[sumo] This week's news (and not)
jz8d-smmn at asahi-net.or.jp
Fri Oct 13 22:38:58 EDT 2006
Finally half an hour to sit at the computer while the washing machine chugs
On Monday 9th, a public holiday, I treated myself to a visit to
Dewanoumi-beya. The juniors were having regular session, with a
shaggy-haired stranger working out hard. He was Ikehara of Tagonoura-beya.
(Looks like a man to watch.) I didn't bother to keep the win-loss record,
as this kind of training isn't about scoring -- it's about working on
improving weak points, and helping others to do the same. Futen'o was
there, and spent a full hour going methodically through his exercises --
but didn't step into the ring for any practice bouts at all. Dewaotori
wasn't there. But huge Towanoumi, with the usual enormous strapping on his
knee, did a long series of bouts with several others -- valuable experience
for them, intelligent maintenance for him. The master's place was empty,
and Kinkaiyama put a cushion there for me (after checking first with the
Ogi brothers, who outrank him as oyakata). Later, former sekiwake
Fukunohana, who had a long second career as oyakata Sekinoto, walked in and
sat beside me; he retired at 65 not long ago, but apparently keeps coming
in to keep a friendly eye on things. I got to know him and the master in
their active days. It then occurred to me with a bit of a jolt that I had
known the other three oyakata since they were 16-year-old entrants!
On Wednesday 11th, the Irish Ambassador and Mrs. Scannell gave a warm
welcome to Colin Carroll, the first Irishman to come to Japan to take part
in the upcoming World Championships in Sakai, Osaka. I had expected to see
John Gunning there, but they told me he was working late and would meet up
with Colin the next day. This may or may not have been posted on Sumo
Forum-- one list is all I can handle, and this is it.
Thursday 12th was a sad anniversary; Gerry Toff died on this date in 1995.
Gerry was one of the earliest NHK commentators, with an academic knowledge
of sumo as well as a keen eye for a good photograph. He was highly
respected by the sumo people and members of the Japanese press, enough to
have been invited to write newspaper articles in Japanese. He was a
Londoner, and a Sephardic Jew -- one of the UK's hidden resources. The Jews
from Spain came in much earlier than the refugees from northern Europe,
many of them well-respected financiers.
Today, Saturday 14th -- nothing much; I noticed a pile of yukata on the
doorstep of Dewanoumi-beya. This is a sign that men have come for degeiko
(visiting another heya to train). I couldn't go in as it's not polite to
visit the same heya twice in one week! Later, as I was taking out the
garbage, I noticed four foreigners --two men, one woman, one boy -- being
turned away from Dewanoumi. I tried to divine the reason; one was carrying
a map -- always a bad sign; and -- bingo! it was already a quarter-past
nine! They were speaking quietly but it sounded like French. Later I
checked to see who had been doing degeiko, and it was just three men from
nearby Kasugano, including tall Georgian Tochinoshin.
Now, back to the knotty problem of North Korea ....
<jz8d-smmn at asahi-net.or.jp>
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