Tachiai.org is a growing community of sumo fans, united with the common interest of promoting the sport and we look forward to another exciting year of sumo action! We almost hit 900,000 views last year and I’m shooting for 1,000,000 this year. I started the site as a place to share my love of the sport and to dispel rather derisive and dismissive stereotypes. It is inherently subjective in nature, where the opinions of its contributors and visitors are vital to the site, as with any other blog.
As the site has grown with the fantastic content of its contributors, Bruce, Herouth, Josh, Leonid, Nicola, Liam, Timothée, all of our commenters and readers, many have naturally begun to turn Tachiai for sumo news, holding us to a standard of journalism which should not apply to a blog.
Therefore, I’ve decided that early in 2020 I will release a new site, TachiaiTimes.com, as a distinct sumo news site committed to upholding the core values journalists should espouse: namely that journalists should only follow sumo, 24/7, and none of the other nonsense. “I kid, I kid.” But seriously, only sumo news at the new site and none of my infamous humor.
Web 2.0 applications feature, and thrive upon, a constant feedback loop. Tachai.org will always be the kind of community that supports and promotes sumo with a focus on 大相撲, or “Grand Sumo,” but I do want to promote the international and amateur sumo community as well so count on me following those a bit more closely. In that regard, it seems March has a little tournament in Kochi that I am looking forward to.
Following sumo and the “heya life” (admittedly from quite a distance) it strikes me as a fascinating social program that I wish were available to all people: dedicate yourself fully to a pursuit without having to worry about making ends meet since your needs are covered by the heya. But it’s no utopia. In return for lodging, food, clothes, health care, etc., a wrestler leads a strict lifestyle. And in reality, not all heya are the same; not every circumstance is ideal. Crucially, it’s not mandatory and many drop out…but there’s no going back. To me, that’s an extremely interesting conversation, perfect for Tachiai.org but one which I understand many may not want, in preference for hard, one-way news about the sport and wrestlers they follow. And that’s why TachiaiTimes is needed.
Journalism has always been a passion of mine…but I’ve had a few stumbles while trying to pursue it as a career, including a few rejection letters back when I wanted to go to graduate school. At the day job, I work closely with our public affairs office and members of the media as they mine our (at times incomprehensible) data and conduct research, so the passion remains strong and this is my way forward. This seems like a critical time in journalism and I’ll carve out a little sumo-related respite for those interested. I look forward to another year of great conversations, and hopefully the retirement of our scandal meter.
Happy New Year!