[sumo] Update and correction to Ryogoku eki opening

Barbara Ann Klein baklein at attglobal.net
Wed Apr 17 19:23:48 EDT 2013

Thanks for all this information. I look forward to seeing the new and
improved station when I visit in July. 

As for the newsstand and the lady working there, I always bought my morning
papers and never once had a complaint about using my Suica in payment. She
was always very pleasant to me as I was to her. Behavior can be reciprocal,
can't it?

Also, I am very happy that Mienoumi and Hasegawa still overlook the
passengers. But, how did I miss the overhead crows??????

Thanks again,

Barbara Ann

-------Original Message-------
From: Doreen Simmons
Date: 4/16/2013 3:47:09 AM
To: Sumo Mailing List
Subject: Re: [sumo] Update and correction to Ryogoku eki opening
Thanks for the update, Patricia. Yesterday evening I had time to take a
good look myself. I personally was delighted by the 'dohyo' on the entrance
hall floor -- it seems to be an actual photograph of the tawara straw
bales; the only snag is that you can't see them -- or any sign of a dohyo
-- unles you are standing right above and looking straight down.
It's nice to see the big portraits of Mienoumi and Hasegawa again (they
were covered while the new work was in progress), with the tegata below
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the vertical brown stripes on the
wall behind all these exhibits are in fact handsome strips of stained wood,
not just paintword as I had assumed.
The tegata are of the yokozuna from #38 to the latest, #70, and are on one
long strip with two tegata at a time, above and below, and running left to
right. Underneath each is a summary of the man's career, in romaji as well
as Japanese.
Slightly OT, on the opposite side of the same area there is the accessible
toilet slightly nearer the ticket barrier than the old Kiosk used to be. I
checked my diary this morning and the kiosk disappeared at the end of
December. This is part of a trend in JR stations that has been going on for
a few years: the gradual replacement of staffed kiosks with automatic sales
outlets. Since the  kiosks had been a rare means of employment for older
women, this presumably puts a lot of them out of work. I only used this one
to nip in and buy an English-language  paper during the holidays -- I
always found the woman pleasant enough, though I normally hand over the
correct change and require little service.
Outside the ticket barrier, besides the big framed copies of the two old
prints of Ryogoku already described by Patricia, there is another
unpexpected pleasure: the history of the Ekoin temple at the bottom of the
street, which is very much bound up with the modern history of sumo, since
it staged the first tournaments held in Ryogoku. Full of historical detail,
and -- a really unexpected pleasure -- underneath the Japanese account, a
translation into excellent English. Since the Ekoin temple is being rebuilt
and has published an elaborate plan of celebrations, I would guess that the
priest has linked up with the station renewal.  I would guess, too,  that
the shotengai, the local shopkeepers' association, has also pitched in in
anticipation of increased custom -- as they did when the present Kokugikan
opened in January 1985. That was when the pavement (sidewalk) was given the
red tiled squares that are supposed to represent the masuseki boxes on the
ground floor of the Kokugikan.
Doreen Simmons
On 16 April 2013 04:50, Patricia Yarrow <yarrowp at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks Doreen and Mark. Yesterday I was about to exit the Ryogoku
> Nishi-guchi exit and it was not very crowded. The elegant stone dohyo
> markings have been *replaced* by a sheet of some translucent material with
> an old image of the dohyo rope markings. Aesthetically, I lament this
> replacement. It is  not better. However, Doreen will still be able to
> it out.
> The two rows of tegata have been unveiled and now poeple will forever be
> placing their hand on the blank and white images of their favorite's
> pawprints. Wonder why they did not retain the vivid red printing. This
> display is quite striking.
> One final observation: the tatty yet appealing cardboard cutouts of crows
> that were hanging overhead to scare off misdirected bird life have been
> taken down.
> Doreen, the promotion looked more like a civic event. With just two
> in view who were clearly just having fun and not their as special guests,
> didn't get the feeling that the Sumo Association had a strong hand in this
> renovation.
> --
> Patricia Yarrow
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