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Thread: Sumo

  1. #91
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    Spring Grand Sumo Tournament


    Sumo wrestlers perform on the dohyo with no spectators present in Osaka on Sunday. Photo: KYODO

    Sumo tournament begins without spectators for 1st time
    Mar. 8 06:42 pm JST 20 Comments
    By JIM ARMSTRONG
    TOKYO

    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.”
    THREADS
    COVID-19
    Sumo
    Gene Ching
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  2. #92
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    Olympic Sumo!


    Sumo scare? Riders say horses might be spooked by statue

    JAKE SEINER
    Tue, August 3, 2021, 8:36 AM·3 min read

    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)
    More
    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.”

    ___

    Follow Jake Seiner: https://twitter.com/Jake_Seiner
    Didn't expect to see Sumo come up in the Tokyo Olympics
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  3. #93
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    Human Playground



    There's a segment on Shaolin Temple on Ep 3: Rite of Passage. It's followed by a segment on Sumo.

    Shaolin-Temple-Documentaries
    Sumo
    Gene Ching
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  4. #94
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    Sumo

    The first foreign-born grand champion of sumo, Akebono Taro, dies at age 54
    APRIL 11, 202411:52 AM ET
    By The Associated Press


    Accompanied by a sword-bearer, grand champion Akebono, right, performs the ring-entrance ritual during the annual New Year's dedication at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, on Jan. 8, 1997.
    Koji Sasahara/AP

    TOKYO — Hawaii-born Akebono Taro, one of the greats of sumo wrestling and a former grand champion, has died. He was 54. He was the first foreign-born wrestler to reach the level of yokozuna — or grand champion — in Japan.

    "It is with sadness that we announce Akebono Taro died of heart failure earlier this month while receiving care at a hospital in the Tokyo area," the family said in a statement.

    His wife Christine Rowan, in an email to The Associated Press, said he died "within the past week" but declined to give details.

    "I had to tend to personal matters that needed to be done prior to publicly announcing my husband's death," she said.

    Akebono grew up on the rural side of the Koolau mountains from Honolulu and was born Chad George Ha'aheo Rowan.

    He moved to Tokyo in the late 1980s and won his first grand championship in 1993.

    At the prime of his career he was a real giant, reported at the time to weigh 500 pounds (225 kilos) and stand 6-feet-8 — or 2.03 meters.

    The United States ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, sent his condolences on social platform X.

    "I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Akebono, a giant in the world of sumo, a proud Hawaiian and a bridge between the United States and Japan," Emanuel posted.

    "When Akebono became the first-ever foreign-born grand champion, sumo's highest rank, in 1993, he opened the door for other foreign wrestlers to find success in the sport. Throughout his 35 years in Japan, Akebono strengthened the cultural ties between the United States and his adopted homeland by uniting us all through sport."

    Akebono was an 11-time grand tournament winner and he retired in 2001.

    The family's statement said friends and family will hold a "private celebration of his life." He is survived by his wife, Christine, daughter and two sons.

    "The family kindly asks for privacy during this time of mourning," the statement said.
    Sumo
    RIP Akebono Taro
    Gene Ching
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  5. #95
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    Sumo Wrestlers Taunt Toddlers in Annual Crying Baby Festival | TaiwanPlus News

    Gene Ching
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