Thursday, February 28, 2008


Shine on

If you wanted further proof of the differences between the two yokozuna and their relations with the public gaze, you only had to look at Tuesday's sports newspapers.

"Asashoryu: 'Drop dead ---hole!'" screamed Nikkan Sports, which relegated Hakuho--and Monday's banzuke announcement for next month's Spring Grand Sumo Tournament--to the inside pages.

Instead, it and most of the opposition led with the "shocking" news that Asashoryu had checked in at Honolulu Airport for his flight back to Japan wearing... an aloha shirt, shorts and flip-flops. The yokozuna, who was in Hawaii for his brother's wedding, told a photographer who caught him in flagrente to back off, apparently because he was worried about being shown in public while not wearing a kimono (as Baruto could tell Asashoryu, this is a sumo no-no).

By the time he arrived at Kansai Airport, Asashoryu was wearing the right clothes but greeted a reporter with the recommendation that he die--one of the worst things one can say in Japanese.

Feb. 27, 2008


Note for readers back in blighty
The Japanese "Shine", or drop dead, (presumably what Asa said to the reporter) is pronounced "shi" (ship) + "ne" (negligence), to make use of two words whose juxtaposition has featured prominently in this week's headlines.

Less than two weeks until the spring grand sumo tournament kicks off in Osaka: come on Asa!

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