I'm having a great time - it's March break - sleeping in a lot and playing semi-violent video games on my PSP for hours on end. By golly, I needed that time off.
Anyway, since I have this time, today I'll ramble a bit about sumo.
It was May of 2010, I was back in Japan for the summer, and I happened to be channel-surfing on the TV when I came across the sumo broadcast on NHK. And just like that, I was hooked.
(I was able to see that tournament just before it finished).
My relatives make this weird face and ask 'why do you like sumo so much when you're a woman in your 20s (apart from the fact that you're the family oddball)?'. And I can never succinctly say why or what really draws me, in Japanese. It's really weird, what I can express in one language but not in the other.
What draws me isn't just the homosocial, sexist, super closed-minded
nature of the Sumo world (sorry, not hating on it I swear - it's just
that kind of problematic tradition and culture...). It's more about the philosophy and abstract spirituality that grounds the sport, as much as
it is about the live people who embody it in this age and time.
I guess it boils down to the spiritual. It's very fleeting, it's limited to that specific moment in time, between two people that an outsider can never truly understand. It's the performance, the art of playing the role that is a wrestler. And because it has such a spiritual (religious) backbone, the wrestlers at that moment is like a living representation of that spirituality. And I think that's fascinating.
Oh, and it's just really exciting, to see this one-on-one battle of wits, speed, and strength unfold right before your eyes. It's about two individuals, and the rest of the world does not matter to them. There's something so intriguing about a world you cannot enter.
Plus, I have got to admit, there's something beautiful and majestic in the whole ritual and performance surrounding the sport. It really is a big, wonderful performance.
What this all means is that I'm super jealous I can't go see the Osaka tournament. My recent favorites are Takayasu and Houmashou and Ami-tan (Aminishiki), but it's not for any real reason (I just happened to see them on TV or on the official internet streams). I JUST REALLY WANT TO GO SEE OK?
I'll get in to how it's awesome that sumo is getting back on track and stuff, but that will have to wait for another day.