My Trip to Japan-- September 7th-September 15th 1998

First, I would like to say one thing: If you love Sumo, get on the next plane to
Japan before you grow too old.. It's one thing to watch from afar- it's a different planet when you're there..
Go to keikos- go visit the heyas, and of course- don't miss the show itself!! And if you get to meet
Dorreen Simmons and/or Rob Hoey,- you can't get any luckier!! Well, on with the story..

Day 1

6:30 wake up call for Rob and I. Before I arrived, Rob asked me where I'd like to go-
 I jokingly said Futagoyama beya asa-geiko- and before I knew it and thanks to
Rob and a few phone calls, look where I'm standing..

           At the entrance to Futagoyama-Beya - very early in my jet-lagged morning..

We arrived at 8 sharp, and were quite thrilled to see we were virtually the only people there.
 We sat on a bare ,wooden floor with no carpet, which proved to be quite testing on our backsides.
Since standing is not allowed, we were shifting gears like a 59 Mustang..

This is Waka getting ready to tackle Gokenzan, ( who by the way was really going at it hard)
 who just came into Juryo (and out again, I fear..). Notice his Tsukebito wiping off his back.
This is the first picture where my flash went off by mistake. On the right is retired rikishi
Takamisugi who at this point was in charge. The empty zabuton in the middle is where Oyakata
 will sit in a few minutes.. Behind Waka you can see Akinoshima who missed this basho
 but was present at the keiko.
At around 9:30 Taka came in. One word to describe it:
 Electrifying! He's got something about him that says power!!   During the whole session he
 had no bouts, just lifting of weights and a whole lot of  sky-high leglifts which were awesome.
The brothers exchanged no glances whatsoever- we noticed that,
 since we'd heard the rumours. But..

I managed to get this one (my second and definitely last flash boo-boo..)
Waka sneaks a sideways glance at little brother, while Takatoriki in the foreground
seems to have eaten some out- dated chanko..

All in all, it was quite an experience, I must say..
When we stepped out of the building,  I was determined to get some pictures taken with
 whoever I could. Turns out, though, that this was the easiest part.
All involved were much more than obliging and easy-going about the whole thing,
as you can easily discern from the pictures:

First, I got Minatofuji.. (that didn't help him much, huh?)

Hey! Who's that handsome devil next to the Michelin Man??


Wouldn't you like to know what made him laugh..Hint: Look at my clenched fist..
(answer at bottom of page*)

and sure enough..

Notice the TV crews in the background..This was one day before the whole
 Taka-Waka thing was all over the media...

This concludes day 1.

*answer: I was reminding him that he led the Israeli delegation at the opening
 ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. The clenched fist was how he held the flag.

Day 2

GTB Main
"The Sixties"