Monday, January 20, 2020

When Sumo Wrestling Came to Hawaii in 1993 - Akebono, Konishiki, Musashimaru

In the summer time between tournaments, rikishi go on traveling tours around the country (and around the world) to give fans a chance to interact with the wrestlers and to promote the sport.  It has been a while since they have come to America.  In fact, the last time they were here was in 2009 in LA.  However, once upon a time when Hawaiian wrestlers were dominate in the sport, they went to Hawaii for a special two-day tournament.  In June of 1993, dozens of wrestlers descended upon the Hawaiian Islands to give the fans a true taste of this ancient sport.  And since Yokozuna Akebono, Ozeki Konishiki, and Sekiwake Musashimaru were at the top of the sport, this caused slight hysteria across the islands.  Spoiler alert, according to the July 1993 edition of Sumo World, Sekiwake Musashimaru was the tournament winner as described in the attached article.  Coincidently, the massive POG craze was going on at this time as well and this piece of history was captured on a set of POGs.  I got out of cards right when the POG craze hit so I missed getting absorbed in the collecting frenzy and missed collecting some great sets.  Luckily I was able to recently pick this up and will be cataloguing in future editions of my book.

These three rikishi were so famous that it inspired the famous Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwa'ole (Of the "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" fame) to write a song about them called "Sumotori".



Did anyone else get caught up on the POG craze?

7 comments:

  1. Those pogs in the middle image are my favorite of the bunch.

    I was a little too old to get caught up in the pog craze back then, but my younger brother was in elementary school and he had lots of them. I wonder if he still has some tucked away somewhere.

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    1. Yeah, I was a bit too old as well so missed the craze. Would have been fun to experience for sure though. Tens of millions of them were made so none seem to be too expensive or rare....at least from what I can tell.

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  2. Oh wow neat! They look just like Menko, I was a bit too old in the 90s for Pogs so never really figured out what they were!

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    1. Yeah, menko and POGs go hand in hand and the games were almost identical. I’d argue menko came first though. Oddly, the POG craze was only in the Western countries and seemed to have skipped Asia. I guess because they had already gone through their POG/menko craze a decade or so earlier.

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  3. I never dove head first into POGs, but I definitely owned a few. When they were popular, there was just too many cool things to collect (cards, cd's, kenner slu's) and not enough money to go around. And that Iz song is awesome!

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    1. Yeah, I can see why they were super popular with the younger crowd in the 1990s, but good point on the other distractions for the older kids. Iz has some great songs out there for sure!

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  4. these are amazing! opening up another browser window as we speak to try to find a set :)

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