Archive for March, 2008

Sapporo Snow Festival

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Sapporo snow sculpture

Originally printed in the Clear Lake Courier — 1 April 1998

Since moving to Japan, I’ve been told one thing I need to do (in addition to climbing Mt. Fuji) is attend the Sapporo Snow Festival. So I took four days leave and paid my money for the February tour.

Sapporo is the capital city of Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands. With a population of 1.8 million, Sapporo is Japan’s fifth largest city. It hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics and will host the 2002 soccer World Cup. (more…)

Japan’s Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Originally printed in Clear Lake Courier — 28 October 1998

When I moved to Japan, one of my sailors told me I’d soon be a sumo fan. I couldn’t imagine getting excited about those excessively obese men pushing at each other, and I still can’t. However, when my boss acquired tickets to a performance of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo, I agreed to go. It would be a cultural experience.

Six grand tournaments are held each year in Japan. During fifteen all-day sessions, every rikishi (wrestler) fights a different opponent each day. We attended the final three hours of the eighth performance. (more…)