4 sumo viewers at the time were told that the results would be taken into account for banzuke making purposes. I don't know if that was the case, but the rikishi certainly fought like their rank was on the line.

Edited by RabidJohn
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, RabidJohn said:

We C4 sumo viewers at the time were told that the results would be taken into account for banzuke making purposes. I don't know if that was the case

It wasn't.

In the pre internet age the organizers were able to get away with a lot of marketing hype for that event that would be disproven in two seconds nowadays. It was even promoted locally as the first basho outside Japan (and still is claimed as such on the RAH website) though of course it was nothing of the sort and similar events had been taking place for 30 years in places like Hawaii, Russia, China, France, Brazil and Mexico.

There are lots of non honbasho events where rikishi take things seriously, and you can see blood and pain at any training session. Even jungyo can get heated. 

None of them are 'serious' in the sense of impacting rankings, salary etc.

The 1991 London event was the seventh of (to date) 13 foreign Koen. No different than any before or after it, though obviously it held a lot of significance for sumo fans in the region and especially those in attendance.

Edited by Inside Sport Japan
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, RabidJohn said:

The London Basho of 1991 was 'serious'.

I can tell the difference between demo bouts such as you see at jungyo or danpatsu-shiki, and the real thing you see at honbasho.

It was real. They hurt each other and there was blood.

We C4 sumo viewers at the time were told that the results would be taken into account for banzuke making purposes. I don't know if that was the case, but the rikishi certainly fought like their rank was on the line.

I remember a great bout between Daishoyama and Mainoumi, ending in a great nage battle, Mainoumi lost as his mage touched the dohyo.  

Swami

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this