Asashoryu ends stormy career
( Japan Times )

Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu, known for his truculent and fiery nature, said Thursday he has decided to bring an end to his illustrious but trouble-laden career.

Sumo's self-styled enfant terrible, Asashoryu is no stranger to
controversy and his frequent breaches of protocol led to an
increasingly strained relationship with the sumo establishment.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・truculent 好戦的な、獰猛な
・enfant terrible 恐るべき子供(フランス語)

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Teen phenom Ishikawa captures money crown
( Japan Times )

Shigeki Maruyama got his first win since returning full-time to the Japanese tour at the Nippon Series JT Cup on Sunday, but 18-year-old Ryo Ishikawa took center stage as he became the youngest money title winner in Japanese golf history.

Ishikawa finished the 2009 campaign top of the money list with \183 million after second-ranked Yuta Ikeda's hopes of capturing the season-ending event ended at Tokyo Yomiuri Country Club. Ikeda had to win this event to top Ishikawa.

Ishikawa replaces Masashi "Jumbo" Ozaki as the youngest money winner on the JGTO tour. Ozaki won the money title at age of 26 in 1973.

Ishikawa finished tied for 19th in the 27-man field at 3-over 283 after a final-round 66, his best round of the week. Ikeda closed with a 72 to share 23rd at 7 over.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・crown 王冠、(勝利の)栄冠、タイトル
・tie 結びつける、(相手と)同点になる
・close 閉じる、終わる

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Naito, Kameda ready for title showdown
( Japan Times )

Daisuke Naito's WBC flyweight title fight against Koki Kameda on Sunday is being billed as "The Battle of Destiny," although the battle of good vs. evil might be more fitting.

Ever since a win over Koki's brother Daiki two years ago, Naito has become a celebrity, regularly appearing on TV shows where his soft-spoken demeanor and humble personality has won over fans. Call him the Manny Pacquiao of Japan.

The 35-year-old Naito took up boxing to defend himself in school, where he was the victim of bullying, and often speaks out in support of those subjected to similar abuse.

Kameda, along with his brother Daiki, have established a reputation for arrogance. Forgoing the niceties of the Japanese language, Kameda taunts his opponents with insults and bold predictions. True to form, he was confident about his chances against Naito earlier this week.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・bully いじめる、いじめっ子
・abuse 虐待する,酷使する
・forgo なしで済ませる、差し控える、見合わせる

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Matsui Goes Wild, and So Do His Fans in Japan
( New York Times )

For many Japanese, Hideki Matsui is a man of contradictions ―
a towering hulk with a sensitive heart, a player of fierce
self-discipline known for lewd jokes and a national hero who refuses to play for his country at international tournaments, much to the chagrin of his home fans.

For this baseball-loving nation, Matsui’s performance at the World Series on Wednesday ― hitting a home run, tying a World Series record with six runs batted in and being named the most valuable player ― sent a clear message. It put a Japanese player and the Japanese game on the American baseball map more firmly than any compatriot’s performance did.

“Matsui’s one-man show!” an early headline proclaimed after the New York Yankees’ victory. “Unstoppable Matsui goes wild on the field,” another read.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・contradiction 矛盾、否定
・hulk 廃船の船体、図体の大きいもの・人
・lewd みだらな、わいせつな
・compatriot 同国人、同胞(の)
・proclaim 宣言する、公布する

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Mariners’ Suzuki on a First-Name Basis With Records
( New York Times )

Because Suzuki’s magical season happened to coincide with a wacky marketing gimmick concocted by his manager, Akira Ohgi, his name will forever be rooted in the mystique of 200 hits in Japan. Ohgi an astute baseball man, quickly recognized the breakout potential of Suzuki. Ohgi was a flamboyant sort and he understood the name Ichiro Suzuki, as commonplace as Joe Smith is in the United States, offered little pizazz for an already colorless Blue Wave team that played in the second-fiddle Pacific League.

Hoping to capture Japan’s fancy, Ohgi replaced the surname across the back of Suzuki’s jersey with his first name during spring training and registered him with the commissioner’s office as Ichiro. Surprised, to say the least, Suzuki, who was 20, had little leverage to protest.

From that moment, scoreboards across Japan would identify him as Ichiro and the rest of Orix’s starting lineup by their surnames. Public-address announcers would shout out only the three syllables of his first name when introducing his at-bat. In a land of conformity, it was an attention-grabbing move. But for Suzuki, a young outfielder trying to make a name for himself based on performance, the pressure of having his name made for him was immense.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・wacky 風変りな
・mystique (人を魅惑する)神秘的雰囲気
・astute 鋭い、機敏な
・leverage てこの原理、(目的を達成するための)力
・syllable 音節
・immense 巨大な、計り知れない

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