2018-08-29

Kōichi Miura (三浦洸一) - 1958

Koichi Miura11

Tochinishiki (栃錦) in the sumo ring, and Kōichi Miura (三浦洸一) on the stage - they're fans of each other.

A Meeting Of Favorite People

A sumo wrestler and a popular song singer, it's a strange combination, but Yokozuna (the highest-ranking sumo wrestler) Tochinishiki is a big fan of Miura-san and he's always singing Miura-san's songs to himself in the dressing room. On the other hand, Miura-san is an enthusiastic fan of Tochinishiki and he gets nervous on stage when Tochinishiki's sumo match is happening at the same time. Today, these two men, who are fans of each other, were locked in a conversation (like being locked in a battle!).


YT - Yokozuna Tochinishiki
KM - Kōichi Miura

◎ On the day when your sumo match is held, I feel nervous on stage.


YT: Hello! Welcome!
KM: I apologize for the surprise visit.
YT: I apologize for welcoming you to such a cold room. Please make yourself at home.
KM: I feel bad to visit you just before your match…
YT: No problem, your visit makes me cheerful! I hear you're performing at Daigeki (theater). Until when are you going to perform there?
KM: Today is the final day.
YT: Oh, it's too soon. The theater must be filled to capacity when you're the performer!
KM: Yeah, luckily…
YT: I'm a big fan of yours. If I had known about it earlier, I could've seen your performance.
KM: I think you're the most popular sumo wrestler among show business people. I'd like to make a fan club exclusively for show business people.
YT: Thank you! At Victor Records, Teruko Akatsuki-san often cheers me on.
KM: When you won first place in the Autumn Sumo Tournament the other day, I was in Nagoya, staring at the TV.
YT: Oh, were you in Nagoya?
KM: Yes. Once the sumo tournament has started, I feel restless and I'm glued to the TV or the radio. However, unfortunately, every time it's your turn to play a match, my turn for the stage also comes at the same time. My manager and the host of the show make me hurry, but I feel anxious, watching both the clock and the TV, because I want to stay as long as possible to see your match on TV… (ha ha)
YT: Oh, so sorry to trouble you that much! (ha ha).
KM: In a case like that, I feel it's so long before the match gets started… (ha ha) I feel I want to reproach them.
YT: For my part, I feel it's so short before the match starts! (ha ha).
KM: I have to appear on the stage with painful reluctance, and after singing the first verse, I look at the wings. Then my manager gives me a sign indicating, "won, won", holding up his both hands. (ha ha) At that time, I can finally feel calm…
YT: Well, I'll have to apologize to your fans. (ha ha)
KM: Oh no! (feeling embarrassed and scratching his head)


◎ I know all of Miura-san's songs.

YT: Despite my appearance, I like music very much. (ha ha) I especially love popular songs so much that I watch almost all the TV programs of popular songs when I'm at home. When I'm here, I often listen to the radio for popular songs. Recently, the junior sumo wrestlers of this stable discovered how much I love popular songs and they let me know who's going to sing at what time of the day. (ha ha)
KM: Oh, I'm grateful…
YT: I like Miura-san's songs because they sound very formal. It's a traditional style of popular songs. (ha ha) You released "The Cape In My Hometown" (ふるさとの岬) and "Sailor Brothers" (マドロス兄弟) recently. Those are very good songs.
KM: Oh, I appreciate your interest in my songs! I have to sing even better if you, the strongest sumo wrestler Yokozuna, are listening to my songs so eagerly. I've been a fan of yours for a long time, but I liked you even more after you got promoted to Sekiwake (junior champion). You're the patriarch of modern sumo wrestling. I'm astounded by your wide variety of wrestling techniques and your speed.
YT: Oh, thanks… (big Yokozuna is embarrassed)
KM: You fell into a slump for a while, didn't you?
YT: Let me see…oh, at that time? (he looked like he remembered something)
KM: At the time, I worried so much about you. I thought countless times that I wanted to write a letter of encouragement.
YT: (he gave Miura-san a nod with grateful eyes)
KM: You've overcome that slump superbly…I was very glad to see that.


◎ Few sumo wrestlers are good singers.

YT: Thank you so much.
KM: I'm sorry for bringing that up.
YT: For some reason, since olden times, most sumo wrestlers can't carry a tune. I'm terribly tone-deaf, too. (ha ha) The first sound doesn't come out, like this. (ha ha)
KM: (with a wondering expression) Oh, do you…?
YT: For many years, we do mid-winter training wearing nothing, or we have many attacks on our throats during training. So, our voices would naturally be damaged.
KM: I see…
YT: That means a sumo wrestler with a good voice would never be strong. (junior wrestlers of the stable listening to the conversation around him burst into laughter, saying "That's a nice excuse!") Miura-san would never be able to be strong if he were a sumo wrestler. (ha ha)
KM: Oh, you might be right! (ha ha) The training for sumo wrestlers seems so strenuous.
YT: We have about fifteen matches in earnest in a day, even while traveling for the tournament.
KM: Even while in the tournament period?
YT: Yes. Our everyday mental attitudes are more important than training. To be a strong wrestler, you should keep your fighting spirit always aimed at the competitor who is stronger than yourself. If you have fifteen matches with difficult competitors, that will make a big difference, as opposed to having fifteen matches with easy competitors.
KM: (with an admiring expression) Hmm…
YT: If you keep your everyday life in moderation, you can endure the hard training. Not only sumo wrestlers, but all athletes have to live their lives in moderation. The other day, there was an article in the newspaper saying that the lodging house of the Nishi Tetsu Lions (a baseball team that existed from 1951-1972) imposed a curfew. I think that's natural, because you'll never be able to play a good game when you're suffering from a lack of sleep.
KM: That's the same thing in our world. (the junior sumo wrestlers surrounding Tochinishiki and Miura-san were listening intently to their conversation)


◎ They both don't perform well on the first day.

YT: Sumo wrestlers and singers are in the same situation.
KM: A stage for us is a sumo ring for you. I've been a singer for a long time, but I still have fear on the first day of the performance.
YT: Oh, you too? We sumo wrestlers also get the most nervous on the first day of the tournament. Sometimes, I even don't remember how I won or how I lost with which moves. (ha ha)
KM: Your story makes me feel relieved. (ha ha) I've been worried that I was the only one like that. (ha ha)
YT: I'm sure I’m the same way. Miura-san, do you sometimes make a mistake on the stage?
KM: Of course I do, and when I make a mistake, I feel very bad. It leaves a nasty aftertaste…it's disgusting.
YT: Oh, that's the same feeling we have. We feel the same way when we lose matches. Hmmm, the stage and the sumo ring are almost the same thing.
KM: They’re the same, but I'm thin like this, and you're fat like that. (ha ha) I want to gain weight, so I'm trying everything I can, but it's all in vain. Do you have any secrets to gaining weight? (ha ha) [My advice: get a time machine and travel to America any time within the last two decades and you'll fatten right up!]
YT: Well, I wasn't fat like this when I started sumo. I started to get fat little by little after I became Sekiwake. I think what made me fat was not what I ate, but all the intense training. The most important thing for us is to stay healthy, and we shouldn't push ourselves too hard!
KM: That's very true.
YT: (looking at his watch) By the way, Miura-san, it's almost the time for you to take the stage, isn't it?
KM: Oh, is it that late? I was really absorbed in our conversation…I'm sorry for disturbing your precious time…
YT: Not at all! I would like to talk with you more. Let's meet again and talk about many things, next time. Let's do our best and stay healthy! (Tochinishiki grabbed Miura-san's shoulders with his large hands)
KM: Thank you so much for your time today.


- from Heibon Monthly Magazine (平凡), No. 1, 1958
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Anne (アン)

Author:Anne (アン)
43 years old / female
Wahiawā, Hawai'i

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