…Mark Panek ’90 will be autographing copies of his new book, Gaijin Yokozuna: A Biography of Chad Rowan, at several locations around Honolulu. The Honolulu Advertiser has a review of the book, along with a schedule of Mark’s appearances.
Of the book, the article says:
Not content to simply chart Rowan’s rise to the highest rank of the sport, Panek presents an intriguing study of Rowan as a outsider whose deft cultural performances evoked the Japanese identity so central to sumo’s ages-old identity.
The article gives an interesting look into Mark’s post-Colby life, as well:
After earning a degree in history from Colby College in Maine, Panek bought a one-way ticket to Hawai’i, arriving in Honolulu with just $500 and a surfboard.
Panek spent his days at the beach and worked nights as a waiter. It was a comfortable life for a 23-year-old college graduate, but Panek knew it wasn’t what he wanted to be doing in 10 years. When a friend from the bar circuit who was moving to Japan asked Panek if he wanted to come along, Panek jumped.