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Ryukaze

How you became interested in sumo..?

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Not sure how interesting this topic may be to some but I'd love to hear about it, (lets face it for the most part as foreigners we comprise what is a somewhat comparitavely limited fan base...). Im interested to know what it is that peaked everyones interest in the sport, what your first impressions were (and if not good what changed them), and why you follow it???? Anyways very interested to hear any responses if your willing to share......- Ryu

Edited by Ryukaze

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Hey Ryu,

What about you?

With that brief poem out of the way, here's how I got into the sport.

I remember seeing a segment on tv where one of the big hawaiians had made it to the top division and was getting really popular. It was amazing that he could appear so huge even amongst the giants that populate the sumo world. Even more amazing than that was the fact that the littlest guy in the sport was good enough to compete with him.

I guess that was probably Konishiki and Mainoumi.

Later, I had the opportunity to go to Japan for a couple of years to live. I was trying everything I could to get to a functional level of understanding Japanese both written and spoken. I enjoyed seeing the matches on tv in ramen shops and I learned to read that section of the newspaper before anything else. It also gave me a convenient topic for conversation.

I arrived after the July tournament in 1997 and by the November tournament, when local boy Takanonami won the yusho 14-1 (his last yusho) I was hooked.

It's not the same following the sport from Canada via the internet but it's become such a habit that I just have to know what's happening all the time. Participating in games like Benchsumo and Sekitori-Toto adds to the fun as well.

I get the impression that you spent some time in Japan as well. Did you have a local guy to root for?

Jason 'Itachi' Russell

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i started watching about 3 years ago, when i was 13

on holiday in japan when my parents started cheering

for takanohana

at that time i didnt even know they knew anything about sumo (but actually they did..)

my mother thought takanohana was very "cute" and also liked his spirit so on. as a 13 yr old girl hearing that a sumo wrestler could actually have a positive appearance made me want to find out who takanohana was. then i watched him play against musashimaru (it was senshuraku that time) and thought it was quite amazing to see hawaiin guy playing sumo too, because i had the stupid idea before that only japanese people would want to do it...

after takanohana retired, i supported asashoryu as i got more into the fighting & spirit of the wrestlers rather than appearance. then i also begam supporting a range of other ones which i thought had something to admire them for. yay! !

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the first time i saw it on TV was several years ago when there was a special sumo tour where most of the makuuchi division travelled to Paris in order to promote Sumo.

i was really awed by the sheer power and grace of the sport.

i remember only 3 rikishi: konishiki, akebono and musashimaru.

from then on i was interested, bu since we did not have eurosport, and sumo was still relatively unknow, i almost never could watch it.

since 2 years i have eurosport, and i can finally watch all bashos, even though eurosport is always 1 basho lagging (probably something to do with royalties or so).

sumo is for me the ultimate specatator sport. just forget about soccer where you can watch 2 hours and still have a disappointing 0-0 score.

Sumo rules. :-D :-P (Blushing...)

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Guest Vincentoryu

I, and I think like many others on this forum, became addicted when Eurosport began showing footage of hon-basho's in 1995. From then on I followed the basho results via the NSK site for daily results (my fellow students did find this very odd) and I viewed the summaries on Eurosport.

My favourite rikishi was Terao and I also liked Akebono. But I was most impressed by Takanohana and Wakanohana although I didn't root for them.

Takanohana for the way he completely dominated matches and left opponents helpless.

I liked Wakanohana because while not too big he was so powerful especially his legs. He was a true technician.

When I am thinking of Wakanohana I always remember him saying after he went intai: "I was scared to death whenever I faced Akebono or Musashimaru... I was worried that my ribs might break and pierce my heart."

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In October 2002 I was bored and zapped through various TV channels until I got to Eurosport where half-naked fat men were struggling and I thought: "What is that???" I kept watching and during the basho the German commentator, Alexander von der Groeben, explained more and more things about Sumo. It was the basho, when Kotomitsuki nearly got the Yusho, but in the end Musashimaru got it.

From that moment on I was fascinated by the sport, by Kotomitsuki and by another guy, a young mongolian named Asashoryu who showed very powerful Sumo and was just promoted to Ozeki that basho.

In December I watched the Kyushu Basho on Eurosport. Kotomitsuki showed an average performance, but Asashoryu did excellently. Then February 2003 came and Eurosport showed the Hatsu Basho and Asashoryu became Yokozuna after only 3 bashos as Ozeki.

My Interest in Sumo was now awakening totally. I wanted to learn more about Sumo, Yokozunas, Promotion rules, Banzuke and Rituals around Sumo. Over google I found www.sumoinfo.de and there the information I searched for.

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I, and I think like many others on this forum, became addicted when Eurosport began showing footage of hon-basho's in 1995.

This was my real entry into the world of sumo too.In 1995 when the tour event in Paris took place, some Rikishi visited Munich. And so I nearly ran into them before the Munich Opera House (Blushing...) I found the habit of this huge guys facinating, their grace, friendliness and modesty.

Ever since I am a bit enchanted I guess :-P

I liked Wakanohana because while not too big he was so powerful especially his legs. He was a true technician.

I agree completly. And I will add, this legs (and a bit higher above on Waka's backs as well :-D ) are still the most sexy, strong, male legs I have ever seen.

My second favorite was Takanonami. Always a little sleepy head but strong enough to turn around his bad start to a happy ending. Takanohana the mighty untouchable knight and Takatoriki the little, aggressiv warwasp...

And when I started Sumo Gaming on the Internet and Sumo Live watching too, I was completly lost to the world of sumo (and will never ever regret it :-D )

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i was on a school tour of a science lab when i was bitten by a radioactive sekitori. [...] RIKISHI-MAN

:-D (Blushing...) :-P

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Thanks to Eurosport, as many others, and thanks to Shiroikuma who was at that time providing commentary on the Eurosport Czech cable streaming which brought with it lot of insights and veeeery interesting information related to sumo.

And therefore now I'm looking for a job where I can spend more time on the internet, browse and download freely and earn more money to go to Japan one day (Whistling...)

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i was on a school tour of a science lab when i was bitten by a radioactive sekitori.

the next day i started felling strange and realised i had aquired the power to consume large amounts of food and push people backwards

using a bathtowel i fashioned a makeshift mawashi

i realised that with great bulk comes great pushability

i moved to japan and lived a double life. by day a mild mannered english teacher by night RIKISHI-MAN

Hahahahaha!!!

(Applauding...) (Applauding...) (Applauding...) (Applauding...) (Whistling...) ;-) :-/ (Clapping wildly...) (Punk rocker...) (Punk rocker...) (Punk rocker...) (Punk rocker...) (Showing respect...)

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As many others, I learned to know Sumo via Eurosport.

I believe it was around the time Wakanohana got promoted to Yokozuna.

Unfortunatly, about 4 years ago, I could no longer recieve Eurosport on my cable tv, so I forgot about the sport a bit.

Suddenly, rather by coincidence, I read a newspaper article about sumo, featuring Konishiki. The article mentionned the NSK site, and I went to check it out and began searching for other internet sites concerning Sumo, as the internet is now the only way for me to follow the sport. That was about 2 years ago, when Takanohana was at the end of his career and Asashoryu was a rising star.

Since then I became more and more interested in Sumo, especially when I stumbled on this excellent forum and the german sumoinfo.de (fortunatly I speak a little German).

Nowadays I try to follow the sport as much as I can and one day I hope to be able to go to Japan and watch the rikishi go at it live.

Edited by Faustonowaka

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Not sure how interesting this topic may be to some but I'd love to hear about it, (lets face it for the most part as foreigners we comprise what is a somewhat comparitavely limited fan base...). Im interested to know what it is that peaked everyones interest in the sport, what your first impressions were (and if not good what changed them), and why you follow it???? Anyways very interested to hear any responses if your willing to share......- Ryu

I started becoming interested by watching it on NHK in Japan. When some guy named Konishiki actually won a tournament (Whistling...) I became an avid follower of him, at first, and then sumo!

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Hey Ryu,

What about you?

lol, yeah my bad......As for myself, I never layed eyes on the sport till I actually went to Japan to live with a friend for the summer, (this sport gets absolutely NO LOVE in the U.S. yet they'll play poker or fishing or crap like that on espn all the time, pisses me right off but....lol). His dad was a big wakanohana fan, and I was instantly impressed the first time I saw guys like "mainoumi" uchi-gake konishiki, or kyokushuzan (back when he was alot skinnier) throw Akebono down. I remember watching Takanohana then also, he seemed smaller (or maybe because he was facing off against "maru" and Akebono).

Its the one on one factor I guess, no pads no ball or anything just man at his most elemental against man. Makes me kinda regret not growing up in Japan and having had the opportunity to actually do it (then again I weight only about 190 but.....) wherever the sport goes I'll be there lol. - Ryu

Edited by Ryukaze

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Makes me kinda regret not growing up in Japan and having had the opportunity to actually do it (then again I weight only about 190 but.....) wherever the sport goes I'll be there lol. -

Glad to hear that, Ryu.

But if you grew up in Japan, you are probably following J-League or baseball and joined Da Pump.

And that's the problem with Ozumo. People there have a certain perception and they just don't see it with a brand new set of eyes as it's been around as long as they've been and longer. To them it's like an immovable object they stop seeing.

When you see how empty Kyushu Basho is even when their local home boy is trying to capture the highest honor, you can plainly see what apathy does.

Perhaps what they need is someone like you - get some old and younger folks riled up enough that they start expressing themselves and get more interested, seeing it with a new perspective.

Apathy is really worse than death in any sport or meaningful human endeavour.

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How did I get interested in sumo? Easy!!! Well:

;-)

Zapping...

Eurosport...

Takanohana...

takanohana.jpg

:-) (In love...) (In love...) (In love...) (In love...) (In love...) (In love...) (In love...) (In love...) (In love...) (In love...) (In love...) (In love...) (In love...)

Yusho...

And, the next day:

(Showing respect...)

And, then, you can imagine what happened!!!

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Eurosport, internet, sumo ML, Kotoseiya all contributed a lot.

Sumo simply made a big impact. Why? Can't remember. The strength of the rikishi was so self-evident, the skills too and the weight differences and exotic rituals etc. I guess.

Sumo is permanent fixture now.

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Around the early 90s the cable channel AXN aired bouts of Takanohana at his prime- in English. I first thought it was ridiculous to see big guys not ashamed to wear THONGS while wrestling, yet they don't come off!

But I watched awhile then I saw how light they moved, and how real the action was because some of them would bleed or get broken bones, and how they pick themselves up even after being thrown out of the dohyo and yet maintain composure while bowing to the winner...This was so intriguing. At that time Takanohana was amazing, no matter how much his opponents tried to push him out, he was just plain immovable!

Much to my chagrin, AXN stopped airing sumo. It was a good 10 years later when I heard about Takanohana retiring that I discovered NHK- but with bouts covered only in Japanese. No matter, i watched despite the language barrier, and was in awe of Asashoryu. That was the time he won his 2 zensho-yusho.

Thanks to the internet/Google and forums like these, (Sign of approval) I get a bit more of what I used not to understand before....

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I first thought it was ridiculous to see big guys not ashamed to wear THONGS while wrestling, yet they don't come off!

I guess there is a totally different perspective if you are the one to wear the mawashi.

The very first time I put it on, I was still a kid (around 10 years old) so I wasn't afraid it would fall off as I could as easily go run naked on dohyo :-D

What I was afraid was more like if the person who was trying to help me put it on for the first time would tighten too much and I'd get squashed if you know what I mean.

Well I didn't have to worry about that as it would provide a space for what I was worried about. The problem was that it was very very tough so after a while it started to chafe around the edges. I still remember the pains I felt back then now after all these years when I took a bath after the first few sessions.

I was told by a senior who looked so bigger to me then that if I started complaining about such minor thing like that I'd never amount to anything in life. Well come to think of it now I guess he was right all along (Spooky TV program...)

Edited by Jonosuke

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Guest Needle201
When you see how empty Kyushu Basho is even when their local home boy is trying to capture the highest honor, you can plainly see what apathy does.

i see it on tv every day, and i cannot believe...

Sumo is so awesome, and yet me, the foreigner here, is the only one interested in it...all my japanese friends (including my girlfriend) dont care a lot, or start smiling when i tell them about whats happening in Sumoworld..

last weekend i was in Shimane/Matsue with some people, and on the airport i watched Sumo on the Tv there....those people who took care about me there were really thinking i am weird... :-D

how i came to sumo?

nothing special...

Eurosport, then visiting Japan a lot of times and watching Sumo on NHK here..

yet i never made it to visit a heya ot a basho.. whenever i asked my girlfriends or other friends, they told me its not possible to visit a heya, difficult to get tickets for the bashos etc...

lately i realized reading this page, its not that difficult at all it seems... (Spooky TV program...)

anyway, i still have time to do so in future...

Sumo will always be an interest for me i guess...along with formula 1... (Sign of approval)

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What I was afraid was more like if the person who was trying to help me put it on forĀ  the first time would tighten too much and I'd get squashed if you know what I mean.

That's an interesting point... (Clapping wildly...)

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Sumo is so awesome, and yet me, the foreigner here, is the only one interested in it...all my japanese friends (including my girlfriend) dont care a lot, or start smiling when i tell them about whats happening in Sumoworld..

last weekend i was in Shimane/Matsue with some people, and on the airport i watched Sumo on the Tv there....those people who took care about me there were really thinking i am weird...

It is so sad, that Sumo isn't as populare as it should be in Japan :-) All my japanese acquaintances don't care for their national sport either.

But here another falling in love with sumo story:

During my university time, a friend of mine went to Tokio to show these "fat guys" something about power and training (Hugging...) . When he (a realy strong and big guy himself, playing O- and D-linemen in a Football team) came back, he sounds a little different :-D The Rikishi in this heya (sorry he did not mention the name and I was not interested in it at that time) used him as their little pet: not strong and hard enough to compete fully with them but a nice friend and an interesting experience (to study gajin for example).

He was a very big sumofan afterwards and showed his friends proudly a very nice picture of himself sitting like a baby at the arm of a broadly grining rikishi :-)

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swiping and modifying a bit from my members introduction of a while back....

the bug bit me on a quiet Sunday afternoon in early July '95, just a week or so after i'd gotten here on exchange, and i turned on the TV to see what was on. (I was stupid...) that was Shonichi of the Nagoya Basho. i was impressed by the power, and the fact that they looked like Jack Kirby art come to life. the more i watched, the more i got drawn in, and by the end of the basho, i was a fan. i followed it for the rest of the year i was there, even missing a day of classes - with grudging permission - to see a day of the '96 Natsu Basho. our J. teachers also took us to Azumazeki-beya to meet Akebono, and we all got our picture with him. (by virtue of having the guts to ask, one of our group got "smuggled in" to shitaku-beya and got to see a day's worth of the (Aki?) basho as a guest of Akebono.) i fell a little out of touch after i returned to the States, but then i came back in January of '98 to work, and started following it more actively. i couldn't go initially, but finally managed to make it to the '99 Aki Basho, and have gone to at least one day of every Tokyo hon-basho since. (it's cool being able to circle that "20+" on the Kokugikan surveys.) i've also managed the Fuji Tournament once or twice, the jungyo in Kisarazu (Oct '02), retirement ceremonies for Kotonishiki (my original fave), Takanohana, Musashimaru, Aogiyama, Sentoryu (got to cut!), and, purely by dumb luck, Chiyotenma (private ceremony at the heya). i've also been to Osaka the past three years, Nagoya the previous two, and Fukuoka in '02. of those, i think i liked Fukuoka's the best. have also been to Senshuraku Parties for Sadogatake, Kokonoe, Tamanoi, Tomozuna, Naruto, Takasago, and possibly one other i can't recall now. i'm not sure which was the best; each was interesting and different in its own way.

still haven't felt the urge to put on a mawashi - having a herniated disk in your neck will do that - but still, one nasty bug bite, that.

(and now i will be going back to the States in about a month, job-hunting, and hoping i can find a good way to watch it by the time the Hatsu, or more likely, Haru rolls aroud. :-P )

Edited by Burainoan

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As an American, I do not have the priveledge of Eurosport showing a whole basho. The best I ever got was ESPN or ESPN2 showing a whole basho in 1 hour, which I look back on and laugh at its rediculousness. I had/have a love of Asian culture and sumo just seemed so different and so utterly Japanese to me. Add to that my love of weird sports,(Big fan of World Strongest Man competitions) and you've got a sumo fan! My favorite at this point was definitely Akebono, because of the stare, and because he was an American.

In July 1998, I took a tour of Japan before a friend came back to the states. We were in Nagoya, and decided to drop by and see if we could get some tickets to the basho. Well, we did, and were amazingly lucky enough to walk in right at the end of Juryo. I stayed, watched the Makuuchi bouts, and for the first time realized all the ceremony that went in to the sport, for the first time I saw the salt throwing, the mattas, got to hear the reaction of the crowd, and I was even lucky enough to see some zabuton fly that day, as Akebono lost to Dejima. For the rest of the trip, I caught as much of the basho as I could on TV.

When I got home, I started to seek out more information about sumo and about how I could see more of it in the US, and eventually joined the SML. A year or so later, I started playing Bench Sumo, then came the other games, then came this forum, and then came building my own game!

Next up: Learning Japanese. Can an idiot who barely speaks his native language learn something completely alien? I hope to find out.

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It was maybe the last ever Basho of Konishiki, I was a child, when I saw it first-zapping in the night,Eurosport. I was a little afraid because I saw Konishiki and his knees (Blinking...)

He lost his bout against a very thin guy and I started to think about what people know about Sumo...My eyes where catched.

Then I saw Musashimaru-cool guy, liked him from the first moment because of his gentle face-(teddy bear) (Laughing...)

And then, the "brutal" look of Akebono... (Being unsure...)

And of course, the god on top-Takanohana but I can't say that I liked Taka from the first moment,cause he looked like a guy out of stone, without any emotion-now I know, a very good actor ;-)

I was watching Sumo now and then, whenever I found it. Then 2001, day 9 of Aki-Basho on TV-the first time I ever saw Kotomitsuki and (Sigh...)

(Heart) From that point you can call me a real fan. Began to search on the Internet, lerning about sumo,recording each Basho and find my favorites.

Mostly interested in the real characters of Rikishi, behind the mask they wear at the Dohyo. When saw my first UNDOKAI :-| I absolutely fell in Love with Sumo, Japan ant the whole world around. Full of magic, acting, fun and tears. Sumo is life in every color, that's why I LOVE it.

Edited by ilovesumo

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