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February 7, 1998 | SONNI EFRON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When Japanese emperors and shoguns grew weary of the world--or their power-hungry relatives grew weary of them--they would shave their heads and retreat to temples in a custom called "throwing away the world." Takakazu Fukushima, too, has quit his prestigious job as a professor at Yokohama National, shaved his head and donned Buddhist robes in order to succeed his father as a priest in the family temple.
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February 7, 1998 | SONNI EFRON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When Japanese emperors and shoguns grew weary of the world--or their power-hungry relatives grew weary of them--they would shave their heads and retreat to temples in a custom called "throwing away the world." Takakazu Fukushima, too, has quit his prestigious job as a professor at Yokohama National, shaved his head and donned Buddhist robes in order to succeed his father as a priest in the family temple.
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February 7, 1998 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
After ringing the Zenkoji Temple bell to signal the beginning of the opening ceremony, Motoichi Godo, 69, sounded quite pleased. "Thanks to good weather, the bell pealed in the clearest tone I ever heard," he said. COLD WAR LINGERS A Russian orthodox priest was asked his impression of the day's events. "It was a simple ceremony, and simplicity is the sister of talent," said Father Vadim Zakharin, who is here as "unofficial priest to the Russian delegation." And his impression of Japan?
SPORTS
January 28, 1998 | From Associated Press
When Motoichi Godo was 17, he didn't think he would live out the year. A new recruit in the summer of 1945, he was assigned to a unit of human torpedoes, the Japanese Imperial Navy's version of the notorious kamikaze. But Japan's surrender saved his life. And Godo, now 69, is to play a special role in what he sees as a major celebration of world peace--the Nagano Winter Olympics.
SPORTS
February 15, 1998 | MIKE DOWNEY
Jerod Swallow got very good marks from the judges after the American ice dancer and his partner, Elizabeth Punsalan, performed a compulsory routine. Why were the judges so kind when they punched in those scores? "I have no control over the fingers of the panel," Swallow said. "I guess we're skating for a more divine judge than the nine judges who are out there." Here's hoping for more 5.8s and 5.9s from the Judge Upstairs. JUST ONE QUESTION: WHY A YELLOW ROCK?
SPORTS
February 23, 1998 | ROSS NEWHAN
As a 37-year baseball writer--yes, I remember when there was a commissioner--my mantra during the Winter Olympics was, "I could have been in Scottsdale." I said it while putting on four layers of clothing in the morning and while still writing at 2 a.m., thinking how I might be having a nightcap at the Pink Pony, Arizona's renowned gathering spot for baseball literati and management personnel.
SPORTS
February 7, 1998 | MIKE PENNER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Laboring and hobbling on an artificial right leg, hoisting the Olympic torch in his left hand because it was the only one available, Chris Moon slowly made his way into Minami Nagano Sports Park. He strained but did not stumble, jogging awkwardly but relentlessly, pressing onward without the right leg and the right hand he lost in a land-mine explosion in 1995. With the same lurching gait, Moon, a 35-year-old Englishman, completed the 1996 London Marathon in 5 hours 39 minutes.
NEWS
February 1, 1998 | SUSAN KING, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Call it Winter Olympics 101. In preparation for the XVIII Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, the CBS hosts, analysts and reporters have been hitting the books and working with researchers to learn everything they need to know about the 17-day athletic competition, which begins Friday.
SPORTS
February 7, 1998 | HOWARD ROSENBERG
Gentlemen, start your luges! As evident from the drab-uniformed Americans and other global jocks tramping through austere Minami Nagano Sports Park on Friday night, it's that time again. Time for the Zenkoji Temple's bonging bell, the ceremonial raising of sacred pillars, pot-bellied sumo wrestlers throwing their weight around, singing snow children and another opening-rite telecast on CBS, which aims to translate its 2 1/2-week ode to sponsors into Olympian profits.
SPORTS
March 16, 1998 | JOE GERGEN, NEWSDAY
The first taxicab I hailed in Nagano was spotless inside and out. The driver wore a white shirt, a tie and white gloves, which I later learned was the Japanese standard of dress for people in his profession. With only the slightest pause to pinpoint my destination, caused by the language barrier, he guided me several miles from the area of Zenkoji temple to the Olympic press center swiftly and comfortably. Then he apologized. "I'm sorry," the man said, "I don't speak more English."
SPORTS
February 6, 1998 | MIKE PENNER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
"Where are the giant inflatable Gumbys?" some wiseacre wondered as the media bus crawled its way through the streets of Nagano. Or, for that matter, the giant inflatable Coca-Cola bottle, the renegade T-shirt vendors, BudWorld and the rest of crass capitalistic spillage that turned Atlanta into the world's largest and tackiest county fair for three weeks during the summer of '96? How can you possibly expect to hold an Olympic Games without them?
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