World Shakuhachi Discussion / Go to Live Shakuhachi Chat
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I was doing some research at work on Sumo visits for foreign tourists in Japan and stumbled across this:
http://www.kinjudo.com/kitemite/event/0 … .htm#pamph
Haha You found me lurking in the depths of the scandal ridden sumo ring! Actually this is near my house in Katsuragi, Nara. It is said to be the birthplace of Sumo where they had the first match and seems to be documented in the Nihon Shoki I think. There is another place in Sakurai that claims similar stuff though. I wasn't about to tell them that it probably actually originated in Mongolia though...
They started a free entrance service for foreigners and they wanted me to be the first through the gates. They said I could have a concert there too if I wanted, but I just haven't gotten around to it. Also, the seating is situated from opposite directions so either everyone is only looking at one side the whole time or we could only use half the seating, which isn't a whole lot. I met the Ozeki from Estonia called Baruto a few months ago, he was there just paying homage to the roots of Sumo, there are Sumo tombs nearby also. I thought that was pretty cool, a lot of shakuhachi players similarly visit legendary Komuso sites as well.
Hi Josh.Did you do any sumo in the end?
Geni, I think this is an extremely personal question to ask of someone on a public forum.
Is "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" still in effect, and does it apply to someone living in Japan?
Hahaha. Full disclosure!!! No I didn't DO any Sumo in the end! I tried on an old champion's thick mawashi rope belt though. It was pretty heavy and I was swimming in it. I wonder if that counts as costume play? Well if you've done komuso attire I guess you can call yourself a cosplayer. I've been initiated and I can call myself a man now;)
In 2002, when the World Sumo Championship was held in NYC, at Madison Square Garden. I was hired to be the official translator. This was not for the sake of the combatants - who were from 19 different countries - but for the referees, who were all Japanese. There were only two Japanese Sumo (one of which who won the whole Tournament) competing. One of the past Hawaiian Yokozuna's -Musashimaru - also was on board with the event.
Anyway, it was quite a thrill for me!
The high point was probably walking down the street with these Giants. As I weighed about the same as most of them, if you didn't look too closely I looked as though I was one of them. Of course, I more resembled a "retired" Sumo, as I was at least twice their age! But for a few days, I could live my fantasy of being looked at as a Sumo wrestler...