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Asian American History 101

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Aug 15, 2022

Welcome to Season 2, Episode 40!  We’re fans of professional sumo in Japan. It’s fun to watch and takes a great amount of skill. There’s actually a relatively rich history of Asian American and Pacific Islanders in professional sumo. Although there aren’t any impactful AAPI in the sport now, there have been some amazing wrestlers in the past including Konishiki, Akebono, and Mushashimaru, but they aren’t the only ones. Those three peers may not have achieved the levels they did without Takamiyama. We provide a quick overview of professional sumo, but if you’re interested in learning more, we recommend the new Sumo Primetime and Sumostew channels on YouTube, the NHK Sumo and Sumopedia webpages, and the Sumo Wrestling Fandom Wiki. We begin this episode by celebrating Janet Yang for her recent election to President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Michelle Yeoh for her recent honorary doctorate from the American Film Institute. We close out this episode with a segment on the Origin of the term “Mongolian Spots.” For previous episodes and information, please visit our site at or social media links at If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, email us at


  • 00:25 Celebrating Janet Yang and Michelle Yeoh
  • 02:29 AAPI in Professional Sumo
  • 25:35 The Origin of Mongolian Spots