Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Osunaarashi, the Great Sandstorm

I've been interested in Sumo since I saw my first picture of sumo wrestlers when I was a child. It was one of those old Japanese paintings, and I was fascinated.

I live in West Tennessee, and news about Sumo isn't exactly in the local headlines. I picked up tidbits and information as I could, but it couldn't help but be a back-burner interest. When years later I discovered news readers, information on current Sumo events became a bit easier to come by.

My breakthrough was the discovery of the Jason's in Japan Youtube Sumo channel. Suddenly I could get emails informing me of his video coverage of the tournaments. I was a happy camper, and I learned a lot more about the sport and the current wrestlers. I discovered other Youtube channels and news sources. My next idea was to find wrestlers with Facebook pages and follow them. I searched, but -although there are some wrestlers who are on Facebook as individuals- I found only one who has a page you can follow.

Because Osunaarashi is easier to get to know because of his Facebook page, he is now my favorite wrestler.

He seems to be popular. There is a short 24-minute documentary on Oosunaarashi that you can watch at this link, which explores his journey from Egypt to becoming the first African and the first Muslim to rise so high in Sumo ranks. Here's another short documentary chronicling his work:

The next tournament (there are 6 major tournaments each year, held in odd-numbered months) begins on March 8. Check out Jason's Youtube channel for full videos and commentary of selected bouts or watch Kintamayama's overview of the entire tournament. I do both.

And if it's in your mind to ask why I like Sumo, don't. After all, I don't ask why you like baseball or football or tennis, do I?


  1. You have a very special
    will check the channel - thank you!

    1. I hope you like it. I find it a fascinating sport. :)

  2. Anonymous7:52 PM

    I like Hokuho!
    --A Pal

  3. This is very interesting. We saw a bit of sumo a few years ago, when we had a sports channel, and got really into it for a while. A week in Spain, watching the bull fights on television also gave me some understanding for how one can like that sport - although I find it hard to approve of slowly killing of animals for sport. When I studied history, I learned that radio united the different regions of Sweden and made people feel Swedish, rather than than "dalmas" or "rospigg" or "skåning" or whatever regional identity they had. I think the internet is doing the same for the world.

    1. I remember learning about bullfighting from a children's book: . I wish I could believe the internet could make us feel more like our identity was larger, but I despair. The entrenched racism in the report on Ferguson, MO, and the Netanyahu speech, and such...