A more primitive major sport than sumo was Re: [sumo] the fade to
black - not a spoiler but a view
jejima at gmail.com
Sun Mar 29 00:42:05 EDT 2009
On 29/03/2009, Barbara <barbara at technogirls.org> wrote:
> Can anyone here think of a
> more primitive major sport than sumo?
> Barbara Murasakihana
Okay, this is not to knock your well-made point, but to come up with
an answer to your question above :-)
Kabaddi springs to mind ---> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabaddi>
which is one of the most popular sports on the Indian sub-continent
(perhaps cricket is the only sport more popular there?), and it is the
national sport of Bangladesh, so it probably dwarfs sumo in terms of
the number of participants - and I guess spectators too.
This is a team sport where the main 'skill' apparently, is the ability
to hold your breath for a long time ;-) According to the above link,
its origins are pre-historic.
I would imagine that there are similar other sports (such as the
Mongolian and Korean variations of 'sumo') that could argue a similar
In regards to the original topic, I think sumo does make changes -
What changes could we suggest to make sumo more modern?
These are some that I could think of quickly..
Maybe crash mats around the dohyo, and/or a softer surface for the
dohyo (to prevent injury)? Drug checks before every basho to WADA
guidelines? Allow rikishi free-trade between heyas, rather than
having to stick with the one they joined? Not having the rikishi all
live together, but rather only meet up for training? Taking away the
archaic dress code, and allow the young rikishi to wear jeans and
T-shirts when in public? Make 'henka' an illegal technique? Replace
the rijicho with an administrator from outside the sport? Get rid of
the 'out-dated' rituals (such as the right-handed acceptance of kensho
envelopes)? Allow women to step foot onto the dohyo? Change the time
of the Makunouchi bouts to evenings during week-days, to allow more
Japanese to attend after they have finished work? Have one basho a
year moved to a foreign country, in order to build up the number of
I may not agree with all the above suggestions, but I could probably
get round to accepting them all in time, if they were to make the
sport better - but not all in one go.
However, if these changes were to be made, would the end result be
better than we have now?
Would fencing (or archery) be a more exciting sport if it had retained
its archaic traditions? What if fencers were still living as they did
in Medieval Europe? What if they had their own special food? What if
they had some strange ranking system, with a bizarre system of
privileges? I could go on ;-)
Suddenly fencing sounds a lot more interesting to follow :-)
Personally, I think we should cherish the fact that although sumo does
make changes, it does so very slowly. One of the reasons why I enjoy
sumo so much, is because of all 'extra' stuff going on. It is
'quirky' and 'exotic' (to my Western upbringing) - and that keeps me
interested, and wanting to come back for more.
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