Japan To Watch November Basho In 8K

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US Fans Still Left Begging

According to Yahoo News Japan, NHK will try out an eye-popping 8K technology broadcast during the Kyushu tournament from Fukuoka starting November 13th. This will be an advanced technology demonstration of what NHK is calling “8K Super Hi-Vision“.

While no one in Japan has an 8K set, NHK is playing back the tournament in select locations in Tokyo, no word if the Kokugikan will be one of them.

Meanwhile, US fans are getting by with 25 minute highlight shows that NHK is sharing with the world. Don’t get me wrong, these are much better than no sumo at all, but I maintain that NHK is missing a fertile market they could develop in sumo. Like most sumo fans in the US, I eagerly await the day that NHK will allow me to pay money to watch a more complete broadcast.

NHK World Feature On Harumafuji

NHK World – Artful Champion (video on NHK)

Like many of us outside Japan, I am very grateful for NHK world, but always wish there were more focus on Sumo.  Thursday night, the NHK world news feed included this nice piece of Harumafuji. I especially liked seeing his younger self, and the fact they actually spent time discussing his painting.

Sumo in The Economist

The website for The Economist had a little article about sumo last week. Their “Economist Explains” series focused on the rise of foreign wrestlers in sumo’s upper divisions.

The past basho had mixed results for native Japanese wrestlers. Though yusho in the lower divisions were won by Japanese, Hakuho dominated the makuuchi and his only competition (and sole loss) was from Mongolian compatriot, Terunofuji. Also, all Japanese ozeki had lackluster performances, squeaking by with winning records. Further, Endo, Aminishiki, and Chiyootori had devastating knee injuries.

Anyway, interesting article. It doesn’t go much into the recent rise in the sport’s popularity nor does it really compare Mongolian wrestling to sumo which would help explain why Mongolian wrestlers feature so prominently. Personally, I think the foreign competition is making the sport more exciting.