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#26 shumitto

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 13:45

I wonder if the Kyokai will keep to their manual. First, publicly ask for apologies, then punish some guys which in this case might mean kicking them out and they say their house is clean because the bad elements have been removed and ask again for apologies while keeping some skeletons in the closet.

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#27 Asashosakari

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 13:48

The full set of incriminating messages (Japanese only until some kind soul...well.)

#28 Fukurou

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 13:49

making it public is the big surprise here

Especially as the police came right out and said (paraphrased), "well, yaocho as such ain't illegal, so we probably don't have any grounds for further investigation", but still relayed the information to the Ministry. Pretty sure this type of finding would have been hushed up 20 or even 10 years ago.

Pure speculation here, but maybe someone (or several someones) are not being as helpful as the police would like in the yakuza investigation? So yaocho information at a level just below the top is released to 'encourage' cooperation? ('tell us what you know, there's more where this came from'?) I personally can't believe that people who would take part in yaocho in the lower divisions would suddenly stop when they got to Makuuchi.

Names pretty official:
Phone owners: Chiyohakuhou, Kasuganishiki

Pretty convenient that Kasuganishiki's retired. Can/will they reduce his retirement payout?

Chiyohakuho could well be gone - he was suspended for baseball gambling in July. Unless a bigger name comes out, I would not be surprised to see him as fall guy #1.
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#29 shumitto

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 13:50

NHK WORLD video in English.

http://www.nhk.or.jp...02_27.html?play

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#30 Babaryutaikai

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 13:51

I wonder if all those loudspeaker trucks will appear outside the venues again decrying yaocho as they did about 12-15 years ago! You couldn't get near the kokugikan without them blasting about Taka/Waka/[pick a Hawaiian], among others, match trading.
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#31 Jonosuke

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 14:06

The fact that the story came out from police investigation and they do possess evidence that strongly hints that Yaocho took place speaks loudly this time around. It is not some non-fiction crime reporter or weekly newspapers just looking to gain publicity.

How serious is this thing? Well the Kyokai immediately summoned their board of directors meeting in the afternoon and by the same evening, they appointed a special committee made up of outsiders to further investigate "alleged" incidents. The Kyokai should realize it may not be enough to kick out those responsible as I have no doubt these took place but they will have to come up with some other drastic actions as anything less the Ministry of Education and Science will not be satisfied. It's entirely possible that the Kyokai could lose a special charter as a non-profit public corporation thereby losing their preferential tax treatment and huge sources of their revenue.

It is really a crisis situation that could even threaten their existence unless they take immediate actions as this could cause the cancellation of Haru Basho.

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#32 Hakuyobaku

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 15:21

Sumo needs wikileaks.

I am still at loss explaining how Japanese society takes all this. A heavily subsidized enterprise that is sumo/NSK, a national sport, national pride and still, the stuff that is done under the hood and the way it is managed is baffling. Surely everyone understands by now this is just the top of the iceberg, and still it is very likely that a few in this list will be punished and the rest will be promptly swept under the rug.

Japanese taxpayers may as well demand subsidizing Pro Wrestling/MMA/Whatever.

Again, maybe I'm culturally insensitive/exotisizing gaze/whatever. Maybe, that is really how the society wants things to be done, and if that's the case, the "stupid" gaijin fans have to shut up. They aren't paying, after all.
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#33 Kotoviki

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 15:53

making it public is the big surprise here

Especially as the police came right out and said (paraphrased), "well, yaocho as such ain't illegal, so we probably don't have any grounds for further investigation", but still relayed the information to the Ministry. Pretty sure this type of finding would have been hushed up 20 or even 10 years ago.

Pure speculation here, but maybe someone (or several someones) are not being as helpful as the police would like in the yakuza investigation? So yaocho information at a level just below the top is released to 'encourage' cooperation? ('tell us what you know, there's more where this came from'?) I personally can't believe that people who would take part in yaocho in the lower divisions would suddenly stop when they got to Makuuchi.

Names pretty official:
Phone owners: Chiyohakuhou, Kasuganishiki

Pretty convenient that Kasuganishiki's retired. Can/will they reduce his retirement payout?

Chiyohakuho could well be gone - he was suspended for baseball gambling in July. Unless a bigger name comes out, I would not be surprised to see him as fall guy #1.


Sorry if someone mentioned it here already... but wasn't Chiyohakuho also mysteriously absent from the marijuana tests as well and his oyakata stood up for him?? Was he ever later tested or did he skip completely? sorry I just can't remember for sure!

It seems like three strikes for him in that case....

Well, there are at least two names mentioned which break my heart and I'd like to hope that it turns out not true!!!! (Sign of approval...)

#34 Zentoryu

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 16:34

Chiyohakuho had to be involved. It is not a scandal proper if he is absent. Pot, gambling, yaocho. He deserves some credit for being a master of the art.

Well, if Itai is to be believed, he learned from the best...


LOL

Sigh... the Kyokai just can't seem to get out of its own way lately...
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#35 shumitto

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 17:10

Sorry if someone mentioned it here already... but wasn't Chiyohakuho also mysteriously absent from the marijuana tests as well and his oyakata stood up for him?? Was he ever later tested or did he skip completely? sorry I just can't remember for sure!


As far as I know, he skipped it completely. Not even did they bother to ask him later for some fake "clean" samples.

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#36 Kintamayama

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 17:39

Enatsukasa (I still don't get why he's here-whose tsukebito is he? Masatsukasa?)

I think I know now, after reading the transcripts-he is the "book-keeper" of who owes wins/money to whom, and all transactions passed through him- a go-between. I won't translate it all, since there is a lot I don't understand there, but there is no room for any misunderstanding-these guys were falling like rain for each other, and quite often. The mails mention past "debts" and plans on how exactly the matches will pan out, and even Kasuganishiki whining that he hasn't received the money that he was promised from Kouryuu (500,000 yen), to which Enatsukasa responds that he doesn't see him paying up, but he can get 250,000. Then, Kasuganishiki gives him his bank account details. I think Kasuganishiki, Chiyohakuhou, Kyokunankai and Enatsukasa are finished, since they are the only ones actually writing the mails-all the rest are mentioned as third parties and can always deny everything.

Edited by Kintamayama, 02 February 2011 - 17:41.

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#37 Asashosakari

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 17:41

Sorry if someone mentioned it here already... but wasn't Chiyohakuho also mysteriously absent from the marijuana tests as well and his oyakata stood up for him?? Was he ever later tested or did he skip completely? sorry I just can't remember for sure!


As far as I know, he skipped it completely. Not even did they bother to ask him later for some fake "clean" samples.

Don't recall what happened with that sekitori-only round of testing eventually, but I'm sure he was tested along with everybody else when all 1,000+ Kyokai members underwent the more comprehensive drug tests several months later. I distinctly remember him being mentioned by name when Kokonoe-beya's turn came.

Edited by Asashosakari, 02 February 2011 - 17:42.


#38 Kotoviki

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 17:48

Sorry if someone mentioned it here already... but wasn't Chiyohakuho also mysteriously absent from the marijuana tests as well and his oyakata stood up for him?? Was he ever later tested or did he skip completely? sorry I just can't remember for sure!


As far as I know, he skipped it completely. Not even did they bother to ask him later for some fake "clean" samples.

Don't recall what happened with that sekitori-only round of testing eventually, but I'm sure he was tested along with everybody else when all 1,000+ Kyokai members underwent the more comprehensive drug tests several months later. I distinctly remember him being mentioned by name when Kokonoe-beya's turn came.


Yes, I know in fact that he was tested in other rounds but in that original round I thought it was he and Wakakirin (??) who were both absent for the flu or some other thing...

#39 Babaryutaikai

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 18:05

Articles in English:
Here
Jake Adelstein and his "I told you so"
Kyodo
Here
There

And no word at all about Asashoryu among the recounts of recent scandals. Poor Waldo is totally forgotten by now.


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#40 Asashosakari

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 18:12

Quoting myself due to renewed ontopicness:

[random thought, conspiracy mode on]

I applaud the Kyokai's decision to leak all these recent scandals to the press. They needed to get rid of all the skeletons in their closets before their foundation status is up for review in 2013, and they made the tough-but-necessary choice to engineer some reasons for a thorough house-cleaning. It never would have worked without making the entire public aware of what those skeletons are and what has to be done about them. Too bad about those few who are caught in the crossfire, but this being Japan, I'm sure they'll be taken care of.

[/random thought, conspiracy mode off]

Seriously though, I hope we find out what prompted the police to contact the Ministry about the whole (or)deal - as Simon over at ST is pointing out, normally they're very big on privacy protection in Japan even in criminal cases, and this part of the investigations is said not to even rise to that level, after all... Can't believe it would be for something trivial like currying favour with an unrelated ministry, so perhaps it really is something major along Fukurou's speculations (post #28). This whole thing is rather confusing at the behind-the-scenes level right now.

Edited by Asashosakari, 02 February 2011 - 18:13.


#41 madorosumaru

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 18:20

Names pretty official:
Phone owners: Chiyohakuhou, Kasuganishiki
Rikishi named in mails:
(It looks like) Kaihou, Shoutenrou, Shimotori, Kouryuu, Toyozakura, Kyokunankai, Wakatenrou, Kiyoseumi, Shirononami, Yamamotoyama, Enatsukasa (I still don't get why he's here-whose tsukebito is he? Masatsukasa?)

There is a long-running series of threads on the Japanese message boards entitled "Juryo Mutual-Benefit Society" a la the "Ozeki Mutual-Benefit Society." So, the current revelations are not new nor at all surprising. There are said to be "sumo insiders" contributing to these threads, so they can be quite accurate.

From an entry on 3/28/10 after Haru Basho (within the time frame of current investigation):

Juryo Mutual-Benefit Society

Kaiho
Asofuji
Sakaizawa
Toyozakura
Kiyoseumi
Kasuganishiki
Shirinonami
Chiyohakuho
Yamamotoyama
Kirinowaka


As you can see, many of the names are on both lists. It is also interesting to note that Kaiho, Sakaizawa, Kiyoseumi, Shirononami, and Yamamotoyama are all Nichidai OB. University affiliation has been considered another bond for mutual benefit.

Koryu and Shotenro are long-alleged to be members of the "Mongolian Mutual-Benefit Society." Sumo-san are very cooperative people.
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#42 Harry

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 18:21

Sumo needs wikileaks.

I am still at loss explaining how Japanese society takes all this. A heavily subsidized enterprise that is sumo/NSK, a national sport, national pride and still, the stuff that is done under the hood and the way it is managed is baffling. Surely everyone understands by now this is just the top of the iceberg, and still it is very likely that a few in this list will be punished and the rest will be promptly swept under the rug.

Japanese taxpayers may as well demand subsidizing Pro Wrestling/MMA/Whatever.

Again, maybe I'm culturally insensitive/exotisizing gaze/whatever. Maybe, that is really how the society wants things to be done, and if that's the case, the "stupid" gaijin fans have to shut up. They aren't paying, after all.


It is simply puroresu, plainly. As Fukurou states there is no reason to believe that it stops where they are making it seem it stops. All the way up I'm sure. It's not even anything new though we knew it was not a merit based 'sport' before; they claim it is now but it appears that the special ozeki ranks for popular rikishi are still alive and well.

If they truly do clean it up can we expect different matches now? Different outcomes? Different banzuke movement?

Will anyone watch anymore even if they say it is cleaned up? Will I watch? I don't know...

#43 shumitto

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 18:29

I think Kasuganishiki, Chiyohakuhou, Kyokunankai and Enatsukasa are finished, since they are the only ones actually writing the mails-all the rest are mentioned as third parties and can always deny everything.


Do you mean Kiyoseumi ? He is one of guys whose cell phone has some fishy messages on.

Edited by shumitto, 02 February 2011 - 18:30.

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#44 Kintamayama

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 19:00

I think Kasuganishiki, Chiyohakuhou, Kyokunankai and Enatsukasa are finished, since they are the only ones actually writing the mails-all the rest are mentioned as third parties and can always deny everything.


Do you mean Kiyoseumi ? He is one of guys whose cell phone has some fishy messages on.

Yes. I meant Kiyoseumi..Sorry about that.
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#45 Asashosakari

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 19:33

As you can see, many of the names are on both lists. It is also interesting to note that Kaiho, Sakaizawa, Kiyoseumi, Shirononami, and Yamamotoyama are all Nichidai OB. University affiliation has been considered another bond for mutual benefit.

Though I do have to say I've been absolutely terrible in predicting results between Kiyoseumi and YMY, even though I specifically considered their background. In other words, there seemed to be quite a few cases in which the "more needy" rikishi wasn't winning...but of course, when things get as complicated as repaying old debts or perhaps even one rikishi taking a fall to repay another's debts (i.e. due to multiple Onoe guys allegedly involved), perhaps I just wasn't smart enough to untangle things properly.

Of course, for the same reason I'm always skeptical when large lists of rikishi are brought up without additional comment, as long as the supposed "insiders" publishing them stay completely anonymous. And without wanting to flatter myself, I don't think there's enough merely circumstantial evidence (bout patterns and the like) that other non-insiders would do much better than me in figuring out the specifics of what's happening.


Koryu and Shotenro are long-alleged to be members of the "Mongolian Mutual-Benefit Society." Sumo-san are very cooperative people.

Not cooperative enough though to be doing all this without involving money... I doubt we'll see the practice of "courtesy losses" stamped out in our lifetimes, which is what I assumed the juryo stuff to be. It's not that I'm shocked or anything that bouts might have been outright bought and sold, but I figured there's enough trust between the guys inclined towards bout-fixing that it's all (or at least primarily) happening on a wink-nudge basis. I am surprised that there's an actual and apparently very busy go-between guy having to keep track of all this stuff, but maybe that's one of my shortcomings in understanding the Japanese mentality and culture.


It is simply puroresu, plainly. As Fukurou states there is no reason to believe that it stops where they are making it seem it stops. All the way up I'm sure.

In other words, the Asashoryu support section around here perhaps shouldn't be too jubilant yet. Retired or not, if actual, real investigations start happening, those allegations that Asa bought tons of bouts to make his yusho-winning/record-breaking easier will likely be right back on the table along with everything else that's reasonably recent. Several of the guys he allegedly paid off are still very active, after all.

Edited by Asashosakari, 02 February 2011 - 19:47.


#46 madorosumaru

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 20:17

There are many levels of obligations in Japan and in sumo. What a rikishi does at any given time can be the end result of something quite complex.

Most sumo fans, outside of this forum, couldn't care less about the "specifics." The bottom line is that there is mutual cooperation going on. The important thing about the "insider" information is that we get an idea of what people within sumo think of their peers.

From the time of Itai's revelations, it had been made clear that money per se isn't the main reason for yaocho. It is maintenance/preservation of rank. Why do you think ozeki and lower juryo are two areas where cooperation exists the most? Those guys have the most to lose. The money involved is just to keep score. If at all possible, the debts are repaid on the dohyo. That's why the "debts" are passed around and around. A middle man, nakabon, would not be needed if each debt is paid off immediately. The only time that money is involved primarily is when a yokozuna is involved. Obviously, he cannot repay his debts on the dohyo.

Edited by madorosumaru, 02 February 2011 - 20:22.

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#47 Fukurou

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 20:36

Enatsukasa (I still don't get why he's here-whose tsukebito is he? Masatsukasa?)

I think I know now, after reading the transcripts-he is the "book-keeper" of who owes wins/money to whom, and all transactions passed through him- a go-between.

Poor Enatsukasa. Any way it goes, it may not be pretty for him (remember what happened to this bookkeeper).

Another question to be answered - which oyakata (or higher?) will take falls? Of the 13 rikishi named, 12 different heya are involved (Onoe having both Shirononami and Yamamotoyama on the list). But six of the rikishi named are part of the Dewanoumi group. Kitanoumi-riji, Kokonoe-riji, and Michinoku-riji also have bad boys in their heya. <semi-sarcastic>Will there be anyone left to run the NSK after the punishments are handed out?</semi-sarcastic> (In a state of confusion...)
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#48 Harry

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 20:48

...
A middle man, nakabon, would not be needed if each debt is paid off immediately. The only time that money is involved primarily is when a yokozuna is involved. Obviously, he cannot repay his debts on the dohyo.


This may yet involve more tsukebito than we already know because if money was handed over it was not by the yokozuna's own hand. The tsukebito are the ones who hold the yokozuna's purse. I've seen firsthand Asa call for his tsukebito to pay for his bill and it came from a very thick stack of 10000 yen notes.

#49 Harry

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 20:53

It is simply puroresu, plainly. As Fukurou states there is no reason to believe that it stops where they are making it seem it stops. All the way up I'm sure.

In other words, the Asashoryu support section around here perhaps shouldn't be too jubilant yet. Retired or not, if actual, real investigations start happening, those allegations that Asa bought tons of bouts to make his yusho-winning/record-breaking easier will likely be right back on the table along with everything else that's reasonably recent. Several of the guys he allegedly paid off are still very active, after all.


Indeed, after his loss at Nagoya 2009, Asa was not upset. He calmly told me he would win the next one, and he did. At the time I thought it an odd remark and wanted to mention it but then thought better of it while he was active. Now... I think it is OK to say.

#50 Kuroyama

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 21:22

Not to be too much of a Pollyanna here, but it seems to me there's no particular reason it must go all the way to the top. The consequences of not making KK in Juryo are potentially far more dire than they are at Makuuchi.

That's not to say it doesn't, necessarily. But it's not a foregone conclusion either.

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