[sumo] Yubari basho

Joe Kuroda joe_kuroda at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 8 10:47:41 EDT 2007

--- John Racine <gaijira at ace.ocn.ne.jp> wrote:

> It really is a sad sorry.  And it dominated the news
> here for weeks when the
> story first broke.

I believe Yubari is in red for more than 32 billion
yen (or 2 million Euro) and is currently paying back
the debt with 0.5% interest to a variety of government

As a city, it has third smallest population, just a
tad over 12,000 people living there but it's getting
tougher  to simply live there as the city has shut
down many public facilities including all public
washrooms except two and I think one or two public
schools are still open. They also cut their public
payroll to half.

Even though it is famous for its melon, nothing much
grows there. Historically it always has been a coal
mining town. When the mines started shut down, the
city decided to take over many of the facilities left
by the mining companies to stop the people from

This burdened the city's finances beyond its means. At
the same time the city attempted to lure other
industries as well as tourists by building a ski
resort but all failed. Also there were allegations of
accounting mishandling by city officials and

The city's financial problems forced the cancellation
of a well known film festival called the Yubari
International Fantastic Film Festival which started in
1990 (there is a talk of reviving it but nothing is

Quentin Tarantino won an award for his directorial
debut film, Reservoir Dogs, at the festival and he
later chose one of the characters name in his 2003
film, Kill Bill Vol.1, "Go Go Yubari".    

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