Original article by Nicolas Schuler
Translated by Jelena Macan
Proofread by Barbara Ann Klein
This 31st editorial was certainly the most difficult for me to write, because it marks the final stop of an adventure that was passionate, extraordinary and incredibly enriching. Le Monde du Sumo comes to an end today.
Let us look back several years...
Le Monde du Sumo saw the light of day in December 2003. Five years are not long in a lifetime. But five years seem like an eternity when we recall that in our very first issue, summarising Kyushu basho 2003:
- Tochiazuma (future Tamanoi oyakata) won his second yusho;
- Hawaiian yokozuna Musashimaru, suffering from a persistent wrist injury, announced his retirement;
- Sentoryu, Afro-American wrestler, also ended his professional career;
- Asashoryu (who at the time only had 4 yusho on his record) started his long journey (21 tournaments) as the sole yokozuna;
- in makuuchi division, ozeki were Chiyotaikai, Tochiazuma, Kaio and Musoyama; Wakanosato was sekiwake, Takamisakari was komusubi; also present in the banzuke were Toki, Takanonami, Kyokushuzan, Kotonowaka;
- Hakuho finished the basho with 6-1, ranked makushita 9 east; Kotooshu 5-2 as makushita 21 west; Ama 3-4 as makushita 1 east; and Baruto was still at home, in Estonia.
At the start of this adventure were five fans of traditional Japanese wrestling. With a big dose of willpower (and not so much time to devote to it!), we worked hard with a single goal. Our sole motivation was to offer French-speakers on the Internet a regular and free publication dedicated to sumo.
Very soon after our French edition appeared, we were contacted by a growing number of sumo fans from various countries, who felt frustrated that they could not enjoy the content of our articles because they did not understand our language. Therefore, we created a parallel publication, Le Monde du Sumo in English, whose purpose was to republish our major articles translated into English, to make them available to a much wider public.
The bet was far from won, but very quickly new volunteers joined the editorial staff. One tournaments followed another, and Le Monde du Sumo appeared every two months without fail.
Still, as time went by, some of us were forced to abandon the ship, some because of unexpected changes in their professional lives, some because of growing families. It is only normal that in five years our lives have changed.
The amount of work started to increase significantly. We all stood fast, because although sometimes it caused us to despair, it was simply unthinkable to consider stopping even for a second, so great were the pleasure, satisfaction and pride every time we published a new issue on our website. As time passed, everybody kept going "just to keep it going", and not to disappoint the others. In silence.
But one day, we simply had to face reality. And when we realised that we all felt the same, we had to admit the facts: the "fire" from the start was extinguished, and our work had become a vocation. From that realisation, it was only reasonable to discuss discontinuing the magazine. Strangely (or perhaps not), all of us felt a mix both of melancholy that everything would end and of relief that it was a joint decision. And not one of us tried to change the opinion of the rest of the team ...
This is why, filled with a great sadness but without regrets, we will take a, I dare say, well-deserved sabbatical. A sabbatical ... and even if Le Monde du Sumo will probably never return in its current form, no one says it is "finished"!
After five years of work, our team has produced:
- 1330 pages of Le Monde du Sumo;
- 656 pages of Petit Banzuke Illustré;
- 1986 pages of our two publications in total.
We have written and prepared:
- 226 "news" articles;
- 11 interviews, 6 of those exclusive;
- 28 biographical or retrospective articles about great personages in sumo.
Our readership came from:
- France 61,1 %
- Switzerland 3,3 %
- Belgium 2,0 %
But above all, as proof of the interest that we managed to arouse, inquisitive visitors from 131 countries (to date) explored our pages at least once!
Listed by order of joining, here is the list of all those who were at one time a part of Le Monde du Sumo team.
The initial team: Stéphane Castella, Gilles Furelaud, Jean-Rémi Girard, Thierry Perran, Nicolas Schuler.
The collaborators who joined later: Bastien Pourquié, Florence Lesur, Vincent Rouzé, Martin Fougère, Fabrice Haldi, Francine Perrin, Alain Colas, Arnaud Ménesplier, Denis Chaton, Sylvain Morazzani, Emmanuel Stawiarski, Nadine Rayon, Philippe Sutra, Olivier Boissière, Alice Koechlin.
And we have to list those to whom we owe the translation of our articles in English, starting with one who really revived the team of Le Monde du Sumo in English: Jelena Macan.
Translation, proofreading, and layout of web-pages were the work of: Olivia Nagioff, Denis Dupeyron, Gwenaël Chapon, John Gunning, Ken Coller, Julien Griffon, Moti Dichne, Todd Lambert, Yann Hamon, Denis Chaton, Barbara Patten, William C Raymer, Steven Pascal-Joiner, Martina Lunau, Stefano Taschini, Chad Edward, Susan Lyon, Jezz Sterling, George Redlinger, Barbara Ann Klein, Brian O'Flaherty, Dan Coury.
... and thanks!
And finally, we give all our thanks to those who aided us in this adventure. It is quite hard to list the names without missing some people who also contributed a lot... please, forgive us! Nonetheless, we have to thank:
Harumi Hotta, Martina Lunau, Moti Dichne, Joe Kuroda, Alexander Nitschke, Eduardo de Paz, Yan Allegret, Jean-François Morgillo, the webmasters of sites www.sumofr.net and www.info-sumo.net, all those who wrote us letters of encouragement, and, of course, our families and friends who have "endured" these years of hard labour!