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Thread: Sumo

  1. #76
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    72nd Yokozuna named!

    Congratulations to Kisenosato!

    Sumo: Kisenosato formally promoted as sumo's 72nd yokozuna
    January 25, 2017 (Mainichi Japan)


    Kisenosato, left, is seen during a ceremony crowning him the top sumo rank of yokozuna, in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on Jan. 25, 2017. (Mainichi)
    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Kisenosato officially became the 72nd grand champion in sumo history on Wednesday after the Japan Sumo Association finalized his promotion at its executive committee meeting.

    JSA executives rubber-stamped the promotion of the 30-year-old Kisenosato based on the recommendation unanimously made Monday by members of the Yokozuna Deliberation Council, an advisory body to the association, after he won his maiden title at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

    "I accept (the promotion) with great humility. I will devote myself and try not to disgrace the yokozuna name," Kisenosato said in a formal ceremony to notify him of his promotion.

    "I want to be even more focused," he said after the ceremony. "I have grown also as a person and I want to become a yokozuna that is respected."

    "I have to be conscious (of my position) and winning the championship title at the next tournament (is my next goal)," he said.

    Kisenosato becomes the first Japanese wrestler to be promoted to sumo's top rank of grand champion since Wakanohana in 1998.

    Kisenosato won his first championship title on Sunday with a 14-1 mark.

    Eight of the last nine yokozuna secured promotion by winning their preceding two tournaments. Mongolian Kakuryu, the last to be promoted to yokozuna ahead of the May 2014 meet, lost in a playoff that January despite finishing 14-1, but won the title in March.

    So often accused of being mentally fragile, Kisenosato has finished second-best at a meet 12 times. After Kotoshokigu and Goeido captured their first titles last year, Kisenosato had become the only Japanese ozeki not to have won a trophy.

    But Kisenosato found consistency and finally came into his own in 2016, becoming the first wrestler to win the most bouts in a season without winning a single title.

    "I feel grateful to all the people that have helped me," said Kisenosato, who paid tribute to his late stablemaster Naruto.

    "If I had not met my former trainer I would not have got to where I have now," he said. "I have nothing but gratitude."

    Mongolian Kakuryu was the last wrestler promoted to yokozuna in 2014.

    There will now be four wrestlers fighting as yokozuna for the first time in 17 years at the Spring meet in March.
    Gene Ching
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  2. #77
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    ethno-sport?

    This author makes a good point. I remember seeing similar racism in Kendo. One of my Kendo sensei was a dreadlock, and he wasn't allowed to advance unless he cut his dreads, but that was just the excuse.

    If only Sumo would go Olympic.


    Newly promoted sumo grand champion Kisenosato, wearing a ceremonial belly band, performs a sacred ring-entering ritual at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo on Jan. 27. | KYODO VIA REUTERS

    ISSUES | JUST BE CAUSE
    Media outside Japan must stop normalizing sumo as an ethno-sport
    BY DEBITO ARUDOU
    SPECIAL TO THE JAPAN TIMES
    FEB 19, 2017

    I know that by now this is old news (blame press holidays and timely Trump articles), but congratulations to Kisenosato for ascending to yokozuna, sumo wrestling’s highest rank, last month. After all your efforts, well done.

    So what does JBC have to say about it? Nothing to diminish that achievement, of course. But let’s consider how the event echoed overseas. Here are some headlines from prominent news outlets:

    BBC: “Japan gets first sumo champion in 19 years.”

    The Washington Post: “After 19 long years, Japan has a grand champion of sumo once again.”

    The New York Times: “For the first time in years, Japan boasts a sumo grand champion.”

    The Guardian: “Kisenosato becomes Japan’s first homegrown sumo champion in 19 years.”

    Even our own Japan Times: “Kisenosato becomes first Japanese-born yokozuna in almost two decades.”

    Hmm. At least three of those headlines make it seem like Japan hasn’t had a Japanese yokozuna — or any yokozuna — for nearly two decades.

    That’s false. We’ve had five yokozuna (Musashimaru, Asashoryu, Hakuho, Harumafuji and Kakuryu) since 1998. Perhaps they’re referring to the fact that the last four champions have been Mongolian, not Japanese. But that means they don’t count? And what about Musashimaru? He’s a naturalized Japanese, and was one (as The Japan Times duly noted) when he became yokozuna in 1999.

    So he’s not counted because he’s not a “real” Japanese? Apparently. That’s why the JT and Guardian slipped in qualifiers like “Japan-born.” As if that matters. It shouldn’t. Except to racists.

    And it matters in Japan because of the embedded racism of the sport. Consider the fact that not so long ago, the Japan Sumo Association (JSA) overtly denied the yokozuna rank to foreigners, no matter how well they did, for expressly racist reasons. They even thwarted former American wrestler Konishiki, who said just that to The New York Times in 1992.

    And what were those reasons? Officials claimed foreign wrestlers lacked the requisite “aura of dignity” (hinkaku) that only Japanese mystically have.

    Fortunately, that mysticism was soon dispelled by talent (not to mention embarrassment caused by the NYT). By 1993, Hawaiian wrestler Akebono had made his promotion undeniable, becoming Japan’s first foreign-born yokozuna. He was joined by another in 1999, then two more in 2003 and 2007.

    Oh, snap, said the JSA. That’s why they put a cap on things in 2010, limiting sumo training stables to one foreign wrestler each. And just to fortify the racism, they stipulated that even naturalized Japanese (in violation of the Nationality Law) were also to be deemed “foreign” and limited!

    Yet that “homegrown” advantage is being overturned nonetheless. Another foreigner was yokozuna-ed in 2012, and again in 2014. And even though foreign nationals have traditionally totaled only 7 to 8 percent of sumo’s 600 professional wrestlers, they made up 30 percent of the top-ranked grapplers in 2013.

    And having that much foreign talent overcome numerous obstacles and achieve success on an already uneven playing field is a bad thing?

    Well, according to Japanese media, it is. News outlets and pundits have been hankering for a “real” Japanese to become a grand champion for years, wailing that somehow sumo has “lost something” because it’s been “dominated” by foreigners. Even though, remember, 92 percent of sumo pros are still “homegrown.” Maybe they should ganbaru (try harder) like only “real” Japanese mystically can.

    Well, Kisenosato did. Good. But the problem is not that his win became big international news, it’s that sumo’s prevailing racist attitudes did not. Because foreign reporters seem to have bought into the racism.

    Doubtful? Let’s read beyond their aforementioned headlines:

    Guardian: “His addition to the yokozuna ranks is also expected to help improve sumo’s image, after a decade in which it has been rocked by a series of scandals, including bullying, drug taking and allegations of match fixing.”

    The implication is that a respected yokozuna can’t improve sumo’s image if he’s foreign. However, remember that sumo’s scandals are self-inflicted — almost always caused by the “real” Japanese (despite the JSA’s scapegoating of Mongolian yokozuna Asashoryu until he quit; see Zeit Gist, Sept. 4, 2007).

    NYT: “But sumo’s reputation has suffered in recent years because of a series of gambling and match-fixing scandals, and foreign wrestlers, mainly from Eastern Europe and Mongolia, have increasingly dominated its top ranks.”

    A simple parsing suggests that sumo’s reputation has suffered because foreign wrestlers dominate.

    Washington Post: “Japan’s national sport has been in decline in recent years, partly the result of a generational shift towards sports like baseball, partly because of the health issues associated with the heft needed to wrestle, and partly because of the increasing dominance of foreigners.”

    So sumo has “declined” because foreigners to do well at it, despite all the hurdles put before them? How unsportsmanlike an attitude is that?

    NYT: “Sports fans in Japan had been living with a harsh reality for years: Sumo wrestling, a quintessential Japanese pastime that is increasingly dominated by foreign stars, lacked a native-born champion of the highest order.”

    BBC: “Japan has formally named its first home-grown sumo grand champion in almost two decades, in a boost to the traditional wrestling sport.”

    Ah yes, I was looking for that — the word “traditional.” It makes sumo seem somehow sacred: not just a sport — an ethno-sport. A sport that “homegrown” blood-Japanese must “dominate,” or else the “tradition” of an allegedly “quintessential Japanese pastime” (one that few Japanese actually play, or watch beyond top-league broadcasts) has been violated?

    The “harsh reality” is that the foreign media has internalized and legitimized the racism just because it’s from Japan. Imagine another country that founded a sport (or claims it as its national sport) lamenting that foreigners are winning at it. Like baseball, where other countries have beaten American teams. Or England claiming that soccer, cricket, tennis or rugby have gone to the dogs whenever it doesn’t win a world championship?

    Perhaps you might counter that sumo is in fact an ethno-sport, and who can blame Japan for wanting to keep it “Japanese”? Then why has the Sumo Association repeatedly tried to make it into a worldwide Olympic event?

    Consider that judo (another international sport that originated in Japan) is also apparently “dominated” by foreigners, according to Olympic medal counts. Has judo’s reputation “suffered” for this?

    Only in the eyes of racists, such as Shintaro Ishihara, who, in a regular news conference as Tokyo governor in 2012, called foreign judoka “beasts” (kemono), and said, “An internationalized judo has lost its exquisite charms” (daigo).

    Again, where was the international reporting on that? And that’s the point of this column.

    One reason why Japan keeps getting a free pass on its racism is that it’s not talked about overtly — or, for that matter, even called “racism” at all. In Japan, that’s shameful. But overseas — where exposure embarrasses Japan’s racists (who would rather keep things “in the family”) — that’s hypocritical. These reporters wouldn’t dare make these claims if they were talking about unfair play in their countries of origin.

    That’s why foreign correspondents should not pander to stereotypes, passing overt racism off as “tradition” practiced by those mystical, hidebound, inscrutable Japanese. Embedding these attitudes for export cloaks Japan from the regular dynamics of sportsmanlike conduct that prevail elsewhere.

    So here’s a suggestion: How about reporting on the widespread lack of fairness within Japanese sporting events and leagues? Many of which (such as the ekiden races or the National Sports Festival of Japan (Kokutai)) are specifically designed so that foreign athletes cannot participate. Or if they can, these events are tilted so Japanese will win.

    Or how about heralding the talented foreign heroes who have overcome the unfair hurdles?

    Don’t get me wrong. If you want to report that Kisenosato’s promotion is big news in Japan, and Japan’s media and public have long been rooting for a homegrown hero to finally make the grade, fine. That has happened, and that is news.

    But play fair. Don’t validate racists like Ishihara and the JSA. By insinuating that foreign athletes have been spoiling the sport, you’ve done a great disservice to all the wrestlers who have beaten the odds only for their feats to go unreported.

    Debito’s latest book, “Embedded Racism: Japan’s Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination,” is out now. Twitter @arudoudebito. Your comments and story ideas: community@japantimes.co.jp
    Gene Ching
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  3. #78
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    Beckham & All Stars football team VS SUMOS



    This is old but new to me.
    Gene Ching
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  4. #79
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    Sumo Girls Eighty-Two Techniques |相撲ガールズ82手 |セーラー服の美少女が相撲!? | #SUMO82

    Gene Ching
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  5. #80
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    Sumo perfume

    I've never been close enough to a Sumoka* to smell him. But srsly?

    Japanese fragrance maker now offers…the scent of a sumo wrestler!
    KayKay 2 days ago



    If you’ve ever wanted to smell as elegant as a sumo wrestler, this is the fragrance for you!

    We’ve seen some bizarre scents turned into perfume before, and we think we’ve found another one that deserves mention. Japanese fragrance maker Luz will be adding three new scents to their line of J-Scent perfumes, and one of them promises to be particularly unique, as it’s being marketed as the scent of a sumo wrestler!

    The J-Scent line of perfumes currently includes six Japanese-themed fragrances, namely roasted tea (hojicha), agarwood, wasanbon sugar, flower-viewing sake, paper soap, and hydrangea. Now, they’ll be adding three new scents: sumo wrestler, ramune soda and yuzu citrus.

    The sumo wrestler fragrance is apparently based on the smell of the hair oil used to create the unique hair style of sumo wrestlers known as mage (pronounced “mah-geh”) and contains the scent of eucalyptus, anise, violet, heliotrope, musk, patchouli and sandalwood. It’s supposed to be a soothing scent somewhat like incense.

    ▼ Ahhh … yes, the comforting scent of a sumo wrestler!


    The other two J-Scent perfumes that are being introduced are: ramune (a traditional sweet Japanese soda), made with the scents of lemon, aldehyde, mint, rose, lily of the valley, magnolia, musk and vanilla; and yuzu citrus, a combination of bergamot, orange, yuzu and thyme scents. Both fragrances sound refreshing and ideal for the summer.

    All three new J-Scent products will be available online through J-Scent’s website from July 3 at a price of 3,500 yen (US$31.50) for a 50-milliliter (1.7-ounce) bottle. If you’re in the Osaka area, the entire line-up of J-Scent fragrances, including the three new items, will also be available at the Umeda Tsutaya Shoten shop located in the Lucua 1100 shopping center from June 30 to July 14. And for the first two days of the period, between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. on June 30 and July 1, they’ll even have a special in-store campaign where you can actually smell and try on all nine scents.

    So, if the scent of a sumo wrestler is what you dream about, make sure you check out the new J-Scent perfume. Of course, we’re sure that the other scents smell very nice too!

    Related: Lucua 1100 website
    Source: @Press
    Reference: J-Scent website, Lucua 1100 website
    Insert image: Wikimedia Commons/ photo by Philbert Ono
    *not sure if I used the 'ka' suffix used properly here.
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  6. #81
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    The Ozumo Beyond 2020 Basho


    Yokozuna Hakuho (left) and Kisenosato perform the rare sandan-gamae ritual at the Beyond 2020 Basho on Wednesday at Ryogoku Kokugikan. | KYODO
    SUMO

    Sumo pulls out all the stops at promotional event
    BY MAI YOSHIKAWA
    KYODO
    OCT 4, 2017

    Rikishi in Japan are coming up big — literally and figuratively — doing little things to promote the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and, though not part of the Olympic program, the ancient national sport of sumo.

    On Wednesday, 70 wrestlers of sumo’s top two divisions, including all four yokozuna, took part in the Ozumo Beyond 2020 Basho, a government-funded project aimed at both first-time spectators and hardcore fans. It was the second straight year for the event at Ryogoku Kokugikan

    Wrestlers clad in colorful kimono stood outside the Tokyo venue and delighted the 4,000 fans by greeting them with handshakes, hugs, autograph signings and selfies.

    The invitation-only event featured various services such as English public address announcements and subtitled live video streaming as well as wheelchair and guide dog accessibility. The unique experience took guests away from the present moment, allowing them to temporarily forget the injury concerns surrounding sumo’s top makuuchi division that have been giving the Japan Sumo Association a headache.

    The dohyo ring was a stage where children in mawashi belts tackled wrestlers and lower-ranked wrestlers took turns singing lively sumo songs.

    Last year, when the JSA organized the event for the first time, the sandan-gamae ceremony was performed by two yokozuna for the first time in 21 years. This year, Hakuho and Kisenosato were given the rare privilege of demonstrating the three-posture ritual.

    After taking part in his first sandan-gamae, held only on special occasions, Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho said he enjoyed the kind of adrenaline rush he had never felt before.

    “It was my first time (to perform the sandan-gamae) and I was nervous but it was a good experience,” said Hakuho, who was a last-minute entry. “The Olympics coming to Tokyo again is already a big deal, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time. I’m glad I was born the year I was. I hope to remain active until 2020,” said Hakuho, whose father won Mongolia’s first-ever Olympic medal as a freestyle wrestler in 1968 and also competed in the 1964 Tokyo Games.

    Meanwhile, his counterpart Kisenosato said he remembers seeing the ritual in photographs years ago and was happy to officially become a part of that tradition.

    “What an honor,” said Kisenosato.

    “There were fans from all generations and it’s nice to share sumo tradition with them. Of course there’s the basho, but getting a chance to watch things like the sandan-gamae is different. I hope this gets more people interested in sumo.”

    The one-day event was being held as a trial project by the government as the country makes every effort to attract more foreign visitors and make an economic success of the 2020 Games.

    In addition to ringside seating for wheelchair users, live English play-by-play commentary and sign language interpretation were available to demonstrate how sports can break down barriers.

    JSA public relations chief Kiyotaka Kasugano, who spoke on the raised ring before the national anthem was performed by a singer with autism, expressed his joy at seeing so many local foreign residents unite through sumo, and for the opportunity to share Japan’s culture and traditions with the world.

    “Through sumo we believe we can promote this country’s other fine cultures and continue that trend onto the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics,” he said.
    If only Sumo would become an Olympic event. I'd watch that.
    Gene Ching
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  7. #82
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    Harumafuji

    I'm trying not to smirk at the 'karaoke-machine remote control' part.

    Sumo champion Harumafuji to be referred to prosecutors for alleged assault in drunken brawl
    KYODO
    NOV 21, 2017



    TOTTORI – Police are set to refer sumo grand champion Harumafuji to prosecutors by the end of the year on suspicion of assaulting lower-ranked wrestler Takanoiwa in a drunken brawl, investigative sources said Tuesday.

    Under questioning late last week, the 33-year-old Mongolian yokozuna admitted to striking 27-year-old Takanoiwa with his palms, his fists and a karaoke-machine remote control, according to the sources.

    Takanoiwa is believed to have suffered head injuries after being struck with an object, but Harumafuji has denied allegations that he hit the fellow Mongolian with a beer bottle in the late-October incident at a restaurant-bar in the city of Tottori, the sources said.

    The police have determined that they can continue the investigation without arresting Harumafuji as he isn’t considered a flight risk or thought likely to destroy evidence, the sources said.

    The police are carefully looking into how Harumafuji injured Takanoiwa but it remains unclear how accurately Takanoiwa can recall the incident, as the No. 8 ranked maegashira told police he kept his eyes closed as he was being hit.

    According to other sources, Harumafuji became angry as Takanoiwa was using his smartphone while being scolded for his behavior by yokozuna Hakuho at the restaurant-bar.

    Yokozuna Kakuryu and sekiwake Terunofuji — both from Mongolia — and some Japanese wrestlers were also present during the incident, the sources said.

    The police are soon expected to question others in attendance including Kakuryu and Hakuho. Hakuho has said that Harumafuji did not strike Takanoiwa with a beer bottle.

    The controversy has deepened as conflicting accounts of the alleged attack emerged — including the possibility that a liquor bottle, not a beer bottle, was used in the attack, according to investigative sources.

    Further complicating the situation is Takanoiwa’s stablemaster Takanohana, whose actions leading up to the investigation have drawn criticism. Takanohana filed a police report about the incident late last month but only informed the Japan Sumo Association much later.

    Yasuko Ikenobo, chairwoman of the JSA executive council and former vice education minister, took a swipe at Takanohana’s failure to immediately report the incident to the board of directors. Ikenobo, whose council convened a meeting on Monday, told reporters that many attendees were disappointed that the scandal broke during the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament. Takanohana had an “obligation to report” the incident to the JSA, according to Ikenobo.

    Takanohana has remained mum about the incident, scarcely responding to the reporters following his every move.

    Meanwhile, news that Harumafuji was expected to be referred to prosecutors for the assault charge has disappointed sumo fans.

    “Sumo was finally regaining popularity, so it’s sad that it has been taken up by the media almost daily in such a way,” said Miyu Suzuki, 26, who attended the ongoing Kyushu tournament from Osaka.

    Takanoiwa missed the tournament after being diagnosed with head injuries including a suspected skull fracture and a cerebrospinal fluid leak. Harumafuji withdrew from the tournament on the third day after the media reported the scandal.

    The JSA said its crisis management panel will investigate the case and hand down a judgment or punishment sometime after the tournament ends on Sunday.
    Busted Martial Artists & Sumo
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  8. #83
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    Follow up on Harumafuji

    December 20, 2017 8:18 pm JST
    Sumo: JSA begins disciplinary measures over Harumafuji scandal

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japan Sumo Association on Wednesday began doling out disciplinary measures in the wake of yokozuna Harumafuji's retirement following his assaulut on another wrestler.

    Following meetings of a JSA advisory body, the Yokozuna Deliberation Council, and the association's board of directors, JSA Chairman Hakkaku announced that two yokozuna would be punished for failing to act when Harumafuji injured lower-ranked wrestler Takanoiwa.

    Hakuho, who has won more grand sumo tournaments than any wrestler in history, will not receive his salary for January, and will have his pay cut in half in February. Fellow yokozuna Kakuryu will not be paid in January.

    The council, which said Harumafuji's acts would have merited his being asked to retire, also recommended Hakuho and Kakuryu be reprimanded for failing to prevent trouble at the incident that occured during a regional tour.

    A report on the investigation by the association's crisis management panel that probed the case was filed before the meeting.

    Masato Kitamura, chairman of the advisory council, said after the meeting there is a need to lay out clear standards for similar cases that may occur in the future.

    "Hakuho and Kakuryu were not able to stop the incident from happening and being taken too far. Their responsibility should not be taken lightly. They should be given a strong warning," Kitamura said.

    "Harumafuji, a yokozuna who should be a role model to all wrestlers, showed abusive behavior that led to injury. A yokozuna must bear this heavy responsibility," he said.

    A decision on punishment for Takanoiwa's stablemaster Takanohana, who failed to fulfill his required reporting duties as the regional tour director, was delayed by the JSA directors.

    According to investigative sources, Harumafuji allegedly beat Takanoiwa with his palms and a karaoke machine remote control when Mongolian wrestlers gathered for a drinking session that lasted from the night of Oct. 25 into the early hours of Oct. 26 at a bar in Tottori, western Japan.

    Takanoiwa suffered head wounds that required about 10 days to heal and filed a police report on Oct. 29. He was diagnosed at a hospital in Fukuoka with a suspected fracture at the base of his skull, among other injuries.

    The investigative sources said Harumafuji is believed to have been angered by Takanoiwa's inattention while Hakuho was giving him advice.

    Hakkaku volunteered to work the final three months of his term as chairman without pay in order to accept responsibility for the scandal, while Harumafuji's stablemaster Isegahama will step down from the JSA's board of directors.

    The chairman agreed with the advisory board's statement that Harumafuji should have been asked to retire, but said that since he had left voluntarily, no further punishment would be meted out.

    Busted Martial Artists & Sumo
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  9. #84
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    Harumafuji has been fined

    More here and here.

    $4400 USD may seem paltry, but he lost face, and sumo is a game of honor. At least, it's supposed to be so.

    Japan sumo champion Harumafuji fined over assault
    4 January 2018


    GETTY IMAGES
    Harumafuji has said his life will be "sharply different" now

    Former sumo grand champion Harumafuji has been fined 500,000 yen (£3,280; $4,400) in Japan after being found guilty of assault.

    The 33-year-old wrestler from Mongolia admitted hitting a junior wrestler over the head with a karaoke machine remote control during a night out in Tottori in October.

    He has already apologised and stepped down over the incident.

    The case rocked the world of sumo, a hugely popular ceremonial sport.

    The assault on fellow Mongolian Takanoiwa happened while they were out drinking with other wrestlers in a bar in the western city.

    The grand champion is reported to have been angered that his countryman was checking his phone while being given advice, seeing it as showing a lack of respect.

    The latter was admitted to hospital with concussion and a fractured skull.

    Two others involved in the incident have faced disciplinary action and Takanoiwa's stablemaster - as coaches are known - has been demoted for allegedly delaying reporting the incident.

    Harumafuji started his career in Japan at the age of 16 and was promoted to grand champion or yokozuna - sumo's highest rank - in 2012.

    He released a statement in late December, Reuters news agency reports, saying his life "is now set to be sharply different from what I thought it would be".

    "I have a feeling of chagrin, to be honest. But the responsibility is all mine."

    What is sumo?


    GETTY IMAGES
    Japan's much-loved traditional sport dates back hundreds of years

    Two wrestlers face off in an elevated circular ring and try to push each other to the ground or out of the ring

    There are six tournaments each year in which each wrestler fights 15 bouts

    Wrestlers, who traditionally go by one fighting name, are ranked and the ultimate goal is to become a yokozuna (grand champion)

    What other scandals clouded the sport recently?

    Last year, a wrestler and his coach had to pay nearly $300,000 to a fellow fighter whom they had allegedly abused so badly he lost sight in one eye, according to reports

    Several wrestlers have been implicated in match-fixing scandals and links between sumo and the mafia-like yakuza crime syndicates

    Another Mongolian grand champion retired from the sport in 2010 after reports of his involvement in a drunken brawl

    In 2007 a sumo stablemaster received six years in prison after a novice was beaten to death by older wrestlers
    Busted Martial Artists & Sumo
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  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    I've never been close enough to a Sumoka* to smell him. But srsly?

    *not sure if I used the 'ka' suffix used properly here.

    Rikishi or sumotori are typically the words to describe professional sumo players.

    I've only met a sumotori once, and the first thing I noticed was the pleasant smell.
    "I'm a highly ranked officer of his tong. HE is the Dragon Head. our BOSS. our LEADER. the Mountain Lord." - hskwarrior

  11. #86
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    summarizing the sumo scandals

    Sumo wrestles with its image amid string of scandals
    An alcohol-fuelled restaurant brawl that left a wrestler with a fractured skull, and a sexual assault situation involving the sport’s highest-ranked referee, have rocked the sport.


    Former grand champion Harumafuji of Mongoliaretired after fracturing the skull of countrymanTakanoiwa in an altercation at a restaurant in October 2017. (KOJI SASAHARA / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO)

    By JIM ARMSTRONGThe Associated Press
    Tues., March 6, 2018
    TOKYO—The most damage inflicted in sumo in recent times has been to the image of Japan’s tradition-steeped national sport.

    Two scandals — an alcohol-fuelled restaurant brawl that left a Mongolian wrestler with a fractured skull, and a sexual assault situation involving the sport’s highest-ranked referee — have rocked the sport in recent months. Those episodes followed a match-fixing investigation in 2011 and the death of a teenage wrestler in training in 2007 that have tainted sumo over the past decade.

    Organizers are hoping to restore its battered reputation when the Spring Grand Sumo tournament starts on the weekend.

    Takanoiwa, who fractured his skull in an altercation with former Grand Champion Harumafuji in a restaurant last October, is hoping to make a comeback at the Osaka event.

    “I’m just focusing on doing my best,” the 28-year-old Takanoiwa told reporters last week during a training session for the tournament. “It will take a bit more time to be ready.”

    A healthy Takanoiwa wouldn’t solve all sumo’s problems, but would be a big step in the road to recovery.

    He was hurt after a group of Mongolian wrestlers had assembled at a restaurant during a regional tour.

    Harumafuji was reported to have become aggravated when Takanoiwa repeatedly checked his mobile phone while the two were conversing.

    In addition to Harumafuji, who was forced to retire last November in the wake of the incident, grand champion Hakuho also was present and had to defend his inability to intervene before the situation got out of control.

    The altercation dominated news programs and headlines for weeks. Adding to the bad publicity, the sport’s top-ranked referee was forced to resign earlier this year over a sexual harassment scandal.

    Shikimori Inosuke apologized to the Japan Sumo Association for allegedly kissing a teenage referee and touching him on the chest while intoxicated, during a regional tour of Okinawa in December.

    Inosuke said he had no recollection of the incident, and the junior referee declined to file charges.

    In the wake of the scandal, though, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko didn’t attend January’s New Year tournament for the first time in four years.

    Weeks after that, Egyptian wrestler Osunaarashi was caught driving without a license after a vehicle collision and was ordered to pay a $4,700 (U.S.) fine.

    The recent incidents are just the latest scandals to rock the sumo world.

    In 2011, the JSA decided to cancel the spring tournament after revelations that 14 wrestlers were involved with match-fixing.

    In 2010, grand champion Asashoryu, also of Mongolia, announced his retirement following reports that he injured a man while intoxicated.

    In the most troubling case in 2007, the 17-year-old wrestler Takashi Saito died when he was beaten over the head with a beer bottle at the direction of his trainer.

    Saito’s stable master, Junichi Yamamoto, and three wrestlers subsequently were arrested and charged with manslaughter. In May 2009, Yamamoto was sentenced to six years in prison.

    The incident brought substantial political pressure to the governance of the sport in Japan.

    In response to the latest scandals this year, the Japan Sumo Association announced that a third-party committee has been convened and will question every member of the JSA. About 900 people, including active wrestlers and elders, will be included in the inquiry.

    “Our goal is the preservation of sumo,” said committee chairman Keiichi Tadaki, a former prosecutor general.

    Busted Martial Artists & Sumo
    Gene Ching
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  12. #87
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    impure

    So should we be salting the women?

    Man, Sumo has been getting into a lot of trouble lately.

    Japan women ordered from sumo ring during first aid
    6 hours ago


    GETTY IMAGES
    Women are forbidden from entering the sumo ring

    Women who rushed to perform first aid on a man who collapsed in a sumo ring in Japan were ordered by a referee to leave the ring, because females are banned from the space.

    The ring is regarded as sacred and women, traditionally seen as "impure", are forbidden from entering.

    They ran into the ring when Maizuru city mayor Ryozo Tatami collapsed while giving a speech.

    The head of Japan's sumo association later apologised to the women.

    "The announcement [to get off the stage] was made by a referee who was upset, but it was an inappropriate act in a situation that involves one's life," Nobuyoshi Hakkaku, the sumo association's chief said in a statement.

    "We deeply apologise."

    Local reports later emerged that spectators saw salt being thrown into the ring after the women left.

    In Japanese culture, salt is thrown into the sumo ring before a match to purify it. Some on social media said the gesture implied that the women had "dirtied" the ring.


    GETTY IMAGES
    Salt is traditionally thrown to purify the ring before a match

    "How rude is it that they threw salt to cleanse the ring after the women went in?" one Japanese Twitter user said.

    "This is the response to someone who tried to save a life? I think we'd better sprinkle salt on the head of the sumo association," another added.

    Mr Tatami was taken to hospital and is in a stable condition.

    It is not the first time women entering the sumo ring has sparked controversy.

    In 2000, the then governor of Osaka Fusae Ota asked the sumo association to allow her to enter the ring so she could present a trophy to the champion wrestler, but her request was rejected.
    Gene Ching
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  13. #88
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    Masazo Nonaka

    The Key to Longevity for the World's Oldest Person Alive? Sumo Wrestling and Hot Springs
    By ASSOCIATED PRESS Updated: April 11, 2018 8:27 AM ET

    (TOKYO) — Masazo Nonaka has enjoyed soaking in northern Japan’s hot springs for many years — probably longer than most people.

    The supercentenarian, whose family has run a hot springs inn for four generations, was certified Tuesday as the world’s oldest living man, at age 112 years, 259 days.

    Nonaka received the certificate from Guinness World Records in a ceremony at his home in Ashoro, on Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido, and celebrated with a big cake decorated with berries.

    Born on July 25, 1905, Nonaka grew up in a large family and succeeded his parents running the inn. The 105-year-old inn is now run by his granddaughter Yuko. He regularly soaks in the springs and also enjoys eating sweets, especially cakes.

    Nonaka, wearing a knit cap and a kimono-style jacket, flashed a smile and posed for a group photo with his family, making a victory sign with his right hand.

    He dug into the cake with a spoon after it was cut, and said, “Delicious,” according to NHK public television.

    “Thank you,” he said.

    His family members say Nonaka still moves about by himself in a wheelchair.

    He reads a newspaper after breakfast every morning, and loves to watch sumo wrestling and samurai dramas on TV. But his favorite pastime is soaking in the hot springs and relaxing.

    Nonaka has outlived all seven of his siblings, as well as his wife and two of their five children.

    He is one of about 67,800 centenarians in Japan, the fastest-aging country in the world, with the highest average life expectancy — 80.98 for men and 87.14 for women, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

    Guinness says Nonaka replaced Francisco Olivera of Spain, who died earlier this year at age 113, as the world’s oldest man.

    A 117-year-old Japanese woman, Nabi Tajima, who is currently the oldest living person in Japan, is expected to be certified as the world’s oldest person, replacing Violet Moss-Brown of Jamaica, who died in September at age 117.
    Hot springs, sumo wrestling and samurai dramas FTW!

    THREADS:
    Give it up to the elderly!!!!!
    Sumo
    Favourite Samurai movie
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  14. #89
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    RIP Doreen Simmons

    Sumo sure has some unique stories.

    Doreen Simmons, Unlikely Voice of Sumo Wrestling, Dies at 85


    Doreen Simmons in 2009. A native of England, she moved to Japan in 1973 and became a commentator on sumo wrestling.CreditFrank Zeller/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    By Richard Sandomir

    May 13, 2018
    She was born in England, studied theology and classics at the University of Cambridge, and taught school in Singapore.

    Yet Doreen Simmons found a remarkably different world to explore — as an expatriate sumo wrestling expert in Japan, analyzing matches in English for NHK, the country’s public broadcaster, for a quarter-century.

    She adored sumo, the quintessential Japanese sport. She lived in a part of Tokyo known for its sumo stables where wrestlers live, eat and practice. She loved how they tossed salt in the air before their matches as a purification ritual. She prized the sport’s ancient history and its enormous but surprisingly fast athletes in topknots and loincloths.

    “It’s a whole world of its own,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Network in 2016. “Professional sumo is not like anything else. I mean, even sumo wrestling itself is different from almost every other kind because in nearly every other kind you’ll grab your opponent and drag him into yourself, pull him into yourself. Sumo is basically pushing outwards.”

    Ms. Simmons, who last worked on television in March, died at home in Tokyo on April 23 at 85, according to St. Alban’s Anglican-Episcopal Church in Tokyo, where she was a congregant. Father William Bulson, the church’s rector, said in an email that the cause was a pulmonary condition.

    “The thing about sumo is that it’s so simple,” Ms. Simmons said during a TEDx talk at Meiji University in Tokyo in 2016. “The first time you see it, you know what’s going on. But when you start learning more about it, there are so many extra things, so many details.”

    She was teaching at a British army school in Singapore when she read a newspaper article in 1967 about a 13-year-old wrestler — already quite big, agile and talented — who had been recruited to a stable. She was fascinated. She began to read about sumo, an education that was accelerated when she moved to Japan in 1973 to teach at an international language center.

    “My original interest was in its survival from the past, but after a while I got to know some of the middle-ranking wrestlers, along with some extremely knowledgeable Japanese fans, who fueled my interest,” she said in 2012 in an interview with Vice, which called her the “godmother” of sumo.

    She attended matches on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, and within a decade her sumo immersion paid off. She started writing for one English-language magazine, Kansai Time Out, and then another, Sumo World. And in 1992, NHK hired her for its English-language sumo broadcasts.

    “At the beginning, there were three play-by-play men who had experience of broadcasting games like baseball, but their knowledge of basic sumo was newly acquired and pretty limited,” she said in an interview last year with The Daily Express, a British newspaper. “They wanted the color provided by commentators like me who were hired because we were already knowledgeable about some aspect of sumo.”

    Ms. Simmons received the Order of the Rising Sun, one of the Japanese government’s highest honors, last year.

    “I have simply never thought of myself in those terms,” she told The Nottingham Post, adding, “I get the feeling that, since most of the Japanese people don’t know anybody who got one of these decorations, they are a way of spreading happiness.”

    Doreen Sylvia Clarke was born in Nottingham, England, on May 29, 1932. Her father, George, was a civil servant, and her mother, Elsie (Noble) Clarke, was a store manager who promoted its stationery by running workshops for women on how to make crepe paper flowers. As a child, Doreen, loved singing in her school choir and going to the local library to pick out books suited for each member of her family. “I’d get books on stars, planets, myths, legends, pyramids and dinosaurs,” she said in her TEDx talk.

    Her favorite sport while growing up was cricket. She attended local matches, her homemade scorecard in hand. She said that she amassed her knowledge of sumo wrestling with the same devotion she had brought to learning about cricket.

    After graduating from Girton College at Cambridge, Ms. Simmons trained as a teacher of Latin and Greek at Hughes Hall, a college at Cambridge, and subsequently left England to teach in Singapore.

    Once in Japan, while learning about sumo wrestling, she held other jobs, including one editing translations of Japanese government news releases for the Foreign Press Center and another with the House of Councillors and the House of Representatives, the Japanese legislature. She also did some acting and voice-over work and played the bodhran, an Irish drum, in pubs around Tokyo.

    Ms. Simmons left no immediate survivors. Her marriage to Bob Simmons ended in divorce.

    Over the years she saw changes in sumo, including its domination by Mongolian wrestlers.

    “The Mongolians brought back agile man’s sumo,” she told the Australian network. But, she insisted, foreign wrestlers had not hurt the sport.

    “When one of these Mongolians does good sumo and wins,” she said, “the people screaming their heads off are Japanese.”

    A version of this article appears in print on May 13, 2018, on Page A22 of the New York edition with the headline: Doreen Simmons, 85, British Expatriate Who Became a Voice of Sumo Wrestling.
    Gene Ching
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  15. #90
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    hairdressers

    I'd always wondered about this.

    Sumo 101: Tokoyama (Hairdressers)
    BY JOHN GUNNING
    CONTRIBUTING WRITER
    NOV 14, 2018



    Outside of wrestlers and stablemasters, there are three main jobs in the Japan Sumo Association: gyoji (referee), yobidashi (ring announcer) and tokoyama (hairdresser).

    While the first two appear on and around the ring during tournaments, the tokoyama do their work behind the scenes.

    As with gyoji and yobidashi, hairdressers normally join the JSA around the age of 15 and gradually progress up the ranks as they get older.

    Unlike the other two, however, tokoyama don’t have the same divisional system as the wrestlers. Whereas referees and ring announcers are classified as makuuchi or juryo, hairdressers start at fifth class and are promoted to fourth class, third class and upward.

    There are, normally, two “special rank” tokoyama at the very top. Only these men are allowed to style a yokozuna’s hair.

    It takes about 10 years before a hairdresser reaches the level where he can sculpt the oicho mage (ginkgo leaf-style topknot) worn by wrestlers in the top two divisions when competing in tournaments or attending formal events.

    Tokoyama — like wrestlers, stablemasters, referees and ring announcers — have special names. Generally it is 床 (toko) followed by one other character. “Tokoya,” which uses the same character, is a traditional name for a barber in Japan.

    The toolkit of a tokoyama is extremely specialized and features an array of combs, each of which does a specific task. They are made of a particular wood and only crafted by one Nagoya-based company.

    These special combs are necessary because rikishi hair is generally very thick and filled with sand after training. The tokoyama also comb, wax and style the hair every day in a rough and intense manner. Regular combs would break constantly, but combs used by tokoyama can last up to a decade.

    The Sumo Association buys the combs and distributes them to the tokoyama. The only part of his kit that a hairdresser chooses himself is the traditional styling scissors.
    Gene Ching
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