Thursday, September 09, 2010
Monday, May 04, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Car Roof #1 Kotokasuga
(He's a rally fan, we met in a traffic jam)
Kisenosato at the far left of the dash!
The others here are next to him in the big sign is Mienoumi
English autograph at the bottom is Yuya Sumiyama (Cusco racing)
Actually I got onto Facebook due to my cousin working for the company & all my rally friends and drivers being on there. Then that ends up taking so much time! I've been making albums which is a day and beyond to upload the pictures!
Here is a link to my facebook page! Though I don't know if you can access without being a member of facebook!
Some things I've been doing....
Toshi Arai had his annual fan party in January on the 10th. It was a lot of fun! A few photos are posted here! Took Toshi driving. He's better at driving than co-driving :-)
Seriously it was great fun to have him driving around and talking in my car!!!!
Went to Gunsai Rally Festa in December! It was a strangely warm day compared to the weather before and after that!!! Photos here! All the local Japanese drivers who came sined my car!!! :)
Been to some Asageiko (morning practice) at some heya these days too!
But trying to get tons of photos uploaded first to get them on an album!!!
I also went to a danpatsushiki (top knot cutting ceremony) for retiring rikishi! That was Jan 31st. It was really great but very sad in a way!!! I mean I love both the guys who retired!
There are three albums on facebook:
Kasugano : Tochinohana & Tochisakae Danpatsushiki
More updates later! :)
Saturday, November 08, 2008
He is a REAL Cutie!!!!!
& a future WRC World Champion!
He was never so cool as this year in Japan! I have seen Toni many times but never THIS cool and sexy Toni!
I fell in love with Suzuki guys, but Phil Mills (Petter's co-driver) wants me to stay away from the yellow and stick with the blue! :-)
Another sexy Finn!
What can I say to Phil? These two handsome Finns are hard to stay away from! (Sorry Phil!)
*Toni & Tomi, I miss seeing you every day and getting your hugs already!*
Monday, October 06, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Ranked Jonidan 28 in Aki Basho
Was Jonokuchi Yusho (winner) in Nagoya
23 Years old From Shizuoka prefecture
Definitely a future Sekitori and not long till he gets there probably!
And later after his match with Aran!! Aran is the only Russian Sekitori left after the big drug scandal. All the other Russians were kicked out of Sumo!
These are sweet tsukebitos of Asashoryu! Asadoryu, Asakubo and Asaarimoto.
They actually tried to speak some English! Met them while waiting for Ama on Shonichi. Those are chocolate bars in their mouths! I gave chocolate bars to some tsukebito and yobidashi for their hard work every day! They were really really nice and friendly guys and from that day on I supported them 100% in their early morning matches!!!
Unfortunately Anne was quite sick that day and maybe spending 13 hours with her continuously was not in best judgment for my body because I got sick on Monday. But Anne, as you read this please know that I wouldn't have wanted it any other way! YOU made my Senshuraku one of the best I have ever had and I will remember the entire day from 0930 on with you by my side (most of the time) making some of my greatest memories! (next time leave your cold at home! LOL)
As of tonight I'm feeling a bit human so I try to give a short update. I have a really busy week and will be out of town till Friday so the rest of the report has to wait!
My highlights were meeting new friends! And meeting rikishi I had never met before and meeting (or was that stalking) yobidashi for the first time. Everyone that I had contact with during this basho made the two weeks really a special time I can never forget.
So where should I start? First I should say that I met quite a few new sumo fan friends. There was Martina from Germany who I've known from internet Sumo forum for some time. I talked to her quite briefly but nonethless was finally able to meet her in person!
Next was Anne, another lovely gal from Germany who I spent just two days with but Senshuraku being totally the best together as we did our best to manage to sit in the Tamari seki around the dohyo through the very end and through the awards. We were sneaky together and it was great! We enjoyed everything together from the young kids in the morning through Ama and Baruto and Hakuho in the evening. Anne, you made Senshuraku fantastic, thanks for being there with me!
I also met Shoko, who I had actually already met when buying tickets in August. She is a total Sumo freak. We talked a bit during the first couple days of the basho but then a few days in she introduced me to her friends (and now my friends..) Hamasaki-san (Hama-chan) and Tatsumi-san (Ta-chan) and I sat with them most days after that at least until around 1500. Hama-chan and Ta-chan are like the experts of Sumo. If there is something they don't know I'd be surprised. They taught me so much that I am truly forever in their debt. I mean information about the very youngest rikishi and yobidashi to things about their families, home towns and facts and figures and you name it-they know it. Thank you Shoko for introducing me to them!! Shoko & I enjoyed some days of Sumo together but she has many friends too and we didn't always sit together. Like me she was often floating around. She was also often there from 0830 in the morning so needed to move around and stretch her legs and talk to so many friends. But the days I did spend with her were wonderful ones. And the evenings stalking Ama at the end were always great. We were always happy to see Ama! Shoko and I also enjoyed going to some heya together and meeting some rikishi after Sumo. When we hung out together we were always the last two to leave and would say goodbye to 90% of the Kokugikan staff on their way out. Oh and I almost forgot Shoko's parents!! I met her dad just once but her mom a few times! They are very nice and I like her mom a lot!
One night I also met one of my future best friends Harumi! She is really cool, been living in New York. She is Sumo freak as well and we hit it off well. I met her and then ended up having ramen with her at Aminishiki's favorite ramen shop near the kokugikan. That is really delicious, I ate there twice this time. Intending to eat and run we ended up talking till nearly midnight. I almost didn't make it to work the next day. Harumi is really cool and I look forward to hanging out with her a lot.
Megu-chan who lives semi-near me here in Saitama was another great friend I met. We only shared two days of Sumo but they were fun! Meg is a sweetie and I look forward to getting to know her more and doing fun things with her. Stalking Ama or whatever? Megu-chan, thanks for helping me support Kaisei and Kihaku so much! I really appreciate it and for comforting me on Senshuraku when I couldn't stop crying. I really appreciate it!!! I love you for that!
I enjoyed sumo some days with my friends the Umezakis. I also actually met them in line buying tickets in August. But it was the first time to watch some Sumo with them. Like me they would always be there at 0830 on the days they could come.
I met a few other nice people but some I don't remember their names. One sweet JHS girl who if she is reading this... let you know I'll send you the picture you took with Ama later, I haven't downloaded it yet to my PC! She was very cute and wrote nice love letters to Ama and was waiting with me twice to give him. He was quite sweet in a photo they took together!! His smile was one of the best I have seen! She showed him her Ama phone strap and his smile was even bigger! Ama is a gem and treats his fans very well. I waited for him every day I was at the tournament and honestly started to feel like his personal stalker. Because I waited different days with different people. But for me always there! But truly I was not stalking Ama, as I've fallen in love with his tsukebito Isenohana! I think it might have started during the May basho but the more times I talked to him and took pictures with him the more I liked him. I always supported him in the morning matches. He always thanked me for that! Sorry Ama, you have too many women anyway.... :-)
I met and talked to many new rikishi I hadn't before. Finally I met the young love of my life.. Kotomisen! :-) He is even more cute in person! I also finally met Kotokobai which was fabulous. I started liking them when I saw their pictures on Kotoshogiku's blog. This basho Kotomisen was tsukebito for Kotokasuga. I met him as well and Kotoninsei who is really a cutie. (disclaimer, there are only cuties at Sadogatake beya and that includes sexy Oyakata!) I talked with them more than one day and one day I talked with Kotokasuga stuck in traffic in the car next to me when I had to leave early for work. Turns out he is a WRC fan so we talked about my car. I will take my car to Sadogatake the next chance and he promised to sign it for me and I'll take him for a ride as well.
I met many of the younger guys this time that I wanted to meet. Especially Nara who I first saw at the Hatsubasho in 2007. His matches were in Jonokuchi so early in the morning. The reason I had to be there so early was for him and for Kawahara of Onomatsu beya they had the first matches of the morning!
Nara is really a nice kid, I tried to support him as much as I could. He is in Magaki beya and with so much trouble they had with Wakanoho's arrest and the media circus I figured there was a lot of tension at that heya, I hoped he'd do well despite prebasho tension. He also works hard as assistant for Magaki Oyakata who is in a wheelchair. So after Nara's matches he has to take care of Oyakata as well. Very busy for him.
I also met Iwashimizu who I first spotted in August at Sumo exercises after buying my tickets. He is tiny but he is really muscular! He had a fantastic basho and my friends and I cheered so loud for him one day (and we were the only two doing so in the whole kokugikan at such an early hour) that you would have thought we just saw Baruto and Hakuho. He was so polite and came off the doyho and bowed and thanked us. He is a cute kid, 16 years old! After his match I waited outside and introduced myself to him and gave him some special cookies. (they are the same ones that got Toyonoshima up to Sekiwake... they are really lucky type!)
Again he was so polite and thanked me for supporting him and for the cookies. I really look forward to watching his career advance! He will do well, I am confident of it. Since he is from Kyoto I suppose I can be his substitute mom around this area!
And another guy I was so lucky to meet was Ozakiumi from Dewanoumi beya. This was only his 2nd tournament. But I learned his name from the last basho in Nagoya where he got the Jonokuchi yusho. He had an interview on TV. I wrote down all his information in my "Sumo Bible" (some day take a picture of that to show you..)
His bio wasn't in that book yet as it was printed before his debut.
I cheered him (all by myself for some days) in this basho but he told me he was happy when I finally met him. Midway through the basho on 23rd, he was leaving as my friends and I were waiting for Kaisei to come. I just casually said "congratulations" to him on that day's win and he nodded. Then when he was almost out the door my friends asked "who was that?" When I said "Ozakiumi" he heard me and turned around. Maybe surprised that his name was well known in this 2nd basho?! He looked happy though so we decided at the end of the day to go and meet him. He couldn't stop that day as he is also a tsukebito for Futeno and was going back to the heya to get him. So after we left Kokugikan we got in my car, four women and went to his heya. I brought him cookies of course, those Toyonoshima Sekiwake cookies of course!
Think they were surprised when we asked for him since he is not one of the higher ranked and hasn't been there long. But he looked surprised and happy to meet us and took pictures with us. I told him how I got to know him from his Jonokuchi interview on TV. Finally we left, we wondered what stories he had to tell his heya mates about those four women who came to see him! He was really a nice guy and I missed his next match while I was working but Shoko and Harumi cheered him for me I think... :-)
Shoko and I also went to his heya on the last Saturday as we didn't see him the last day. He was so sweet and talked to us for a long time. Maybe 40 minutes while my other two friends who came to Sumo with me waited in the car. But it was hard to tear ourselves away. He was pretty amazed that he has a fan club... he asked if I was the president. Shoko said of course! I think it is not too shabby for a fan club in your 2nd basho of your career. Fan club includes 5 women and 3 men. Those aren't bad odds either! Tomomi, Shoko, Megu, Harumi and myself along with Chris (seems he was drafted but still...) and Ta-chan and Hama-chan who also helped me cheer him!
Well finally we left him with some more cookies and some for his heya mates so they weren't too jealous. Ozakiumi is a college graduate of Toyo Univ. the same university as Kimurayama (of Kasugano beya). So he has short hair still, when can he have a mage? who knows? I wonder how fast his hair grows! He doesn't have "rikishi smell" yet. ("rikishi smell" is coined by my best friend Kazuko who almost made me break a leg getting out of a convenience store bathroom one day when she banged on the door and said "there is a young cutie out here and he smells like rikishi!")
That was the day we tried to find him walking on the streets and ran straight into Aran who was still in Makushita back then and washing mawashi at the coin laundry! Now Aran is going to be in Makuuchi in the next basho... he has tsukebito now, no more washing mawashi for him!!!
Shoko talked about "rikishi smell" with Ozakiumi. She told him it was like aromatherapy for us. :-) Good one there Shoko. But she is dead on at least for me, her and Kazuko there is nothing greater than rikishi smell! That comes from their hair wax which Shoko said she sometimes uses herself! Wow! Maybe Kazuko and I should get some and just put it out in the room and really use it for aromatherapy!
Surely after that aromatherapy talk you'd think that he'd be scared of us but no, he kept on chatting. While thinking to himself.. what is wrong with these women...? hair wax for rikishi mage is their aromatherapy? Crazy????
I also met two Yobidashi: Keisuke and Kohei. Keisukei's story is interesting. Some time before this basho my good friend Miwa said she wanted to meet him. Being a good friend I vowed to meet him myself before the day she would come to Kokugikan at the halfway point in the basho. By the end of the first day I must say I had made eye contact with him! And we were exchanging greetings by day two. Good job by me!
I also had time to find Kohei another yobidashi who was nice. He always smiled at me and was friendly. So in my "Sumo Bible" I looked Kohei up and found out our birthdays are one day apart. That was my opening and I stopped him one day and introduced myself to him using the birthday thing.. later I introduced him to my other friends and we always talked to him when he was leaving at the end of the day. I introduced him to Miwa and asked him to introduce her to Keisuke but that day he was in a hurry and had to leave immediately after the matches. Miwa did give him some sweets and took a picture with him though! That was nice!!!
Thanks to Keisuke and Kohei for making a fun basho for us. They have really great voices and we enjoyed listening. Oh and they are cute too so not bad on the eyes! For those of you reading who don't know what Yobidashi are they are the ones who are annoucing the rikishi before each match, they also clean up the dohyo and take care of the shimpan (judges) and the salt and water later in the day. They carry the kensho (bonus money) banners during the later matches and they have to watch the people in the tamari seats around the dohyo make sure they aren't eating or drinking or doing something dangerous. On last day Kohei had emergency work, suddenly during a match of young guys an old man was trying to climb on to the dohyo. He moved so slowly but he was suddenly there came out of nowhere. Kohei had a job to pull him away. It was so dangerous. Turned out he was Mongolian guy so probably didn't know what Kohei tried to tell him. Good job Kohei, he saved the day!
I mentioned new people I met but forgot to mention my "old" friends who made my Sumo fantastic as well!!!
I enjoyed two days with my best friend Kazuko and one day her sister Tomomi came. But on that day Kazuko spent most of the afternoon with Tomomi outside taking pictures with rikishi. It was Tomomi's first tournament at Kokugikan and taking pictures of the higher ranked rikishi as they arrived and all was a bit more interesting for her. As for me, I'm so much more interested in the lower ranked guys... :-)
And one day my friend (and student) Miwa came as I mentioned, she came to stalk Keisuke with a 2nd goal to watch some Sumo! She is a sumo fan a little, otherwise she wouldn't have seen Keisuke on TV and fell in love with him in the Nagoya basho!
Twice my co-worker and great friend Koike-sensei came. Once with his friend Aizono who is friend of Onomatsu Oyakata and introduced us to him in June. That day was Senshuraku and the two of them enjoyed walking around and changing seats and watching here and there all day. Anne and I glued our butts to the zabuton in Tamari all day!
My sweet sumo stalking friend Tomomi came twice with me. Once on the first day Shonichi and once on 23rd with Koike-san. She like me loves many Kasugano guys, especially Tochinocutie.. I mean Tochinokuni! We always mess that up! We had a great time and she helped me scream for Kaisei and Kihaku those days too!
My friend Ogaki-san came on Shonichi but he wasn't into sitting in the tamari all day so while Tomomi and I sat there he sat in our box all day. Once Chris went to talk to him too. He had a great time but watched Sumo alone all day. Tomomi and I made it until 1630 or 1700 I think sitting in Tamari that day!
On the first Monday my friend Mike came with me. He came from early morning, meeting me at my hotel and driving over with me. We watched with the Umezaki's that day. Mike and I managed to sit in Tamari all day. Our box remained empty the entire day. Just with video camera and dead battery up in the box. We did a great job, Mike was so lucky to pick two seats that nobody showed up for. We sat in those two seats without being asked to move from 1600-1800 continuously. Other days we had to move around as people came but Mike, he was the luckiest! Mike helped me stalk Keisuke that day a lot too. I guess that was a little strange... for Keisuke anyway! :)
On the weekedays mostly I just sat with Ta-chan and Hama-chan and Shoko most of the days.
I will try to post pictures and more information later!!!
It was a fantastic basho but I was dead tired. It was the first time in my life to go almost every day and the first time to go from 0830 every day. The last Saturday I didn't realize the schedule had been adjusted to start at 1025 and I came at 0830 running from the parking lot... I was out of breath when Tatsunami Oyakata asked me why I was running... "of course I can't miss Nara and Kawahara in Jonokuchi.." he said "you won't, it starts two hours later today!" Duh! I was the only one there. I watched Yobidashi play jank-ken (rock, scissors, paper) to decide their daily duties!
I ate my breakfast too! And relaxed... but boy another 2 hours sleep would have been great considering I had only 2.5 hours of sleep that night before!
Please check back when I come back to Japan after Friday!!
Sunday, September 07, 2008
What does this have to do with Asageiko (morning practice) you ask? Nothing really, except that today after asageiko recently retired Tochinohana, now Hatachiyama Oyakata signed my Legacy and added his name to the many fantastic people who have signed already!
What a treat for me!!! He's the first one to sign my car "nearly" naked.. Ama and Aminishiki wore towels! :-)
I almost couldn't drive home.. too excited to sit in my seat!!
Thanks Hatachiyama for signing my car!!! Wow, that is cool!!
You can find his blog here as well! He is a real cutie! Always one of my favorites!