[sumo] Iz Kamakawiwo'ole Sumo Song

sumorina at mac.com sumorina at mac.com
Tue Jun 26 10:08:17 EDT 2007

Thank you for putting this song up for us Barbara.

I have always loved this song, as did the three Hawai'ia sumotori  
about whom it is written.  I can't hear it without being moved.

I have shamelessly flaunted copyright to add the lyrics below.

The part about travelling thousand miles and being far away from  
family struck a chord with me when I lived in Japan and strongly felt  
the distance between me and my family members - yes, Peter Allen's "I  
Still Call Australia Home" chokes me up too. What a sentimental  
softy!  But in addition to my personal reaction, the song presented  
us with some real truths about the three great men.

For each of them, family was so important and it was hard for them to  
be far away, especially in times of family joy, which could not be  
shared directly, and in times of sorrow.  Sumo prevented Musashimaru  
from going to his dying father's bedside.  To give himself  
inspiration Akebono used to watch a video showing his late father's  
delight at seeing his son winning his first yusho.  He once  
challenged me to watch it without crying - failed!  - the laughing  
yokozuna held out the tissue box he knew would be needed.

They were (still are) gentle giants.  Looking so ferocious on the  
dohyo they are all kind and gentle.  Someone once told me they  
couldn't cheer for Akebono because he was so arrogant.  Well Yokozuna  
Akebono was arrogant when he was owning the dohyo  at match time, but  
he could so funny and cheeky, like a big kid when he was not doing  
the yokozuna job.

They certainly conquered an impossible dream of succeeding in the  
tough world of sumo.  They worked hard for it, but they succeeded  
with dignity.  They upheld the dignity of the sumotori  (some lapses  
it's true, but they are only human!) and took their responsibilities  
seriously.  The sumo life is hard enough for Japanese to survive in,   
but even harder for those from foreign cultures.  The Hawaiians  
inspired me.  I had a comfortable university job, but there were many  
times during my 25 years in Japan  when cultural differences or  
expectations made things hard.  I used to think how much harder it  
was for them in the rigid sumo world and that gave me the  
determonation to fight on myself.

At their peaks those three were heroes to young and old in Japan and  
Hawai'i and are still heroes to me.   Knowing them all and being so  
bold as to count them as friends, I admire them as great men, and  
having worked with them in various sumo situations admire them for  
their professionalism.    So I still want to go celebrate and honour  
those mighty champions who were an inspiration to so many people  
world wide.

Thank you Brother Iz for this wonderful tribute to them and thank you  
Barbara for reminding me through this song how much I admire and  
respect Akebono, Musashimaru and Konishiki.


PS  The Honolulu Advertiser has a great page up with Iz  
Kamakawiwo'ole's posthumous  new album to listen to and a variety of  
material about him.  http://iz.honoluluadvertiser.com/

Gentle Giants from the countryside
Waimanalo, Nanakuli, and Waianae
They are the champions, in a foreign land
National heroes, famous idols in Japan

Akebono, Musashimaru and Konishiki
Akebono, Musashimaru and Konishiki

They have traveled, thousand miles away
Sometimes lonely, far away from family
All have conquered, a dream that seemed impossible
With dignity, they are Hawai'i sumotori

Repeat Chorus

They made history, heard around the world
On the radio, television and magazine
Let's go celebrate, and honor these mighty ones
These are the champions, heroes for the young and the old

Repeat Chorus

These are the champions, they are Hawai'i sumotori
Akebono, Musashimaru and Konishiki

National heroes, famous idols in Japan
Akebono, Musashimaru and Konishiki

Repeat Chorus

Akebono, Musashimaru and Konishiki

On 26/06/2007, at 7:03 AM, Sumobaba wrote:

> I had been looking for a way to get this song to the list - Brother  
> Iz's
> tribute to Akebono, Musashimaru and Konishiki. Just found it on a  
> blog while
> I was looking for a specific Iz song. Please enjoy.
>  <http://mog.com/Wahiawa786/blog_post/88678>
> http://mog.com/Wahiawa786/blog_post/88678  Just click on the play  
> arrow on
> the Tengoku Kara Kaminari. It's from the late, great singer's  E  
> Ala E CD.
> Sumobaba
> See my blog  <http://sumobaba.vox.com/> http://sumobaba.vox.com    
> -  soon to
> come, my Hawaii Koen blog!
>  <http://sumobaba.vox.com/>
> _______________________________________________
> Sumo mailing list
> Sumo at webtrek.com
> http://www.webtrek.com/mailman/listinfo/sumo

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