[sumo] Iz Kamakawiwo'ole Sumo Song

jdemund at aol.com jdemund at aol.com
Wed Jun 27 10:17:34 EDT 2007

Thank you, Barbara for reminding us of this song and Thank You, Katrina 
for the lyrics.
We first heard this song in LA at a dinner where Akebono was present 
with his deshi, (now Ushiomaru) and they played it over and over again 
until Akebono finally said "Please! stop that song!"  After several 
rounds of Sapporo, I think he just wanted a little more quiet.  At any 
rate, it was a tribute to those guys who had to leave home and family 
behind and go to a place completely different from anything they had 
known and they succeeded.  I remember Akebono's Mother telling us that 
at first he hated it all but especially the food as it was so different 
 from his mother's style.  His family thgought he would just quit and 
come back but he stuck it out and became a hero to them, to me, and to 
all sumo fans.

Janice & Chuck

-----Original Message-----
From: sumorina at mac.com
To: sumobab at attglobal.net; Sumo Mailing List <sumo at webtrek.com>
Sent: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 10:08 am
Subject: Re: [sumo] Iz Kamakawiwo'ole Sumo Song

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 

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 

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 > 

> 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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