View Full Version : Sumo

old jong
07-26-2001, 06:42 AM
Due to the MMA/NHB fad,Sumo is not what it used to be popularity wise! So it is looking for ways to regain some credibility in the public!
Is it in the good direction? :confused:

07-26-2001, 12:17 PM
I would say that's a frightening direction.

I watch the sumo matches on ESPN. Anybody else?

K. Mark Hoover

08-27-2001, 02:50 AM
I watch it when I'm in Japan. I'd really love to get to see the January Tournaments in Tokyo but my wife is not to keen on the Big Men strutting their stuff. :(

01-02-2003, 08:56 AM
I saw a cool sumo turnament on ESPN. "The Moose" won. He weighs like 525 pounds. The other guys were all around 350. It got pretty aggresive, lots of slapping and Judo like tosses besides the fat vs fat pushing. If you were really drunk I bet it would be a great night out, either watching or competing. IN terms of entertainment I'd put it on par with Strongman competitions and a notch above Slamball. Again, some drinking implied

01-04-2003, 10:54 PM
sumo rules!

01-05-2003, 09:58 AM
There are 63 legal moves in sumo. And some how they all look like two giants slapping into oneanother ;).

Qi dup
01-09-2003, 03:29 PM
Originally posted by shaolinboxer
There are 63 legal moves in sumo. And some how they all look like two giants slapping into oneanother ;).

It's true! I enjoy watching sumo when ever I can catch it.

Laughing Cow
01-09-2003, 04:53 PM

Takanohana will be partaking in the New Year Grand Sumo tourney starting this Sunday.

15 Days of Sumo. ;)

01-09-2003, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by Laughing Cow

Takanohana will be partaking in the New Year Grand Sumo tourney starting this Sunday.

15 Days of Sumo. ;)

Taka is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too boring. he's washed up anyway. the moose rules.

Laughing Cow
01-09-2003, 08:03 PM
Originally posted by chingei

Taka is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too boring. he's washed up anyway. the moose rules.

He did quiet well in the last tourney I thought.

But I agree he is getting close to retiring.

Qi dup
01-10-2003, 09:40 AM
THat's for the heads up Laughing Cow! Do you think they will show it on ESPN? I usually only see the highlights it seems.

01-12-2003, 08:42 AM
Day 1


01-13-2003, 06:26 AM
Day 2


01-14-2003, 05:12 AM
Day 3


01-15-2003, 09:18 PM
Day 4


01-19-2003, 07:50 AM

01-20-2003, 04:07 PM
As predicted............


Laughing Cow
01-20-2003, 04:54 PM


Takanohana was awarded a bonus of 130 Million yen ($ 1.2Mill.) and the name of "sumo elder Takanohana".

He is only the 3rd do receive this honour after Taiho & Kitanoumi.
It is only awarded to Rikishi with outstanding careers.

Records set by him:
1.) Youngest wrestler to win the maku****a divison at 16 & 9 month.
2.) Youngest wrestler to enter the Yurio Division
3.)Youngest wrestler to enter the makuuchi division.
4.) Youngest wrestler to defeat a Yokozuna.
5.) Youngest wrestler to win an Emperors cup at age 19.

He will continue to develop new sumo wrestlers most probably at his fathers Dojo.


01-27-2003, 09:30 PM

02-01-2010, 06:14 PM
We don't really have a sumo thread. This is a really odd opener for a sumo thread, but I had no idea where else to put this. You must click the link for the vid.

Promo for Glee’s Japan Premiere Confirms Rumor That the Japanese Are Awesome (http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2010/01/promo_for_glees_japan_premiere.html?imw=Y&f=most-viewed-24h10)

Glee is about to make its debut in Japan and just like Americans, the Japanese make promos in anticipation of such events. But Americans don't make promos like this. Featuring two adorably fat sumo wrestling tweens, retired sumo great Akebono and a cast of fly girls, this promo should result in Super Bowl level ratings. As Akebono would say, "So fun, so Fox!"

02-01-2010, 08:29 PM
We don't really have a sumo thread. This is a really odd opener for a sumo thread, but I had no idea where else to put this. You must click the link for the vid.

A lot of news in the actual Sumo world these days. Asashoryu is once again on the verge of being permanently retired for his brainless antics.

02-02-2010, 02:49 AM
now only if we can get the McMA guys to snip themselves... perhaps that would help the image of the sport and make it more family friendly, which would generate more revenue for the McMA industry - creative marketting 101. :p

02-02-2010, 03:47 AM
now only if we can get the McMA guys to snip themselves... perhaps that would help the image of the sport and make it more family friendly, which would generate more revenue for the McMA industry - creative marketting 101. :p



02-02-2010, 05:54 AM
now only if we can get the McMA guys to snip themselves... perhaps that would help the image of the sport and make it more family friendly, which would generate more revenue for the McMA industry - creative marketting 101.

if we could only get you right wing traditionalist to stop playing Dungeons and dragons and stop eating cheetos and leveling your mage on warcraft we could bring the image of TCMA back up to status quo out of imaginary land.

02-02-2010, 07:20 AM
I've always enjoyed Sumo and had the chance to see some Sumai when I was in Japan centuries ago.
It is a devastating MA, even in its very restricted sport form.

02-02-2010, 07:56 AM
if we could only get you right wing traditionalist to stop playing Dungeons and dragons and stop eating cheetos and leveling your mage on warcraft we could bring the image of TCMA back up to status quo out of imaginary land.martial law will be declared soon enough. :p

02-02-2010, 07:58 AM
maybe that would help on both sides of the fence. ;)

02-02-2010, 09:41 AM
maybe that would help on both sides of the fence.it always does. :D

02-02-2010, 02:50 PM
I've always enjoyed Sumo and had the chance to see some Sumai when I was in Japan centuries ago.
It is a devastating MA, even in its very restricted sport form.

You should keep up on it. Some very interesting developments in the pro ranks lately.

02-02-2010, 06:22 PM
Sumo reminds me of Shuai Jiao, I wonder the connections.


One opponnent is sport and training, ritual/ceremony.

Multiple opponents is battlefield exercise.


02-03-2010, 08:34 AM
You should keep up on it. Some very interesting developments in the pro ranks lately.

Hmmmm, I may just do that.

Scott R. Brown
02-03-2010, 04:34 PM
...Sumo...is a devastating MA, even in its very restricted sport form.

Especially when they fall into/on to the audience!:eek:

02-04-2010, 01:51 AM
Well, that's it. Asashoryu, one of the greatest Yokozuna in modern times has been forced into early retirement for his recent assault against an acquaintance at a bar in a drunken rage.

He more than had it coming, but it's too bad as he was a great rikishi.

taai gihk yahn
02-04-2010, 08:58 AM
Well, that's it. Asashoryu, one of the greatest Yokozuna in modern times has been forced into early retirement for his recent assault against an acquaintance at a bar in a drunken rage.

He more than had it coming, but it's too bad as he was a great rikishi.
from an article on it:

"Despite his ignominious exit, Asashoryu will go down as one of the greatest wrestlers in sumo's 2,000-year history. He has won 25 Emperor's Cups, second only to Taiho with 32, and Chiyonofuji with 31."

ummm, wouldn't that make him third to Taiho?

anyway, full article here (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/feb/04/japan-sumo-champion-asashoryu-retires)

02-04-2010, 09:35 AM
Well, that's it. Asashoryu, one of the greatest Yokozuna in modern times has been forced into early retirement for his recent assault against an acquaintance at a bar in a drunken rage.

He more than had it coming, but it's too bad as he was a great rikishi.

A Sumotori in a drunken rage?
That's crazy talk !!

Scott R. Brown
02-04-2010, 12:18 PM
from an article on it:

"Despite his ignominious exit, Asashoryu will go down as one of the greatest wrestlers in sumo's 2,000-year history. He has won 25 Emperor's Cups, second only to Taiho with 32, and Chiyonofuji with 31."

ummm, wouldn't that make him third to Taiho?

anyway, full article here (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/feb/04/japan-sumo-champion-asashoryu-retires)


02-04-2010, 02:44 PM
I'm a JOURNALIST not a MATHEMATICIAN!!!!you mean you are not in new england politics?? :p

Scott R. Brown
02-04-2010, 08:00 PM
you mean you are not in new england politics?? :p


02-05-2010, 12:47 AM
And now the folks back in Mongolia have started in that it was all a big conspiracy to get him out of the sport before he broke the all-time tournament victory record.

There's always something...

02-05-2010, 05:50 PM
There's always something...yet there is still you to. :D

07-07-2010, 10:11 AM
This first one has vid.

Sumo 'stables' searched in Japan probe (http://www.cnn.com/2010/SPORT/07/07/japan.sumo.scandal/?hpt=C1)
By the CNN Wire Staff
July 7, 2010 10:05 a.m. EDT
Sumo 'stables' searched in Japan probe

Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Wednesday searched sumo training facilities, or stables, as they continue to gather evidence on a widespread gambling scandal that has tarnished Japan's national sport.

Police searched the Onomatsu stable in Chiba prefecture -- the training base of 34-year-old wrestler Ozeki Kotomitsuki who admitted to illegally gambling on professional baseball games -- and the Tokitsukaze stable in Tokyo.

The scandal has rocked sumo wrestling in Japan, where national identity is closely linked to the sport and where top wrestlers can become national heroes.

On Sunday, the Japan Sumo Association dismissed Kotomitsuki and his stable master -- or coach -- Otake.

In addition, Japan's national broadcaster NHK decided that it will not broadcast live the next tournament, scheduled for Sunday. It is the first time in 57 years that NHK will not carry the competition live.

The sumo association has sought to repair the damage. The association's chairman said on the association website that the situation is "unprecedented and critical." He also promised to try to "regain the fan's confidence ... as soon as possible."

Japan police raid sumo stables over gambling scandal (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jcdn8i_gKPZMtBiXwG-2e6uoEZcg)

(AFP) – 12 hours ago

TOKYO — Japanese police raided two sumo stables Wednesday, seeking evidence in their probe of a gambling scandal linked to yakuza crime groups which has rocked the nation's ancient sport.

Police officers in dark suits walked into the Onomatsu and Tokitsukaze stables in Tokyo, where wrestlers have been involved in illegal gambling on baseball games and other sports, footage by public broadcaster NHK showed.

The police were expected to raid some 30 locations linked to the sumo world, including other stables, where wrestlers live and train.

The Japan Sumo Association has admitted that scores of wrestlers had gambled illegally and banned more than 10 from the next tournament starting Sunday in the central city of Nagoya.

Betting in Japan is permitted only on horse racing and certain motor sports.

The association has fired wrestler Kotomitsuki, 34, a high-ranking "ozeki" second only to "yokozuna" grand champions, along with his stablemaster Otake, 42, for taking part in illegal gambling on baseball.

The scandal has shocked the Japanese public, which expects sumo wrestlers and their masters to act as role models.

Japan's state broadcaster NHK, furious over the scandals, said Tuesday it will not air an upcoming sumo tournament, the first time it has scrapped the broadcast since they began in 1953.

Police last month arrested a former wrestler-turned-gangster, Mitsutomo Furuichi, 38, on extortion charges after he had allegedly blackmailed Kotomitsuki, threatening to expose his gambling.

10-19-2010, 09:21 AM
women's sumo?

In Sumo's Push for the Olympics, a Turn Away From Tradition (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/19/sports/19iht-SUMO.html)
Published: October 18, 2010

OSAKA, JAPAN — For years, promoters of sumo have been pushing for the sport’s inclusion in the Olympic Games. To get there, the International Sumo Federation has thrown its weight behind a form of the game that would offend purists and surprise most everyone else: women’s sumo.

The sumo wrestler Miki Satoyama, right, threw her opponent during the heavyweight class of the Japan women’s sumo championships in Sakai city, in southern Osaka on Oct. 3.

Sumo officials have long tried to get their sport, for years identified with giant men with topknots shoving each other in a ring, into the Summer Games. But when the International Olympic Committee declared in 1994 that single-sex sports could no longer qualify as candidates for the Games, that was enough to turn tradition on its head. Since then, sumo has been coming into its own internationally as an equal opportunity sport.

Such a radical change to Japan’s ancient national sport did not come easy, and the initial push came from outside the country. Among those who lobbied the I.F.S., as the sumo federation is commonly known, was Stephen Gadd, the general secretary of the European Sumo Union and president of the Netherlands Sumo Federation.

Men’s sumo first started gaining a following internationally in the mid-1980s as part of a campaign by Japan to spread its culture internationally. More than a decade later, women’s sumo started gaining followers as the I.F.S., which oversees 87 member nations, started pushing for a women’s version of the sport.

“We held the very first women’s sumo tournament with the European Championships in 1996,” he said. “After that, it really took off in Europe.”

While European women, especially those familiar with combat sports, felt no qualms about giving sumo a go, Japanese women had more to contend with than just the Europeans, who outsized them. Their biggest hurdle came from a stigma that can be traced back to the 18th century, when, as entertainment for men, topless women sumo-wrestled blind men. Though this lewd variety eventually faded away in the mid-20th century after being banned repeatedly, a ceremonial form has continued in regional festivals so far out on the fringe of society that it remains virtually unknown.

So when the Women’s Sumo Federation was set up in Japan in 1996, Japanese women were hardly clamoring to get involved, given the common belief that women just do not do sumo. After all, they had always been kept out of legitimate competition because of the sport’s cardinal rule: Women cannot touch or enter the sacred wrestling ring, the “dohyo,” lest they contaminate it with their “impurity.”

“In the professional sumo world,” said Gadd, “women in sumo is as unthinkable as a rabbi sponsoring a pork farm.”

But along with the rise of amateur sumo abroad, women’s sumo in Japan has been making strides. “A growing number of women are involved, certainly in the hundreds,” said Katrina Watts, president of the Australian Sumo Federation and a stadium announcer for sumo events, including the World Championships. “I’d say it’s a good sport for women because it’s a body contact sport without being violent.”

Nowadays, girls can even go to high school or college on a sumo scholarship. And there are women-only tournaments, like the All-Japan Women’s Sumo Championships, which took place this month in Osaka.

Forty of the top sumotori in the country gathered for the 15th edition at the Ohama Park Sumo-jo. Shinsaku Takeuchi, the event’s organizer and head of the Women’s Sumo Federation, said that in recent years women had been getting better and tougher. “Women’s sumo is becoming even more vicious than the men’s,” he said.

Takeuchi explained that what set amateur sumo apart from professional was the inclusion of gender and weight classes and the removal of the religious ceremonies, which are still very much a part of men’s professional sumo. Amateur sumo has also been spared the recent scandals that have tainted professional sumo in Japan, including a baseball betting scandal that laid bare the professional sport’s link with organized crime.

Originally performed as a Shinto ritual to entertain the gods so they would bestow a good harvest, the game dates back well over a thousand years. It is a trial of strength in which 48 techniques may be employed to throw an opponent off balance so he steps out of the ring or falls to the ground. A match begins with a head-on collision, followed by a wild fit of shoving, lifting, throwing, tripping, slapping, yanking or any combination thereof. It is often over in less than 10 seconds but can last a minute or more.

An 18-year-old high school senior from Tottori, Yuka Ueta, was the strongest wrestler of the tournament. At 125 kilograms, or 275 pounds, she plowed her way through five matches in the open weight class, dispatching each opponent within moments to earn her first gold medal in the senior group.

In August, competing among the world’s top sumo wrestlers, she won a bronze medal at the Sportaccord Combat Games in Beijing, her best showing yet at an international tournament. But at the World Championships this past weekend in Warsaw, she did not fare as well, placing fifth in the open weight class. Ueta got into sumo at age 10 when she was encouraged to give it a try. “Normal-sized people can do any sports they like,” she said, “but someone who is heavy doesn’t have many options. Sumo is perfect for this kind of woman. And if she has a complex about her body, that will change with sumo.”

Another powerhouse, Sayumi Sasaki, from Aomori, took her fourth All-Japan gold medal in the 65-kilogram-and-over class. But at 21, she has decided to hang up her loincloth following the Warsaw games, where she was knocked out in the first round by the Russian winner of the heavyweight gold, Anna Zhigalova.

Though Japanese women make up the greatest number of participants, Europeans tend to dominate, which was the case in Warsaw. East Europeans won gold medals in three out of four divisions, and the only Japanese medalist of the tournament was the lightweight Yukina Iwamoto, who took a silver medal, losing to Alina Boykova of Ukraine.

“Foreign players like the Russians and Ukrainians have more passion for sumo than we do and train harder,” said Sasaki. “It’s too difficult to beat them.” Even Yuka Ueta said she was no match for them.

As for the battle to make it into the Olympics, Stephen Gadd says the best chance is if Japan hosts the 2020 games. “Getting into the Olympics will give sumo the push it needs to become a major international sport,” he said. And now that the gender barrier is broken, one less obstacle stands in its way.

02-08-2011, 11:04 AM
It was front page news in yesterday's S.F. Chronicle. I love it when martial arts of any sort make the front page. It's just a shame that it's for a scandal.

Sumo questions wrestlers in bout-fixing scandal (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/02/07/international/i194247S78.DTL)
By ERIC TALMADGE, Associated Press
Monday, February 7, 2011

(02-07) 19:48 PST TOKYO, Japan (AP) --

Japan's sumo association began questioning dozens of top wrestlers Tuesday in a widening investigation into allegations of bout-fixing that have deeply tarnished the image of the nation's ancient national sport.

The Japan Sumo Association said it was quizzing all wrestlers in the sport's two top divisions to find if they were involved in fixing the outcome of matches. It expected to put together an initial report on their findings by the end of the week.

Sports Minister Yoshiaki Takaki said he was deeply concerned by the scandal, in which more than a dozen wrestlers or coaches have been implicated.

Amid a public outcry, the sumo association has decided to cancel its next major tournament — the first time that has happened in 65 years — and forego a number of exhibition or charity events until the matter is resolved.

"Sumo is in a crisis," Takaki said after meeting association officials Tuesday. "We hope for a quick investigation into the nature of this incident."

The latest scandal surfaced last week, when police informed sumo officials they had found suspicious text messages on the mobile phones of several wrestlers. The phones had been confiscated in an investigation into another scandal that came to light last year involving wrestlers betting on baseball games, allegedly with gangsters acting as go-betweens.

The scandal has become a national embarrassment for Japan because sumo is generally seen as a symbol of Japanese culture, and not merely a sport. Unlike other sports, the sumo association has special status that affords it tax benefits, and its wrestlers appear in public clad in traditional robes and wear their hair in top-knots.

There were indications that not all wrestlers were being cooperative with the investigation.

Kyodo news service and Japan's public broadcaster NHK said that some wrestlers had broken or replaced their old phones, possibly to avoid having them checked for incriminating text messages.

One wrestler said his wife stepped on his and broke it, Kyodo reported.

Allegations of match-fixing have long shadowed sumo, but the association has staunchly denied them and none had ever been proven.

02-08-2011, 11:31 AM
Where there is money there is corruption, that's a given.

02-08-2011, 11:39 AM
...oh wait.

shoot. :(


02-09-2011, 07:57 PM
Sumo was just recovering from all the scandals of recent years, and now this...

This is big ... Black sox big, despite the practice being an Ill-kept secret.

02-10-2011, 12:21 PM
I'd be suprised if Sumo didnt have fixed fights, betting and its share of dirty secrets and scandals. Sumo is OLD! All sports have their fair share.

02-19-2013, 10:45 AM
I recently began training sumo. my first competition will be in June. awesome art. until now I thought it was merely a lot of pushing, but the tactics are pretty much judo with no gi and striking is allowed. matches are fast, hard and typically over in less than a minute -kind of sounds like a street fight.

09-18-2013, 01:09 PM
13th Annual US SUMO OPEN - Byamba vs. Kelly (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXhVbxfmrYM#t=56)

09-18-2013, 03:16 PM
I recently began training sumo. my first competition will be in June. awesome art. until now I thought it was merely a lot of pushing, but the tactics are pretty much judo with no gi and striking is allowed. matches are fast, hard and typically over in less than a minute -kind of sounds like a street fight.

how did your comp go?

09-26-2013, 08:35 AM
sux to be the ref sometimes


嘉風の足が行司の顔に命中 常幸龍vs嘉風 2013/09/24 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwdblfV82SA)

01-27-2014, 10:00 AM
Special photo booths let you pose with sumo wrestlers without having to strap on a loincloth (http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/01/25/special-photo-booths-let-you-pose-for-photos-with-sumo-wrestlers-without-stepping-into-the-ring-or-strapping-on-a-loincloth/)
Casey Baseel 3 days ago


Should your visit to Tokyo coincide with a sumo tournament being held in the city, you really owe it to yourself to see the sport in person. Tickets are reasonably priced, the matches are fast-paced and showcase a surprisingly large variety of techniques (many similar to those of offensive linemen in football), and there’s really no way to properly convey the amazing controlled ferocity through a television screen. Best of all, the arena is compact enough that even the cheap seats provide a good view of the action.

And in case you need an added incentive, the venue is now home to two special sticker picture booths, where a little digital photo manipulation allows you to take a snapshot with your favorite sumo wrestler.

As we said, the Kokugikan, Tokyo’s sumo arena in the Ryogoku neighborhood, is intimately sized enough to give spectators plenty of chances to see the competitors, called rikishi, up-close and personal. Still, the big boys are here to slap each other around, not snap pictures with the fans, so it’s unlikely you’ll get the chance to talk one of the sports more prominent figures into taking the time to pose with you.

Instead, visitors to the Kokugikan can make use of two purikura machines, the photo sticker booths that are a mainstay of Japanese video game arcades and entertainment centers. Each machine is loaded with images of the 42 wrestlers of sumo’s top division, the makuuchi.

▼ One of the machines

The Japan Sumo Association showcased the machines through its official Twitter account, with former rikishi and current sumo coach Asakayama demonstrating as he took what he says is his first set of purikura in 20 years.

▼ No, the booth isn’t small. Asakayama is just big.


One round of purikura costs 500 yen (US$4.80), for which shutterbugs get to choose two rikishi to pose with. As has become standard, the machines are operated by touch screens, and after snapping the photo users can add stamps and other decorations.

Asakayama’s first selection was the 23-year-old rising star Endo.


The retired wrestler showed a bit of favoritism with his second choice, posing inside a frame with personal friend Aminishiki, whom Asakayama affectionately calls Ami-tan.


Both machines can be found on the second floor of the stadium. For those of you worried about using up all your stickers, fear not, as a digital copy of the photos can also be sent to your mobile phone for safekeeping.

Stadium information:
Ryogoku Kokugikan / 両国国技館
Address: Tokyo-to, Sumida-ku, Yokoami 1-3-28
〒130-0015 東京都墨田区横網1−3−28 There's a arcade of these Japanese photo machines in the Japantown Kinokuniya mall in S.F. I find it daunting personally as it seems expensive for what you get. But if this machine showed up there, perhaps I'd brave it.

08-07-2014, 12:00 PM

08-11-2014, 11:28 AM
Posted over the weekend to my site and didn't get a chance to post here:

お誕生日おめでとうございます 鶴竜 力三郎 - Happy 29th Birthday Kakuryū Rikisaburō!!


Kakuryū is the 71st Sumo Yokozuna. He is the the fourth Mongolian to do so and the sixth foreign-born yokozuna.

Posted some of his matches as well as a highlights clip in his honor! Enjoy!


09-04-2014, 09:04 AM
who knew?


12-22-2014, 09:45 AM
I'd love to see these guys on a double bill with BabyMetal :D


01-23-2015, 11:30 AM
6:11 pm JST Jan 23, 2015 Sports
Sumo Yokozuna Hakuho Breaks All-Time Championship Win Record (http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2015/01/23/sumo-yokozuna-hakuho-breaks-all-time-championship-win-record/)
By Jun Hongo

Mongolian-born sumo grand champion Hakuho (right) performs a ring-entering ceremony at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo on Jan. 7.
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Sumo grand champion Hakuho broke the all-time tournament win record Friday, clinching his 33rd trophy after winning his bout against Kisenosato.

The match was too close to call the first time around as the wrestlers tumbled out of the ring together and landed at almost exactly the same moment. Referees called for a rematch, and this time Hakuho pushed his opponent out of the ring.

The 29-year-old has maintained a perfect record in the 15-day tournament that began on Jan. 11 and is now 13-0. There are two days still left, but all the other wrestlers competing have at least three losses.

By winning his 33rd tournament, Hakuho put himself one championship ahead of the late Taiho, the legendary yokozuna from the 1960s.

Hakuho started the year tied with Taiho with 32 tournament wins, but it was widely considered a matter of time until he became the sole record holder. He had won five of the six tournaments in 2014 and nine of the past twelve. Harumafuji has the second most championship wins among active sumo wrestlers with six.

Hakuho, who is 192 centimeters (6 feet, 3 inches) tall and weighs 157 kilograms (346 pounds), arrived in Japan from Mongolia in 2000. He was named yokozuna, the highest rank for a sumo wrestler, in 2007, and had an overall record of 880 wins and 186 losses at the beginning of the current tournament.

Taiho was born to an Ukranian father and a Japanese mother on the Russian island of Sakhalin in May 1940. He made his sumo debut in 1956 and became a yokozuna in 1961. He won 872 bouts and lost 182 before retiring in 1971. He died on Jan. 19, 2013, at age 72.

A Mongolian. Congrats!

04-20-2015, 08:59 AM
Shame I didn't hear about this earlier. I'd have loved to grab a selfie with a Sumo champ.

More pix if you follow the link.

Grappling with what to ask 2 famous Japanese sumo wrestlers (http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Grappling-with-what-to-ask-2-famous-Japanese-sumo-6210084.php)

By Tony Bravo Updated 4:29 pm, Sunday, April 19, 2015

People with the Asian Art Museum, retired sumo wrestlers Yamamotoyama Ryuta (AKA: Yama) and Ulambayaryn Byambajav (AKA: Byamba) along with founder of USA Sumo, Andrew F. Freund have lunch in Japanese Inner Sunset restaurant Nabe in San Francisco, Calif., Saturday April 18, 2015. Photo: Sophia Germer, The Chronicle

Photo: Sophia Germer, The Chronicle
Image 1 of 10

The Inner Sunset eatery Nabe is known for serving chankonabe, the hot pot stew famously consumed by Japan’s sumo wrestlers, but the restaurant never played host to any of the culturally revered athletes before Saturday.

“We’re trying to make sure there’s enough ... space for everybody,” assistant manager Kevin Kim said a few minutes before the arrival of Byambajav Ulambayar, known in the sumo world as Byamba, and Ryuichi Yamamoto, known as Yama, for lunch with a group from the Asian Art Museum.

The pair of world champion sumos were in town from Los Angeles for a demonstration of their 2,000-year-old sport at the museum’s One Night in Tokyo fundraiser the evening prior in conjunction with the current exhibition “Seduction: Japan’s Floating World.” Wendy and Richard Yorke were the lucky raffle winners of a lunch date with the wrestlers and USA Sumo director Andrew F. Freund (who also interpreted): They invited friends Alicia Chang, Juliet and Chip Bergh and Helina and Yat-Pang Au to join them.

“The agility of their bodies and incredible feats of athleticism have always fascinated me,” said Yorke, who watched broadcasts of sumo matches growing up in his native England. “Seeing the demonstration last night, I realize that in many ways it (sumo) tells the story of the culture of Japan.”

After most of their lives as sumos, Byamba and Yama are used to being in the public eye and seem especially used to fascination with their diets and size. Mongolian-born Byamba is 6 feet, 1 inch and weighs in at 370 pounds, Yama is considered the heaviest Japanese person in history at 6 feet, 4 inches and 600 pounds. The wrestlers, both 30, eat two big meals a day, forgoing breakfast because of their morning training.

They declined to say how many calories they consume in a day, but Freund told guests to consider how many calories a day the average-size person eats, then multiply that in accordance to the sumo’s size (in a 2014 Yahoo Sport interview, Byamba said he eats 10,000 calories a day).

It’s the nutritional value of chankonabe’s vegetable-rich, high-protein broth that makes it the signature food of the sumo: The calorie count is upped by adding sumo-size portions of rice and noodles as well as more protein-filled fish and meats, eaten in equally large quantities. Yama ordered shabu shabu (thinly sliced beef) with kurobuta pork, extra-spiced, then requested additional garlic; Byamba had the sukiyaki.

Of course, their lunch companions peppered them with questions they’ve probably been asked many times in the past.

How do they fly? One first-class ticket usually works for either sumo; two economy seats can also work, but the leg room is problematic.

Do they drink? Neither would comment, then ordered sake.

What are their favorite foods? Sumo are generally great cooks since they learn to make chankonabe as a young student sumo (Yama began training at 7, Byamba 15) but they also know the risk of empty calories and stick to clean food, with Yama joking his favorite food is rice.

“Are you single?” Helina Au asked. Yama answered yes. Byamba said he was “single in San Francisco.”

“We should set you up!” Juliet Bergh offered, with Au chiming in that she was on the case.

When asked whether or not they were able to wear jeans at their sizes, Byamba said he has a size 46 waist, but Freund pointed out there were usually not a lot of off-the-rack options for Yama’s 76-inch waist.

“What about a pair of custom Levi’s?” Chip Bergh offered. When Freund asked if it was possible to accommodate that on a Saturday during their short trip, Bergh nodded. “I’m the CEO of Levi Strauss.”

After arranging a fitting at the Levi’s store on Market Street Bergh inquired about the possibility of staging a sumo match in Northern California since “We (Levi Strauss) have a stadium now” in Santa Clara.

The fitting at Levi’s necessitated a change of plans: Byamba would now travel alone on his original flight that afternoon while Yama would get measured for a pair of jeans, after which he and Freund would stay on as the Aus’ guests and attend the annual soiree at Oakland’s Crucible art center that evening. After taking Yama’s measurements at Levi’s, tailor Liz Valashinas found to the group’s surprise that there was a pair of existing 74-inch waist jeans in the store.

“They were here as part of a store promotional display,” Valashinas said. Aside from shortening the length and a few customizable details, the pants were a fit.

“I haven’t had a pair of denim pants since middle school,” Yama told the Levi’s team.

The group separated after lunch with the sumo making a photo-op stop at the Japantown Cherry Blossom Festival.

“Everyone should stand next to one of these guys once,” said high school festival volunteer Brittanie North after posing with the sumo and her cousins.

Tony Bravo is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: tbravo@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @TonyBravoSF

04-20-2015, 10:18 AM

I am sorry but I refuse to watch this unless the females wear the traditional attire.

04-21-2015, 11:08 AM
i was pretty disappointed when i read about steroids use in sumo wrestling

07-10-2015, 09:04 AM
Victoria's Brodi Henderson set to enter Japan's elite sumo ranks (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/victoria-s-brodi-henderson-set-to-enter-japan-s-elite-sumo-ranks-1.3146231)
The 20-year-old native of Victoria, B.C., stands 6-feet 7-inches and weighs 360 pounds

By Jim Armstrong, The Associated Press Posted: Jul 10, 2015 7:28 AM PT Last Updated: Jul 10, 2015 7:28 AM PT

In this May 12, 2015 photo, Canadian sumo wrestler Brodi Henderson, whose ring name is Homarenishiki, left, fights against Kadokura during the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo arena in Tokyo. (Kyodo News/The Associated Press)

Canadian Brodi Henderson is set to make his debut as a ranked competitor at the elite levels of Japanese Sumo at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.

The 20-year-old native of Victoria, B.C., who stands six-feet seven-inches and weighs 360 pounds, is hoping his prowess in the remote world of U.S. amateur sumo wrestling will translate into a professional career in the heartland of Japan's ancient sport.

Henderson, whose ring name is Homarenishiki, won the men's openweight title at the U.S. Sumo Open last year. But winning in U.S. amateur sumo and succeeding in a sport steeped in ancient rituals and Japanese tradition are two completely different things.

There are no fist bumps, high-fives or body slams in Japanese sumo. Wrestlers humbly bow to their opponents and are expected to uphold the rigid customs of the ages-old sport. Life outside the ring is just as demanding.
Level-headed headstart

Earlier this year Henderson moved to Japan to begin training at the Nishikido Beya stable, and has competed in one tournament as an unranked fighter.

"Brodi is level-headed, diligent and friendly, which serves him well in Japan," said John Gunning, a sumo analyst who has followed the sport for about 14 years.

"He has the ability to see the bigger picture, which is rare in young athletes, so I think he will be fine. He knows his own weaknesses and is working hard to overcome them."

Henderson posted this photo on Facebook of a night out with the members of the Nishikido stable. (Brodik Henderson/Facebook)

Sumo wrestlers, known as "rikishi" live in communal training stables where all aspects of their daily lives from meals to what they wear are dictated by strict traditions.

Like all the younger wrestlers in the lower ranks, Henderson is required to perform a variety of menial tasks that include cleaning toilets and washing the clothes of senior wrestlers.

That may not be easy for someone who grew up playing American football, ice hockey and was active on social media up until now.

Because Henderson entered the sport at the lowest division of jonokuchi, the Internet is a no-no for now.

But Henderson has already earned a reputation as a self-promoter on instagram, and Facebook, raising questions in the Japanese media about how well he will fit into the sumo culture.
Unique customs

Many foreigners over the years have had trouble grappling with sumo's unique customs.

"It's not for everyone," said Gunning. "The road to the top and lifestyle are much harder than people imagine. Usually, it's the stuff outside the ring and how well foreign rikishi deal with it that determines their fate."

Henderson smiles prior to a sumo tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo arena in Tokyo. (Kyodo News/The Associated Press)

Many sumo purists say foreign wrestlers lack the culture and manners — often described as "hinkaku", or dignity — to reach the higher ranks.

Mongolian Asashoryu reached the highest rank of yokozuna. But his boisterous behavior outside the ring derailed his career. He was eventually forced out of sumo after being involved in several incidents, including in a late-night brawl in Tokyo's Roppongi district.

Hawaiian Akebono also reached the highest rank of yokozuna and was able to adjust to life in Japan. Gunning says Akebono serves as a good role model for Henderson.

"If he can develop a style similar to former yokozuna Akebono I think his chances of a long and healthy career increase exponentially," Gunning said.
North American predecessors

As the only North American in sumo, the spotlight will be on Henderson, who isn't the first Canadian to try his hand at sumo.

In 1985, John Tenta, also a native of British Columbia, fought under the ring name Kototenzan. He got off to stellar 21-0 start but had trouble adapting to life in Japan and retired in 1986.

Brodi Henderson at practice in Japan. (Photo: John Gunning)

His abrupt departure did not go over well with sumo's hierarchy.

Henry Armstrong Miller, the son of an African-American father and Japanese mother, fared better than Tenta. He reached the second-highest juryo division in a career that went from 1988 to 2003.

Miller, who grew up in St. Louis, fought under the ring name Sentoryu, and compiled a career record of 403 wins, 303 losses and 99 draws.

He notched some impressive wins over some of the sport's biggest names in his long career but was forced to retire in 2003 after a series of injuries.

History has proven that brute force does not always guarantee success in sumo, a sport which has over 82 winning techniques known as "kimarite." There have been many smaller wrestlers over the years to rise up the ranks.

Brodi Henderson practices his opening sumo move in his backyard in Victoria, B.C. (Photo: Lee Henderson)

Sumo is now dominated by Mongolians who have a much easier time adapting, having grown up with the country's traditional form of wrestling or "bokh" which is a revered national sport.

Still, Henderson has displayed the right attitude so far, doing everything he can to learn the customs and fit in. No small task for a six-foot-seven Canadian in Japan.

Go Brodi! Hope he does well.

08-06-2015, 08:55 AM

Apparently this is from a new show called Dosu Koi Musical or Sumo Road in English. I....um....well, I got nothing more. :o

09-30-2015, 09:17 AM
There are some nice photos if you follow the link.

SUMO/ U.S. Open slowly grows into event of 'huge' proportions (http://ajw.asahi.com/article/globe/feature/AJ201509270012)
September 27, 2015
By RYUSEI TAKEDA/ Staff Writer

The U.S. Sumo Open has always been Andrew Freund's baby, and in the 15 years since its inception, has bulked up into a major competition with thousands of spectators and wrestlers from around the world.

When Freund, 44, decided to hold the championship, he did much of the preliminary work himself, seeking out companies and individuals to serve as sponsors. He also looked for prominent locations to display posters for the event.

He poured almost all his savings into the U.S. Sumo Open and even hocked his car.

The first event was held in August 2001 at the UCLA John Wooden Center in Los Angeles. There were 25 participants and about 900 spectators.

The inaugural event had one memorable guest--Konishiki, the popular retired sumo wrestler from Hawaii, who rose to the second-highest ozeki rank among the professionals in Japan.

For a brief stretch about 15 to 20 years ago, sumo wrestlers from Hawaii were among those at the highest ranks of sumo, including yokozuna Akebono and Musashimaru. Now, sumo wrestlers from Mongolia make up the largest contingent of foreigners.

Fast forward 15 years and the U.S. Sumo Open has grown into a major event broadcast over a U.S. TV network. In 2014, 57 participants, male and female, from nine nations battled it out in four weight divisions at California State University, Long Beach. About 3,500 people turned out to watch the smacking of bodies into one another and the throwing of wrestlers out of the ring.

Freund believes sumo suits the American attraction for such contact sports as boxing and mixed martial arts. The rules of sumo are also so simple that anyone can understand who wins after only about five minutes of watching, Freund said. Wrestlers win by pushing their opponent out of the circle that makes up the dohyo or throwing them onto the dirt surface. Most matches are over within seconds.

Freund said such factors avoid boring American spectators, who tend to lose interest quickly.

Freund himself became interested in sumo about 25 years ago when he lived in Japan for a year as an English teacher. He thought watching a sumo tournament would help him better understand Japanese culture.

Not knowing when the top makuuchi division wrestlers competed in the tournament, held at Tokyo's Kokugikan, Freund arrived early in the morning when the lowest jonokuchi and jonidan division wrestlers faced off. Looking at the young, and comparatively slender, aspirants who made up those divisions, Freund felt even he could beat some of them.

Seven years later, Freund had an opportunity to put on the sumo mawashi (belt) in the United States. At an event introducing various Japanese martial arts, Freund was called up to the dohyo and took on his friend, who weighed more than 100 kilograms. At that time, Freund weighed 63 kg. Although he lost more bouts than he won, Freund was hooked.

He said he found sumo to be an interesting challenge because it involved more than just physical strength.

The following year, Freund started a sumo club at UCLA where he taught. He learned sumo terminology and winning techniques through books and TV programs. He also practiced with a Bulgarian who at one time won the lightweight division in the world amateur sumo championship.

The club expanded to more than 20 members after a few years. That was when Freund decided to hold the U.S. Sumo Open to spread further awareness of the sport as well as to give his club members a competition to work toward.

Freund still manages a club that holds practices in the suburbs of Los Angeles. The participants wear shorts under the mawashi (sumo belt). A simple mat ring is spread out on a gym floor with the dohyo boundary pinned down with a fastener.

The practice involves ceremonial techniques used in sumo in Japan, such as raising one leg sideways high into the air before stomping it down onto the mat.

The lone female participant at a recent practice, Jenelle Hamilton, 34, said concentration and effort made it possible for her to defeat even much larger opponents. Not only did she repeat as champion in the women's lightweight division in this year's open held in August, but Hamilton also won the women's openweight division.

Another individual who has helped raise the popularity of sumo in the United States is Byambajav Ulambayar, 30, who is originally from Mongolia.

He once was a member of the Shibatayama stable in Japan and rose to the third-highest maku****a division after about five years. However, after injuring his right knee, he decided he wanted to experience other worlds and quit sumo.

He did make a name for himself in amateur sumo and won the heavyweight division in 2006 and 2007 in the world amateur sumo championship.

He now fights under the name Byamba and has even appeared in TV commercials. Although he won the heavyweight division in the U.S. Sumo Open for eight consecutive years until 2014, his streak was stopped in this year's tournament.

Byamba learned the fundamentals of sumo while occasionally training with Mongolian Harumafuji when he was just starting out. Harumafuji is now a yokozuna.

In spring 2014, Byamba joined with Freund for an intensive three-day training session in the United States. More than 20 people showed up, wanting to learn directly from one of the best.

Byamba said there are many wrestlers in the United States who are much larger than he is, but they tend to only rely on their strength and do not have the lower body strength that gives sumo wrestlers the impression of being heavier than they look.

Freund has taken his show on the road to explain sumo to beginners. With Byamba demonstrating the moves used in bouts, the American audience learns the finer details of sumo while also enjoying a Japanese meal. Participants can ask any questions about sumo, and some are even allowed to participate in a bout.

The show has been held in about 10 cities around the United States, including New York and Atlanta. Some have attracted capacity crowds.

Freund is striving to change the stereotype held by many Americans about sumo wrestlers. That comical stereotyped view of sumo wrestlers is of overweight men wearing what appear to be diapers.

Freund feels that sumo is a sport involving athletes with the grace and power of Olympic competitors.

He said he wanted to continue the U.S. Sumo Open for as long as he could as well as spread the attraction of sumo throughout the United States.

11-25-2015, 11:01 AM
deceiving cat - great move. :D

The deceiving cat: Sumo wrestler wins match using “cute” technique, but some are not happy【Video】 (http://en.rocketnews24.com/2015/11/24/the-deceiving-cat-sumo-wrestler-wins-with-a-cute-technique-but-not-everyones-happy-about-it/)
Preston Phro 2 days ago


A sumo wrestler has drawn ire after using the adorably named nekodamashi, or nekodamashi technique to win a match.

Sumo has quite the history in addition to its cultural significance, so it’s hardly surprising that some people in Japan especially have strong opinions about it. Like any sport, there are written rules and then there are unwritten rules, so a wrestler can win using a totally legal move and still **** off plenty of people.

Wrestler Sho Hakuho provided an excellent example of that earlier this month when he won a bout after using the adorably named technique nekodamashi or “deceiving cat” twice in one match.

As unusual as the name may seem, it’s actually quite appropriate when you consider what’s involved. The move basically consists of raising one’s hands and clapping in the opponent’s face, usually at the very start of a match, to distract and throw them off-balance. It’s a risky move to attempt—if the opponent isn’t distracted, the nekodamashi-user will be relatively defenseless—but it’s also considered kind of a cheap trick since, as its name implies, it’s basically a way of tricking your way to victory. Hakuho, a native of Mongoloia, is a yokozuna, the highest sumo ranking, and a record-setting wrestler, so some have called his use of the technique inappropriate.

▼ You can see the bout and slow-motion replay below. In the blink of an eye, Hakuho claps his hands in his opponent’s face and sidesteps him before he even realizes what has happened.


Hideshige Moriya, the chairperson of the Yokozuna Promotion Committee was quoted as saying, “There are some who say there’s nothing to be done if he was really just wanted to win, but for the majority of people, it’s a matter of it not being appropriate for a yokozuna.” Toshimitsu Obata, who was a yokozuna himself and chairperson of the Japan Sumo Association before passing away suddenly on November 20, concurred that nekodamashi is a technique ill-befitting a wrestler of Hakuho’s rank.

Of course, not everyone agrees with the criticism, and we at RocketNews24 thought it was actually cool to see the technique used in a tournament, since it isn’t broken out so often. Plus, considering how much of a gamble it is to use nekodamashi, and that it is a perfectly legal move, we have a hard time understanding the criticism. Of course, we can see how it wouldn’t be very fun to be on the receiving end, especially since Hakuho used it twice in the same bout, but we were still entertained nevertheless!

01-21-2016, 09:47 AM

01-29-2016, 11:49 AM
I didn't realize that Sumo had been dominated by non-Japanese for so long. That puts it way ahead of Modern Wushu.

Japanese End Drought in Sumo Wrestling, Their National Sport (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/27/sports/japanese-end-drought-in-sumo-wrestling-their-national-sport.html?_r=0)

Kotoshogiku, right, during a sumo wrestling bout against Goeido on Sunday. Kotoshogiku’s victory in the top-tier tournament was the first for a Japanese wrestler in 10 years. Credit Jiji Press/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In Tokyo on Sunday, the sumo wrestler Kotoshogiku won the first of the year’s six top-level tournaments. The result was big news because of his nationality: Japanese.

Since the 1990s, foreigners have dominated the top level of sumo, Japan’s national sport. Although there are six two-week top-tier tournaments, or honbasho, every year, Kotoshogiku’s victory was the first for a Japanese wrestler in 10 years. Over the past decade, tournaments have been won by several Mongolians, and also by a Bulgarian and an Estonian, creating an identity crisis among fans and officials of the sport, which has roots more than a millennium old.

Sumo, which seems to embody Japanese tradition, got its first foreign-born champion in 1972 when Jesse Kuhaulua, a Hawaiian known by the sumo name Takamiyama, won a tournament in Nagoya.

The first true foreign-born superstar was Chad Rowan, a Hawaiian known as Akebono. Rowan, a 6-foot-8, 450-pounder, was the first foreigner to be named yokozuna, the sport’s highest rank. Yokozuna cannot be demoted, and only a handful of wrestlers hold the title at the same time. Being appointed one by the sport’s council of elders is considered a high honor.

Chad Rowan, right, a Hawaiian known as Akebono, fights against Konishiki, left, in 1993. Rowan was considered the first true foreign-born superstar of sumo wrestling. Credit Mike Nelson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Akebono’s rivalry with the Japanese brothers Takanohana and Wakanohana, two other yokozuna, energized the sport in the 1990s. But when a wave of stars from Mongolia — which has its own rich wrestling tradition — entered the sport around the turn of the millennium, few Japanese could challenge them.

The first great Mongolian, Asashoryu, won 25 top-level tournaments, but ruffled feathers in Japan for behavior seen as not in keeping with sumo tradition. Celebrating excessively (or, indeed, at all), as Asashoryu did, is considered a violation of the sport’s strict decorum.

Despite this code, the sport has recently had its share of scandals, including allegations of match-fixing.

The current Michael Jordan of sumo is Hakuho, a Mongolian who has won 35 tournaments over the past 10 years, breaking the record set by the great Japanese wrestler Taiho in the 1960s.

A honbasho consists of 15 matches, and both Hakuho and Kotoshogiku were 10-0 going into their 11th bouts on Jan. 20. After a ritual purification of the ring with salt, the much-anticipated match, like most sumo bouts, was over in seconds. Kotoshogiku seized the initiative, pushing Hakuho back and out of the ring.

Kotoshogiku finished the tournament 14-1 to win the title, while Hakuho wound up 12-3 and tied for second with another Mongolian star, Harumafuji.

The rising popularity of other sports with the younger generation, which sees sumo as old-fashioned, has been blamed for the dearth of Japanese sumo stars. Soccer has grown in popularity, while television ratings for baseball and sumo have slumped.

The drought is reminiscent of those at other important national events like the Tour de France (which has not had a French winner since 1985) and Wimbledon (which has not had a British women’s winner since 1977, and has had just one British men’s winner since 1936).

Did Kotoshogiku’s victory represent a passing of the torch to a new generation of Japanese stars? Perhaps not. Kotoshogiku celebrated his first top-level win Sunday at age 31, while Hakuho, with his 34 wins, is still only 30.

There are five more tournaments this year, and a nation of sumo fans will be hoping Kotoshogiku is not a one-hit wonder.

Ken Belson contributed reporting.

02-03-2016, 04:28 PM
This 2016 election is even odder. :confused:

We Talked to the Former Sumo Wrestler Who Joined the Oregon Militia Occupation (http://motherboard.vice.com/read/we-talked-to-the-former-sumo-wrestler-who-joined-the-oregon-militia-occupation)
February 1, 2016 // 01:09 PM EST

GIF: YouTube

A small group of armed ranchers—”militiamen” to some, and “terrorists” to others—have been holed up at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon for the better part of a month, turning the preserve into a destination for fellow travellers like some kind of anti-government update to the Summer of Love.

One of those freedom-minded visitors was Kelly Gneiting, a former US champion sumo wrestler and former chairman of the far-right Independent American Party who goes by “The Man of Fat Steel.” He also set the Guinness world record in 2011 for being the heaviest man to complete a marathon. Gneiting left his home in New Mexico to visit Malheur two weeks ago and created one of the strangest videos to come from an occupation that’s well on its way to counting them as its trademark.

Remember the video of occupation leader John Ritzheimer flipping out over all the *****s people have been mailing them? The Guardian called it part of a "bizarre PR tactic," but t’s got nothing on Gneiting’s contribution to the canon.

"It showed that we’re regular people and we like to have fun—we just don’t like government tyranny"

In a YouTube video that was picked up by Gawker and other sites, Gneiting pretends to be presidential hopeful Governor Chris Christie’s older brother and challenges the politician to a sumo match. He stands outside in the mud and the grass, wearing the sumo’s mawashi, and thunders, “I want to see who the real sissy is.”

Beyond the video’s novelty value, I wondered if Gneiting had some insight into what the mood at Malheur was like in the days leading up to the killing of leader Robert LaVoy Finicum by authorities, and why anyone thought this was a good idea. I also wondered what the method to the viral internet madness at Malheur was, or if there was any to begin with. Are the baffling videos coming out of Malheur occupation content, or the ill-advised postings of internet amateurs?

I called him up and asked.


Motherboard: How did you get to the preserve, and what was it like?

Kelly Gneiting: I took a flight from Las Vegas to Boise and hooked up with my Independent American Party friend. We went and visited the refuge, and arrived on Monday night, the 18th. We immediately went in, saw Ammon Bundy, also Shawna Cox, and all of the main leadership that are now in custody. We just said “Hi” and went over to where the bulk of the people were staying to help out and have breakfast or do whatever they wanted us to do. The next day, all day, we were there. We helped them talk to a lot of people, and we had a big sign that said “rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.” All we did was bring the sign, we were going to paint it to preserve it, and drill it into the back of a big piece of wood.

We also saw a lecture from KrisAnne Hall—she’s on the Independent American Party website—she’s an attorney, a radio host, and really good. Coming back from Burns [a town near the preserve] to the occupation, we brought some supplies in our truck and dumped them where the supplies were going. We woke up the next day, and that’s when we did the sumo video. And then shortly after that we left.

What’s the story behind the Chris Christie call out video?

My friend, my Independent American Party friend again, he’s like, hey, we in the Independent American Party want peaceful solutions, but when you petition your representative a million times and then nothing happens… When something like this happens, you get a little bit excited, like, wow, you’re doing more than petitioning the government now.

He said, hey, you look a lot like Chris Christie. This wasn’t even my idea. It was his. He said, you look a lot like Chris Christie, you should go there and do a little skit, and kind of described it. He told me that on Saturday, a couple of days before I arrived at Boise, so I had just been pondering that the whole time, like, wow, that would be really cool. It would show that we’re just jokesters, and who wants to attack jokesters?

Basically, it worked, in my opinion. It showed that we’re regular people and we like to have fun—we just don’t like government tyranny.

And this was a media person from the Independent American Party?

This was a media person from Emmett, Idaho, who just happened to be there. He just happened to be there, and he said hey, can you come take a video? I had never met him before.

"We want to stand strong, and we want to stand with many people. And when that happens, then I believe there will be blood"

In an email you said you wanted to bring a little light-heartedness to the situation in Oregon, but many might say that the occupation is anything but a joke, especially since Robert LaVoy Finicum’s death. Did anybody say to you that this might not be a good idea? Did the occupiers sign off on it?

No, they didn’t sign off on it. This was before LaVoy’s death, and I’m going to his funeral this Friday. It’s very, very serious to me, too. There’s probably occupiers who wouldn’t like that, but I was there, and there were a few people standing there who watched the whole thing. They weren’t the leadership or anything, but they saw it, and we just closed shop and left. We went back to the occupation, did a few things, and we were just doing our own thing. Some people probably wouldn’t like it, but the people there thought it was funny.

Can you tell me how the occupiers feel about videos like yours and the infamous ***** unboxing video as being some of the most shared and arguably memorable things about the occupation?

That’s a good question. I don’t know. We did the sumo video, and the military people, the people who were there that were occupying, there were four or five people there. They thought it was funny, and then we just left. There was someone who didn’t like it that came up at the end and said, "Hey, you guys need to check with Ammon and we want the best light on us as possible."

But when you’re opening a box of *****s, having a few cracks and telling people you’re going to sell them on eBay, I don’t think that’s appropriate. I thought what I did was really funny and appropriate, but I guess everyone has their own sense of humor.

Did you get the sense that there was any sort of viral media strategy at play among the occupiers?
No, I just got the sense that these guys were honest, and some of them wanted to be, I don’t know, in my opinion, a little bit too far. Some of them didn’t approach the situation correctly. But by and large, the people that I was there, I identified with. They were handing out free Bibles, little mini Bibles, they were having prayer, and they were the kind of people that I would identify with.

Will you go back to the preserve?

I don’t know. I don’t know what the future has. There’s still people occupying the preserve there. But I’m going to do what I know in my heart is the right thing. There’s a lesson to be learned from the Bible, where Jesus says to agree with your adversary or else you’ll be in jail. You can’t do anything for the freedom battle when you’re in jail, is basically what it’s saying. You don’t come out of jail until you pay the uttermost ****hing, and while you’re in jail you can’t pay anything.

I want to handle this in the right way: with love for my fellow man, but with a strong presence. We’re not going to take their tyranny, but we also don’t want to end up in jail. It’s like advice a dad would give his son: if something isn’t right, stand up.

Let me read a quote that you sent me in an email: "I say to you that the price of liberty is and always has been blood, human blood, and if our liberties are lost, we shall never regain them except at the price of blood. They must not be lost.” But you prefer a non-violent solution?
No, I believe that quote. We’ve seen it last week. It’s just that, there’s a way to go about doing it—there’s a petitioning, and there’s an asking, and then there’s a warning. I think it’s appropriate to warn—you’d better stop, in the name of almighty God, you’d better stop. Because God wants us to be free.

Do we want to just go in and start killing people? No, because that’s bloodshed. But we want to stand in defense of life, liberty, and property. And we want to stand strong, and we want to stand with many people. And when that happens, then I believe there will be blood.

02-16-2016, 11:12 AM
What interests me is that Japan creates martial sports that they do not dominate - Judo/Jujistu (http://www.martialartsmart.com/judo-jujitsu-styles.html), Karate (http://www.martialartsmart.com/karate-styles.html), and Sumo - where Korea still dominates Taekwondo (http://www.martialartsmart.com/tae-kwon-do-styles.html) and China still dominates Wushu.

'Greed' the key to lost mojo, says Japan sumo champion (http://tribune.com.pk/story/1047922/greed-the-key-to-lost-mojo-says-japan-sumo-champion/)
By AFP Published: February 16, 2016

Ozeki-ranked, or champion, sumo wrestler Kotoshogiku (R) is escorted to his seat -- two chairs stuck together with packing tape -- as he arrives to attend a press conference in Tokyo on February 16, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO: Japan’s giant sumo wrestlers lack the mean streak needed to repel the flood of foreigners who have dominated the roly-poly sport in recent years, according to the country’s first home-grown champion in a decade.

Kotoshogiku, who last month ended an excruciating wait for a Japanese-born winner, said on Tuesday it was no accident that Mongolians had taken over Japan’s ancient sport over the past decade and a half.

“All the Japanese wrestlers want to win championships,” the 32-year-old told a news conference.

“We eat the same meat and vegetables as them,” he added. “But sumo is about winning. Maybe we Japanese are too set in our ways, maybe we lack the greed to win at all costs.”

Japan accepts 27 refugees last year, rejects 99%: govt

The foreign invasion began in earnest with Hawaiian behemoth Konishiki, who was nicknamed the ‘Dump Truck’ and tipped the scales at a whopping 285 kilogrammes, and other hulking Pacific islanders in the 1990s.

But the subsequent rise of the Mongolians, led by the brilliant but temperamental Asashoryu and latterly by Hakuho, who has racked up a record 35 Emperor’s Cup victories since 2006, has tormented sumo traditionalists in the absence of a serious Japanese challenge.

“We can learn from them,” insisted Kotoshogiku, wearing a grey kimono and perched precariously on two chairs hastily bound together with sticky tape.

“Hakuho has so many weapons, like his fleetness of foot and how he puts you off balance. For many Japanese wrestlers, sumo is a test of strength and we charge head first.

“There are things we could definitely learn from,” he added. “Like the angle of attack, coming in from lower down. You can understand why (Mongolian wrestlers) are so strong.”

Japan has been without a home-grown yokozuna, or grand champion, since Takanohana retired in 2003 while three Mongolians currently occupy sumo’s elite rank, with Harumafuji having won seven titles and Kakuryu two.

But Kotoshogiku, who stands 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 metres) and weighs a meaty 180 kilos, beat all three in January and believes his victory, though unexpected, was no flash in the pan.

“I’ve cried my eyes out in front of my mum and dad,” said the Fukuoka native, who currently holds the second-highest rank of ozeki.

“But I’ve never once thought of quitting sumo,” he added. “I’m calm about the future, I want to win more championships.”

Many inside the cloistered world of sumo, which historians agree dates back some 2,000 years, will hope Kotoshogiku’s emergence ushers in a new era after years of damaging scandals, including allegations of gambling and drug abuse, bout-fixing and underworld links.

One of the most immediate results of Kotoshogiku’s new-found fame is being constantly asked to squeeze toddlers for good luck, like a benevolent deity.

“I get a lot of mothers asking me to cuddle their children to protect them from colds or whatever,” he said, smiling.

“And pregnant woman ask me to rub their bellies for a safe child birth. Their interest in me reminds me that I have done something very special.”

05-25-2016, 11:42 AM

06-27-2016, 11:16 AM
That's totally badass.


Sumo: Hakuho eyeing 1,000-win milestone at Nagoya basho (http://kyodonews.net/news/2016/06/27/66526)

27 June 2016 07:31 SPORTS

Mongolian grand champion Hakuho will be looking to become only the third wrestler in sumo history to post 1,000 career wins when the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament gets under way next month.

Hakuho, who retained his east yokozuna slot as the Japan Sumo Association on Monday released the rankings for the July 10-24 meet at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, is the favorite to take the title after winning the Summer meet in May with a perfect 15-0 record.

Sumo's most successful wrestler with 37 Emperor's Cups, Hakuho needs 13 wins to reach the 1,000 milestone, while seven victories will see the 31-year-old from Ulan Bator become the first to post 900 in sumo's elite makuuchi division.

Hakuho clinched his second straight championship at the Summer basho and heads into the Nagoya meet on a 29-match unbeaten streak, having not lost since the opening day of the Spring tourney in March.

Yokozuna Kakuryu is on the west side, while the other Mongolian grand champion Harumafuji is on the east.

At ozeki, Kisenosato, who has posted 13-2 records in the last two tournaments, will be gunning for promotion to yokozuna but will likely need to win an elusive first title to be considered for a move up to sumo's top rank.

Mongolian giant Terunofuji, who has been hampered by problems in both knees, will be fighting with his rank on the line as a kadoban ozeki in Nagoya. He started with two wins at the summer meet before losing 13 straight.

Brazilian grappler Kaisei and Georgian born Tochinoshin will both be wrestling at sumo's third-highest rank of sekiwake for the first time.

Kitaharima is the only makuuchi-division newcomer, while Chiyonokuni, Toyohibiki, Kagayaki, Sadanofuji and Arawashi all return to the top flight.


06-30-2016, 09:03 AM

07-19-2016, 09:51 AM
Pro sumo wrestler walks into Japanese arcade, shows off amazing rhythm game drum skills【Video】 (http://en.rocketnews24.com/2016/07/19/pro-sumo-wrestler-walks-into-japanese-arcade-shows-off-amazing-rhythm-game-drum-skills%E3%80%90video%E3%80%91/)
Casey Baseel 5 hours ago

You won’t want to take this guy on in the ring or at the arcade.

In sumo wrestling, tradition and pageantry are given as much importance as the bouts themselves. After all, it’s a sport with a history that stretches back hundreds of years, having not only deep cultural roots, but religious ones as well.

But while sumo wrestling itself may be centuries-old, sumo wrestlers are predominantly young men. As such, they’re not immune to the appeal of modern hobbies. Take, for example, this video shared by professional sumo wrestler Masakatsu Ishiura of 18-year-old Shou Tanikawayama, a younger sumo wrestler attached to the same training stable as Ishihura and apparently a master of arcade game Taiko no Tatsujin (also known as Taiko: Drum Master).

石浦将勝 (https://twitter.com/ghetto_stone/status/753609299713138693)
谷川山 a.k.a drum killa

LIKES 13,047
AzureFenixラットルTimE†F⁂A‡NのN担当.みけジーコJPN監督toこんぶtetuいっ ちー
8:17 AM - 14 Jul 2016

In case you’ve never had the opportunity to play an installment in the long-running franchise from Bandai Namco, Taiko no Tatsujin is a musical rhythm game using a model of a taiko, or traditional Japanese drum. Giving the instrument involved, Taiko no Tatsujin’s gameplay is closer to the real deal than what you get with the simplified musical instrument of Guitar Hero or DJ simulator Beatmania’s mockup turntable.

Nevertheless, the 135.6-kilogram (298.3-pound) Tanikawayama fearlessly choses to play the game’s “Yawaraka Sensha” on the hardest difficulty, Oni (“Demon”) Level. Showing off the surprising quickness and coordination that belies sumo wrestlers’ large bodies, he pounds and pounds at the drums, and while his performance isn’t perfect, it’s close enough to make us think if Tanikawayama’s sumo career doesn’t pan out, he just might have a future as a drummer instead.

Source: IT Media
Top image: Twitter/@ghetto_stone

Taiko no Tatsujin is a cool looking game. Better than Guitar Hero. You gotta follow the twitter link above to see it.

09-12-2016, 10:03 AM
This was last weekend and I totally missed it. :(

Sumo Champions Exhibition
The Japan Center Malls and the Japantown Merchants Association invite you to join us for the 5th Annual Sumo Champions Exhibition in the Japantown Peace Plaza. Sumo is an ancient Japanese tradition and martial art and we’re bringing it to San Francisco for FREE. Join us (and bring the family) to meet real Sumo Wrestlers, learn about life as a Sumo, and watch live matches.

The matches will feature the following wrestlers:

 Byamba, 6’1”, 370 lbs, 4-time World Sumo Champion

 Yama, 6’4”, 600 lbs, 2-time World Sumo Champion. Heaviest Japanese human

being in History!

 Roy, 6’5”, 380 lbs, 2-time US Sumo Champion

 Ramy, 6’3”, 500 lbs. African Sumo Champion

The Japan Center Malls and the adjacent blocks of Japantown are home to scores of unique shops and restaurants that provide a wonderful opportunity for visitors and locals alike to explore and experience the customs and culture of Japan right in the heart of San Francisco. This event is FREE and is made possible with support from The Japan Center Malls and the Japantown Merchants Association.

Saturday, September 10

5:00 PM: Meet and Greet (No Matches)

Sunday, September 11

12:00 PM, 2:00 PM & 4:00 PM: Live Matches

Location: Japantown Peace Plaza, Post and Buchanan Streets

Free and open to the public


01-06-2017, 09:04 AM
Enter to win KungFuMagazine.com's contest for Sumo for Mixed Martial Arts Autographed by author Andrew Zerling (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/sweepstakes-sumo-mixed-martial-arts.php)! Contest ends 5:30 p.m. PST on 1/19/2017.

01-23-2017, 01:23 PM
See our WINNERS: Sumo for Mixed Martial Arts Autographed by Andrew Zerling (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?70024-WINNERS-Sumo-for-Mixed-Martial-Arts-Autographed-by-Andrew-Zerling) thread.

01-26-2017, 10:40 AM
Congratulations to Kisenosato!

Sumo: Kisenosato formally promoted as sumo's 72nd yokozuna
January 25, 2017 (Mainichi Japan)

Kisenosato, left, is seen during a ceremony crowning him the top sumo rank of yokozuna, in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on Jan. 25, 2017. (Mainichi)
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Kisenosato officially became the 72nd grand champion in sumo history on Wednesday after the Japan Sumo Association finalized his promotion at its executive committee meeting.

JSA executives rubber-stamped the promotion of the 30-year-old Kisenosato based on the recommendation unanimously made Monday by members of the Yokozuna Deliberation Council, an advisory body to the association, after he won his maiden title at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

"I accept (the promotion) with great humility. I will devote myself and try not to disgrace the yokozuna name," Kisenosato said in a formal ceremony to notify him of his promotion.

"I want to be even more focused," he said after the ceremony. "I have grown also as a person and I want to become a yokozuna that is respected."

"I have to be conscious (of my position) and winning the championship title at the next tournament (is my next goal)," he said.

Kisenosato becomes the first Japanese wrestler to be promoted to sumo's top rank of grand champion since Wakanohana in 1998.

Kisenosato won his first championship title on Sunday with a 14-1 mark.

Eight of the last nine yokozuna secured promotion by winning their preceding two tournaments. Mongolian Kakuryu, the last to be promoted to yokozuna ahead of the May 2014 meet, lost in a playoff that January despite finishing 14-1, but won the title in March.

So often accused of being mentally fragile, Kisenosato has finished second-best at a meet 12 times. After Kotoshokigu and Goeido captured their first titles last year, Kisenosato had become the only Japanese ozeki not to have won a trophy.

But Kisenosato found consistency and finally came into his own in 2016, becoming the first wrestler to win the most bouts in a season without winning a single title.

"I feel grateful to all the people that have helped me," said Kisenosato, who paid tribute to his late stablemaster Naruto.

"If I had not met my former trainer I would not have got to where I have now," he said. "I have nothing but gratitude."

Mongolian Kakuryu was the last wrestler promoted to yokozuna in 2014.

There will now be four wrestlers fighting as yokozuna for the first time in 17 years at the Spring meet in March.

02-23-2017, 05:20 PM
This author makes a good point. I remember seeing similar racism in Kendo (http://www.martialartsmart.com/samurai-kendo-styles.html). One of my Kendo sensei was a dreadlock, and he wasn't allowed to advance unless he cut his dreads, but that was just the excuse.

If only Sumo would go Olympic (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?64475-2020-Tokyo-Olympics). ;)

Newly promoted sumo grand champion Kisenosato, wearing a ceremonial belly band, performs a sacred ring-entering ritual at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo on Jan. 27. | KYODO VIA REUTERS

Media outside Japan must stop normalizing sumo as an ethno-sport
FEB 19, 2017

I know that by now this is old news (blame press holidays and timely Trump articles), but congratulations to Kisenosato for ascending to yokozuna, sumo wrestling’s highest rank, last month. After all your efforts, well done.

So what does JBC have to say about it? Nothing to diminish that achievement, of course. But let’s consider how the event echoed overseas. Here are some headlines from prominent news outlets:

BBC: “Japan gets first sumo champion in 19 years.”

The Washington Post: “After 19 long years, Japan has a grand champion of sumo once again.”

The New York Times: “For the first time in years, Japan boasts a sumo grand champion.”

The Guardian: “Kisenosato becomes Japan’s first homegrown sumo champion in 19 years.”

Even our own Japan Times: “Kisenosato becomes first Japanese-born yokozuna in almost two decades.”

Hmm. At least three of those headlines make it seem like Japan hasn’t had a Japanese yokozuna — or any yokozuna — for nearly two decades.

That’s false. We’ve had five yokozuna (Musashimaru, Asashoryu, Hakuho, Harumafuji and Kakuryu) since 1998. Perhaps they’re referring to the fact that the last four champions have been Mongolian, not Japanese. But that means they don’t count? And what about Musashimaru? He’s a naturalized Japanese, and was one (as The Japan Times duly noted) when he became yokozuna in 1999.

So he’s not counted because he’s not a “real” Japanese? Apparently. That’s why the JT and Guardian slipped in qualifiers like “Japan-born.” As if that matters. It shouldn’t. Except to racists.

And it matters in Japan because of the embedded racism of the sport. Consider the fact that not so long ago, the Japan Sumo Association (JSA) overtly denied the yokozuna rank to foreigners, no matter how well they did, for expressly racist reasons. They even thwarted former American wrestler Konishiki, who said just that to The New York Times in 1992.

And what were those reasons? Officials claimed foreign wrestlers lacked the requisite “aura of dignity” (hinkaku) that only Japanese mystically have.

Fortunately, that mysticism was soon dispelled by talent (not to mention embarrassment caused by the NYT). By 1993, Hawaiian wrestler Akebono had made his promotion undeniable, becoming Japan’s first foreign-born yokozuna. He was joined by another in 1999, then two more in 2003 and 2007.

Oh, snap, said the JSA. That’s why they put a cap on things in 2010, limiting sumo training stables to one foreign wrestler each. And just to fortify the racism, they stipulated that even naturalized Japanese (in violation of the Nationality Law) were also to be deemed “foreign” and limited!

Yet that “homegrown” advantage is being overturned nonetheless. Another foreigner was yokozuna-ed in 2012, and again in 2014. And even though foreign nationals have traditionally totaled only 7 to 8 percent of sumo’s 600 professional wrestlers, they made up 30 percent of the top-ranked grapplers in 2013.

And having that much foreign talent overcome numerous obstacles and achieve success on an already uneven playing field is a bad thing?

Well, according to Japanese media, it is. News outlets and pundits have been hankering for a “real” Japanese to become a grand champion for years, wailing that somehow sumo has “lost something” because it’s been “dominated” by foreigners. Even though, remember, 92 percent of sumo pros are still “homegrown.” Maybe they should ganbaru (try harder) like only “real” Japanese mystically can.

Well, Kisenosato did. Good. But the problem is not that his win became big international news, it’s that sumo’s prevailing racist attitudes did not. Because foreign reporters seem to have bought into the racism.

Doubtful? Let’s read beyond their aforementioned headlines:

Guardian: “His addition to the yokozuna ranks is also expected to help improve sumo’s image, after a decade in which it has been rocked by a series of scandals, including bullying, drug taking and allegations of match fixing.”

The implication is that a respected yokozuna can’t improve sumo’s image if he’s foreign. However, remember that sumo’s scandals are self-inflicted — almost always caused by the “real” Japanese (despite the JSA’s scapegoating of Mongolian yokozuna Asashoryu until he quit; see Zeit Gist, Sept. 4, 2007).

NYT: “But sumo’s reputation has suffered in recent years because of a series of gambling and match-fixing scandals, and foreign wrestlers, mainly from Eastern Europe and Mongolia, have increasingly dominated its top ranks.”

A simple parsing suggests that sumo’s reputation has suffered because foreign wrestlers dominate.

Washington Post: “Japan’s national sport has been in decline in recent years, partly the result of a generational shift towards sports like baseball, partly because of the health issues associated with the heft needed to wrestle, and partly because of the increasing dominance of foreigners.”

So sumo has “declined” because foreigners to do well at it, despite all the hurdles put before them? How unsportsmanlike an attitude is that?

NYT: “Sports fans in Japan had been living with a harsh reality for years: Sumo wrestling, a quintessential Japanese pastime that is increasingly dominated by foreign stars, lacked a native-born champion of the highest order.”

BBC: “Japan has formally named its first home-grown sumo grand champion in almost two decades, in a boost to the traditional wrestling sport.”

Ah yes, I was looking for that — the word “traditional.” It makes sumo seem somehow sacred: not just a sport — an ethno-sport. A sport that “homegrown” blood-Japanese must “dominate,” or else the “tradition” of an allegedly “quintessential Japanese pastime” (one that few Japanese actually play, or watch beyond top-league broadcasts) has been violated?

The “harsh reality” is that the foreign media has internalized and legitimized the racism just because it’s from Japan. Imagine another country that founded a sport (or claims it as its national sport) lamenting that foreigners are winning at it. Like baseball, where other countries have beaten American teams. Or England claiming that soccer, cricket, tennis or rugby have gone to the dogs whenever it doesn’t win a world championship?

Perhaps you might counter that sumo is in fact an ethno-sport, and who can blame Japan for wanting to keep it “Japanese”? Then why has the Sumo Association repeatedly tried to make it into a worldwide Olympic event?

Consider that judo (another international sport that originated in Japan) is also apparently “dominated” by foreigners, according to Olympic medal counts. Has judo’s reputation “suffered” for this?

Only in the eyes of racists, such as Shintaro Ishihara, who, in a regular news conference as Tokyo governor in 2012, called foreign judoka “beasts” (kemono), and said, “An internationalized judo has lost its exquisite charms” (daigo).

Again, where was the international reporting on that? And that’s the point of this column.

One reason why Japan keeps getting a free pass on its racism is that it’s not talked about overtly — or, for that matter, even called “racism” at all. In Japan, that’s shameful. But overseas — where exposure embarrasses Japan’s racists (who would rather keep things “in the family”) — that’s hypocritical. These reporters wouldn’t dare make these claims if they were talking about unfair play in their countries of origin.

That’s why foreign correspondents should not pander to stereotypes, passing overt racism off as “tradition” practiced by those mystical, hidebound, inscrutable Japanese. Embedding these attitudes for export cloaks Japan from the regular dynamics of sportsmanlike conduct that prevail elsewhere.

So here’s a suggestion: How about reporting on the widespread lack of fairness within Japanese sporting events and leagues? Many of which (such as the ekiden races or the National Sports Festival of Japan (Kokutai)) are specifically designed so that foreign athletes cannot participate. Or if they can, these events are tilted so Japanese will win.

Or how about heralding the talented foreign heroes who have overcome the unfair hurdles?

Don’t get me wrong. If you want to report that Kisenosato’s promotion is big news in Japan, and Japan’s media and public have long been rooting for a homegrown hero to finally make the grade, fine. That has happened, and that is news.

But play fair. Don’t validate racists like Ishihara and the JSA. By insinuating that foreign athletes have been spoiling the sport, you’ve done a great disservice to all the wrestlers who have beaten the odds only for their feats to go unreported.

Debito’s latest book, “Embedded Racism: Japan’s Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination,” is out now. Twitter @arudoudebito. Your comments and story ideas: community@japantimes.co.jp

03-07-2017, 12:47 PM

This is old but new to me.

05-15-2017, 11:54 AM

06-22-2017, 10:02 AM
I've never been close enough to a Sumoka* to smell him. But srsly?

Japanese fragrance maker now offers…the scent of a sumo wrestler! (http://en.rocketnews24.com/2017/06/21/japanese-fragrance-maker-now-offers-the-scent-of-a-sumo-wrestler/)
KayKay 2 days ago


If you’ve ever wanted to smell as elegant as a sumo wrestler, this is the fragrance for you!

We’ve seen some bizarre scents turned into perfume before, and we think we’ve found another one that deserves mention. Japanese fragrance maker Luz will be adding three new scents to their line of J-Scent perfumes, and one of them promises to be particularly unique, as it’s being marketed as the scent of a sumo wrestler!

The J-Scent line of perfumes currently includes six Japanese-themed fragrances, namely roasted tea (hojicha), agarwood, wasanbon sugar, flower-viewing sake, paper soap, and hydrangea. Now, they’ll be adding three new scents: sumo wrestler, ramune soda and yuzu citrus.

The sumo wrestler fragrance is apparently based on the smell of the hair oil used to create the unique hair style of sumo wrestlers known as mage (pronounced “mah-geh”) and contains the scent of eucalyptus, anise, violet, heliotrope, musk, patchouli and sandalwood. It’s supposed to be a soothing scent somewhat like incense.

▼ Ahhh … yes, the comforting scent of a sumo wrestler!

The other two J-Scent perfumes that are being introduced are: ramune (a traditional sweet Japanese soda), made with the scents of lemon, aldehyde, mint, rose, lily of the valley, magnolia, musk and vanilla; and yuzu citrus, a combination of bergamot, orange, yuzu and thyme scents. Both fragrances sound refreshing and ideal for the summer.

All three new J-Scent products will be available online through J-Scent’s website (http://www.j-scent.com/) from July 3 at a price of 3,500 yen (US$31.50) for a 50-milliliter (1.7-ounce) bottle. If you’re in the Osaka area, the entire line-up of J-Scent fragrances, including the three new items, will also be available at the Umeda Tsutaya Shoten shop located in the Lucua 1100 shopping center from June 30 to July 14. And for the first two days of the period, between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. on June 30 and July 1, they’ll even have a special in-store campaign where you can actually smell and try on all nine scents.

So, if the scent of a sumo wrestler is what you dream about, make sure you check out the new J-Scent perfume. Of course, we’re sure that the other scents smell very nice too!

Related: Lucua 1100 website
Source: @Press
Reference: J-Scent website, Lucua 1100 website
Insert image: Wikimedia Commons/ photo by Philbert Ono

*not sure if I used the 'ka' suffix used properly here.

10-13-2017, 10:58 AM
Yokozuna Hakuho (left) and Kisenosato perform the rare sandan-gamae ritual at the Beyond 2020 Basho on Wednesday at Ryogoku Kokugikan. | KYODO

Sumo pulls out all the stops at promotional event (https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2017/10/04/sumo/sumo-pulls-stops-promotional-event/#.WeD__WhSyUk)
OCT 4, 2017

Rikishi in Japan are coming up big — literally and figuratively — doing little things to promote the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and, though not part of the Olympic program, the ancient national sport of sumo.

On Wednesday, 70 wrestlers of sumo’s top two divisions, including all four yokozuna, took part in the Ozumo Beyond 2020 Basho, a government-funded project aimed at both first-time spectators and hardcore fans. It was the second straight year for the event at Ryogoku Kokugikan

Wrestlers clad in colorful kimono stood outside the Tokyo venue and delighted the 4,000 fans by greeting them with handshakes, hugs, autograph signings and selfies.

The invitation-only event featured various services such as English public address announcements and subtitled live video streaming as well as wheelchair and guide dog accessibility. The unique experience took guests away from the present moment, allowing them to temporarily forget the injury concerns surrounding sumo’s top makuuchi division that have been giving the Japan Sumo Association a headache.

The dohyo ring was a stage where children in mawashi belts tackled wrestlers and lower-ranked wrestlers took turns singing lively sumo songs.

Last year, when the JSA organized the event for the first time, the sandan-gamae ceremony was performed by two yokozuna for the first time in 21 years. This year, Hakuho and Kisenosato were given the rare privilege of demonstrating the three-posture ritual.

After taking part in his first sandan-gamae, held only on special occasions, Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho said he enjoyed the kind of adrenaline rush he had never felt before.

“It was my first time (to perform the sandan-gamae) and I was nervous but it was a good experience,” said Hakuho, who was a last-minute entry. “The Olympics coming to Tokyo again is already a big deal, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time. I’m glad I was born the year I was. I hope to remain active until 2020,” said Hakuho, whose father won Mongolia’s first-ever Olympic medal as a freestyle wrestler in 1968 and also competed in the 1964 Tokyo Games.

Meanwhile, his counterpart Kisenosato said he remembers seeing the ritual in photographs years ago and was happy to officially become a part of that tradition.

“What an honor,” said Kisenosato.

“There were fans from all generations and it’s nice to share sumo tradition with them. Of course there’s the basho, but getting a chance to watch things like the sandan-gamae is different. I hope this gets more people interested in sumo.”

The one-day event was being held as a trial project by the government as the country makes every effort to attract more foreign visitors and make an economic success of the 2020 Games.

In addition to ringside seating for wheelchair users, live English play-by-play commentary and sign language interpretation were available to demonstrate how sports can break down barriers.

JSA public relations chief Kiyotaka Kasugano, who spoke on the raised ring before the national anthem was performed by a singer with autism, expressed his joy at seeing so many local foreign residents unite through sumo, and for the opportunity to share Japan’s culture and traditions with the world.

“Through sumo we believe we can promote this country’s other fine cultures and continue that trend onto the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics,” he said.

If only Sumo (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?56343-Sumo) would become an Olympic (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?64475-2020-Tokyo-Olympics) event. I'd watch that.

11-21-2017, 04:19 PM
I'm trying not to smirk at the 'karaoke-machine remote control' part.

Sumo champion Harumafuji to be referred to prosecutors for alleged assault in drunken brawl (https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/11/21/national/crime-legal/sumo-champion-harumafuji-referred-prosecutors-alleged-assault-drunken-brawl/)
NOV 21, 2017


TOTTORI – Police are set to refer sumo grand champion Harumafuji to prosecutors by the end of the year on suspicion of assaulting lower-ranked wrestler Takanoiwa in a drunken brawl, investigative sources said Tuesday.

Under questioning late last week, the 33-year-old Mongolian yokozuna admitted to striking 27-year-old Takanoiwa with his palms, his fists and a karaoke-machine remote control, according to the sources.

Takanoiwa is believed to have suffered head injuries after being struck with an object, but Harumafuji has denied allegations that he hit the fellow Mongolian with a beer bottle in the late-October incident at a restaurant-bar in the city of Tottori, the sources said.

The police have determined that they can continue the investigation without arresting Harumafuji as he isn’t considered a flight risk or thought likely to destroy evidence, the sources said.

The police are carefully looking into how Harumafuji injured Takanoiwa but it remains unclear how accurately Takanoiwa can recall the incident, as the No. 8 ranked maegashira told police he kept his eyes closed as he was being hit.

According to other sources, Harumafuji became angry as Takanoiwa was using his smartphone while being scolded for his behavior by yokozuna Hakuho at the restaurant-bar.

Yokozuna Kakuryu and sekiwake Terunofuji — both from Mongolia — and some Japanese wrestlers were also present during the incident, the sources said.

The police are soon expected to question others in attendance including Kakuryu and Hakuho. Hakuho has said that Harumafuji did not strike Takanoiwa with a beer bottle.

The controversy has deepened as conflicting accounts of the alleged attack emerged — including the possibility that a liquor bottle, not a beer bottle, was used in the attack, according to investigative sources.

Further complicating the situation is Takanoiwa’s stablemaster Takanohana, whose actions leading up to the investigation have drawn criticism. Takanohana filed a police report about the incident late last month but only informed the Japan Sumo Association much later.

Yasuko Ikenobo, chairwoman of the JSA executive council and former vice education minister, took a swipe at Takanohana’s failure to immediately report the incident to the board of directors. Ikenobo, whose council convened a meeting on Monday, told reporters that many attendees were disappointed that the scandal broke during the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament. Takanohana had an “obligation to report” the incident to the JSA, according to Ikenobo.

Takanohana has remained mum about the incident, scarcely responding to the reporters following his every move.

Meanwhile, news that Harumafuji was expected to be referred to prosecutors for the assault charge has disappointed sumo fans.

“Sumo was finally regaining popularity, so it’s sad that it has been taken up by the media almost daily in such a way,” said Miyu Suzuki, 26, who attended the ongoing Kyushu tournament from Osaka.

Takanoiwa missed the tournament after being diagnosed with head injuries including a suspected skull fracture and a cerebrospinal fluid leak. Harumafuji withdrew from the tournament on the third day after the media reported the scandal.

The JSA said its crisis management panel will investigate the case and hand down a judgment or punishment sometime after the tournament ends on Sunday.

Busted Martial Artists (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?48947-Busted-Martial-Artists) & Sumo (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?56343-Sumo)

12-20-2017, 11:23 AM
December 20, 2017 8:18 pm JST
Sumo: JSA begins disciplinary measures over Harumafuji scandal (https://asia.nikkei.com/Japan-Update/Sumo-JSA-begins-disciplinary-measures-over-Harumafuji-scandal)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japan Sumo Association on Wednesday began doling out disciplinary measures in the wake of yokozuna Harumafuji's retirement following his assaulut on another wrestler.

Following meetings of a JSA advisory body, the Yokozuna Deliberation Council, and the association's board of directors, JSA Chairman Hakkaku announced that two yokozuna would be punished for failing to act when Harumafuji injured lower-ranked wrestler Takanoiwa.

Hakuho, who has won more grand sumo tournaments than any wrestler in history, will not receive his salary for January, and will have his pay cut in half in February. Fellow yokozuna Kakuryu will not be paid in January.

The council, which said Harumafuji's acts would have merited his being asked to retire, also recommended Hakuho and Kakuryu be reprimanded for failing to prevent trouble at the incident that occured during a regional tour.

A report on the investigation by the association's crisis management panel that probed the case was filed before the meeting.

Masato Kitamura, chairman of the advisory council, said after the meeting there is a need to lay out clear standards for similar cases that may occur in the future.

"Hakuho and Kakuryu were not able to stop the incident from happening and being taken too far. Their responsibility should not be taken lightly. They should be given a strong warning," Kitamura said.

"Harumafuji, a yokozuna who should be a role model to all wrestlers, showed abusive behavior that led to injury. A yokozuna must bear this heavy responsibility," he said.

A decision on punishment for Takanoiwa's stablemaster Takanohana, who failed to fulfill his required reporting duties as the regional tour director, was delayed by the JSA directors.

According to investigative sources, Harumafuji allegedly beat Takanoiwa with his palms and a karaoke machine remote control when Mongolian wrestlers gathered for a drinking session that lasted from the night of Oct. 25 into the early hours of Oct. 26 at a bar in Tottori, western Japan.

Takanoiwa suffered head wounds that required about 10 days to heal and filed a police report on Oct. 29. He was diagnosed at a hospital in Fukuoka with a suspected fracture at the base of his skull, among other injuries.

The investigative sources said Harumafuji is believed to have been angered by Takanoiwa's inattention while Hakuho was giving him advice.

Hakkaku volunteered to work the final three months of his term as chairman without pay in order to accept responsibility for the scandal, while Harumafuji's stablemaster Isegahama will step down from the JSA's board of directors.

The chairman agreed with the advisory board's statement that Harumafuji should have been asked to retire, but said that since he had left voluntarily, no further punishment would be meted out.

Busted Martial Artists (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?48947-Busted-Martial-Artists) & Sumo (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?56343-Sumo)

01-05-2018, 09:40 AM
More here (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?48947-Busted-Martial-Artists&p=1306124#post1306124) and here (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?48947-Busted-Martial-Artists&p=1306510#post1306510).

$4400 USD may seem paltry, but he lost face, and sumo is a game of honor. At least, it's supposed to be so.

Japan sumo champion Harumafuji fined over assault (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42561794)
4 January 2018

Harumafuji has said his life will be "sharply different" now

Former sumo grand champion Harumafuji has been fined 500,000 yen (£3,280; $4,400) in Japan after being found guilty of assault.

The 33-year-old wrestler from Mongolia admitted hitting a junior wrestler over the head with a karaoke machine remote control during a night out in Tottori in October.

He has already apologised and stepped down over the incident.

The case rocked the world of sumo, a hugely popular ceremonial sport.

The assault on fellow Mongolian Takanoiwa happened while they were out drinking with other wrestlers in a bar in the western city.

The grand champion is reported to have been angered that his countryman was checking his phone while being given advice, seeing it as showing a lack of respect.

The latter was admitted to hospital with concussion and a fractured skull.

Two others involved in the incident have faced disciplinary action and Takanoiwa's stablemaster - as coaches are known - has been demoted for allegedly delaying reporting the incident.

Harumafuji started his career in Japan at the age of 16 and was promoted to grand champion or yokozuna - sumo's highest rank - in 2012.

He released a statement in late December, Reuters news agency reports, saying his life "is now set to be sharply different from what I thought it would be".

"I have a feeling of chagrin, to be honest. But the responsibility is all mine."

What is sumo?

Japan's much-loved traditional sport dates back hundreds of years

Two wrestlers face off in an elevated circular ring and try to push each other to the ground or out of the ring

There are six tournaments each year in which each wrestler fights 15 bouts

Wrestlers, who traditionally go by one fighting name, are ranked and the ultimate goal is to become a yokozuna (grand champion)

What other scandals clouded the sport recently?

Last year, a wrestler and his coach had to pay nearly $300,000 to a fellow fighter whom they had allegedly abused so badly he lost sight in one eye, according to reports

Several wrestlers have been implicated in match-fixing scandals and links between sumo and the mafia-like yakuza crime syndicates

Another Mongolian grand champion retired from the sport in 2010 after reports of his involvement in a drunken brawl

In 2007 a sumo stablemaster received six years in prison after a novice was beaten to death by older wrestlers

Busted Martial Artists (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?48947-Busted-Martial-Artists) & Sumo (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?56343-Sumo)

01-05-2018, 08:09 PM
I've never been close enough to a Sumoka* to smell him. But srsly?

*not sure if I used the 'ka' suffix used properly here.

Rikishi or sumotori are typically the words to describe professional sumo players.

I've only met a sumotori once, and the first thing I noticed was the pleasant smell.

03-07-2018, 04:40 PM
Sumo wrestles with its image amid string of scandals (https://www.thestar.com/sports/2018/03/06/sumo-wrestles-with-its-image-amid-string-of-scandals.html)
An alcohol-fuelled restaurant brawl that left a wrestler with a fractured skull, and a sexual assault situation involving the sport’s highest-ranked referee, have rocked the sport.

Former grand champion Harumafuji of Mongoliaretired after fracturing the skull of countrymanTakanoiwa in an altercation at a restaurant in October 2017. (KOJI SASAHARA / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO)

By JIM ARMSTRONGThe Associated Press
Tues., March 6, 2018
TOKYO—The most damage inflicted in sumo in recent times has been to the image of Japan’s tradition-steeped national sport.

Two scandals — an alcohol-fuelled restaurant brawl that left a Mongolian wrestler with a fractured skull, and a sexual assault situation involving the sport’s highest-ranked referee — have rocked the sport in recent months. Those episodes followed a match-fixing investigation in 2011 and the death of a teenage wrestler in training in 2007 that have tainted sumo over the past decade.

Organizers are hoping to restore its battered reputation when the Spring Grand Sumo tournament starts on the weekend.

Takanoiwa, who fractured his skull in an altercation with former Grand Champion Harumafuji in a restaurant last October, is hoping to make a comeback at the Osaka event.

“I’m just focusing on doing my best,” the 28-year-old Takanoiwa told reporters last week during a training session for the tournament. “It will take a bit more time to be ready.”

A healthy Takanoiwa wouldn’t solve all sumo’s problems, but would be a big step in the road to recovery.

He was hurt after a group of Mongolian wrestlers had assembled at a restaurant during a regional tour.

Harumafuji was reported to have become aggravated when Takanoiwa repeatedly checked his mobile phone while the two were conversing.

In addition to Harumafuji, who was forced to retire last November in the wake of the incident, grand champion Hakuho also was present and had to defend his inability to intervene before the situation got out of control.

The altercation dominated news programs and headlines for weeks. Adding to the bad publicity, the sport’s top-ranked referee was forced to resign earlier this year over a sexual harassment scandal.

Shikimori Inosuke apologized to the Japan Sumo Association for allegedly kissing a teenage referee and touching him on the chest while intoxicated, during a regional tour of Okinawa in December.

Inosuke said he had no recollection of the incident, and the junior referee declined to file charges.

In the wake of the scandal, though, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko didn’t attend January’s New Year tournament for the first time in four years.

Weeks after that, Egyptian wrestler Osunaarashi was caught driving without a license after a vehicle collision and was ordered to pay a $4,700 (U.S.) fine.

The recent incidents are just the latest scandals to rock the sumo world.

In 2011, the JSA decided to cancel the spring tournament after revelations that 14 wrestlers were involved with match-fixing.

In 2010, grand champion Asashoryu, also of Mongolia, announced his retirement following reports that he injured a man while intoxicated.

In the most troubling case in 2007, the 17-year-old wrestler Takashi Saito died when he was beaten over the head with a beer bottle at the direction of his trainer.

Saito’s stable master, Junichi Yamamoto, and three wrestlers subsequently were arrested and charged with manslaughter. In May 2009, Yamamoto was sentenced to six years in prison.

The incident brought substantial political pressure to the governance of the sport in Japan.

In response to the latest scandals this year, the Japan Sumo Association announced that a third-party committee has been convened and will question every member of the JSA. About 900 people, including active wrestlers and elders, will be included in the inquiry.

“Our goal is the preservation of sumo,” said committee chairman Keiichi Tadaki, a former prosecutor general.

Busted Martial Artists (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?48947-Busted-Martial-Artists) & Sumo (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?56343-Sumo)

04-05-2018, 07:58 AM
So should we be salting the women?

Man, Sumo has been getting into a lot of trouble lately. :o

Japan women ordered from sumo ring during first aid (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43652428)
6 hours ago

Women are forbidden from entering the sumo ring

Women who rushed to perform first aid on a man who collapsed in a sumo ring in Japan were ordered by a referee to leave the ring, because females are banned from the space.

The ring is regarded as sacred and women, traditionally seen as "impure", are forbidden from entering.

They ran into the ring when Maizuru city mayor Ryozo Tatami collapsed while giving a speech.

The head of Japan's sumo association later apologised to the women.

"The announcement [to get off the stage] was made by a referee who was upset, but it was an inappropriate act in a situation that involves one's life," Nobuyoshi Hakkaku, the sumo association's chief said in a statement.

"We deeply apologise."

Local reports later emerged that spectators saw salt being thrown into the ring after the women left.

In Japanese culture, salt is thrown into the sumo ring before a match to purify it. Some on social media said the gesture implied that the women had "dirtied" the ring.

Salt is traditionally thrown to purify the ring before a match

"How rude is it that they threw salt to cleanse the ring after the women went in?" one Japanese Twitter user said.

"This is the response to someone who tried to save a life? I think we'd better sprinkle salt on the head of the sumo association," another added.

Mr Tatami was taken to hospital and is in a stable condition.

It is not the first time women entering the sumo ring has sparked controversy.

In 2000, the then governor of Osaka Fusae Ota asked the sumo association to allow her to enter the ring so she could present a trophy to the champion wrestler, but her request was rejected.

04-11-2018, 09:02 AM
The Key to Longevity for the World's Oldest Person Alive? Sumo Wrestling and Hot Springs (http://time.com/5236018/masazo-nonaka-japan-oldest-person-alive/)
By ASSOCIATED PRESS Updated: April 11, 2018 8:27 AM ET

(TOKYO) — Masazo Nonaka has enjoyed soaking in northern Japan’s hot springs for many years — probably longer than most people.

The supercentenarian, whose family has run a hot springs inn for four generations, was certified Tuesday as the world’s oldest living man, at age 112 years, 259 days.

Nonaka received the certificate from Guinness World Records in a ceremony at his home in Ashoro, on Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido, and celebrated with a big cake decorated with berries.

Born on July 25, 1905, Nonaka grew up in a large family and succeeded his parents running the inn. The 105-year-old inn is now run by his granddaughter Yuko. He regularly soaks in the springs and also enjoys eating sweets, especially cakes.

Nonaka, wearing a knit cap and a kimono-style jacket, flashed a smile and posed for a group photo with his family, making a victory sign with his right hand.

He dug into the cake with a spoon after it was cut, and said, “Delicious,” according to NHK public television.

“Thank you,” he said.

His family members say Nonaka still moves about by himself in a wheelchair.

He reads a newspaper after breakfast every morning, and loves to watch sumo wrestling and samurai dramas on TV. But his favorite pastime is soaking in the hot springs and relaxing.

Nonaka has outlived all seven of his siblings, as well as his wife and two of their five children.

He is one of about 67,800 centenarians in Japan, the fastest-aging country in the world, with the highest average life expectancy — 80.98 for men and 87.14 for women, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Guinness says Nonaka replaced Francisco Olivera of Spain, who died earlier this year at age 113, as the world’s oldest man.

A 117-year-old Japanese woman, Nabi Tajima, who is currently the oldest living person in Japan, is expected to be certified as the world’s oldest person, replacing Violet Moss-Brown of Jamaica, who died in September at age 117.

Hot springs, sumo wrestling and samurai dramas FTW!

Give it up to the elderly!!!!! (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?57037-Give-it-up-to-the-elderly!!!!!)
Sumo (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?56343-Sumo)
Favourite Samurai movie (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?42924-Favourite-Samurai-movie)

05-15-2018, 02:46 PM
Sumo sure has some unique stories.

Doreen Simmons, Unlikely Voice of Sumo Wrestling, Dies at 85 (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/13/obituaries/doreen-simmons-unlikely-voice-of-sumo-wrestling-dies-at-85.html)

Doreen Simmons in 2009. A native of England, she moved to Japan in 1973 and became a commentator on sumo wrestling.CreditFrank Zeller/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

By Richard Sandomir

May 13, 2018
She was born in England, studied theology and classics at the University of Cambridge, and taught school in Singapore.

Yet Doreen Simmons found a remarkably different world to explore — as an expatriate sumo wrestling expert in Japan, analyzing matches in English for NHK, the country’s public broadcaster, for a quarter-century.

She adored sumo, the quintessential Japanese sport. She lived in a part of Tokyo known for its sumo stables where wrestlers live, eat and practice. She loved how they tossed salt in the air before their matches as a purification ritual. She prized the sport’s ancient history and its enormous but surprisingly fast athletes in topknots and loincloths.

“It’s a whole world of its own,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Network in 2016. “Professional sumo is not like anything else. I mean, even sumo wrestling itself is different from almost every other kind because in nearly every other kind you’ll grab your opponent and drag him into yourself, pull him into yourself. Sumo is basically pushing outwards.”

Ms. Simmons, who last worked on television in March, died at home in Tokyo on April 23 at 85, according to St. Alban’s Anglican-Episcopal Church in Tokyo, where she was a congregant. Father William Bulson, the church’s rector, said in an email that the cause was a pulmonary condition.

“The thing about sumo is that it’s so simple,” Ms. Simmons said during a TEDx talk at Meiji University in Tokyo in 2016. “The first time you see it, you know what’s going on. But when you start learning more about it, there are so many extra things, so many details.”

She was teaching at a British army school in Singapore when she read a newspaper article in 1967 about a 13-year-old wrestler — already quite big, agile and talented — who had been recruited to a stable. She was fascinated. She began to read about sumo, an education that was accelerated when she moved to Japan in 1973 to teach at an international language center.

“My original interest was in its survival from the past, but after a while I got to know some of the middle-ranking wrestlers, along with some extremely knowledgeable Japanese fans, who fueled my interest,” she said in 2012 in an interview with Vice, which called her the “godmother” of sumo.

She attended matches on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, and within a decade her sumo immersion paid off. She started writing for one English-language magazine, Kansai Time Out, and then another, Sumo World. And in 1992, NHK hired her for its English-language sumo broadcasts.

“At the beginning, there were three play-by-play men who had experience of broadcasting games like baseball, but their knowledge of basic sumo was newly acquired and pretty limited,” she said in an interview last year with The Daily Express, a British newspaper. “They wanted the color provided by commentators like me who were hired because we were already knowledgeable about some aspect of sumo.”

Ms. Simmons received the Order of the Rising Sun, one of the Japanese government’s highest honors, last year.

“I have simply never thought of myself in those terms,” she told The Nottingham Post, adding, “I get the feeling that, since most of the Japanese people don’t know anybody who got one of these decorations, they are a way of spreading happiness.”

Doreen Sylvia Clarke was born in Nottingham, England, on May 29, 1932. Her father, George, was a civil servant, and her mother, Elsie (Noble) Clarke, was a store manager who promoted its stationery by running workshops for women on how to make crepe paper flowers. As a child, Doreen, loved singing in her school choir and going to the local library to pick out books suited for each member of her family. “I’d get books on stars, planets, myths, legends, pyramids and dinosaurs,” she said in her TEDx talk.

Her favorite sport while growing up was cricket. She attended local matches, her homemade scorecard in hand. She said that she amassed her knowledge of sumo wrestling with the same devotion she had brought to learning about cricket.

After graduating from Girton College at Cambridge, Ms. Simmons trained as a teacher of Latin and Greek at Hughes Hall, a college at Cambridge, and subsequently left England to teach in Singapore.

Once in Japan, while learning about sumo wrestling, she held other jobs, including one editing translations of Japanese government news releases for the Foreign Press Center and another with the House of Councillors and the House of Representatives, the Japanese legislature. She also did some acting and voice-over work and played the bodhran, an Irish drum, in pubs around Tokyo.

Ms. Simmons left no immediate survivors. Her marriage to Bob Simmons ended in divorce.

Over the years she saw changes in sumo, including its domination by Mongolian wrestlers.

“The Mongolians brought back agile man’s sumo,” she told the Australian network. But, she insisted, foreign wrestlers had not hurt the sport.

“When one of these Mongolians does good sumo and wins,” she said, “the people screaming their heads off are Japanese.”

A version of this article appears in print on May 13, 2018, on Page A22 of the New York edition with the headline: Doreen Simmons, 85, British Expatriate Who Became a Voice of Sumo Wrestling.

11-16-2018, 10:18 AM
I'd always wondered about this.

Sumo 101: Tokoyama (Hairdressers) (https://www.japantimes.co.jp/?post_type=sports&p=1580648#.W-77fOhKiUk)
NOV 14, 2018


Outside of wrestlers and stablemasters, there are three main jobs in the Japan Sumo Association: gyoji (referee), yobidashi (ring announcer) and tokoyama (hairdresser).

While the first two appear on and around the ring during tournaments, the tokoyama do their work behind the scenes.

As with gyoji and yobidashi, hairdressers normally join the JSA around the age of 15 and gradually progress up the ranks as they get older.

Unlike the other two, however, tokoyama don’t have the same divisional system as the wrestlers. Whereas referees and ring announcers are classified as makuuchi or juryo, hairdressers start at fifth class and are promoted to fourth class, third class and upward.

There are, normally, two “special rank” tokoyama at the very top. Only these men are allowed to style a yokozuna’s hair.

It takes about 10 years before a hairdresser reaches the level where he can sculpt the oicho mage (ginkgo leaf-style topknot) worn by wrestlers in the top two divisions when competing in tournaments or attending formal events.

Tokoyama — like wrestlers, stablemasters, referees and ring announcers — have special names. Generally it is 床 (toko) followed by one other character. “Tokoya,” which uses the same character, is a traditional name for a barber in Japan.

The toolkit of a tokoyama is extremely specialized and features an array of combs, each of which does a specific task. They are made of a particular wood and only crafted by one Nagoya-based company.

These special combs are necessary because rikishi hair is generally very thick and filled with sand after training. The tokoyama also comb, wax and style the hair every day in a rough and intense manner. Regular combs would break constantly, but combs used by tokoyama can last up to a decade.

The Sumo Association buys the combs and distributes them to the tokoyama. The only part of his kit that a hairdresser chooses himself is the traditional styling scissors.

03-09-2020, 08:02 AM
Sumo wrestlers perform on the dohyo with no spectators present in Osaka on Sunday. Photo: KYODO

Sumo tournament begins without spectators for 1st time (https://japantoday.com/category/sports/Sumo-tournament-begins-without-spectators-for-first-time-it-its-history?)
Mar. 8 06:42 pm JST 20 Comments

Japan's ancient sport of sumo is grappling with the harsh reality of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Spring Grand Sumo Tournament kicked off on Sunday in Osaka at Edion Arena with no spectators as part of Japan's extraordinary efforts to halt the spread of the virus. It was the first time in the sport's history for a tournament to be held with no spectators.

Wrestlers arrived wearing face masks and were required to use hand-sanitizing spray before entering the arena. They were also required to take their temperatures before entering the raised ring. If a wrestler has a temperature above 37.5 degrees for two or more days, he will be forced to sit out the tournament.

Sumo officials have said if a wrestler is diagnosed with the new coronavirus, the 15-day tournament will be immediately halted.

Usually contested before a packed house, Sunday's opening day was eerily quiet as wrestlers sat next to judges at ringside to watch the action against a backdrop of empty stands.

“It will be a new experience for all of us," said sekiwake wrestler Asanoyama. “I want to get used to the atmosphere as soon as possible and get focused on the competition."

Wrestlers will maintain the time-honored tradition of offering a ladle of “chikara mizu" or power water to another wrestler but will only go through the motions and not put their mouth to the ladle.

Normally, wrestlers often use public transportation to go the arena but are being chauffeured in taxis or hired cars to avoid contact with the general public.

The long colorful banners that display the wrestlers names were not on display on Sunday nor were the tradition taiko drums that greet fans as they arrive at the stadium.

Sumo is just one of the main sports in Japan that is taking measures to halt the spread of the virus. Japanese preseason baseball games are being played at empty stadiums, professional J.League soccer games have been cancelled through the first half of March while the season-opening women's JPGA golf tournament in Okinawa was called off.

With Japan set to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in just over four months, the government is taking a series of urgent measures to combat the outbreak including cancelling school.

Ït's a real shame," said sumo fan Yuji Hoshino, who caught a few minutes of opening day action on TV at a Tokyo electronics store. “But the safety of the wrestlers is the most important thing. I hope they all stay healthy.”

COVID-19 (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?71666-Coronavirus-(COVID-19)-Wuhan-Pneumonia)
Sumo (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?56343-Sumo)

08-08-2021, 09:16 AM
Sumo scare? Riders say horses might be spooked by statue (https://sports.yahoo.com/sumo-scare-riders-horses-might-153629365.html)
Tue, August 3, 2021, 8:36 AM·3 min read
https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/xuanYXGZmZUwUhPBwxa22Q--/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTYzOS45MjU0OTQ3Nj EzNTA0/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/6b5WOkVs.i5l_qgUp2.10g--~B/aD0yODYzO3c9NDI5NTthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg--/https://media.zenfs.com/en/ap.org/5239e900406d3281252432e93257708e
Britain's Harry Charles, riding Romeo 88, competes during the equestrian jumping individual qualifying at Equestrian Park in Tokyo at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
KAMIYOGA, Japan (AP) — Equestrian jumpers aren't keen on surprises. Neither are the horses, and it takes years of training to keep them from getting spooked.

Of course, no horse in Tuesday night's Olympic jumping qualifier had ever seen anything like obstacle No. 10.

“As you come around, you see a big guy’s (butt),” British rider Harry Charles said.

“There's a lot to look at,” Ireland's Cian O'Connor added.

“It is very realistic,” echoed Israel's Teddy Vlock.

Riders say a life-size sumo wrestler positioned next to the 10th obstacle on the 14-jump Olympic course may have distracted several horses in qualifying for the individual jumping final Tuesday night. A few pairings pulled up short of the barrier, accumulating enough penalty points to prevent entry into Wednesday's finals.

The statue is positioned to the left of a jump placed in the corner of the arena. Hunched over and seemingly ready to attack, the wrestler is facing away from approaching riders, meaning that when they complete a sharp turn to take on the jump, the first thing horse and human see is the wedgie created by the wrestler's mawashi.

“I did notice four or five horses really taking a spook to that,” Charles said.

Most of the course’s hurdles are decorated with a distinctly Japanese feel — geisha kimonos, a miniature Japanese palace, taiko drums.

None caught the eye quite like the sumo wrestler.

Among the horses alarmed by the setup was France's Penelope Leprevost — a team jumping gold medalist in 2016. She wasn't sure if the wrestler specifically threw off her 12-year-old stallion, Vancouver de Lanlore.

“Maybe," she said. "We tried to relax our horses in the turn, and maybe they’re surprised to see a vertical so close. I don’t know.”

Vlock went 34th in the 73-horse field. After seeing others have issues, he and trainer Darragh Kenny of Ireland — also a competitor in Tuesday's field — made a point of trotting their horses to the 10th jump before beginning their runs so the animals could look it over.

The hope was that familiarity would breed bravery.

“It is very realistic,” Vlock said. "It does look like a person, and that’s a little spooky. You know, horses don’t want to see a guy, like, looking intense next to a jump, looking like he’s ready to fight you.”

Vlock and Kenny both cleared the obstacle without issue. Kenny finished second with no penalty points and a time of 82.01, while Vlock fell short due to other issues.

Of course, it's hard to know what's in a horse's head. Some riders chalked up the troubles to how close the jump was positioned to the turn. Others blamed the stadium's bright lights that also led to concern at jump No. 1.

Medal hopefuls Scott Brash of Britain and Martin Fuchs of Switzerland believed cherry blossoms positioned on the other side of the jump were the more likely culprit.

Whatever the cause, it's not surprising to Olympic veterans that there's drama around the park. The Games have a reputation among riders for flashy course design, including an oddly shaped jump at Rio de Janeiro in 2016 that caused similar consternation.

“To be honest, you expect it in the Olympic Games," Brash said.

And that's OK with them.

“You know it’s going to be colorful coming here,” he added. "You know it’s going to be decorative. And it’s beautiful, you know? It’s fantastic. That’s what makes it a championship. If it was just plain old jumps, it’d be just like any other week.”


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Didn't expect to see Sumo (https://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?56343-Sumo) come up in the Tokyo Olympics (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?64475-Tokyo-Olympics)