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02/03/07

Eho-Maki

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Good evening! This is Tooyama.

Today is Setsubun!

I went to Hoshoji in Hachioji to do the bean-tossing!

After I got back to the heya, I went to Fukusushi, which you may be familiar with from the blog, to eat . . .

Eho-maki!

This year, the direction is North by Northwest

so without further ado . . .

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Chomp! Munch! Urgghhh . . .

I thought I was about to choke . . .

* The Eho-Maki was so big and thick that I thought the chef was hazing me. (Sweat)

Well, I did some mame-maki and I ate some Eho-maki!

I hope good things will happen this year!!

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Tamanoi Beya

Note: After mame-maki, the beans are picked up. It is believed that eating the same number of beans as one's age would bring good luck. In parts of Western Japan, people eat Eho-maki (sushi roll) while facing the direction which is designated each year from which the god of the New Year will enter. This year, as Tooyama writes, it is NNW.

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「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama

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Why Eho Maki and why isn't it cutted?

Is it just for the show that he eats it as roll or has it to be eaten like that?

(Sushi-hobby-cook wants to know) (I am not worthy...)

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Why Eho Maki and why isn't it cutted?

Is it just for the show that he eats it as roll or has it to be eaten like that?

(Sushi-hobby-cook wants to know) (I am not worthy...)

Part of Setsubun tradition is to eat Eho-maki, uncut, facing the special direction of that year (I do not know how this is derived), and to do so quickly and without talking. I think some of the special parts of the tradition (not talking maybe?) vary for local customs. The little ritual is supposed to give good luck for the rest of the year, and seal the deal of frightening off the oni [demons]. At least, this is my gaijin understanding.

-Jeremiah

[edit: almost forgot too mention, it usually has egg inside and it's somehow *really* yummy to eat it as a roll (I am not worthy...) Also good to break out the compass at least once a year.]

Edited by kaiguma

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Why Eho Maki and why isn't it cutted?

Is it just for the show that he eats it as roll or has it to be eaten like that?

(Sushi-hobby-cook wants to know) (I am not worthy...)

The Eho-Maki is supposed to represent the big metal stick (kanabo) that the demon (oni) drops when chased out on setsubun. "Macho Man" Tooyama is gobbling up the big thick goblin stick so it can't be used again.

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02/07/07

Chris's Story

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Good evening! This is Tooyama.

Today, I am going to tell you a story about Chris.

He is the one playing with kendama (not kintama!) in the above picture.

It looks like, with guidance from kendama sensei, Isoazuma, he can put the ball in the large cup.

Well, let's get to Chris's story, which took place the other evening at around six o'clock.

With just a throw-away "I'm off to kyokai," he departed from the heya.

In sumo when one says kyokai, he means Japan Sumo Association, "Kyokai."

Just as everyone was wondering where he went since the Kyokai couldn't be open at that hour,

Chris came home at around 8 p.m.

"Hey! Where've you been? The Kyokai must be closed." (A certain ani-deshi)

"I did go there! To kyokai!" (Chris)

Only after an excited exchange did we find out he meant kyokai--as in, church.

Then he told us about what happened at church.

Apparently, Chris hadn't prayed since he joined the heya (* I think he meant he hadn't been to Mass) and had pretty much given up any hope [of going] when he saw a billboard the other day at the Nishi Arai Train Station. He pointed at it and asked, "Tashiro-san! What is that?"

I told him it was a Christian church.

"Really! They have them in Japan too?"

He was so happy and he went there ASAP.

Chris's full name is Christiano Ruis de Souza.

It seems the name, Christiano, means something special in Christianity, so at church right after worship service, the pastor asked him, "Chris-san, please say a few words [to the congregation]."

It was all of a sudden and he didn't know what to say, so he recited a Bible verse in Portuguese.

"When I read the passage, everyone started praying! It was great!"

Afterwards, he had a chat with the pastor.

Pastor - "How old is the oyakata?"

Chris - "Oyakata is 63 years old."

Pastor - "What is the retirement age [for oyakata]?"

Chris - "I dunno."

Pastor - "There is no retirement age for a "bokushi."

Chris - "Wow! You know about boxing?"

Pastor - " . . . . . "

I guess he misunderstood what the pastor said.

He must have confused bokushi (pastor) with "bokushingu" (boxing).

However, his Japanese has been getting much better, but

recently, it seems he has forgotten some of his Portuguese.

He told me he forgot how to say, "It hurts" in Portuguese.

Could somebody please help him.

So goes a tale of our dear Chris.

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Tamanoi Beya

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「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama

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02/12/07

Snowball Fight Tour

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Good evening! This is Tooyama.

We participated in the International Snowball Fight that was held from the 10th to the 12th in Uonuma City in Niigata Prefecture.

The picture above shows Teruazuma-san and Amanowaka-san at the snow festival venue, Koide Ski Slopes

It was a great trip again this time.

To all the people who participated,

Thank you very much!

I wonder if all of you have gotten home by now?

I will update the details of the snowball fight at a later date.

Please look forward to it!

To the folks of Uonuma City, thanks for your hospitality!

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Tamanoi Beya

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「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama

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02/14/07

Snowball Fight Tour - Part 1

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Hello! This is Tooyama.

Snowball Fight Tour Part 1

As we did last year, we again went to Uonuma City in Niigata.

We had heard rumors that there wasn't much snowfall this year.

But, if you take a look at the picture above, that's plenty of snow for someone who is not from the snow country.

This year, we had inaugarated a plan for the fans, Join the Rikishi in a Snowball Fight Tour, a bus excursion of 3-days and 2-nights.

I took a huge amount of pictures, so I am going to select some of them

and post them a few at a time.

For this tour, 12 members of the public joined the oyakata, okamisan, seven rikishi and staff members for a group of nearly 40 that took off from Tamanoi Beya by bus to Niigata.

As we did not have a bus guide (due to budgetary reasons?), yours truly, Tooyama, was drafted for that duty.

As for the rikishi that participated,

there were seven: Teruazuma, Toshinyama, Amanowaka, Yoshiazuma, Takaazuma, Oazuma and Tooyama.

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For Takaazuma, who is from Brazil, it was his first trip to the ski slopes and he was amazed by the amount of snow.

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Amanowaka, Oazuma and Tooyama surrounded by local elementary school kids.

BTW, we wore clogs but were able to keep our footing.

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A footrace in the snow with the kids. Amanowaka (in blue sweatshirt) and Tooyama take a tumble at the start.

Hey, I didn't push him . . . not really.

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Yoshiazuma and Takaazuma riding the lift at the Koide Ski Slopes.

Behind them are the rooftops of Uonuma (formerly Koide-cho). It was quite a lovely view.

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I got on the lift too but I have acrophobia . . . That's Teruazuma in the back.

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A souvenir shot under the lift with Teruazuma and Amanowaka.

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The ski jump by the slopes.

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We all went up the ski jump to slide down on rubber tires.

In the pictures, it doesn't look that high up, but

it's equivalent to the third or fourth floor of a building in height.

It was scary as heck . . .

However, the folks from the tour kept sliding down with aplomb.

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Takaazuma inside an "igloo" in front of Murakami-ya, our lodgings for this trip.

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That night, we went to the Snowball Fight Eve Mixer, where the locally-produced sake, Midorikawa was free for the asking. Amanowaka was guzzling the stuff from a domburi. You can just imagine what happened afterwards. It was amazing to say the least.

"Hey, I'm going on the ski sloops!!!" (Amanowaka)

What the heck are "ski sloops"???

Continued in Part 2.

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Tamanoi Beya

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「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama

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Oh well...going there after having sake....

but there is a nice saying in German "God is with the drunk and with the stupid" -so I guess and hope nothing happened...

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02/16/07

Snowball Fight Tour - Part 2

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Hello! This is Tooyama.

Snowball Fight Tour Part 2 - Ski Sloops

As for the picture above, it shows the "ski sloops" that Amanowaka was screaming about in his drunken stupor in Part 1. (Laugh)

I had wanted to take some pictures of the drunken Amanowaka, but

he was squirming around and would not hold still at all . . .

On the day before the snowball fight, Koide Ski Slopes were open without charge to the public and one could also ride the lifts for free.

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I didn't do any skiing but I wanted, at least, to look the part.

By the way, I was wearing a short-sleeved shirt. I would sweat too much if I wore a coat.

For some reason . . . I didn't feel cold at all. In fact, there was steam coming off my body . . . (Laugh)

For the Tochiazuma T-shirt I am wearing, check over here.

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At the Koide Slopes, there was a festival on the eve of the snowball fight, and the local children skiied around with fireworks in their hands. They also lit afire the pile of straw you see in the middle of the picture. They roasted squid on the open flame.

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And the fireworks!! They were unbelievably beautiful!

Back to the story of the inebriated Amanowaka,

We felt it would be dangerous, so Chris was supposed to have put him on a bus [back to the hotel].

In any case, with that out of our mind, we had an enjoyable time riding on snowmobiles and sledding down the slopes.

Suddenly, an employee of Uonuma City came and said:

"I'm sorry to inform you that there is a sumo-san collapsed at the bottom of the hill!"

"Oh, no! It can't be!"

We hurried down the hill and there he was . . .

Amanowaka, who was supposed to be on the bus . . .

"Are you okay?" - Tooyama

"Arrrgh! Ski sloops . . ."

Our first thought was that he got off the bus to, one way or another, get to the slopes.

However, the truth was that Chris put Amanowaka on another tour's bus

and poor Amanowaka was asked to get off.

Well, that's good ole Amanowaka!

Next Episode - The Thrilling . . .

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Why is the guy wearing a suit?

Snowball Fight! I beg you not to miss it!

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Tamanoi Beya

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「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama

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02/19/07

The Snowball Fight

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Hello! This is Tooyama.

Here it is!

Snowball Fight Tour, Part 3 - The Battle

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We participated in the snowball fight with the folks that joined us on the tour.

By the way, the one wearing the #5 bib and the straw hat is the captain.

I'll explain the rules simply. The contest is five against five.

If a male contestant gets hit three times or a female or child five times, he/she is eliminated.

There is an official assigned to each contestant to count the number of "hits."

If the captain is eliminated, the fight is over at that point.

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That's Teruazuma, the capatin in another contest.

The kid in front of him is on the same team, but doesn't it look like Azuma is aiming at him?

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This time, we had matching outfits!!

The shirts that Tooyama, Toshinyama and Yoshiazuma are wearing are the

DOSKOI SNOWBALL FIGHT! T-shirt

Those who are interested can click on the above line.

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There was even a booth for T-Shirt-ya.com from Okinawa.

The picture is of Shota, a purebred Okinawan . . .

who had never seen a flake of snow before! Details from the snowball fight

were written up in their blog. It's quite interesting.

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One of the features of this event was the Chanko Nabe

We again prepared 800 portions this year. Eating chanko in cold weather makes it even more delicious!

Everything so far reads like an ordinary blog, but

now comes the part you've been waiting for

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It's sort of hard to see, but all seven rikishi are participating in a snowball fight.

It was an exhibition match against the champions of the children's division.

The official rules were totally ignored!!

Don't you think the guys second and third from the right are kinda strange??

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Upon closer look, they're Amanowaka and Oazuma. Everyone is using Amanowaka as a target.

Why is he wearing a suit???

Something's weird. Closer scrutiny shows

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He's wearing a mawashi with only the front of a suit!!

Amazing!

But, look at Oazuma behind him.

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Aren't those guys cold?

Wearing mawashi with black rubber boots is a rather strange fashion statement . . . (Laugh)

Later,

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He was pelted as everyone's target until he cried out . . .

"You guys trying to kill me?!?" - Amanowaka

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Look at this outfit!

Next time, we will have the conclusion!

Look forward to it.

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Tamanoi Beya

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「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama

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02/24/07

Snowball Fight Tour - Conclusion

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Good evening! This is Tooyama.

This is the final update of the snowball fight tour.

The picture above shows the rikishi having something to eat.

What were they eating?

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Koide special--Hegi soba! and Katsu-don.

There was a huge quantity of food but we managed to consume all of it in no time.

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After the snowball fight, we immersed our chilled bodies in the onsen!!

Last year, we enjoyed the alfresco bath . . .

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Shibuya got so carried away he dove into the snow. (Laugh)

If you compare the amount of snow from last year to this year, you can see how much more there was last year.

Afterwards, we had a banquet at the inn.

Amanowaka, who was drunk as skunk the night before . . .

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was making strange faces as he was drinking beer.

And the guy had just resolved: "I'm not touching another drop."

He kept on guzzling one after another until he was . . .

once again, in a drunken stupor.

*We're sorry he caused so much trouble to the members of the tour.

The next day

we visited a natto factory.

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Oazuma and Amanowaka intently watching natto being processed.

The natto produced here is chunky and super delicious.

Natto is supposed to be good for your health.

There was even a TV program on that recently . . . (Sweat)

According to the owner of the natto factory, because of all the hoopla on television,

"We had a wonderful, dream-like two weeks last month! He he he."

The bus then took us to a tour of a wine cellar and after a stop-over at a souvenir store,

we headed back to Tokyo via the bumper-to-bumper Kan-Etsu Expressway . . .

Once again,

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Yours truly, Tooyama, took over the task of bus guide.

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Amanowaka serenaded us with three karaoke songs.

Thus concluded the snowball fight tour.

BTW, one of the songs he sang was [Japanese version of] "Deputy Dog." (Laugh)

We would like to thank the many people who supported us on this tour.

We truly appreciated all the "courageous" folks that participated in the tour.

I plan to post some video of the tour activities at a later date.

Please be a little more patient.

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Tamanoi Beya

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「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama

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02/25/07

Off to Osaka!

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Hello! This is Tooyama.

We are about to leave for Osaka on the Shinkansen bullet train!

Bye! We're off now.

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Tamanoi Beya

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「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama

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03/01/07

Banzuke Announcement

Hello! This is Tooyama.

This is an update from Osaka.

In Tokyo, we have cable and high-speed internet connection but at a regional basho, we use Willcom (PHS) so

the connection is considerably slower. We've been futzing around ever since we got to Osaka and finally got the connection to the internet working yesterday. I apologize if my replies to your e-mail have been delayed.

I would like to announce the Osaka Basho Banzuke Rankings for all the Tamanoi Beya rikishi.

Tochiazuma West Ozeki

Yoshiazuma makushita west 13

Tooyama makushita west 27

Shibuya makushita east 37

Tokiryu makushita east 44

Teruazuma makushita west 60

Toshinyama sandanme west 7

Karatsuumi sandanme east 45

Daiseiko sandanme west 48

Isoazuma sandanme west 58

Takaazuma sandanme west 59

Ikeda sandanme east 63

Nishitani jonidan east 21

Amanowaka jonidan east 36

Ikinoshima jonidan west 57

Hoshiazuma jonidan west 58

Oazuma jonidan east 74

Azumaoshu jonokuchi west 6

Hamaazuma jonokuchi east 7

Fujiazuma banzuke-gai (injured, scheduled to return in May)

In addition, there are two shin-deshi joining us this basho!

They are Mise-kun and Takahashi-kun.

I'll introduce them later. Please be patient.

While we have the good news about the shin-deshi, there is also sad news that I have to report.

Gyoji Kimura Takayoshi, who was just promoted to sandanme-kaku last basho had to leave the Kyokai due to personal reasons. Thank you for supporting him all this time.

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Tamanoi Beya

Note: New deshi Mise Kota was recruited personally by Tochiazuma. In anticipation of his father's retirement and his taking over the heya, Tochiazuma has been scouting for prospective deshi for the past few years.

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「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama

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03/03/07

TV Program Announcement

Good evening! This is Tooyama.

On Tuesday, March 6 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Okusan (Lady of the House) is a Gaijin - TV Tokyo

will be televised live from the Osaka Tamanoi Beya!

Don't miss it!

In addition, there is an announcement of a magazine article.

PINKY - April issue

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Please look at page 41.

Yours truly, Tooyama, makes an appearance--albeit, it is a teeny one. (Laugh)

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Tamanoi Beya

---------------------

「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama

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Please look at page 41.

Yours truly, Tooyama, makes an appearance--albeit, it is a teeny one. (Laugh)

Any chance to catch it online?

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03/10/07

Haru Basho Begins Tomorrow

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Hello! This is Tooyama.

Did you watch the TV program on the 6th?

Haru Basho finally gets underway tomorrow.

The picture above is of the Shiroboshi Onigiri presented to us

by Fukusushi of Adachi-ku on the morning we left for Osaka.

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From left: Shindeshi Mise-kun and Takahashi-kun with Oazuma and the owner of Fukusushi.

The two of them will debut in mae-zumo starting on Day 2 of this basho.

I will provide detailed profiles at a later date.

For 15 Days Starting Tomorrow, We Shall Gambarize!

We Are Counting On Your Support!

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Tamanoi Beya

---------------------

「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama

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03/15/07

Mae-Zumo

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Picture: L- Mise; R- Takahashi. Photo taken prior to mae-zumo.

Good evening! This is Tooyama.

It is already Day 5 of Osaka Basho.

Today, they held the Ichiban Shusse Presentation.

Some of you may have seen it, but Mise, who joined our heya this basho,

achieved Ichiban Shusse.

Mise is an alumnus of the sumo powerhouse, Kanazawa Municipal High School of Technology, and

had distinguished himself at the Inter-High tournaments and the National Games (Kokutai).

He achieved Ichiban Shusse without any difficulty. He has a very promising future.

Takahashi won his first bout with some good sumo but lost today and

unfortunately did not make Ichiban Shusse.

However, he is fifteen years old and already 187 cm tall.

At keiko, he is holding his own against ani-deshi who had joined a year earlier.

We can look forward to his future development.

Please support the two newcomers to the Tamanoi Beya!

* Nishitani, who injured his knee in a bout the other day, had to go kyujo starting from today.

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Tamanoi Beya

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「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama03/01/07

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03/20/07

Shusse Presentation

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Hello! This is Tooyama.

Haru Basho Day 10

The picture above shows Takahashi, who joined our heya this basho,

during Niban Shusse Presentation.

Following Mise, who was presented earlier, Takahashi also won his bouts and passed mae-zumo.

Other records of Tamanoi rikishi:

As of today, Day 10, the following six have achieved kachi-koshi

Yoshiazuma

Shibuya

Hoshiazuma

Oazuma

Azumaoshu

Hamaazuma

Five more days!

We will gambarize!

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Tamanoi Beya

---------------------

「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama

Edited by madorosumaru

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03/21/07

Thanks to Y'all

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Hello. This is Tooyama.

Haru Basho Day 11

Thanks to your support, I achieved kachi-koshi!

I lost yesterday in such a regrettable manner that I'm glad I was able to win today.

There is still one more bout remaining. I shall gambarize!

The rikishi from our heya that reached kachi-koshi today are

Tokiryu

Tooyama

In addition, Tochiazuma-zeki got kachi-koshi yesterday and escaped from kadoban.

All the guys who remained at the heya watched on TV and shouted, "Awright!" at the moment of his victory.

Information for Senshuraku Wrap Up Party

Starting from 7 p.m. after the conclusion of Haru Basho senshuraku, a Wrap Up Party will be held at the

Mitsui Urban Hotel Osaka Bay Tower.

Those who are not koenkai members can attend by paying a fee (10,000 yen per person. Souvenir included.)

We are awaiting your participation!

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Tamanoi Beya

---------------------

「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama

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From the Tochiazuma Blog:

On Behalf of Tochiazuma-zeki

This is Tooyama. I just received a call from Tochiazuma-zeki himself. He said, "I am very sorry to worry all of you fans. I still have a bit of a headache but I am fine (daijobu)."

Thank you all for the many comments of encouragement since yesterday. (Ed: 344 yesterday and 156 so far today.)

I will update again when I get more details.

Note: Azuma is still in an Osaka hospital. According to his father, Tamanoi Oakata, "He can now converse normally and his blood pressure is down. His head still hurts but his enlarged heart is daijobu for now. He is passing the time watching television."

He is expected to leave the hospital on the 25th, the day of senshuraku. When he returns to Tokyo, he will undergo further tests with his regular doctors.

Edited by madorosumaru

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03/26/07

Thank You For All The Support!

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Good evening. This is Tooyama.

Yesterday was Haru Basho Senshuraku.

Thanks again for all the cheers this basho!

As a result of your support, 12 Tamanoi rikishi led by Tochiazuma-zeki achieved Kachi-Koshi and two managed to pass Mae-zumo!

However, as many of you are aware, Tochiazuma-zeki had to go kyujo due to illness during the basho.

He had just escaped kadoban by going kachi-koshi, but the relief was only momentary before we were shocked by the news.

We hope he can return in healthy form to the dohyo.

The picture above shows a scene from the Senshuraku Wrap Up Party.

Tokiryu and Shibuya performed a dance as did Takaazuma.

Kataoka-san, formerly of the Hanshin Tigers [baseball team], also participated.

It was a very festive party.

Thanks to all that attended!

Those of you who were not able to attend, please join us next time.

Today, we began the cleaning up of the lodgings and dismantling of the keiko-ba that we used for the past month.

We first started with the training facilities today.

Since we use it only once a year, we remove all the tawara and pull out the teppo pole.

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Then,

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*The above picture is from last year.

We place metal beams on top of the dohyo.

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* The picture is from last year.

And lay the wooden flooring and the carpet on top of that.

Normally, this area is used as a meeting room for the shrine.

Only during this period in March does it become a dohyo.

Isn't that amazing!

We have a week off starting from today!

Just as I was planning to have some fun in Osaka,

I started having a runny nose from the morning of Senshuraku.

It wouldn't stop so I went over to the hospital after my bout and

was prescribed the following medication . . .

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T-T-Tamiflu!?

Ya gotta be kidding?

The doctor said, "You have influenza A."

Then, he told me, "As for the medicine, I gave you something called Tamiflu, which has been

in the news recently. Whether you take it or not is totally up to you."

B-b-but, I've already taken three pills! (Sweat)

Well, I suppose I'm not a teenager any more. (Laugh)

Fortunately, I saw the doctor early so I didn't get a fever and my nose stopped running.

At this moment, I don't have any symptoms at all.

But, for the time being, I am going to take it easy and behave myself . . .

Everyone, please take care of yourself!

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Tamanoi Beya

---------------------

「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama

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T-T-Tamiflu!?

Ya gotta be kidding?

The doctor said, "You have influenza A."

Then, he told me, "As for the medicine, I gave you something called Tamiflu, which has been

in the news recently. Whether you take it or not is totally up to you."

In case some people may not be following news in Japan, there are reports that teenager who have been prescribed and taken Tamiful jumped out of building and injured or died.

Apparently the medication may bring a confusion to teenage patients and cause them to fall off from a tall building.

However there is also a report that a teen flu patient who has not taken Tamiful has fallen off of a building as well as non-teen patients suffering similar symptoms.

So I finally figured out what happened to Chiyotaikai and Asashoryu on the Senshuraku as they were known to have been suffering from a flu this basho and they may have taken spoonfuls of Tamiful. At their tachiai, they were so confused that they fell flat on their face all on their own.

Medetashi, medetashi.

Now that this whole thing has been resolved, we can move on to see what April Fool can bring us this year.

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04/04/07

Caricatures

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Hello. This is Tooyama.

We finally finished unpacking all the luggage so I am going to do the update that I had wanted to do from Osaka.

I found something [interesting] at the keiko-ba in Osaka.

It's the notebook that you see above.

It contains an assortment of sketches of faces.

One of them is . . . ↓↓

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Do you know who this is? I took the picture with a cell phone camera so I'm sorry it's a bit blurry.

The correct answer is Daiseiko.

Normally, this notebook is used to keep track of the number of bouts during keiko.

How many bouts each rikishi had is written in the book, using the character 「正」 (which has five strokes).

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But, on a page in that notebook, we found this caricature.

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Who is it?

Can you tell?

Perhaps, it would be easier to tell this way . . . ↓↓

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Note the gangly look.

It's Oazuma! (laugh)

Next!

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This one is easy to tell.

The distinctive nose.

Karatsuumi is correct!

Finally, we have . . .

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This is a perfect caricature.

It is Takaazuma!

Now, who is responsible for drawing these caricatures?

All of you must be curious as heck.

There is no one at Tamanoi Beya that can outdo this guy in mischievous doodling . . .

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The culprit is Isoazuma!

He is working on another one today and Takaazuma is being forced to cooperate.

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Tamanoi Beya

---------------------

「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama

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04/11/07

Shake-a, Shake-a . . .

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Hello. This is Tooyama.

In the evenings, we at the heya do our physical workouts.

While we are all sweating through the training session, there is one guy that is taking his workout more seriously than the others.

After he finishes his bench presses and dumbbell lifts, he would ride the stationary bike for 30 minutes.

To finish it off, he would get on this certain machine.

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A closer look reveals that it is Karatsuumi.

He is a 19-year-old youngster whose weight has soared since he joined sumo.

We understand that it is now up to around 165 kg.

In three years, he has gained 40 kg.

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What he is standing on is the current rage--"The Body Shaper Machine."

It looks like one can expect a good diet effect,

but apparently, it also has a massaging effect.

5 minutes of shaking on it

leaves you with a very pleasant feeling.

Karatsuumi has a very large rear end. He must be conscious of it since

he spends a lot of time on the machine.

To change the story a bit . .

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This picture is from a CD by a Hawaiian singer named "Israel."

* It is not Konishiki-zeki.

The folks from Hawaii have large hips and Karatsuumi is getting a physique like a Hawaiian.

The other day, I got hold of a photo Ikeda took in Osaka.

He shot it as Karatsuumi was coming out of the bath after he had washed his hair. He thought "The guy looks like a Hawaiian!" and wrapped a yukata with hibiscus prints around his waist.

Here is the picture ↓↓

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It's a Hawaiian Karatsuumi!

Bonus Picture

I forgot there was another photograph. I'll include it now.

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Last night, after we had eaten at Fukusushi,

we stopped by on the way home at a barbecue restaurant, Gyushin, that we frequent.

We had just finished dinner, but here he is eating a Stone-cooked Bi Bim Bap.

It sure doesn't look like he's trying very hard to lose weight . . .

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Tamanoi Beya

---------------------

「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama

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04/13/07

Fishing Team

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Hello. This is Tooyama.

In Tokyo, the cherry blossoms have scattered and the trees are left with only the leaves.

However, we are still having some rather chilly days.

Please, everyone, take care of yourself and don't catch a cold.

As for today's blog, I would like to write something on fishing.

Some time ago, I wrote a blog about Isoazuma and Yoshiazuma-san fishing near our Kyushu Basho lodgings.

"The Compleat Angler" - Isoazuma (*the title of the previous blog)

There are a number of rikishi at Tamanoi Beya that love to fish.

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*Isoazuma with a bonito (katsuo) that he caught during the Kumejima trip last year.

We just received some fishing team T-shirts from the drummer of the Okinawan group Mongol 800.

They are emblazoned with the name Tetrapots!

The T-shirts the two guys are wearing at the top are what I am talking about.

The design on the front is quite spiffy in itself, but take a look at what's printed on the back . . .

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There is a conversion table of floats and weights and a scale to measure the size of the fish that are caught.

*Uhh, Chris is measuring the length of a fried fish . . .

As for the T-shirts, a store will be opening on April 15 in Okinawal

For details, take a look at the home page. ↓↓↓↓

www.tetrapots.com

Those of you who love fishing, or even those that don't, please try the Tetrapot T-shirts.

The other day, we encountered a certain person.

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It was [actor/entertainer] Gashuin Tatsuya (formerly Wakato Akira)- san.

Yoshiazuma-san and I thought we'd invite him to join our fishing team, but . . .

He said, "Well, when I go to places like Atami, they call me something like

'Tetrapot Akira'" (Laugh)

In that case, we better ask him to be the honorary chairman of the fishing team.

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Tamanoi Beya

---------------------

「世界の相撲ファンのみなさん、

これからも宜しくお願いします!」- 東桜山

"Sumo fans from around the world,

I hope for continued good relationship in the future." - Tooyama

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