Rikishi Cheering Stricken Asakura Survivors


As I reported yesterday, the Jungyo was on a day off today, but some of the rikishi went to Asakura, Fukuoka, which was struck by torrential rains in July and suffered great deveastation, to comfort and cheer the surviving residents.

tamawashi-at-asakura
Tamawashi: Going for Ozeki

But what was first reported as “Hakuho and Kotoshogiku and a few officials” turned out to be a delegation of 46 men, 30 of whom were rikishi, who were there to make the survivors happy.

After observing a moment of silence beside the sculpture of Yokozuna Umegatani, who hailed from Asakura, the rikishi proceeded to a local venue where they mingled with the locals, and offered red-and-white sweets.

About 1200 people, including the local primary school kids, filled the main hall, where they viewed a demonstration of how an oicho-mage is done, listened to sumo-jinku, and of course, savoured the experience of Hakuho’s dohyo-iri.

Outside the venue, the locals could also enjoy free chanko-nabe.

The man of the day surprisingly turned out to be Tamawashi. His heya stayed at Asakura during the Kyushu basho. Many of the locals showed warm hospitality toward the former sekiwake, and he, in exchange, promised them that he would win a double-figure kachi-koshi. And as you may recall, he delivered!

So today, when he came back there, he was greeted warmly as a returning son, and said “So many familiar faces. It feels like a homecoming. I’ll consider Asakura as my second home town from now”.

He added that now he is eyeing the “top of the top”, meaning that he is not settling for a return to san’yaku, but he is going to go for an Ozeki run. Best of luck, Bejeweled Eagle!

8 thoughts on “Rikishi Cheering Stricken Asakura Survivors

  1. Hakuho is so confusing to me. He doesn’t seem to care much about the norms of sumo, and yet he does his dohyo-iri with so much feeling and beauty. A very great and very flawed man.

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    • Hakuho is a complex person, but in this case I think it’s pretty clear: he is much more interested in pleasing the customers than the management.

      He is a very social person. He said once that if his wife isn’t home, he stays at his heya for the night, because he hates having nobody around to talk to. He thrives on interaction, and his dohyo-iri, as well as his fansa style, are high on interaction.

      He is also a great performer. It’s not just his dohyo-iri. During the jungyo, when he does mundane stuff like suri-ashi or stretches below the dohyo, he always does them in sharp, large motions, such that even the elderly woman sitting on the fifth level of the stands can see what he was doing and know that this is He. You’ll see a lot of tweets from random jungyo goers saying “Hakuho has an aura about him”, and that’s exactly how he creates that effect.

      And yes, he does have flaws. I’m more annoyed by his total disrespect to his opponents (other than Harumafuji and Kakuryu) and all those little dame-oshi and whatnots than with his disregard for “hinkaku”, though.

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      • Hilarious anecdote about him staying at his heya when nobody is home!
        I imagine his heya-mates “Oh-oh, Yokozuna´s wife is away visiting her family. I can forget catching up the last Stranger Things episodes… it´s Yokozuna monologues night again!”.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Does anyone besides me find themselves singing and humming ”the hakkeyoi song” almost constantly to themselves over the last couple days? It’s making me nuts!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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