View Full Version : Sumo
09-15-2000, 03:57 AM
The sports pages of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin often contain information about sumo. Try http://starbulletin.com
09-21-2000, 05:02 PM
Two Japanese newspapers online both offer daily indepth sumo coverage. The Japan Times is at http://www.japantimes.co.ip/.
The Yomiuri Shinbun is at http://www.yomiuri.co.ip/index-e.htm. They are also offering coverage of Japanese Olympic athletes, vitually ignored by NBC tv's embarrassing "coverage."
In the recent Aki Basho (Sept 3-17) Musashimaru entered the final Sunday undefeated but Akebono gave him his only defeat of the tournament. Check Japan Times above for the scoop.
09-22-2000, 05:39 AM
Everybody's TV is nationalistic, and since US judo sucks, the average viewer would rather devote time to watching games in which the Americans aren't proud to take fifth. Like the Koreans, Americans prefer winners to losers.
CBC, now, has shown the full bout of every Canadian who went into a medal match. They show most US boxers, too. But do the Cubans get much coverage? Not unless they're fighting an American or Canadian.
Speaking of the Cubans, I'd bet that if you pointed your satellite dish toward Florida, you'd see more judo and boxing than basketball. Why? Maybe because the Cuban boxing and women's judo teams are the second best in the world? Hmm.
And even in Japan, how much attention have they paid to women's heavyweight weightlifting? I'd bet not much. Why? Maybe because the medals all went to China, Poland, and USA.
Now, going beyond nationalism, let's not forget the visual. You're a network television producer who gets hired or fired based on ratings. So, which do you think is going to get you better ratings (read higher paycheck), long exposures of 300-pound women in Spandex and Eastern Europeans in pajamas, or long exposures of famous American track stars and swimmers in their underwear?
If you want to get mad at somebody, how about the IOC? They are the ones who resist posting information to the Internet, mostly because they haven't figured out how to sell it yet.
09-23-2000, 05:47 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Joseph Svinth
[B]"The sports pages of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin often contain information about sumo. Try [url]http://starbulletin.com"
Yamantaka : One thing that amazes me is the way Sumo fighters (what do they call them, "sumai"?) behave. After a match, the winner salutes and gets back unruffled to his corner, without even smiling. The defeated sometimes make a slightly dissapointed face and also gets back to his corner. The audience do not make a scandal. Very different from other competitive sports, with claques, pom-pom girls, explosions of happiness or anger from the athletes and thunder-cheering audience. Any ideas why is it so?
09-24-2000, 01:29 AM
Partly it is because that is traditional etiquette, but mostly it is because the results at the top levels of professional sumo are worked (e.g., arranged). A large part of the rikishi's art is nothing more than learning to take dives without being too obvious. This is not a post-WWII innovation; the Japanese press was publicly complaining about blatant fixes in the 1920s, and continues complaining about them today.
The Japanese crowd, however, was not historically so passive, and boxing and sumo crowds traditionally scream, holler, and throw seat cushions at the ring.
09-24-2000, 04:43 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Joseph Svinth
[B]Partly it is because that is traditional etiquette, but mostly it is because the results at the top levels of professional sumo are worked (e.g., arranged).
YAMANTAKA : Hell, Joe! You have destroyed my innocence...Do you have any articles about that, Oh Great Pool of Knowledge?
09-24-2000, 08:25 PM
There was a major scandal about fixing sumo bouts about a year ago. It was discussed in "Japan Times", so may be available in the back issues.
Somewhere in the garage I probably have some of George Yoshinaga's prognostications of who would win (and why) from Rafu Shimpo; generally he predicts the winners without even knowing who's competing -- the foreigner, unless a media favorite, generally loses the big one. Imagine that -- it's the same script you see in puroresu.
Unfortunately, this was mostly discussed Pre-Crash and I don't have the data easily to hand.
When researching, though, my advice is to ignore Andy Adams as a source of accurate information. It isn't that he tells lies, but instead he does what in WWF parlance is known as "protecting the business."
Furthermore, assume that professional wrestling is fixed and occasionally you might be wrong, but no more often than if you assumed that US professional football players and Bulgarian weightlifters used steroids to enhance performance.
So, the only information I have close to hand describes sumo in Portland, Oregon, during the 1930s. Said Hood River’s Mokuo "Frank" Tomori, in Kazuo Ito, *Issei: A History of Japanese Immigrants in North America*, tr. by Shinichiro Nakamura and Jean S. Gerard (Seattle: Japanese Community Service, 1973), 835:
The Japanese Association of Portland often held sumo matches in the Armory Hall or a large garage. Kyoshin Club [a gambling club] sponsored the match, and the gambling bosses all showed up… The sumo wrestlers were amateurs from various places. I myself played in the matches among the top-ranked wrestlers, under the name 'Tanihibiki.'
...On one occasion when I played a match, my partner was a crewman of a cargo boat from Kobe. As I won too often, the rooters for the crew member got angry… So the sponsor asked me to pretend to lose the match this time, which made my patrons angry, and everything fell apart.
The sponsor paid the hotel accommodations, meals and sake for the wrestlers and manager. But many people came to the city from various places to see the match and dropped money at hotels, restaurants and gambling houses, which meant that all in all Japanese Town in Portland prospered.
09-25-2000, 01:33 AM
Originally posted by Yamantaka:
Yamantaka : One thing that amazes me is the way Sumo fighters (what do they call them, "sumai"?) behave.
They are called sumotori or rikishi, the latter meaning something like "big ones" or big boys" but my terminology almost always is corrected so don't hold me to the translations (In Yiddish, though, they are "Shtarkers," and in Spanish, I would say Los Gordos, for lack of another which would not be insulting or dirty.:D
As to news of the fixes, there was a Time magazine article on it around March or April of this year, so you may want to try their archives, as well. "Works" or not, sometimes the technique can be awesome. Instead of no coverage of judo in the US, I would not have minded the shtarkers, myself.;)
09-25-2000, 02:05 AM
Televised sumo can be enormously entertaining.
But then most folks think WWF Raw is pretty entertaining, too.
Outstanding athletes involved both places, and when betting isn't involved, then the object of the work is often to give the crowd what it wants to see.
Wrestling is often muscular theater.
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