It was a rumor a few weeks ago, and now it seems like it is actually going to happen. I admit that I considered the entire concept far-fetched, but for the first time a sitting US President will be in attendance at the Kokugikan. The plan is that US President Donald Trump will be on hand for the some or all of the top division on the final day of the tournament, Sunday 26th. He has stated his desire to hand out at least one award to the yusho winner.
President Trump is a remarkably polarizing figure, both in the US and internationally, and many sumo fans will have mixed feelings about his presence at the basho. Personally I have found sumo to be refreshingly free of international politics, and has made for a fantastic escape from the nonsense that crowds the daily news. But if the President wants to enjoy sumo (which all of us do), I am big enough to welcome him to the global fan base, and encourage him to consider consulting Tachiai should the ritual, the competition and power that is sumo captures his interest.
One thing is absolutely certain, a Presidential visit to the Kokugikan will bring massive attention from the American public into the world of sumo. At Tachiai we are expecting a flood of new readers in the days just before and just following senshuraku. But we think that in addition to the normal crowd of boisterous sumo fans, we will find people with a political viewpoint to express. So for our long time readers, please do not take it personally if we close comments on some posts, as Team Tachiai has agreed – we want to keep the site focused on sumo, and keep politics on the other 10 billion sites on the web.