Playing with words



A second serving of chanko…

直訳 (literal translation)
Asashoryu aiming for a return of “I love ya, Osaka!”

He can’t keep quiet. Yokozuna Asashoryu (28, Takasago stable) resumed training on the 3rd for the spring tournament (opening on the 15th at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium’s hall). He remembers delighting the audience last year at the same tournament by screaming out, “I love ya, Osaka!”and he has said he is aiming for a reappearance. Including him striking a pose and flashing the victory “V” sign upon his revival at the New Year’s tournament, there is much criticism about his over-exuberant attitude, but Asashoryu, unlearning, takes his own stance, in his own fashion.
Asashoryu says that he likes the upbeat attitude in Osaka. He added that everyone is really happy for the March tournament that only comes once a year.
He says with a grin that he’d like to add one more reason why he likes Osaka. “Because I have those final parting words, too.”
This comes from a victory interview carried out ringside. It goes on at every tournament, but when Asashoryu got the better of Hakuhou in their aiboshi (tied tournament score) match, he yelled out in Osaka dialect. “I love ya, Osaka! I really love ya! Thanks for everything!”
But this merry act had not a few critics. Former Yokozuna Taihou, Mr Kouki Naya, says that there should be a weight to the words of a Yokozuna. Although there was once a foreign airline that pleased fans by using all of their local dialects at an award ceremony, he points out, a Yokozuna’s position is different. Ms Makiko Uchidate of the Yokozuna Deliberation Committee also has gone on to say that they wish he would take a more Yokozuna-like attitude.
One of the fundamental principles of sumo is “To not be overly pleased by victory, nor corroded by defeat.” The problem of the pose and the “V” sign upon his return at the New Year’s tournament also remains in the background. At that time, Asashoryu said that he had been too pleased and that he had reflected upon his actions, but on this day he declared that his final words in the Osaka dialect were uplifting. It seems that the Yokozuna who thinks of the traditional Japanese culture and almost godly techniques that make up sumo as a sport has no intention of changing his personal style of showing his emotions baldly.
Asashoryu, who says about his revival “V” sign that he had not only built up emotions but a surplus, exhibits his own style at practices as well. At the practice ring, he has imposed an exceptional regulation forcing just one reporter and cameraman to individually act as representatives for pooled coverage, but Asashoryu declared even to that cameraman, “Get out.” But just when you think he’s angry, he smiles his way through the interview. We won’t be able to tear our eyes away from Asashoryu’s drama in Osaka until the final day.

意訳 (slightly more liberal translation)
Asashoryu to reprise “I love ya, Osaka!”

He just can’t seem to keep quiet. Yokozuna Asashoryu (28, Takasago stable) resumed training on the 3rd for the upcoming spring tournament that will open at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium’s hall on the 15th. He still remembers delighting fans last year at the same tournament by screaming out, “I love ya, Osaka!”and he has said he is aiming to reprise that cry. There has been criticism about his over-exuberant attitude, including him striking a pose and flashing victorious “V” signs when he returned to the sumo world at the New Year’s tournament, but Asashoryu isn’t taking any heed of it and he continues to follow the beat of his own drum.
Asashoryu says that he likes the lively attitude of Osakans. He added that everyone there seemed really excited for the March tournament that only comes to their city once a year. He says with a grin that he’d like to add one more reason why he likes Osaka: because he gets to say those special parting words, as well.
These came from a victory interview carried out ringside. The match had been the final between Asashoryu and Hakuhou, who were tied for the tournament as they so often are, but when Asashoryu got the better of Hakuhou this time he yelled out in Osaka dialect, “I love ya, Osaka! I really love ya! Thanks for everything!”
But this merry act has met with not a little criticism. Former Yokozuna Taihou, Mr Kouki Naya, says that there should be a certain weight to the words of a Yokozuna. Although some foreign companies have pleased audiences by using their local dialects, he points out, a Yokozuna’s position is different. Ms Makiko Uchidate of the Yokozuna Deliberation Committee has also gone on to say that they wish he would take a more Yokozuna-like attitude.
One of the fundamental principles of sumo is “to not be overly pleased by victory, nor corroded by defeat.” The problem of the pose and the “V” signs upon his return at the New Year’s tournament also still lurks in the background. At that time, Asashoryu said that he had been too excited and that he had reflected upon his actions, but now he declares that his final words in the Osaka dialect were uplifting. It seems that the Yokozuna who thinks of the traditional Japanese culture and practice of sumo as a sport has no intention of changing his own personal preference for wearing his heart on his sleeve.
Asashoryu, who says about his “V” signs that he had not only built up emotions but a surplus of them, exhibits his own style at practices as well. At the practice ring, he has imposed an unusual regulation forcing just one reporter and cameraman to individually act as representatives for pooled coverage and even with that small number Asashoryu declares to the single cameraman, “Get out.” But just when you think he’s angry, he smiles and the interview begins. We won’t be able to tear our eyes away from the next act in Asashoryu’s unfolding drama in Osaka until the final moments of the tournament.


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