Universities offer foreign wrestlers new path to pro sumo
Japan Times -- Nov 12
The withdrawal of both yokozuna before the November Grand Sumo Tournament got under way meant that three of the four highest-ranked men fighting on Day 1 came from a university sumo background.

The remaining top-ranker, Takakeisho, also competed in domestic amateur sumo up to the high school level.

It’s a similar story among recent champions. Each of the non-yokozuna winners of the Emperor’s Cup over the past decade and a half — bar two — has come from amateur or university sumo.

It’s a well-known fact that Wajima’s promotion to yokozuna in 1973 remains, to this day, the only instance of a former collegian reaching the top of the professional sumo pyramid, but half a century later that achievement finally looks like it may be matched by not one, but two or more rikishi.

As the Hakuho era draws to a close, many of the main contenders to succeed both him and Kakuryu at the pinnacle of ōzumō are men with a university background.

Looking out a little further into the future that seems to a be trend set to continue — but with an interesting twist.

Traditionally, most rikishi have joined sumo at a young age with the vast majority still being children when entering a stable.

Junior high school graduates continue to make up a large part of the intake, but over the past few decades wrestlers with collegiate experience have become an increasingly common sight in the pro ranks.

That in itself is hardly surprising given a general rise in education levels worldwide, but what is significant is the fact that Japanese amateur sumo recently looks like it’s becoming a pathway into ozumo for that sport’s third demographic — foreigners.

For potential recruits from outside Japan, finding a stablemaster willing to take them in and give them a shot has been by far the most difficult part of the process over the past twenty years. Hakuho — the greatest rikishi of all time — being turned down by every stable in ozumo is a story that rivals Tom Brady being passed over multiple times by every single NFL team. Yet even young men with a history of amateur success at the international level like Tochinoshin or Osunaarashi struggled to find a place in the pro ranks, and several others equally as talented never did so.

News source: Japan Times
Nov 23
Yasutoshi Nishimura — the nation’s COVID-19 point man — paused momentarily at one point during a recent news conference, seemingly debating internally how best to broach discussion of virus clusters among foreign residents, a subject that could be a lightning rod for criticism and claims of xenophobia if handled poorly. (Japan Times)
Nov 22
Previously... My name is Sutan. I'm 19-month-old baby living in Tokyo. My mom suddenly said to go buy a bike. I've never ridden a bike before, so I wasn't too happy about it. Anyway, watch the video to see what happens. (Kimono Mom)
Nov 20
A small vessel carrying 62 people, mostly sixth-grade students on a school trip, sank Thursday in the sea off western Japan shortly after all aboard were rescued by Japan Coast Guard ships and nearby fishery boats, the coast guard said. (Japan Today)
Nov 20
Japan is expecting to see a record low number of newborns in 2020, government sources said. (South China Morning Post)
Nov 20
A Japanese welding firm has opened it’s first “welding theme park” in Fukui city in Ishikawa prefecture in Japan. (South China Morning Post)
Nov 19
University students in Japan are finding it tougher to line up graduate jobs, as the coronavirus pandemic casts its shadow over the economy. (NHK)
Nov 19
The number of child abuse cases handled by child consultation centers across Japan in fiscal 2019 rose by 33,942 from the previous year to 193,780, the most since the survey started in fiscal 1990, the welfare ministry said in a preliminary report Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Nov 18
For generations people have been saying there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and in the modern era we could probably add that there’s no such thing as a free-to-play mobile game. (soranews24.com)
Nov 18
As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on education systems worldwide, a Japanese program to welcome more than 300,000 foreign students is at a crossroads. (NHK)
Nov 16
Children cheered on the launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft at a Japanese elementary school from which astronaut Noguchi Soichi graduated. (NHK)
Nov 16
Osaka Castle is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks. It sits on a one kilometre square plot in Osaka and was built in 1583 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. (Ancient Architects)
Nov 15
24hours of Japanese 19 month-old-baby. My name is Sutan. I'm 19month-old baby living in Tokyo. This is my, realistic day from the time I wake up in the morning until I go to bed. (Kimono Mom)
Nov 14
Every Centenarian I talk to, people who are over 100 years old, tell me one of the things to a long life is visiting a Japanese hot spring or onsen regularly. (ONLY in JAPAN)
Nov 12
These creepy Japanese Bedtime stories are even SCARIER than Urban Legends! (MostAmazingTop10)
Nov 12
Police have arrested a 28-year-old teacher over the alleged sexual abuse of a boy while the suspect lived overseas three years ago, reports TBS News (Nov. 11). (tokyoreporter.com)
Nov 12
The withdrawal of both yokozuna before the November Grand Sumo Tournament got under way meant that three of the four highest-ranked men fighting on Day 1 came from a university sumo background. (Japan Times)
Nov 11
The number of suicides in Japan rose for a fourth straight month in October. (NHK)
Nov 11
Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested a school vice principal for allegedly smearing his own bodily fluid on a girl inside a train, reports Jiji Press (Nov. 9). (tokyoreporter.com)
Nov 11
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 29-year-old elementary school teacher for allegedly engaging in sex with a boy he met online, reports TBS News (Nov. 10). (tokyoreporter.com)
Nov 10
Whether you are a parent doing research for your teen, or you are a high school senior who is doing research into the many colleges that are found all over the country, one thing to consider is the safety of a college campus. (newsonjapan.com)