Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tomorrow

Tomorrow's going to be a long day for the media.

The third-place match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be held at 3:30 a.m. on June 11, Japan time.

The House of Councilors election will be held on July 11, and polls in most areas are scheduled to start at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.

The July Grand Sumo Tournament will start at 8:30 a.m. on July 11th. It will continue until the 25th although the cancellation of the tornament due to continuous scandals was discussed.

The final game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be held at 3:30 a.m. on June 12, Japan time.



In Japan, the Diet consists of two houses, the House of Representatives (the Lower House) and the House of Councilors (the Upper House). The term of a member of the House of Councilors is six years and half of the members are elected every three years.


Sumo(相撲) is now facing a serious crisis with continuous scandals such as delinquency as yokozuna, a lynch case, possession of drugs, suspicion of assault and betting on baseball games as the way that gangs collect funds.

Sumo(Japanese-style wrestling, sumo wrestling) is Japan's national sport. It was originally practiced as a dedication to the gods. So sumo has persisted under the influence of Shinto rituals.
Now, six tournaments a year are held three in Tokyo and one in Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka. Each tournament lasts fifteen days.

Sumo has been called into question one's raison d'etre as a national sport.
Foreign wrestlers have ranked high and today's younger generation has a poor understanding of the tradition. The dignity as a yokozuna(grand champion in sumo) often became a major problem.

The world of sumo is very closed.
The Japan Sumo Association, which consists of only retired sumo wrestlers, has managed everything necessary to sumo tornaments.
The world of sumo is expected not only to follow the good tradition of it but also to break established conventions in line with the times. It's so difficult.

"Half-hearted compromise disgraces the tradition ..." (the words of Jean-Louis Barrault by Yoshida Minosuke Ⅲ, Zukin-Kabutte-50nen)

Women are not allowed to enter the ring even now.
Four pillars were removed for a live telecast.
The color of belts worn by sumo wrestlers is designated, but most wrestlers don't follow the rule.

Some members of the association can protest the call of a sumo referee and can retreat from referee's decision. The association has adopted the use of a video referee for quite some time now. When victory or defeat can't be verified by video referee, the association can decide to hold a rematch.

A sumo referee(行司, gyouji) makes his call with a dagger in his bosom. It's used for commiting suicide(hara-kiri) when he makes an error. Of course no referee use it now. It was sumo referee's principle to risk his life to judge a match because sumo was a Shinto ritual.


This time, The Japan Sumo Association ruined the reputation by associating with gangsters. Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) is going to cancel a live broadcast of the tournament for the first time.

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