July 21, 2005

Sumo - Day 11

I never thought that I would actually have a chance to watch sumo live. The whole experience was amazing. At first I was apprehensive about the expense but in looking at it closer I would not have a better chance in the future. There are only 6 Sumo tournaments throughout the year and only one is held in Nagoya. This would be my best chance to see it for a reasonable price. The total cost was around $45 U.S., travel expense •1,660 and •3,200 non reserved B seat ticket.

Initial all I wanted was to see the big guys get bumped around by the smaller and more nimble wrestlers. I was also secretly hoping to see cushions get thrown around. It doesn't usually happen and the chance that it would occur while I was there would be zero. I kept my fingers crossed!

Since we arrived 3 hours before the finally match of the evening there were plenty of available seats. Thus we were able to sit very close to the ring at first. As the time drew closer to 6pm more of the audience arrived and we were forced to clear out from the reserved seats that we were occupying.

The final match finally came, Eastern European Kokkai and Mongolian Yokozuna Asashoryu. The Yokozuna has been dominating this tournament and the past 4 tournaments, his only lost in this tournament was to the other European, Bulgarian Kotooshu. The Yokozuna record was 9-1, Kokkai 7-3, from seeing this I was sure that Asashoryu would win. The man has been unstoppable and why would he loose on me now? The bout started with clashing of bodies and hands. Each wrestler grappling one another around the ring and within just a blink both fell out at almost the same time.

A few cushions start to fly as the crowd starts to go crazy since the Yokozuna was seen falling out first. Then the side judges convened and discussed who actually feel out first with the occasion cushion flying at them. The winner was announced and it was not Asashoryu. Now the crowd has gone totally nuts. Every cushion is getting thrown around, the noise echoes around the arena and the judges duck for cover. Momentary havoc has just taken over as purple cushions rain down toward the ring and the rush of excitement fills the air.

Now that was the type of sumo I was hoping for. To see the crowd actually participant in an event and cushion throwing is allowed. Sunday will be the last day of the tournament. The Yokozuna is currently tied for the lead with the Bulgarian Kotooshu (Day 12). Letís see if Asashoryu can take his 5th consecutive win. Until then I will keep track of Lance Armstrong's chase for Number 7!

Posted by thy at 06:54 AM | Comments (4)

July 16, 2005

Toyohashi Hanabi

Well the summer Hanabi season has started. There is nothing like joining 50,000(?) other sweaty Japanese people in a cramped 1/4 mile stretch of river on a hot and humid night.

It's quite impressive how long this whole event lasted and how many people there are on the streets. The majority of the viewers were youths in their Yukata, families and whole other variety of people. However, it is nothing like the flea market with pushy old ladies shoving the crowd out of their way.

What really surprised me was this concept of having to buy tickets for viewing space. The best viewing space was along the river bank where the fireworks were set off. Being a capitalist country these optimal viewing spaces were optimize by creating platforms to sit and an entrance to collect tickets. The unfortunate viewers such as me did not have any tickets so were left to wonder the streets and hunt for any viewing space possible. Well I was among the thousands that just sat on the road. Yes, the streets were closed off and you can sit anywhere. This concept I'm more familiar with, just like the 4th July, except alcohol is allowed and people are not pissing everywhere. No there was no public urination; from what I saw everyone was well behaved and looking great in their Yukata.

Yes that's my first Hanabi trip. The next one will be less than a month. The big Okazaki Hanabi. From now until then I will practice taking pictures at night. As you can tell from this set there are not all that great considering I took hundred of pictures.

Posted by thy at 10:04 PM | Comments (1)

July 10, 2005

Chasing No. 7

I've always been fascinated by the success of Lance Armstrong and what he is capable of. He's a multimedia icon and he can be seen everywhere on television. The most notable of his on screen appearances was created Nike in a commercial entitled "Magnet" with Lance Armstrong riding across the country. I was truly enthralled by it and I was pulled into it. *The video is no longer available since this post

This year he is chasing no. 7, the seventh consecutive win of the Tour De France. To document this feat the Discovery Channel is featuring it daily. Since I'm unable to watch the one month long series I found some clips online. These highlight clips are captivating and make you really root for Lance.

Chasing #7

Posted by thy at 12:07 AM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2005

Kota and More

Well my 2 week break is slowing coming to an end. For that past 10 days I have not done or accomplish anything. Once again with so much free time and no source of outlet I became a hypersomnia again. Thus, my body is sluggish and my head constantly feels dizzy and weak. I'm unable to concentrate on anything for too long and I get tired really easily.

TO combat the sluggishness I went out to Kota again. I was able to take some pictures but since the day was so gloomy many of my colors where off. Many of the pictures blow were enhance in photoshop to bring out more color and therefore the colors are very inconsistent among them.

Tom Slemmons left this Sunday so now I will no longer have any more distractions. However, if I want to have fun it will now be a one man show. This will be fore the better and if my head stops hurting I will try to accomplish my goal this semester. The goal is, to be able to use everything I have learned to converse with a Japanese person on a basic level. As of right now I'm just stumbling around with words and barely capable of construction a truly comprehensible sentence.

The following pictures are test pictures. They are both the same picture but the first one is set to 200dpi while the other is 72 dpi/resolution. I wanted to see what the difference would be when I reduce the size. You can tell there is a slight noticeable difference between the two. For example the color of the 200dpi/resolution is a bit more saturated. So which does this mean? Should I choose to increase the dpi/resolution than resize the image?

Posted by thy at 07:59 AM | Comments (0)