[sumo] (Sort of sumo) Unlikely scene in Ryogoku

Doreen Simmons jz8d-smmn at asahi-net.or.jp
Sun Feb 19 06:09:46 EST 2006

Unlikely scene in Ryogoku (but even more unlikely anywhere else):

A week or two ago, I saw approaching in the distance a large figure clad in 
bright red, and wheeling something indistinguishable.

As he got nearer it proved to be Dewanoumi-beya's yoyo rikishi Kinkaiyama 
in a thin scarlet kimono (no overcoat or anything, but obviously 
comfortable with his own central heating) taking the baby for a walk in one 
of these currently-fashionable heavy-duty strollers. The baby was at the 
Dewanoumi party at the end of the January basho, being thoroughly spoilt by 
the wives and daughters of two or three oyakata. Primed by the conversation 
of these ladies, in the street encounter I observed that the baby was the 
image of his dad -- whereat the sage child gave me a great big gummy smile. 
Once he's got a mouthful of teeth he will, indeed, be the spitting image, 
as Kim-chan's great big smile has been his trademark since he was a 
shin-deshi. In close-to-zero temperatures I felt a little warmer myself 
after the encounter.

What's really unusual about this is that, until this generation, young 
Japanese fathers wouldn't be seen dead helping to care for their children. 
This is in contrast to the Mongolians -- even pretty rough types -- who 
will automatically take a share in carrying a baby around or keeping a 
toddler entertained.

Doreen Simmons
<jz8d-smmn at asahi-net.or.jp>

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