[sumo] Jungyo and Koen

Doreen Simmons jz8d-smmn at asahi-net.or.jp
Mon Feb 11 01:46:34 EST 2008

On 2008/02/11, at 14:32, Lon Howard wrote:

> Thanks Doreen,
> I'm guessing Andy also realized this, but probably concluded that you 
> can get over-nitpicky sometimes.  Since the public usually doesn't 
> know what actually happened behind the scenes, in some cases I'm 
> guessing (I do a lot of that...) NSK can choose to call it whichever 
> they please.
On the contrary, Lon, the Kyokai cannot  decide on its own whether to 
call it a jungyo or a koen. When a koen is being planned, it is a 
diplomatic matter so the Foreign Ministry is involved, for sure, as 
well as the Ministry of Education, which is officially in charge of the 
Kyokai. Visits to Heads of State are normally made in a koen, but not a 
jungyo. (Remember Nancy Reagan refusing to have "those naked men" on 
her drawing-room carpet, and Chiyonofuji had to do his dohyo-iri 
elsewhere for a somewhat lesser dignitary  - Secretary of State, was 
it?) But sometimes the matter isn't decided all at once; there was 
considerable behind-the-scenes negotiating before the Australia Koen 
came to happen.

In the case of a jungyo there is more leeway for publicity and within 
reason the local promoters can make up their own names (the word 
'basho' is not off-limits, as you can also have basho in different 
places in Japan; it's only 'hon-basho', which refers only to the six 
annual official tournaments, that can't be used. But in the 
locally-produced stuff, there are all sorts of 'special' claims made -- 
including the one that an event of this kind has never happened outside 
Japan before! I recall seeing that more than once.

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

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