code_number3

Hiro Morita’s “Sumo Prime Time”

Recommended Posts

Sadly no more cats

Spoiler

Hiro is aching by doing suriashi. Even though he is a NSK-certified Sumo Kenko Taisiou instructor!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I thought this was the best one yet. This sort of access to rikishi and heya is something no other YT sumo channel can compete with. Hiro can happily leave day-to-day bout coverage to Moti, Jason, Natto, et al, and still be 100% confident we're going to watch his output.

Edited by RabidJohn
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I, too, think this is the best video yet.  Having 10 of the rikishi in the heya plus Hiro say, "Sumo Prime Time" in unison at the beginning and end was great advertising.  It was also clever of Hiro to get Wakatakakage, Wakamotoharu, Kotokuzan and even the tokoyama to each say, "Sumo Prime Time".  The extra-large subtitles were a very nice touch as was using different color subtitles depending on who was speaking (Hiro's was white, the rikishi's were yellow).  Hiro didn't insert himself too much into the video, just the right amount.  And the music was very much in the background where it should be.  Excellent content and looking forward to what's next.

Edited by sumojoann
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, RabidJohn said:

I thought this was the best one yet. This sort of access to rikishi and heya is something no other YT sumo channel can compete with. Hiro can happily leave day-to-day bout coverage to Moti, Jason, Natto, et al, and still be 100% confident we're going to watch his output.

Completely agree, and I think if the channel goes down the path of daily bout coverage that's probably a misdirection of resources. If we want to watch the bouts, we know where to go. Hiro's channel can provide more camera angles, provide backstory and context to bouts and do a really good job - it's definitely the stuff around the edges which others cannot access that we want to see more of.

Edited by Yarimotsu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm very impressed. Since it's much like his vignettes for the NHK, I wonder if they were his idea in the first place.  He is hitting a lot of the right notes in his productions so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so far i haven't found any content on this channel that couldn't be found on other unofficial sumo channels for years. of course, i guess at first this content is not for us, but rather for new fans (at least i hope so)
i for example would like to see summaries of old archive tournaments from the 70s 80s 90s, bibliography of legendary yokozunas rikishi, which so far could only be accessed in Japanese.
of course it's still early for any criticism, but knowing Hiro Morita's work on NHK I have my doubts that the content I'm currently seeing would go in that direction...

Anyway, I'm rather glad that kyokai finally noticed that there are sumo fans outside Japan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Old Shatterhand is dead said:

so far i haven't found any content on this channel that couldn't be found on other unofficial sumo channels for years. of course, i guess at first this content is not for us, but rather for new fans (at least i hope so)
i for example would like to see summaries of old archive tournaments from the 70s 80s 90s, bibliography of legendary yokozunas rikishi, which so far could only be accessed in Japanese.
of course it's still early for any criticism, but knowing Hiro Morita's work on NHK I have my doubts that the content I'm currently seeing would go in that direction...

Anyway, I'm rather glad that kyokai finally noticed that there are sumo fans outside Japan.

Respectfully I disagree. To be four videos in and be able to do a video entirely within a heya's training session with an English-speaking participant being instructed by sekitori is pretty unprecedented, and a good indication of the level of access the NSK is going to give Hiro for his videos. The channel being, at worst, already on par with unofficial channels that have been around for years bodes extremely well for it's future.

Edited by Godango
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Godango said:

Respectfully I disagree. To be four videos in and be able to do a video entirely within a heya's training session with an English-speaking participant being instructed by sekitori is pretty unprecedented, and a good indication of the level of access the NSK is going to give Hiro for his videos. The channel being, at worst, already on par with unofficial channels that have been around for years bodes extremely well for it's future.

just few examples for similar contents after a short simple search,  but there are many more on YouTube. To be honest Hiro's video did not gave me any extra (Hiro practicing shiko and other basic sumo trainig elements is very similar that he and Raja had already made on other NHK's english speaking videos. But no problem we are not the same perhaps I am too demanding. 

I did not want to hurt anyone's feelings, my apologies.

 

Edited by Old Shatterhand is dead
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we're not disputing that Hiro's content isn't unique, but the point I believe is that he's starting with a massive foot up on all those other content creators. With the possible exception of Japan Times, Hiro is a well-known quantity to the NSK and a long-time collaborator, and most importantly someone Japanese whom they can take for granted has a similar cultural backgrounding to them (so thinks in the same way and much more likely to respect sumo as sumo, and not as a bit for a good production or documentary). 

That means whatever good ideas that Hiro has for bringing even further behind the scenes access - e.g. I'd like to see him do some reporting duty from the hanamichi/shitakubeya during basho - is much more likely to be received and accepted immediately, giving Hiro a massive advantage in converting an idea to a video. Contrast some, idk, BBC chap who'll have to find the right people, get introduced, have a formal meeting, etcetc... which obviously is going to be harder in corona times with Japan restricting entry.

In short, Hiro launched his channel at a very good time, and his trajectory is looking really good. It doesn't guarantee that he'll have long term success (although we certainly wish he does), but all the signs are pointing in the right direction.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably bears repeating that Sumo Prime Time is a JSA channel. Hiro is the face of the venture but it's the kyokai's own property. That makes it different from all others. All other media have to jump through many hoops for coverage while Sumo Prime Time is a JSA production based at the Kokugikan and exempt from all those rules and restrictions.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, seconding the above, it's not that Hiro is doing something entirely unique, rather that he has the access and knowledge and setup to do these kinds of videos with a high production value and from a position of mutual understanding with the rikishi and the whole sumo system.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Old Shatterhand is dead said:

just few examples for similar contents after a short simple search,  but there are many more on YouTube. To be honest Hiro's video did not gave me any extra (Hiro practicing shiko and other basic sumo trainig elements is very similar that he and Raja had already made on other NHK's english speaking videos. But no problem we are not the same perhaps I am too demanding. 

I did not want to hurt anyone's feelings, my apologies.

No feelings hurt at all, and my own apologies if that came across as confrontational. I just think there's a lot to be optimistic about :-).

11 hours ago, Inside Sport Japan said:

Probably bears repeating that Sumo Prime Time is a JSA channel. Hiro is the face of the venture but it's the kyokai's own property. That makes it different from all others. All other media have to jump through many hoops for coverage while Sumo Prime Time is a JSA production based at the Kokugikan and exempt from all those rules and restrictions.

And this is exactly why, and what I was referring to when I mentioned the unprecedented nature of the Sumo Prime Time videos -- to have such extensive access so quickly. This is a starting off point which is equal to where many other video makers have spent months or years trying to reach. Very exciting.

Edited by Godango

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the other videos looked polished with a whole team working behind the scenes. Even the kyokai’s Pokémon videos show that.

As mentioned, Hiro Morita’s videos might look amateurish since they are produced using a 2 man team. 
It is a start, how they improved over time is up to them.

Some fans want better contents, some want better productions, some want both.

We don’t know how much resources NSK has allocated to Hiro’s team to produce these videos (or whether the oyakata channel is teaming up with, Toyonoshima seems to work well behind and in front of the camera). For now, let them work and we should provide reviews and content requests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I assume the NSK probably assumes they have to start at the very basics for us foreigners. 

I'm curious how much editorial freedom Hiro will have. It's just a matter of time until the next scandal, and how or even if they let him engage with it will be interesting. They pay the bills so I don't expect much, but these things can be big media stories in Japan that the foreign fans don't get the context of all the time.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, rhyen said:

Most of the other videos looked polished with a whole team working behind the scenes. Even the kyokai’s Pokémon videos show that.

Pokemon is the biggest media franchise in the world by far. It's $118 Billion revenue far outpaces that of Star Wars, Disney, MCU, etc.

They can definitely afford to throw more yen in for better cameras and production than Hiro - at this stage anyway.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Churaumi said:

I'm curious how much editorial freedom Hiro will have. It's just a matter of time until the next scandal, and how or even if they let him engage with it will be interesting.

There is almost no chance of the JSA doing deep dives on the less savory aspects of the sport on its own in-house channel.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Inside Sport Japan said:

There is almost no chance of the JSA doing deep dives on the less savory aspects of the sport on its own in-house channel.

I figure as much, but they would be missing a great opportunity to teach foreigners about sumo culture if they don't. I've got some of my non-Japanophile coworkers turned on to sumo, but they don't follow it like I do. A couple of times I've explained various transgressions and they just don't think of them as a big deal, worth sidetracked someone's career over. The Kyokai could use these to teach the world about the culture of sumo while minimizing coverage of the offense itself, but I think we all know they won't let him speak of such things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Cheers. Now I can't shake the vision of Hiro excitedly presenting a proper caning... (Beingthrowntomatoesat...)

Edited by Jakusotsu

Share this post


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

Cheers. Now I can't shake the vision of Hiro excitedly presenting a proper caning from my head... (Beingthrowntomatoesat...)

Straight to the head! And it’s lights out, goodbye, and sayonara!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Quite a good deep dive for newer fans of the sport, with a lot of details and access to NSK personages. 

Some highlights:

  • Kōtokuzan (probably recut footage from his visit to Arashio-beya from the last video) has some basic grasp of English, and explains that his shimekomi is 10m, and that he thinks it's longer than others because he has a big belly.
  • There's a closeup of a tawara from the NSK museum that has been sliced open, although it doesn't seem to contain any clay.
  • Tokudawara explanations are accompanied by a number of bouts that specifically show rikishi resisting, including a bout between Terunofuji and Endō where the latter got shoved into a cameraman in the hanamichi.
  • Ōyama-oyakata features in the segment regarding kimarite - he was the oyakata in charge of the addition, and he explains that the influx of Mongolian rikishi inspired the kimarite expansion because they were winning with moves never seen before. Asashōryū's tsutaezori against Takanonami is featured. However, a kimarite by that name also appears from Ōuchiyama's time, as well as in 1992, so the point that new kimarite were made because of Mongolian rikishi seems a bit unsupported by the supposedly supporting footage?
  • Ōyama-oyakata also says it's fine for fans to disagree with the kimarite call and that he even thinks that it enhances the experience for sumo fans.
  • Hansoku - also interestingly, they used the Chiyotairyū - Tobizaru bout with that uber-blatant hairpull, but which IIRC wasn't actually in the event called as hansoku against Chiyotairyū. To be fair, though, hairpulls are rarely blatant and that really was the most obvious example without having to doodle all over the replay.
Edited by Seiyashi
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Note to Morita-san: every time you introduce a Sumo term, you should show the (romaji) word or phrase on the screen .  This aids the viewer who wants to look up the term online.

  • Like 2

Share this post


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

Note to Morita-san: every time you introduce a Sumo term, you should show the (romaji) word or phrase on the screen .  This aids the viewer who wants to look up the term online.

I'll suggest one better: it's a bit of work, but subtitles/closed-captioning are becoming standard for "professionally" produced YT channels nowadays, and that would also solve the problem Yamanashi pointed out.

While it's an English channel, there's also a possible avenue for providing Japanese transcription of what is actually spoken (vs the translated subtitles that are hard-overlaid on the video)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Morita-san is my Hiro.

  • 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