Interview with Morihei Ueshiba

Tegatana Sumo

Cutting a Topknot That Were Tied for Twenty-four Many Years

Harold G. Meij (left) and Nishiiwa Shinobu © CHUO KORON SHINSHA 2016

Meij: you have got simply had your your retirement service together with your topknot slice. Have you gotten regularly your hair style?

Nishiiwa: Not however, because I'd a topknot for twenty-four many years (laughs).

Meij: I’ve read your autobiography (Tatakiage). Real towards the title, you probably tend to be a self-made man. Just what astonished myself most is that you had surgery an astonishing nine times. We don’t know others who’s had plenty functions.

Nishiiwa: myself neither, except that me personally.

Meij: You won nineteen successive tournaments at three greatest ranks below yokozuna. Which amazing. Unlike ozeki, there isn't any kadoban for those three ranks. Therefore, you're going to be demoted in the event that you lose a lot more than you win, as well as stay away from the band for a tournament. What’s a lot more amazing is you tend to be seventh all-time within the few gains. You have got my utmost value.

Nishiiwa: thank-you truly.

Meij: Actually, I’ve been a large fan of sumo since I was a young child. I’m maybe not interested in various other activities definitely. Between you and me, we don’t really like football (football), although I am Dutch (laughs).

An eight-year-old child sees sumo wrestlers for the first time…

Nishiiwa: whenever do you begin watching sumo?

Meij: we came to Japan in 1971when I became eight as a result of my father’s work. He struggled to obtain a Japanese food maker. The foreign people residing in Japan during those times were either diplomats or in the US armed forces, therefore for the reason that feeling us ended up being an unusual situation. As an eight-year-old son, I did not speak Japanese as well as English. 1 day, my father took us to the old (Kuramae) Kokugikan. I entered the hanamichi in error once I would the restroom. Indeed there I became, a kid from another country seeing sumo wrestlers up close for the first time. It was like…

Nishiiwa: Like a small mountain?

Meij: they appear huge in the ring. When you stand inside front side of them, it feels simply overwhelming. A great deal more so for just a little son. All of a sudden, I was thinking they certainly were gods, or these were much like the gods we understood about from Greek urban myths. These days we introduced this illustration for you. The gods from Greek myths are generally big and without garments (programs him the illustration).

Nishiiwa: They really do appear to be sumo wrestlers.

Meij: in line with the urban myths, the gods don’t get on well with one another and battle on a regular basis. So, I thought it absolutely was like gods had been battling together within the ring. That’s in which everything began for me.

Nishiiwa: That’s interesting. Today, I remember just how people state that young ones will grow up healthy after being cuddled by a sumo wrestler, which infants will undoubtedly be created healthier if a sumo wrestler carefully rubs the moms’ tummies. Sumo wrestlers are not like gods, but they are considered to be being special to Japanese individuals.

Meij: These are generally unlike ordinary people. The shrines have actually rings.

Nishiiwa: Sumo is originally a shrine ritual.

Meij: i do believe sumo is a special sport because it is a fight this is certainly over right away. The average time of a match is…

Nishiiwa: About seven seconds.

Meij: A match is a lot like attracting a sword. Reduce your adversary or perhaps cut down. Sometimes sumo wrestlers collide intensely. When the fight is finished, they sheath their blade and become nothing took place.

Nishiiwa: you realize your material, and absolutely see things differently. The average period of a match is seven moments. It finishes in another or two if it goes quickly. At most it may continue for a minute. Sumo wrestlers rehearse each day for months, covered in dirt, to prepare for a battle that lasts a moment. A match finishes in a few seconds.

Meij: every little thing stops as soon as the fighting is done.

Nishiiwa: Even after a brutal bout, the wrestlers bow to each other and then leave the band like absolutely nothing happened. That’s the real difference off their fighting recreations. It sometimes makes spectators from abroad astonished. Some have actually also asked myself why they don’t carry on fighting it out despite they drop out of this band (laughs).

Meij: Instead they wait their particular hand and help both up.

Nishiiwa: That’s just how sumo is meant is, unlike various other recreations.

Meij: They don’t boost their fists if they winnings. Well, they generally do on uncommon occasions (laughs).

Nishiiwa: As a person being, it is very tough to cover your delight once you winnings or frustration once you shed. But sumo wrestlers are able to do it.

Meij: Another neat thing about sumo is you never know which person is going to win until the last moment for the match. A wrestler may in the end pull off uttchari although he could be planning to be beaten. The only way to learn the winner is watch before very end.

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