Sports Thoughts in Japan

25 11 2007

Two interesting stories in Japanese sports at the moment, so rather than do a news-media link-dump today, I thought I’d discuss them here…

  • Wave farewell to the oldest rikishi (professional sumo wrestler) in Japan. 46 year old Ichinoya will have his knot cutting ceremony (where they cut the ‘top-knot’ length of hair a sumo has) February next year.
    He hopes to become a stable-master and continue his association with Sumo.
  • Yukari NakanoRead a really good article by Jack Gallagher in the Japan Times (link), an interview/opinion piece on the difficulties faced by Yukari Nakano – a 22 year old figure skater, currently ranked 6th in the world.
    Her problem is that whilst being highly ranked internationally, there are 2 Japanese skaters ahead of her (Mao Asada & Miki Ando), and many companies in Japan are already focusing on what Nakano termed ‘the younger generation’ of skaters.
    Criminal to think that a skater as good and as highly considered as Yukari Nakano cannot get sponsorship or an agent.
    Although it’s meant to promote her, the Japanese Skating Federation told Gallagher “The reality is that she hasn’t done a very good job of promoting herself.”
    I think that the JSF really needs to explore what it’s doing a little more closely… and consider who it is they are supposed to be supporting.

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