General sports messages in 1998

I'm 17 year old and I live in Samutprakan, Thailand. As you know, we are having the 13th Asian Games here. I love to play sport, especially swimming. Japan have done a very good job at swimming. When I went to see the game, Japanese swimmers won three gold medal. You know what, a lot of Thai girl are crazy about them, especially Shunsuke and Shusuke Ito. I would like to know about them like, their resume, where do there born, what do they like, anything about them. I hope to get an answer from you soon and if you want to know anything about Thailand you can ask me any time you want.
Thank you
December 12

Dear Warangkana Rattanaprasit and Pellotti
I'm actually amazed about all the attention on the Ito brothers in Thailand. I hear that even the Thai men have developed an interest in them. The Ito brothers are twins, 22 year olds and study at Chuo University in Tokyo. They were born in Okayama Prefecture. The elder, Shunsuke holds the Japan record in the 100 meter freestyle at 50.68 seconds. He won the 200 meter freestyle at the Asian Championships in 1996. In June this year, the brothers finished 1st and 2nd in the 100 meters at the national championships. But it's the first time for them to take the first 2 places in an international event as they've done in the Asian Games. Keep your eyes on the twins!
Konnichiwa Michiyo-san,
Ogenki desu ka?
This is Tadaaki again. I wrote you this summer about Canadian sumo. Now you have a nice leaf background for the autumn season. Here in North America I am eagerly awaiting the start of another ice hockey season. I see that the JIHF (Japan Ice Hockey Federation) has a new website:
I looked at the team rosters, but could not find Ryan Fujita's name. He was one of the nikkei Canadians who got Japanese citizenship and played in the Nagano Olympics. I wonder what happened to him? Did Steve Tsujiura retire so he could take the new job you wrote about? He has lived in Japan so long and *still* can't speak Japanese? Shinjirarenai!
Dewa mata,

October 3

Dear Tadaaki-san,
It's nice that you've noticed the change in my cover page. Well, to respond to your question concerning Ryan Fujita-- I think he changed his name. Isn't Ryan the guy on the following page?
He may be going by the name of Kiyoshi Fujita since he's become Japanese as a player of the Seibu Tetsudo. With regard to Steve Tsujiura--yes, he retired from playing. As manager of the national team, he needs to be careful about what he says and how that's delivered. He's been going back and forth--Japan and the U.S. frequently so I guess he didn't have time to really study the language. Don't be too hard on the poor guy!
My name is Nicolas. I am 13. I have been playing baseball since 1988. I am very interested in Japanese baseball, and so I wa happy to read your site. I have been interested in Japanese baseball since "Monsieur" Yoshida came to train the French National team. Next September, I will arrive in Tokyo to study for one year at Hosei Univ. I know that they have been doing so good at "Tokyo Roku Daigaku League", but I would like to know more before I go to the University. Can you please help me? As you know, baseball is not popular in France, and that is the reason why I am looking forward to learn from Japanese baseball.
Nico AMP

Hello Nicholas,
It's nice to hear from you. So you're going to study at Hosei University! A pitcher who was a big star graduated of Hosei. His name is Suguru Egawa. I think he's a name you should know. Now, I'm not saying this just because I'm a great fan of his. Hosei has a home page in English. I hope it'll help you prepare for your stay in Tokyo. So are you going to try playing baseball while you study at Hosei? What is the French people's view of Monsieur Yoshida? Yoshida is currently the manager of the Hanshin Tigers, but the team is not doing well.

Hello Michiyo!
Well, as I told you, most people don't know baseball in France. So most of them have never heard of Monsieur Yoshida. Of course, only French baseball players know him, and the ones who had the chance to play for him. Unfortunately. I didn't have that chance. But I've been playing not at a bad level in France. I played the first and only All Star Game ever in France in 1996. I've been waiting 10 years to play in Japan, practicing hard everyday to be able to play there. I know that Hosei is very powerfu, but I want to try to play in a lower team at Hosei.

August 7
Good Morning Michiyo,
I found it interesting that two of the worst performing teams at WC98 -- Japan and the United States -- had something in common. Just prior to the WC, their respective coaches cut their team's Captains. I think that the absence of Kazu Miura and John Harkes cost Japan and the U.S. valuable leadership and experience. To me, it is just sheer arrogance on the part of both team's coaches that they would cut international-level performers. It is unfortunate that in the clash of egos, not only do the players that were cut lose, but also the performance of the entire team. Here in the United States the management of the Chicago Bulls is in the middle of a similarly stupid effort. Sports are won and lost on the strength of players, not coaches or managers. Managers can only lose contests through actions that alienate players and the team.
Best wishes,
Lyle Ishida

July 30
Hello, Miss Ishida.
I'm Roberto Cuba. I like soccer very much, and I have special interest in Japanese soccer. I'm writing from Peru, and my country has good players. Here, the most popular team is Alianza Lima. Other strong teams are Universitario and Sport Boys. I like Argentine soccer, Boca Juniors and some Japanese players (as Nakata, Kawaguchi, Miura, Kitazawa and Ihara). I hope that in the World Cup 2002, Japan will present a good team. Thank you.
Roberto Cuba

Hola Roberto
Porques le gusta futbol Japones, y sabes tantos nombres de jugadores de Japon? Puede ver J.League en Peru?

Hola Michiyo
Bueno....en realidad no puedo ver J-League en Japon (y parecera ridiculo), pero yo me entero de los nombres gracias a los juegos de video (EPOCH no EXCITE STAGE)...Y yo puedo saber porque leo en japones! Ademas, tengo amigos que han estado en Japon y me entere donde jugaban Zico, Dias, Dunga, Massaro, Bisconti, Zapata, etc ect etc... Y a veces pasaban amistosos de selecciones por cable, y alli vi a la seleccion japonesa....desde alli, me volvi hincha de la seleccion japonesa....( una palabra que la usamos en latinoamerica y me gustaria que se diga asi tambien en Japon.....) Ademas vi el Mundial Francia'98, y me gusto como jugaba Nakata, Kawaguchi y el equipo en si...estan bien para ser debutantes (ademas, con Argentina y con Croacia), pero para el proximo Mundial, deben mejorar mucho su delantera y tener goleadores por instinto (algo asi como Suker o Marcelo Salas, o Batistuta, etc) La verdad, yo quisiera ir al Japon alguna vez, y si de pasadita, ver el mundial alli, en vivo y en directo...

July 13
To Miss Michiyo Ishida
How are you. My name is Frederick Khoo from Singapore. I've been a fan of Japanese soccer playoffs for quite some times now. I used to hate soccer, but I was very captured to find the Japanese team emerging just like the sun. I'm very impressed. I'm proud to be an Asian when Japan has filtered through the World Cup which was dominated by the whites before. It's such an excitement! At last, there' something for me to wish for, for Japan, an Asian country, to win to excel,to rise. In particular, I find Hidetoshi Nakata the gem of the play. He is one with charisma, attitude, and the 'look'. Yes, I personally find him handsome, and the best is that he's good in soccer and strike the others. He gives Asians the hope. Of course, no doubt, the rest of the team plays an important part too, but, he, is simply the best. I read quite a number of articles on him, though not very detailed, I find him with character refusing the media to get the better of him. He's simply too cool! From my point of view, your net is very wonderful, at least I get to talk to you and let you know how great he is to me! I was very excited when I found your site, better still in English!!! Really thank you very much. I think improvement like supplying more information, details and other general lifestyles of athletes (not only of Nakata) would give your sit more flavour, more vibrant. I hope your website will blossom and may you enjoy the best of life.

July 4
Konnichiwa..! I'm A7ron -- pleased to meet you and hello from Toronto, Canada.. I'm a 21 year old guy who lived in Kobe, though only for 8 months, in 1990.. When I lived in Japan was the 1st year of the Orix Blue Wave's existence.. ..I went to a few games and was always on the big screen, because I'm gaijin I guess.. It was fun..! I just thought I'd give you a background on myself before I commended you on your great job in the Japanese pro baseball pages.. wouldn't *believe* how difficult it is to keep track of it in Toronto..!!! In addition, your english is great..! Where'd you learn..? :).. Who's your favorite Japanese player..? I *love* Yoshii Masato-san -- he's amazing..! =2E.and it's so kool that Yoshii-san and Nomo-san are reunited..! Too bad about Japan in the world cup, it almost makes me cry how unlucky they've been, but they've played really well.. ..I'll be in the same nation as you when the 2002 world cup comes around..! Perhaps we'll meet by chance some day!

June 25
Dear Michiyo,
I enjoy your website very much. Your website is by far the best Japanese sports page in English that I have ever found. I am planning a trip to Japan in June with another baseball friend of mine and have found that you are the only source for the Japanes Professional baseball schedule on the web.... I thank you for this help.
I first became interested in Japanese Pro Baseball when I would read about the exploits of Sadaharu Oh and watched the World Champion 1970 Baltimore Orioles play an exhibition game against a Japanese All-Star team and lose!!! All that we would hear about in American newspapers was small sidebars about U.S. players going to Japan like Bob Horner and other known players who were either mediocre or on the downside of their careers, but when Cecil Fielder came back to the U.S.A. and made a big impact with the Detroit Tigers, then information became available regarding the Japanese Leagues. I have read "Slugging it out in Japan" , "You Gotta have Wa" and "Japanese Baseball", but there is still very little information here on your leagues. I am planning to fulfill my dream by attending a game at the Tokyo Dome this June.
Best Regards,
John Eames

May 15
Hi Michiyo!
I came across your web pages through a link from the French Olympic Team NAGANO 98 web site. Congratulations for a great site! I especially enjoyed reading the messages in the Message Board. I am a fan of soccer, athletics, basketball, baseball and the Summer and Winter Games. I collect olympic and sports memorabilia, including pins, medals, key holders and printed matter such as official programmes, magazines, official reports, media guides, etc.. I look forward to meeting other people who share my interests through newsgroups and message boards such as yours. I think Japan will do very in the World Cup FRANCE 98. I hope the USA team will survive Germany and Iran in the first round; but, maybe that is asking for too much. :-)
Kind regards,
Isaac Hunter

March 28
Hi Michiyo !
Now and then I visit your nice website. I like to thank you for all information given. I am a swedish sumofan. I follow it on the web, and on the TV-channel Eurosport wich sends the bashos a couple of months afterwards. Sumo is great. Takanohana is one of my favorites, but as you mention, I have understood that he is not that popular. I don't understand why. I think he has style and class. Also he is very polite towards his opponents, helping them up after defeating them and bows respecfully. So Michiyo, can you help me out here ? I enjoy reading about sumo generally, not only reports from the bashos. I like your lates update "Latest in Sumo". I would be happy over more of that stuff. All the best to you.
Yours, Hans Karlsson

Dear Hans,
To answer your question, it's not that everybody really dislikes Takanohana. He is too strong. This makes sumo too predictable and boring. That is why there have been a drop of sumo fans in recent years. However, lots of people showed concern when Takanohana withdrew from the middle of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament. We just need someone equally as great as Takanohana to make sumo more exciting. I hope my answer makes sense to you. Now I would like to ask you a question. What prompted you to become a sumo fan?

Dear Michiyo !
Thank you for the answer about Taka. It makes sense to me. You want to know how I became a sumofan. Here in Europe we have a big TV-chanel called Eurosport. I watch it sometimes, and one night suddenly there was sumo wich I did not know anything about. My first reaction was to zap in another channel, but then a huge wrestler makes his entrance. I couldn't believe my eyes. I just had to see him wrestle. He was beaten by a small guy. I enjoyed it and decided to watch another fight, and another, and another, and so on. I was hooked. I liked the mixture between the old traditional cermonies and rules, the aggressive explosions and the quick results. This suited me perfect. It happened a year and a half ago. The huge wrestler was, as you have guessed, Konishiki and the small one Mainoumi. I have some favorites amongst rikishis. I hope for Tochiazuma and Dejima. Also like Kaio and of course Taka and Waka plus Akebono and Musashimaru. Kotonishiki has a lot of energy and I enjoy his style and that goes for the new Chiyotaikai too. If his sumo matures he will be up there somewhere. Asahiyutaka is excellent sometimes but sometimes looses in silly ways. My favorite no. 1 was Konishiki. Dear Michiyo, I hope you continue the good work with your site.
Best wishes to you,
Hans Karlsson

March 3
I noticed from your Home Page that you are a fan of Hideo Nomo. My nephew, Dave Hansen, has signed with the Hanshin Tigers. Dave was with the Dodgers for seven seasons and was a team mate of Hideo's. I watched Hideo pitch several games for the Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium. He has quite a windup. Thank you for having an English language home page for baseball. I will follow your home page.
Larry Herrman

February 9

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