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Makunouchi Banzuke Page
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Subject: Foreign deshi, Hawaii, Europe; was: name an oyakata who has actually tried to recruit a Hawaiian [Commentary]
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 13:17:56 +0100
I don't really think there is an unspoken agreement that Oyakata shouldn't recruit from the US or any other place for that matter.
In fact I've been training one of my top boys here, a young kid here in Czechlands, who's keen on joining a heya.
I've been talking about this to a couple of Oyakata for some time... with a little help from my friends :)
And in fact, we've agreed with an Oyakata from what I think will be a great heya for him to join, that we're coming over later on this year, we'll live in the heya for ten days and they'll test the kid. To see if he's serious about it, if he's got promise, if he'll be able to make it in the sumo world.
So, I think in a little while, if he's tough enough, he'll join the heya. And he's Czech, not Asian etc.
In other words, I think it's more like why should an Oyakata go out on a limb to get foreign deshi?
Coupled with the unpleasant recent foreign departure from the Kyokai, that
Kawika's already mentioned, what's forcing an Oyakata to actively look for foreign deshi? Even if they're tough? In more senses than one, the statement in a prior mail "what's in it to go over to Japan and be treated like sh*t for a couple of years" is true, I think. It's very likely that the kid is going to get fed up with the hazing, not being able to make choices for himself, loneliness, etc.
So for an Oyakata when he sees a foreign acquisition, it's highly probable that the kid will drop out anyway, so why should he even make an effort to get the kid? And expose himself to criticism from others when the kid fails?
That's why they first want to see my kid, to see if he's really good etc...
In fact, in 1999 when Harrington Wa'a from Hawaii won the World Junior Sumo Championships, a couple of Oyakata wanted to get him, because he looked really good, young, aggressive and all.
He wanted to come too, but I guess wasn't serious about it enough, since then he's decided to go back to Hawaii, first to finish high school, now it doesn't really look like he's coming back.
So, it seems to me, it's joint forces of these factors. Heck, even my kid is still having second thoughts about it. I mean, I'm sure he's hot stuff, he's a tough kid, was an international champion in judo in juniors, last year he placed third in World Junior Sumo Championships, now I train him and he's really started moving like a sumo wrestler, is strong et all. But think about what it must mean for a kid that age to go over to Japan - quit school, leave friends, family, behind, leave a girlfriend behind, be faced with daily beatings, have to listen to everything that's said to him, be faced with possibilities of injuries. It's pretty hard.
But still, I hope he'll make it.
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From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of Joe Kuroda
Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2001 4:42 AM
To: sumo list
Subject: Re: name an oyakata who has actually tried to recruit a Hawaiian [Commentary]
--- firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> Azumazeki Oyakata. He is constantly asked by young
> hopefuls to allow them
> to come to Japan and be the next Akebono. He has to
> tell me, "sorry, the
> Sumo Kyokai said no more."
Kawika is right about this.
There is an unwritten and unspoken agreement among the
heya owing oyakatas not to recruit from U.S. though
this may change when Musashimaru retires.
The only place foreign rikishis can come from is Asia
so that's the reason for the mad rush to get every
hopful from there in the recent years.
The fact is that the oyakatas are having more and more
troubles attracting young Japanese born recruits to
their heya - the Kyokai's loosing of the entry
requirements is just the reflection.
Since they can only get one more Mongolian unless
another leaves the Kyokai, I have a feeling the next
battleground may be Korea or Mainland China unless
they can get more Brazilians of Japanese descent.
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