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madorosumaru, September 10, 2005 in Sumo Information
Oh wow that looks like a bad idea.
Couple of Weeks to Nagoya Basho!
Good evening! This is Tooyama.
This is Ikeda From Nagoya
Hello! This is Ikeda.
I am writing the blog from Nagoya today.
The Dohyo is Ready
We received this picture from Tokiryu-san of the "Advance Party."
This is Ikeda!
Hello! I am going to write another blog on the "Advance Party." The dohyo has been build and there is only a little bit left to the preparations. The picture shows yours truly, Ikeda, dressing Toshinyama-san's mage. Normally, a tokoyama would be doing the job so this is a scene that could only happen with the advance group. I've been a part of several advance parties before, but I find coifing a mage to be really difficult. In my book, a tokoyama is truly an artisan!!
"Sumo fans from around the world,
I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama
Departure to Nagoya
Hello! This is Tooyama!
Today, we are finally moving to Nagoya to participate in the July Basho.
Right now, we are at Tokyo Station waiting for the departure of the Bullet Train.
The picture shows Takaazuma and Fujiazuma on the platform waiting for the train.
In the background are Iwashina and Karatsuumi.
We are going to be away from Tokyo for a while, training hard in the sweltering heat of Nagoya,
so that we can do our very best during Nagoya Basho.
Bye, we'll be leaving now!
Update from Nagoya
This is the fourth day since we arrived in Nagoya.
We finally got connected to the internet.
I've been taking pictures here and there so
I'll be using them for material as I gradually update the blog.
As for the picture above, it shows
The Shiroboshi Rice Ball from Fukusushi
that has become a tradition on days we leave for regional basho.
Along with the owners of Fukusushi is Yoshiazuma-san.
Shiroboshi onigiri are rice balls without the seaweed wrapping.
They are really delicious. During Nagoya Basho,
we would like to garner rows of shiroboshi in the amount of these rice balls.
When we wrote about Fukusushi in the blog before,
many of you readers visited the restaurant.
The owners were extremely pleased.
I understand if you use the code words "I saw it on the blog,"
you will receive one complimentary item.
Please take advantage of the offer and stop by for dinner!
4-18-3 Adachi, Adachi-ku
Degeiko at a Kindergarten??
From left: Tooyama, Ikinoshima and Tokiryu
Hello! This is Tooyama.
It has been hot all over the country these days, but
it seems particularly hot in Nagoya.
As for today's photograph, we went to a kindergarten in Nagoya the other day!
Tooyama shaking hands with the children.
The little tykes, who have never seen an osumo-san before, were a bit intimidated at first,
but in a short while, they were banging enthusiastically against the giant sumotori as you can see in the picture below.
Tokiryu-san wrestling with a bunch of kids.
The other photo shows
us fooling around with a stick we found in the faculty room,
which is apparently used in dealing with any intruders or miscreants. (Laugh)
Tokiryu-san subduing Ikinoshima, playing the role of a suspicious character.
It appears that soccer and baseball are still the favorite sports of the children.
But if get-togethers like these with little kids would
stimulate some interest in sumo among them, we were be so very pleased.
Yesterday, there was also a Tanabata Festival held at the nursery at Jizoji Temple,
which happens to be the Tamanoi lodgings in Nagoya.
Tochiazuma-zeki participated along with Shibuya, Daiseiko and Tooyama.
Details about that will be in tomorrow's blog . . .
In the above story, Tooyama and his friends visited a kindergarten. Sumotori use these opportunities to spread goodwill in areas where they visit periodically. Here is a story from Ichinoya's Takasago Diary.
When we go to regional basho, we often visit kindergartens, old-age homes and other facilities. This is the home town of Wakamatsu Oyakata, former Asanowaka, so he feels even more obligated to perform these duties. We heard that a few days ago, he went with Asahimaru to a retirement home, with which he has had a long relationship. All the grandpas and grandmas were looking forward to the annual visit and gathered eagerly to shake the hands and get their pictures taken with the visiting sumo people. Some old ladies were teary-eyed, saying things like "Now, I have good memories to take with me to the Next World."
Getting into the spirit of things, the sentimental Asahimaru would carry each lady "like a princess" in his manly arms for their very special two-shot. Whether it was his idea or whether it was requested, he also gave the grandmas nice little smackeroos on their cheeks.
Apparently, because of his "largesse," the ladies were even more euphoric than usual. (Whistling...) Then, suddenly, as the young rikishi stuck his lips out for the obligatory peck on the cheek, a brazen old lady turned her head and offered her lips. Smack! Slurp!
Mon Dieu! Henka de Amour! (Eh?)
Ay yay yay! Oy vey! Gramma mia! Even the unsparingly generous Asahimaru was taken aback and totally tongue-tied(?) by that move. :-D
The Tamanoi boys, as well as those from the other heya, are busy visiting various facilities while they are in Nagoya. As mentioned, they do a lot of that to promote goodwill for the sport. But the eagerness with which the rikishi approach their duty is enhanced by the fact that they also receive personal benefits. After each visit to a nursery, hospital or retirement home, the sumosan are usually given an honorarium. Here is a story by Ichinoya.
Regardless of whether they are strong or weak, ranked high or low, a rikishi with his chonmage is a commercial product in himself. For a visit to a kindergarten or nursing home, there will be some form of honorarium involved. For a "Young Guy" who doesn't receive a salary, these duties would be like part-time jobs.
The more popular a sekitori, the more requests there would be for "the pleasure of his company." Thus, a tsukebito for such a sekitori would be busy as a beaver but his income would increase accordingly.
Of course, there is a market in accordance to the type of visits and promotions. There is also a differential depending on rank. Once it comes to a sekitori, you are talking about a whole another price scale. It is because of these kind of "fringe benefits" that the rikishi can manage to endure the rigors of a regional basho.
Hello! This is Tooyama.
Today's blog is about the Tanabata Festival, which was held the other day at the nursery at Jizoji Temple, where the Tamanoi rikishi are staying in Nagoya.
Every year, Tochiazuma-zeki makes an appearance at the festive event crowded with the parents and guardians of the children.
At the Tanabata Festival, the rikishi wrestle with the kids and play in games with them.
The main Tamanoi lodging is at the temple but we also bunk at the nursery so we lead daily lives surrounded by groups of children. Even during keiko, there are usually 20 to 30 of them watching us at the keiko-ba.
I'll write something about that at a later time.
This is rather brief but that's all for today.
How to Travel on a Bullet Train
Today's blog is a sequel of a blog I wrote previously on
How to Travel by Airplane - Rikishi Edition:
How to Travel by Bullet Train - Rikishi Edition.
When sumosan travel to regional basho, they mainly go as a group on a Bullet Train.
Photo: Amanowaka and Takaazuma. Amanowaka's seat is leaning all the way back.
Actually, Amanowaka would prefer to have the seat further up, but
it reclines all the way almost automatically.
Why would that happen?
His thighs would press against the button on the seat and it would recline as a result.
At times like that, the solution is . . . ta-da!
A cap from a plastic water bottle.
How do you use the bottle cap?
You place the cap over the seat button.
Then the cap acts as a guard over the button
and the seat would not recline on its own.
If you do it properly, your seat will not tilt back as you sit down.
On the other hand, if you don't use the cap as a guard,
That concludes How to Travel by Bullet Train - Rikishi Edition.
You place the cap over the seat button.Then the cap acts as a guard over the button
and the seat would not recline on its own.
Necessity is the mother of invention!!
Encore Session after Regular Keiko
Nagoya Basho will be starting soon.
Keiko is getting into the final stages.
Our bodies are a bit fatigued but
we'll rest up and get ourselves into tip-top shape for shonichi.
The photograph above shows Ikeda wrestling with a bunch of nursery school kids.
At the Tamanoi lodgings in Nagoya, there is a park next to the keiko-ba and
we often do sumo with the children over there.
Here's Shibuya, just back from de-geiko, corralled and forced into further sumo sessions with the tykes.
Torikumi Announcement for Nagoya Basho
Today's picture shows Tokotsuka-san fixing Takaazuma's mage after keiko. Nishitani is waiting for his turn.
Tamanoi Beya rents its Nagoya lodging at a temple named Jizo-ji.
The place where we get our hair done is in a building next to a graveyard called Jizo-do.
It doesn't bother us much during the day, but at night, it can get a tad . . . scary.
Today, the torikumi for Shonichi and Day 2 were announced.
We all now know who our opponents will be. Psychologically, we are in battle-mode.
Here is the schedule for the first two days:
* Tamanoi rikishi on the left; his opponent on the right.
Oazuma vs. Hata
Iwashina vs. Omori
Kadowaki vs. Sakurai
Amanowaka vs. Onoshima
Nishitani vs. Oka
Karatsuumi vs. Maenofuji
Isoazuma vs. Kyokuryudake
Toshinyama vs. Daiki
Yoshiazuma vs. Tochinoyama
Tochiazuma vs. Kyokutenho
Fujiazuma vs. Izumi
Hoshiazuma vs. Azumi
Ikeda vs. Wakataizan
Daiseiko vs. Notononami
Teruazuma vs. Takanofuji
Tokiryu vs. Wakamiume
Shibuya vs. Isobe
Tooyama v. Kotokuni
We shall gambarize at the hot and muggy Nagoya Basho!
Guess Tochiazuma will be dropping out after Day 1? (Holiday feeling...)
This is an old story but, one time, I had dinner at this person's house for which I received an honorarium. Several days later, I ran into that fellow again and when he extended an envelop, I said, "Ah, you've already taken care of that the other day." Imagine how embarrassed I was when he told me that it contained photos from that occasion.
Just a few days ago, a certain "Young Guy," who shall remain nameless, hesitated a bit when a gratuity was offered [saying how it wasn't really necessary and all] and the patron took that opportunity to rescind the offer. That dummkopf rikishi could have kicked himself. I guess that would be a perfect object for Lesson #1: "Never refuse anything that is offered."
I just want to take the opportunity to thank Madorosumaru-san(correct politeness?) for the translation of the tamanoi-blog. Having just rekindled my intrest in Sumo, I have been looking (unsuccessfully) for information concerning the everyday life of the rikishi. I even tried the library, in Stockholm,the capital of Sweden. The result was:
1. One badly written book from the 60's
2. One ok book, with only the technical merits of the sport, from the 70's
3. One National Geographic article of Akebono
4. One Sumo technic book from the 90's
5. A book on how to party in Tokyo (?)
So... thank you so very much. This gives me just the insight I have been looking for
(I am not worthy...)
Tomorrow 7/13 (JST) is Tooyama's birthday. Wishes can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
He lost today (1-1), so he will appreciate the support..
Nagoya Basho started today.
Thank you for your support as always.
We shall gambarize again this basho so please cheer for us.
In the picture above, Ikeda and Isoazuma are wearing what appears to be,
at first glance, the yellow T-shirt of a certain record store.
But upon a closer look,
And the words on the back . . .
A certain record store named "Ta-X-Y-Z Records" has the catch phrase
"No Music, No Life"
(Tooyama translates the English into Japanese)
What about "Tamanoi Records?"
"NO CHANKO, NO LIFE"
(Again, translated into Japanese)
I did it again--created a new t-shirt.
And on the left sleeve,
I printed the sumo-san "Emergency Exit" icon.
Although it's a complete take-off of the "Ta-X-Y-Z Records,"
some people told me, "That looks like the t-shirt for the "24 Hour Television" program.
I was flabbergasted!
Tomorrow is my first bout. I shall gambarize and do my own sumo.
Oh man I want that shirt, that is great. (Sign of approval) (Nodding yes...)
The Lawson Store in Kachigawa, Kasugai
Nagoya Basho Day 3.
Thank you for your support and all the comments.
The picture above shows the Lawson Store in Kachigawa,
which is right near the Tamanoi lodgings in Nagoya.
There is a sign saying, "Gambare! Tochiazuma-zeki" at the entrance and, inside the store,
there are a Tamanoi Beya poster and a message board.
We come to Nagoya only once a year,
and we really feel encouraged to see people show support for us like this.
This is a store that we frequent on a daily basis,
so those of you that live nearby, please
visit the Lawson Kachigawa Store!
If you see any of us, feel free to talk with us.
By the way, here is the Tamanoi poster.
The poster was printed just this month so there are not that many displayed.
If there are any stores that would showcase the poster,
we would appreciate that.
As for the sales of the T-shirts, that has yet to be determined.
I believe there are lots of details to be taken care of,
so we need to do that first. Once they are cleared for sale,
I will definitely let you know.
I am going to gambarize in my bout tomorrow.
I am Thirty!
The picture is from our trip to Okinawa in January when I got a bit sloshed.
I appreciate all the congratulatory comments that I have been recieving since yesterday.
Thanks to all of you, I've managed to turn 30 years-old today.
When I got up this morning, Toshinyama-san shook my hand and said,
"Welcome to the 'Over the Hill Gang.'"
I'm sort of happy, yet I feel it's a rather odd and uncertain age to be.
I am extremely pleased that so many presents have arrived at the heya since this morning.
Thank you all very much!
The basho has just begun!
I shall gambarize again tomorrow!
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