In the second of two interviews with globally respected officials involved in the international sumo game, Sumo Scribblings recently threw a few questions over the Pacific to Andrew Freund, the face of the United States Sumo Federation. In many ways far bigger in the sport than his slim physique would indicate, Andrew is undoubtedly a man with a passion, on a mission, and well aware of the bigger picture surrounding the sport at the amateur level stateside and across the globe.
Where did your own connection with sumo begin?
I worked in Japan in the early '90s, and was an admirer and student of several aspects of traditional Japanese culture. In terms of martial arts, I had practiced kendo as a boy (in the U.S.A), and I studied aikido in Japan. In those days, I was a loner, and didn't really have a social life. One day, I picked up a copy of Tokyo Journal, and flipped through the calendar of events. I saw a listing for "Sumo Tournament" and decided to attend one day of the competition.