[sumo] No wonder they call the Tokyo Reporter "All the News That's Fit to Squint".

Barbara Ann Klein baklein at attglobal.net
Sun Feb 20 07:31:54 EST 2011

Looks like the "adult entertainment" district in Osaka is missing the usual
spring basho up-tick in economic activity:-) See the disclaimer at the


February 20, 2011
With the cancellation of the Osaka sumo tournament in March, the city’s
nightlife quarters will not be receiving patronage from its burly regulars,
who, reports weekly tabloid Shukan Jitsuwa (Mar. 3), are not using their
mobile phones when canceling entertainment bookings. 
Every year, sumo wrestlers (rikishi), their supporters (tanimachi), and
coaches (oyakata) frequent one particular lounge in the Kita Shinchi
“Since we do not need to prepare a big sofa this year, it is sad,” says an
employee. “While it is disturbing to see drunk sekitori grapplers” — those
ranked in one of the top two professional divisions — “we are used to
hosting them every year. Sumo wrestlers drink a lot given their huge body
mass. Considering that nowadays we have been losing customers, this will
have a big impact on sales.”
A hostess from a club within the Tobita Shinchi district is shocked by the
cancellation. “Since they have massive bodies,” she says, “they do not push
themselves over the limit. Plus, they are good tippers. I just have to sit
on their laps all night; it’s not much work. They were good customers.” 
Shukan Jitsuwa informs its readers that Tobita Shinchi is a Mecca for
quickie joints. A person from a lounge says that they’ll usually come in a
group that includes three attendants (tsukibito) and a sekitori. “When the
sekitori is off enjoying his erotic activities,” the source says, “the
attendants will stick around for drinks. It is vital to the local economy.”
Some wrestlers called their regular places to kindly let them know that they
would not be able to make it this year, and there was one thing that they
all had in common. “Everyone is using a pay phone to say they cannot come,”
says the previously quoted hostess. “They were told not to use mobile phones
For those living under rocks for the past few weeks, the Japan Sumo
Association indicated that text messages discovered on the mobile phones of
roughly a dozen senior wrestlers have implicated them in systematic
bout-fixing — a revelation that caused the cancellation of the Osaka
“While I cannot speak for other training stables,” says one coach, “I am
prohibiting the use of the mobile phone. Any contact to be made outside the
stable must be done in open areas. Of course, there will be no playing
around with women either, including visits to Tobita. We have to do this to
regain trust.”
Shukan Jitsuwa, however, wonders what steps the grapplers will take to
satisfy their sexual needs. (A.T.)
Source: “Osaka basho chushi Tobita-Shinchi e no cancel rikishi WA zenin
koshu-denwa,” Shukan Jitsuwa (Mar. 3, page 31)
Note: Brief extracts from Japanese vernacular media in the public domain that appear here were translated and summarized under the principle of “fair use.” Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the translations. However, we are not responsible for the veracity of their contents. The activities of individuals described herein should not be construed as “typical” behavior of Japanese people nor reflect the intention to portray the country in a negative manner. Our sole aim is to provide examples of various types of reading matter enjoyed by Japanese.

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