Monday, July 09, 2007

Sumo is back

I love sumo. It's a great sport to watch and a great experience if you go to the stadiums and watch all day. It has hit on harder times recently. Freakanomics explores collusion and cheating in sumo. Attendance is down; gaijin rikishi are up. I don't think the gaijin thing is helping attract Japanese viewers -- too likely to be seen as a foreign invasion.
Because of this, and despite the foreigner thing, there are a lot of hopes that Hakuho's promotion to yokozuna will bring a bit of life back to the ol' girl yet. Adding an extra yokozuna who will provide a challenge to Asashoryu's dominance of the last few years may ratchet up the tension and with that the excitement.

All eyes on Hakuho in debut as yokozuna | The Japan Times Online
Newly promoted Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho will be looking to pull sumo out of the doldrums and prove his elevation to its top rank was no fluke when the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament starts Sunday.

Japan's national sport hit a new low last week when the Japan Sumo Association revealed that no one applied for the tests for new recruits for the first time ever.

I hope sumo recovers and regains its lustre.

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