sumo tournaments occur every-other-monthevery-other-tournament in Tokyo


Looking ahead with a laugh, the serialized abbreviation of an abridged version of a fully scripted scenerio continues... 

2020 VISION Episode 2:  Location Location Location

by O. Lebron  originally posted March 14, 2014 

Mother Nature will provide early obstacles as Tokyo's "O-Mo-Te-Na-Shi" Olympic preparations commence. Changing weather patterns progressively impact plans of centering most Olympic venues along a vulnerable coastline already facing rising sea levels. Engineering miscalculations underestimate the amount and compounded weight of new structures, exacerbated by six years of the kind of naturally occurring minor but cumulative earth-quaking we all take for granted, resulting in premature settling of the soft landfill upon which the Ariake and Odaiba islands are situated, to a point that the zone would have to be excluded altogether. Any potential need for substitute locations was unforeseen and ignored during planning stages, ruling out relocation, and eleventh-hour motions to transform the waterfront sites into a Venice-like Olympic destination are quickly dismissed. Nearby DisneySea beat them to it.   

Economic stagnation adds to Tokyo's troubles, drastically impacting budgets allotted for construction and production. Cash-flow constraints nullify the "size matters" mentality prevalent in Olympic planning. Spending caps are enacted for all venues, and the proposed Kokuritsu Kyōgijō stadium in Sendagaya is the first to fall victim; its colossal proportions, already diminished by the perpetual bureaucratic head-butting faced since its conception, are before long altogether overshadowed by larger issues. Ticket prices threaten to exceed the affordability of the local population, already disillusioned by the prohibitive expense of outside entertainment. International travel costs and all attendant tariffs, surcharges and security headaches bode poorly for highly anticipated foreign attendance. Following reports of ghost towns and homeless enclaves now occupying London's 2012 Summer Olympic grounds and disappointing attendance resulting in staggering economic losses for Sochi in 2014 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016, initial unease turns into palpable panikku. Technological advancements will offer Tokyo a radical solution. (subtitle: Japanese ingenuity gives new meaning to the concept of downsizing)  

The popularity and ubiquity of high-definition flatscreen 3D televisions, hastened by an ever-increasing preference and prevalence of the population opting to watch such spectacles from the air-con comfort of their own LDKs, clinches the decision to produce the first ever Broadcast-Only Olympiad! State of the art upgrades in Wii interfacing make it possible for athletes to remain in their home countries and compete remotely, cutting costs for participant countries and their teams. Smart phone apps, live-stream feeds, blogs, facebook postings and twitter tweets finally reach their full (subtitle: use-ful) potential in providing up-to-the-moment statistics, replays and commentary directly from the rabble of closet correspondents to the couch-bound viewing audience; a temporary but welcome respite from the run of the mill "look what I cooked for dinner" snapshots and "you won't believe what she said" gossip currently clogging social media and distracting already inattentive family and friends. (subtitle: poorly lit, ill-arranged thumbnails of not-so-appetizing-as-jpeg amateur cooking and ask-me-if-I-care gossip from failed-chef-and-photographer-with-nothing-better-to-do)  

Coming soon:  Episode 3  Golden Time Cattle Call       

CHĪMU \ team \ チーム   

Transliteration corresponding to its English definition.

DŌPINGU \ doping \ ドーピング   
Corresponds to the English neologism defining use of performance-enhancing drugs by athletes.  

FUTTOSARU \ foot(ball) salon \ フットサル   
SAL on FOOT ball. A confined version of Soccer (aka ''football '' in Japan) in the same way Arena Football  is/was a confined version of American Football (NFL). SARU is a nuanced abbreviation of ''SALON'' (denoting its confinement) although of undetermined phonetic origin.  

HASSURU \ hustle \ ハッスル 

Move with enthusiasm.  Usage not limited to sports. 

KYATCHIBŌRU \ catch ball \ キャッチボール 

The game of catch; throwing a ball around. 

MEJĀ \ major \ メジャー  

The "majors" (baseball); major league (MEJĀRĪGU \ メジャーリーグ) baseball.  Also, ''puro (pro) yakyū'' (プロ野球).

PURORESU \ pro wrestling \ プロレス   

Abbreviation of PROfessional WRES tling.   

SUKEBŌ \ skateboard \ スケボー   

Nuanced abbreviation of SKA te BO ard.   

TAIMURĪ \ timely \ タイムリー   

In baseball, a clutch hit. (Sometime usage describing "on time")

TEKUNIKKU \ technique \ テクニック   

Ones way of performing a skill.  Usage not limited to sports.  



AMEFUTO \ American football \ アメフト  

Abbreviation of "AME rican FOOT ball",  differentiating the sport from what European and Latin countries refer to simply as "football" or "futbol", respectively.  Now also commonly referred to the Japanglish SAKKĀ (soccer) in Japan.    

ANAUNSĀ \ announcer \ アナウンサー

Transliteration corresponding to its English definition.

BAIKU \ bike \ バイク   

A motorcycle.  Not used to describe a bicycle, which Japanese use their native JITENSHA \ 自転車, or the informal CHARIチャリ (Chariot? of unconfirmed etymology) to describe.

​BETERAN \ veteran \ ベテラン   
An elder, long-active team member or athlete.  Usage not limited to sports.

​BORUDARINGU \ bouldering \ ボルダリング   
Corresponds to the English neologism defining climbing without use of ropes. In Japan it usually denotes artificial climbing walls.    

#1: Lady Gagamaru


East: Gagamaru Masaru:

scantily clad, busty sumo wrestler;

top-knotted & man-handled by profession.

West: Lady Gaga:

scantily clad, busty entertainer;

top-heavy & man-handled by profession.

Meet: both on the waning side of successful careers.

japanglish101 contents © 2014 Lennie Maceposted Sept 3, 2014



japanglishSPORTS dictionary

Terms relating to sports not native to Japan are generally recognized by Japanese people. While definitions correspond to those of the sports' native countries, pronunciation adheres to Japanese phonetics.  Sport names are most easily recognizable examples of this, understood when spoken with a Japanese accent.  When written, Japanese use their katakana characters (the "alphabet" most commonly employed for writing foreign words).  Baseball is the one exception; although the English baseball is also understood and used, the Japanese YAKYŪ (野球) is more formally utilized. 

BARĒBŌRu \ volleyball \ バレーボール 

BASuKETToBŌRu \ basketball \ バスケットボール 

BĒSuBŌRu \ baseball \ ベースボール 

BOKuSHINGu \ boxing \ ボクシング 

FIGYuASuKĒTo \ figure skating \ フィギュアスケート 

FŌMYURA \ formula (racing) \ フォーミュラ 

FUTToBŌRu \ football \ フットボール 

GORUFU \ golf \ ゴルフ 

HOKKĒ \ hockey \ ホッケー 

MARASON \ marathon \ マラソン
MŌTĀSuPŌTSu \ motor sports \ モータースポーツ 

RAGuBĪ \ rugby \ ラグビー 

SAKKĀ \ soccer \ サッカー 

SuKĪ \ skiing \ スキー  


Olympic Gold Medal-worthy, tongue-twisting  Japanglish

TORIPPURUTŌRŪPU \ triple toe loop \ トリプルトーループ   
Transliterated pronunciation of this FIGURE SKATING  term, using Japanese phonetics, essentially doubles the amount of syllables.​



SUMOSPEAKglossary of sumo terms used on this site.
banzuke \ 番付  List of rikishi ranking.
basho \ 場所  A sumo tournament.

dohyo \ 土俵  The sumo ring; clay with a layer of sand.

fusensho \ 不戦勝  A win by default, usually due to injury.

henka \ 変化  A side-step move used at tachiai to set up a slap-down.

juryo \ 十両  The second-highest division of sumo wrestling.

kinboshi \ 金星   "Gold star," awarded to maegashira-rank rikishi who defeat a yokozuna during tournament.

konbasho \ 今場所  The current tournament.

kachiage \ 搗ち上げ  Use of a forearm blow at tachiai.

kachikoshi \ 勝ち越し  More wins than losses at basho's end.

kadoban \ 角番   An ozeki who suffered makekoshi in the previous basho facing demotion upon failing to reach kachikoshi in the current basho.

kensho \ 懸賞  Sponsor banners paraded prior to bouts.

kimarite \ 決まり手  The winning move of a bout (see below).

kyujo \ 休場   Absence from tournament, usually due to injury.

maegashira \ 前頭  Lowest maku-uchi  rank; rank-and-file competitors.

makekoshi \ 負け越し  More losses than wins at basho's end.

maku-uchi \ 幕内  Highest division of sumo.

mawashi \ 廻し  A sumo wrestler's loincloth.

mono-ii \ 物言い  Judges' discussion.

ozeki \ 大関  Second sumo rank, after yokozuna.

rikishi \ 力士  A sumo wrestler.

san'yaku \ 三役  Top 3 titleholder ranks (under yokozuna); ozeki, sekiwake and komusubi.

sekiwake \ 関脇  Third sumo rank, after ozeki.

senbasho \ 先場所  The previous tournament.

senshuraku \ 千秋楽  The final day of tournament.

tawara \ 俵  Half-buried straw-bale boundary of the dohyo.

tachiai \ 立ち合い  Initial charge which begins a bout

yokozuna \ 横綱  Highest sumo rank; more than one may hold this rank at the same time.

yusho \ 優勝  The tournament championship win.

zabuton\ざぶとん   Cushion provided to the audience; often tossed into the air after an upset-bout. 

zensho \ 全勝  Winning every bout; a perfect tournament.

*KIMARITE   a brief list of common "winning moves".

hatakikomi \ 叩き込み  A common slap-down move. 

henka \ 変化  A side-step move to set up a slap-down. 

hikiotoshi \ 引き落とし  Pull in and down.

oshidashi \ 押し出し  Push-out, no mawashi grip.

uwatenage \ 上手投げ  Overarm throw. 

yorikiri \ 寄り切り  Frontal force-out, with mawashi grip.

japanglish 101

subtitles for the blind

chapter 1: East meets West

Looking ahead with a laugh to Tokyo's 2020 Summer Olympics

a serialized abbreviation of an abridged version of a fully scripted scenario 
by O. Lebron  originally posted February 27, 2014
Episode 1:  Superpatriotism

September 7, 2013, Buenos Aires, Argentina: the International Olympic Committee announces Tokyo as the winning bidder for the 2020 Summer Olympics, assuring a six year marathon of corporate tie-ins and an unprecedented barrage of cringe-inducing fawning, fumbling, and slap-shtick idiocy reaching Olympic proportions, intensifying every year as opening day of Tokyo's "O-Mo-Te-Na-Shi" Olympiad approaches (subtitle: the six year itch). 

I have glimpsed this future and I'm here to advise:  hurry now, burn your televisions!  Anyone spending even the least amount of the intervening years in front of their TV couldn't miss the "Look At Us, Little Country That Could" ugh-fest of shameless posturing and pandering (more than usual, that is).  Tokyo's Chamber of Commerce, bankrolled by The National Diet and newly implemented Trickle-Down Abenomics, submits an unsuspecting populace to Olympic Gold-worthy Superpatriotism and not-so-subtle Retro-Imperialism as has not been witnessed in this hemisphere since Kim Jong-un hitched his star to Dennis Rodman (subtitle: since January). 

A revolving-door roster of inept mayoral leadership culminates in the appointment of Christel Takigawa — yes, she who singlehandedly secured the success of Tokyo's Olympic bid with one single word (or was it five?) — forgoing her own understandable embarrassment over the quantity and quality of mono-mane satirization mimicking her award-winning catchphrase to humbly assume the position (subtitle: take the fall if it all goes wrong). 

Variety show and TV commercial producers never had it so good; traditional New Years Eve everyone-and-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink programming every day for six years!  Bubble times for power players and media mafias jockeying to insure their full stables of tarento are afforded face-time in support of the Tokyo Gold Rush; not Olympic Gold, but the kind of gold that buys the Benz, the Rolex and the Vuitton bag, and puts a downpayment on the Setagaya-ku SekisuiHouse (subtitle with sound effect: ka-CHING).  

Stay tuned for more after this word from our sponsorsVangelis' Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire title overture plays to slow-mo footage of adorably rotund Naomi Watanabe making the run to her Olympic record-setting long-jump face-first into a pit filled with strawberry Pocky

found in translation


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vanishingtokyo sports

Tokyo's National Olympic Stadium, Kokuritsu Kyogijo, wrapped up its final scheduled events in May with "Japan Night; Move With the Music of Japan", a musical sendoff which included performances by L'Arc-en-Ciel and Perfume.  Following those "Sayonara Kokuritsu Kyogijo" events, the venue closed its doors May 31.  Demolition is scheduled to begin in July, with reconstruction of its new-and-improved successor to be completed by 2019 to host the Rugby World Cup and, of course, the Summer Olympics in 2020... 

The existing stadium opened in 1958 with a 48,000 capacity, expanded over the years to accommodate upwards of 54,000.  A March 2014 L'Arc-en-Ciel concert is said to hold the venue's attendance record, at approximately 80,000.  Japanese entertainment subsidiaries such as ​SMAP and Arashi are also among the few music groups to have performed in the stadium.  The structure's built-for-use, no-nonsense design predates the now common built-for-looks Olympic standard, itself an unspoken "competition" of sorts. 
   Kokuritsu Kyogijo was the site of opening and closing ceremonies for Tokyo's 1964 Summer Olympics, and also hosted Track & Field competitions.  Its replacement will do the same in 2020, in addition to Soccer and Rugby.  Japan's Blue Impulse fighter jet aerobatic team "performed" during those opening ceremonies in 1964, using colored smoke to "draw" the Olympic rings in the skies over the stadium.  Fifty years later — Saturday, May 30 — the team flew in formation over the very same stadium to close the "sayonara" events, providing a sense of continuity befitting the history of the site.  Perhaps an equally impressive display might be expected in 2020?

The reborn stadium will be the work of London-based Zaha Hadid Architects, chosen through an international design competition.  Boasting a "modern Olympic capacity" of 80,000 and a retractable roof, the controversially over-sized and over-budgeted project — likened to a mammoth, streamlined cycling helmet — is expected to overshoot its projected billion-dollar reconstruction budget and swallow up several surrounding properties to overextend its current grounds abutting Tokyo's Sendagaya neighborhood. Expect to hear more about that.

by K. Rie  originally posted June 1, 2014

Kokuritsu Kyogijo photographs: K. Rie