The average Japanese sumo fan being interviewed on the street by journalists with microphones is reacting just like "Westerners" who don't understand yaocho, and Kaio love, and sumo history.
That's not the "average sumo fan" being interviewed but "average man on the street" who couldn't care less about sumo. When I talk about the "Westerner," I am talking about gaijin fans, which I am one, who should know about sumo history and tradition if he or she cares about Ozumo.
Journalists hand pick interviews to make their points. One article had the reporter interviewing people in front of the KK, assuming they would tend to be knowledgeable. A 60-year-old taxi driver said, "There have been rumors for a long time. My reaction was 'So it was true after all.'" He was aware of the possibility but he didn't approve: "It's not something that should be forgiven."
An out-of-town businessman said, "I always thought yaocho existed, so this didn't particularly surprise me."
I would venture to say any Japanese who would consider himself a sumo fan would be aware of of fixed bouts. For example, there is a term used by sumo people and fans alike called "gachinko" ガチンコ which means "for real." There are a number of rikishi and certain heya that are known to be gachinko. Let me ask you, why is a term like that necessary unless the prevailing situation is not gachinko? If yaocho didn't exist or rarely took place, wouldn't it be much easier to name the isolated culprits as "yaocho rikishi" instead of selecting a few who do not do yaocho?
Any sumo fan worth his salt knows hana-zumo--exhibition sumo--including intai zumo, one-day tournaments, jungyo, koen, etc. are pre-arranged. I attended the LA Jungyo and one could easily tell the bouts were choreographed. A rikishi would get hoisted up and flutter his legs as he is tsuridashi'ed out amid roaring laughter by the crowd. Bart got flung off the dohyo and rolled down the hanamichi, also to the delight of the fans. That particular act was so popular that he repeated the exact same thing at a subsequent jungyo site. One can also bet one's house at any jungyo that the local rikishi would not lose in the first round. He may not win the whole thing but he will make a good show of it.
That's Kyokai-sanctioned yaocho. Rikishi learn how to do choreographed bouts through experience. It's part of what they do over the course of the year.
Edited by madorosumaru, 03 February 2011 - 03:41.