Friday, March 23, 2007


Sports are pretty hot in Japan right now. Playing sports has always been part of our daily lives, and watching too, but I feel like the enthusiasm of the nation (well... mainly media) for especially national or world scale sports competitions has distinctively changed over the past several years.

One of the biggest differences is sumo. 10 years ago, the grand sumo tournaments (professional) held every other month (odd-number months) was a sports for 40s+ to watch on TV on evenings and not so much of the younger ones cared about it. But now, even though the sumo world is said to be suffering shrinking athelete population, the sport itself appears on the news much more and with excitement. I think that the exceedingly good records of Asashoryu (who is a Mongolian) the only yokozuna at the moment and the internationalization of the rather closed world makes the difference. Every time Asashoryu renew his championship records, the fans and viewers get excited with his performance the next tournament. Right now a good portion of the makuuchi (higher level) wrestlers come from overseas led by Mongolia, and having so many of them in the field is still a fresh sense so they provoke a kind of amusement (in positive terms) as well as national identity among the Japanese because sumo is a national sport. So as compared to a decade ago, the sport is gathering more attention.

Many of the young Japanese atheletes are proving that the level of the sports in Japan is dramatically improving to the stage that they can equally compete in the top level of the world scale competitions. A good example of this is figure skating: starting a few years ago especially with the women's single skating, the Japanese atheletes started to mark good records and finally reached the top a year ago at the Turin Olympics (Arakawa Shizuka winning gold medal for the first time in Japanese figure skating history). Just yesterday, Japanese skater Takahashi Daisuke won silver medal in men's single-skating at the world championships which is also another historical event in Japanese figure skating. Then today there's the women's single skating the entire nation looks forward to.

At the same time as being the top athelete country in some sports, being a Japanese was considered disadvantage for some other sports because of the body type etc. But now these young ones are positively growing in the so-thought disadvantaged sports and are reaching the world standard. This is a great excitement.

I was going to write about some more of other sports but couldn't finish it in time. Will mention them later... hopefully (so many unfinished projects on my mind!)

Today's update on Japan Mode:
Charmy Rop Chapter 13 Preview... ant it's the FINAL EPISODE!

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