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    Kotooshu Wins the Summer Tournament!

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 May 24日 Saturday

    Kaloyan Mahlyanov, the Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu (琴欧洲), won the Summer Tournament today with the Emperor’s Cup clinching quick win over the always tricky Mongolian sekiwake Ama. Congratulations!

    Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu defeated Mongolian sekiwake Ama to claim the title at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday to enter the history books as the first European wrestler to win an Emperor’s Cup. Kotooshu won his first career title with a record of 13-1 at the 15-day meet at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo.

    Kotooshu came flying out of the crouch, getting both arms wrapped around Ama’s mawashi before tackling his opponent from behind. ‘‘I have no words to express. I am so happy. I finally did it,’’ said Kotooshu, who took 34 tournaments from his sumo debut to win the Emperor’s Cup. 

    Along the way he won convincingly over both Mongolian yokozunas Hakuho and Asasoryu, but was tripped up by Aminishiki on day 13 when ‘Oshu seemed to have become too nervous. Here’s the video of Kotooshu’s day 11 win over Asashoryu.

    Here’s a visual history of Kotooshu since he entered the world of sumo over 5 years ago.

    Posted in 02_English, culture, information, opinion, sumo, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Sumo in LA

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 February 25日 Monday

    Ozumo (the professional sumo circuit) is making an appearance in LA this June after putting on a performance in Hawaii last year, which was the first time in 14 years for the former sumo wrestler producing island.

    Pretty slick site considering how analogue the sumo world is (many sumo-beya training stables now have their own sites and top ranked sekitori wrestlers have their own blogs, so the ancient world is slowly becoming digitized). Introductory video is nicely produced and contains lots of great scenes often not seen by the public, like all the training sessions. But it seems to overuse the Japanese sumo words so people need some prior knowledge of the sport, otherwise they’ll get lost quickly in all the lingo. Then again judo pretty much exclusively uses Japanese terms and it’s an Olympic sport, so that seems to be what sumo’s aiming at.

    One FYI: about 40 wrestlers in the upper ranks of makuuchi make it to these overseas 2-day tournaments, but they always fly in two separate planes. This is to avert a situation where the world’s top sumo wrestlers are all lost in one plane crash.

    PS: There should be a Mongolian tournament in the works as well, as Mongolians currently dominate the sumo world and Ozumo is watched regularly by Mongolians on TV. Sort of like how Japanese watch their major leaguers on TV broadcasts.

    Posted in 02_English, information, sumo | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »