Archive for the ‘Sumo’ Category

Obit watch: January 23, 2013.

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013



Taiho, “widely considered the greatest sumo wrestler of postwar Japan despite the fact that he weighed scarcely more than 300 pounds”.

Taiho, who made his debut in the mid-1950s, dominated his sport until the early ’70s. Standing about 6 feet 1 and weighing about 220 pounds at the start of his career, he was a sylph of sumo, relying on skill more than heft to win matches.

His career record was 746-144-136, and he won the Emperor’s Cup (“an immense silver trophy awarded to the champion of sumo’s top division”) 32 times.

And one more gratuitous note: Taiho was born on Sakhalin Island during World War II. After the war ended and the Soviet Union took control of Sakhalin, Taiho and his mother were sent to Hokkaido.

His father, an anti-Communist who had fled his homeland for Sakhalin after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, was apparently arrested. The family never learned his fate; years later, touring the Soviet Union as a sumo star, Taiho reportedly sought his father’s whereabouts to no avail.

Remember, folks: Commies aren’t cool.

Academic update: Fall 2011, part 2.

Monday, December 12th, 2011

This is a little early, since the final grade hasn’t been put into the main university system yet. (Edited to add 12/13: it is there now.) But I’ve been in touch with my “20th Century: Triumph and Tragedy” professor by email, and she’s confirmed the grades posted in the university’s BlackBoard system.



Fat bottomed guys make the rotten world go round.

Monday, July 5th, 2010

There’s a very brief article in this morning’s NYT about Japan’s sumo scandal.

One wrestler (Keiji Tamiya, who wrestled under the name Kotomitsuki) has been banned for life because he bet on baseball games, and apparently paid $35,000 in blackmail money to a gangster.

A coach, Tadashige Naya, was also banned; if I understand the NYT article correctly, he was a coach in the same stable as Kotomitsuki, and was also involved in gambling.

The NYT article is frustratingly short; it alludes to other scandals involving drugs and rigged matches, and mentions an issue with sales of front-row seats to gangsters, but doesn’t go into much detail. Google turned up a CSM article from late last week that goes into a bit more detail about the current scandals and some of the past ones. There’s also a WSJ article from a few weeks ago that covers some of the same ground. I vaguely recall reading something about the Asashoryu scandal, but I must have been distracted by shiny objects at the time.

Question for my readers: is anyone aware of a good English-language source for sumo coverage and information?