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John Gunning

For John Gunning's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Entering sumo world not something to be taken lightly

| Aug 8, 2018

Entering sumo world not something to be taken lightly

In lifting the Emperor's Cup last month, Mitakeumi became the fourth Japanese wrestler to win a championship in the past two years. That's significant in a sport that had been utterly dominated by foreigners for the previous decade. However even with the recent success of native-born ...

Grueling summer tours offer mixed blessing for sumo

| Aug 1, 2018

Grueling summer tours offer mixed blessing for sumo

Sumo's summer regional tour is already under way, snaking around Lake Biwa and across central Japan towards the Kanto region. After a brief stop in Tokyo, the jungyo, as it is known, heads up north as far as Hokkaido before returning to the capital where ...

Mitakeumi earns spoils of victory

| Jul 25, 2018

Mitakeumi earns spoils of victory

The Nagoya tournament ended with the Emperor's Cup being handed to arguably the most surprising top division champion in eight years. The steamy meet in central Japan took its cue from the World Cup, delivering a succession of shocks right from the get-go. Big names fell ...

Hot reception awaits sumo competitors in Nagoya

| Jul 4, 2018

Hot reception awaits sumo competitors in Nagoya

Sumo makes its yearly stop in steamy Nagoya starting Sunday, with Kakuryu aiming for a third straight title at the only venue where he has yet to raise the Emperor's Cup. If the yokozuna emerges victorious at the end of the two weeks, he'll have ...

Sumo world attracts wide range of characters

| Jun 27, 2018

Sumo world attracts wide range of characters

Sumo is a monolith. Individual stables may exhibit variances in training and culture, but for the most part life for wrestlers is the same throughout the sport. Enter any stable early in the day and you will find training going on. Come back at ...

Grueling training key to sumo transcendence

| Jun 20, 2018

Grueling training key to sumo transcendence

The sport of sumo manages to achieve with one circle what Dante Alighieri needed nine to describe. Indeed, the only people who don't think sumo training is hell are those that have never set foot inside a ring. Keiko, as sumo practice is known, is an ...

Byzantine rules govern sumo's name shares

| Jun 13, 2018

Byzantine rules govern sumo's name shares

Tochinoshin's promotion to ozeki comes with many perks. Most are connected to his life as an active wrestler, such as a boost in salary and parking privileges. One that kicks in after retirement, though, is an automatic three-year grace period before he has to acquire ...