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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sumo Wrestler Causes HUGE Sumo Scandal

Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is.

Sumo Grand Champion Harumafuji has smashed a beer bottle on the head of another wrestler.

We used to see such things back when the WWE was the WWF and even before that became big on such fare as Maple Leaf Wrestling or Stampede Wrestling here in Canada.

Wait… Harumafuji wasn’t in the ring?

And this is sumo wrestling… not real wrestling… er, sports entertainment wrestling? Oh.

I still don’t see what the big deal is.

Reports are sketchy as to where and why… but Harumafuji has publicly apologized for his actions, so we can assume it did happen.

The where is important.

If the two sumo wrestlers were out at a restaurant, or sitting at the lunch table eating one of their many daily meals of chanko (stew), had an argument and then Harumafuji picked up a beer bottle and smashed it over the other’s head… well, that’s bad, but not as bad as…

If the two were in the training area, had an argument, and Harumafuji got so mad he waddled over to the kitchen to grab a brewski, waddled back to the training area and then waddled after the unnamed sumo wrestler before whacking him over the head. That’s worse.

Also… did Haraumafuji break the bottle over the other wrestler’s actual head, or smash it across his face?

Did he smash the bottle on a something and come at him with the jagged edges?

Did Harumafuji hit him on the head by creeping up on him from behind, or manning up to smash him face-to-face?

And why did he need to hit him with a beer bottle? Truth be told, a high-ranking sumo wrestler’s palms are as hard as stone, and being slapped is like being hit by a cement mixer truck… so maybe the beer bottle was ‘softer’.

What size beer bottle? Those huge ones they have for parties, or the smaller ones for personal usage?

What brand of beer was it? Someone is missing out on a great advertising campaign!
A thirst for mayhem and murder...
What was the name of the poor lower-level sumo wrestler who had to clean up the spilled beer?

Did the other sumo wrestler have to go to the hospital? Did Harumafuji get arrested for assault? Why not?

If not, why is the story even a media story?

Is all forgiven? Will Harumafuji face disciplinary action for embarrassing the Japan Sumo Association (JSA)?

Will Harumafuji’ stable bosses have to commit seppuka (ritualistic suicide by disembowelment and head lopping) for having embarrassed the stable, the JSA, Donald Trump and the Japanese people?

How is this Kim Jong-un’s fault? How is it not?

As you can see, I have lots of questions… some of which are legitimate.

Okay, stupidity aside—mine that is—let's look at the stupidity of Harumafuji.

An artist's rendition of what the sumo fight looked like. Stoopid artist. The victim should have eyes, not a blanked out brown box. And it was beer, no sochu (sake). Okay... I'm just kidding around...
 Just the facts.

Harumafuji, a yokozunasumo’s highest rank, that one is elected to, is a 33-year-old Mongolian born as Davaanyam Byambadorj.

At a recent party for sumo wrestlers of Mongolian decent, Harumafuji did indeed smash a beer bottle over the head of sumo wrestler Takanoiwa, 27, hurting him badly enough to leave him hospitalized with a fractured skull.

While Harumafuji refused to give details of the event, he did speak to reporters saying: "I sincerely apologize for causing trouble."

The JSA did speak out about the incident, punishing Harumafuji with a suspension from the upcoming 15-day sumo event in Fukuoka.

On November 14, (yesterday), Harumafuji was to have visited the stable where Takanoiwa trains, to offer a personal apology.

Actually, he is apologizing to the stable, NOT providing a personal apology to Takanoiwa, who is hospitalized still.

Of course, since sumo in Japan is akin to hockey in Canada, the media is having a field day with the real-life sumo beer bash.

Sumo’s yokozuna rank are supposed to be above reproach.

They are the heroes of Japan. They are supposed to be the best of the best, and the best-behaved for the honor of the sport,m and of the Japanese nation. 

While unsaid, I’m betting it is noted that such horribly violent behavior in a yokozuna might be because Harumafuji is Mongolian and not Japanese… again… unsaid… at least in polite circles.

Debuting in sumo in 2001, Harumafuji was promoted to the rank of yokozuna in 2012. There are six tournaments a year, and Harumafuji has won a total of nine, winning last September’s tourney.  

The incident is the latest scandal to rock the sport of sumo in recent years following investigations into hazing and match-fixing.

In 2010, then-yokozuna Asashoryu, also from Mongolia, retired from the sport after allegations he had attacked a man outside a Tokyo nightclub during a tournament.

Maybe it’s because I was a gaijin, too, but my favorite o-zumo was the great Musahimaru. I saw his first prime time match, and quickly concluded that one day he would become a yokozuna, because he was essentially built like a square block of marble.

When I met him in my hometown of Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, I told him as much, and much smiles, hand grasping and “Yeah, brah” were uttered. You can read the full story of my encounter with Musashimaru HERE.

A photo of the soon-to-be yokozuna Musashimaru that I took when we met in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken.

He was the very first non-Japanese yokozuna.

Now, after Asashoryu being forced to retire, and Harumafuji’s violence, maybe I should point out that it’s not all gaijin who are trouble.

Mushashimaru is from America Samoa… the others are from Mongolia.

I’m not saying all Mongolians are trouble, but you can bet someone is.

Anyhow, while Musahimaru won a total of 12 championships over his career (with epic battles against Taknohana and Wakanohana and the first gaijin great the ozeki-ranked Konishiki - man those were all great battles), I should point out that Asashoryu was one of the best yokozuna ever.

Asashoryu ended up with a total of 25 championships - fourth on the all-time list.

I do miss watching sumo.
Andrew Joseph
PS: Usually, all the photos I place in this blog are "Large"... but today, it's "Extra-Large".

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