Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sumo Day: The Bottom Line

My inactivity here is NOT an indicator of inactivity...  A lot has happened in the meanwhile, but the absolute highlight was:


All the kids at Seika got to participate, to some degree, in a Sumo Day.  The Older Boys (Dougie's class) warmed up with the Sumo - in like attire: a mawashi.  Only, these were tied by the mothers.  I suppose, few others really hold their kids' family jewels in high enough esteem to insure they stay firmly tucked away...  And I really mean hold...

Marguerite - one of the two Older Classes.  This class is about 50% larger than Lily (the other Older Class) - all being BOYS.  Poor Oswawa Sensei... (Marguerite teacher)
Stefan managed to scrape up his knee and hip pretty considerably on the playground before-hand.  He took it really well, in spite of the gravel and blood concoction brewing on his knee.  His comment to Carol (Kent's mom) was, "It's not scrapes I worry about. It is permanent body injuries that I fear."  Smart kid!

In the days leading up to the Sumo Day, the kids got to compete against each other in a single elimination tournament.  The final eight competed on Sumo Day with the victor getting to compete against the Big Sumo.

Ceremonial pouring of sake around the dohyo
Dougie probably giggled from the word "Go!" as he was pushed/tickled out of the dohyo on the first day.  Much better than the alternative, "NO!!!!!  Stop pushing me!!!  I don't want to be pushed!"...  In spite of being about a year "bigger" than the other boys, he really does not have the push (pun intended)!

The Older Boys all participated in warm-ups with the Sumo

High Stomps... The boys initial reaction is near disbelief.  So was mine!  That guy is really flexible!  The kids soon got into it, adding their giant stomps to scare away evil spirits.

After doing a front leaning stretch, the Big Sumo entertained the kids by wiping the clay/sand that stuck to his belly, giving himself a dirt bath...

                          A little more here...                             A little more there...

Mawashi check...

Dougie's Best FrEnemy, Kent, was one of the final eight.

He was so determined to win! 

He had a valuable life lesson that day: No matter how much we want something, no matter how hard we try, someone may be better. 

He cried when he got thrown down - tears of pain mingled with disappointment.  He had a huge red mark and was pretty sore.  The boy who won was in a league of his own.  We questioned is amateur status ;)
The Older Class Champion, throwing salt into the dohyo
In spite of being miffed, Kent did not take it out on anyone and continued to be a very good sport, participating and enjoying the rest of the day.  Kudos to Kent!  Kudos to Carol and Brad - your parenting investment is evident!!  I can say, with confidence, that my kids would not have fared as well - they are still works in progress for improving their sportsmanship...  It is a blessing that their abilities to compete and to handle the results are on par with each other.  I have been able to see this as a positive through a lot of prayer and reflection - Thank You, Jesus!

All the kids got a chance to be in the dohyo to compete against the Big Sumo.

Dougie took on Tata instead - notice the little, dark haired boy facing Dougie?  They thought they were pretty hilarious!

Ulitmately, Dougie employed the "Pyramid Pushing" technique - he pushed two kids, who pushed two kids, who pushed the Big Sumo.  The Big Sumo's generosity and ability to entertain was directly proportional to his size!  The Small Sumo won every match :)

Ian would have nothing to do with it.  This is where his reservations for new things really become obvious...

His partner in crime, Gavin, was equally "moved" by the idea.

 Too bad, too.  Their group did very well!

The dad's got a chance to compete in an arm wrestling tournament.

Eric won his first match, moved on to the second round: the Sumo!  He beat (or was allowed to win?) the Sumo and got instantly taken in his third match.

When looking at the men's faces, it made me think: Child Birth.  I love this one of Brad (Kent's dad):

The entertainment did not stop.  In fact, it had really just begun...  The dad's also got to compete against the Big Sumo.  Chris Cohn (Gavin's dad) had the first round.  They threw salt in the dohyo

Sized up their opponent...  There was a considerable difference...

They faced off...


He had figured out that what he lacked in size, he made up for in quickness and agility.  And it was true...

For a while...

Eric's proved to be much less a show of technical skill and more just a show...

Watching Eric made me cry, I was laughing so hard.

Watching everyone else's face made me laugh even harder!

The fact that the Big Sumo held Eric like he was a tiny baby, and would pose, midway through, for photos, had me in hysterics!!

After Eric's match, as tears rolled down our faces, Carol (Kent's mom) pointed out that our (Eric's and mine) kids' weirdness is NOT just from me.  For this, I am grateful!  I have also been Blessed to be married to a man that is willing to put himself out there and have fun - even at his own expense.  Thank You, Lord!  And Thank You, Eric!

These four men provided an incredible source of entertainment.  The Big Sumo was quite an entertainer.  In spite of completely schooling these guys, he would stop, midway through, for the photog to get a great shot.

Eric's ribs are still hurting him (mine, too - from LAUGHING!!!), in spite of the Big Sumo taking great pains (ha ha) in not maiming these guys.  But, do you notice that all four of the competitors are gai-jin (foreigners)?  America-jin, to be specific (Americans)...  Perhaps part of the Japanese culture of "saving face" - one would not put themselves out there to be a spectacle.  Having seen some Japanese game shows, I suspect this just is not the case.  As one Japanese dad put it, "Japanese men are little..."  I think they may have a stronger sense of self-preservation - of avoiding "permanent body injuries"...  Maybe Stefan is on to something...


The bottom line: It was worth it!

If you would like to see more pictures and the VIDEO, check out my FB page:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Best FrEnemies

Everything about these pictures makes me laugh.  The fact that they are such great friends in spite of routine exchanges such as this is a true testament to their similar constitutions of absurdity and humor. (plagiarized from Carol Emerson - Kent's Mom.  I could not have said it better...)

Do you notice the only two white kids in the group?  And, the only two that are picking on each other...  Yeah, that would be my beloved son, Dougie and his Best FrEnemy, Kent.  They crack me up.  When I am not having to correct them...


Remember CHiPs?  Did you have a crush on free-spirited, Ponch, or the more reliable, Jon? 

Well, Ian has now upped the heart-throb ante...

Be on the look-out all you Mini-Cars, Ian is on a Japanese Mini-Bike!

Then he tried the full size version, just to get a feel...

Until the lady in the patrol car set off the security system...  And Ian had to go back to his day job.

It must have been Vocation Day, or Civil Service Job day (not sure how the Japanese Police fit into that one...).  We checked out the Japanese Police display - avoided the car since the previous lady found the "other siren"...

If you saw Cars 2, this car should look familiar.  Yes, the light bars actually do scissor up so they can be seen above the traffic!  If you have NOT seen it, DO!  It is funnier, now that you have seen the real car!

Fires were being made (gas BBQ on "Super-Testosterone High") and you could put the fire out with an extinguisher that had an impotent spray of water.  Turning the gas valve off solved the fire dilemma!

This was the best: the Rear-Ending Simulator.  You get buckled in the seat.  Imagine you are a Crash Test Dummy.  Seat rolls down incline.  BAM!  Seat stops.  Air bag deploys.

I opted out of that one.

Melissa and the kids (Jack & Maggie) popped by for a visit this afternoon.  It was great to catch up.  It has been awhile.  Since Carlyn left, in fact...

Although we forgot half of what we might have talked about.  It was even suggested we have a bullet list to make sure we touched base on everything.  Amazing how kids can 1) suck your time away and 2) suck your INTELLECT away...

Hit item of the day?  The collapsable weeding container.  The bottom was removed for the R2D2 costume and has never been reassembled.  Today, it was part of the attire again...

Decorating the steps with chalk

Ian's real day job consisted of a nap and then some pal around time in the backyard with Dougie and Maggie (he looooooooves Maggie!) and Jack.

Pop!  Goes the Weasel...

They figured out what it must be like to walk in a hoop skirt...

I can wait for these kids to grow up and get a real job.  But, if they can do half as good of a job as a Highway Patrolman as they do looking cute on the bike - I am all for it!