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Kintamayama

Yaocho by mobile scandal-

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Here we go.. The Metropolitan Police Department have (has?) let it be known today that while they were searching for evidence of baseball gambling in various rikishis' mobile phone messages, they stumbled upon some mail of Juryo rikishi that seem to be proof that they were selling/buying wins for 100,000 yen. The police intend to go with the names and content to the Ministry of Education etc., say the sources. Serious investigation and serious punishment are now expected from the Kyokai. There is no connection found at this time between the underworld and this alleged yaocho, so it appears this will not be treated as a criminal offense.

This is quite serious, as until now some scandal weeklies and a former rikishi were accusing the sumo world of fixing matches, but there was never any concrete proof and the Kyokai were awarded hefty sums from all their legal battles against these articles.

If indeed this proof exists, this will resonate loudly, and maybe NHK will shut off the cameras again next basho..

Edited by Kintamayama

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Sumo without peace...and rikishi without intelligence...

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I don't know what's stupider: leaving the message on your mobile, or selling a bout so cheaply.

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I don't know what's stupider: leaving the message on your mobile, or selling a bout so cheaply.

At least some of the incriminating messages apparently had to be restored by police crime labs - you may recall that the gambling raids came pretty much pre-announced, so some guys must have used the time for some hasty deletions, or possibly did delete them even earlier than that, just not irreversibly. And the articles are talking about "several" hundred thousand yen for the supposedly rigged bouts, so it may not end up looking so cheap. All we know at the moment is that it's apparently at least in the low six-figures per bout, more detailed information just hasn't been released by the police yet.

Right now I'm mainly wondering if there's significant overlap to the gambling suspendees or if this is a whole different circle of rikishi. In what little that's been definitely said so far, it's interesting that they're talking about them as "juryo" rikishi, not the more generic "sekitori". Not that I'm overly surprised, being pretty much the only one to bang the drum for yaocho awareness in (lower) juryo for the last two years instead of the tired ozeki and 7-7 stuff everybody else likes to focus on... (Although I didn't expect it to be happening on a monetary basis, I'll admit that.)

Edited by Asashosakari

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Not that I'm overly surprised, being pretty much the only one to bang the drum for yaocho awareness in (lower) juryo for the last two years instead of the tired ozeki and 7-7 stuff everybody else likes to focus on... (Although I didn't expect it to be happening on a monetary basis, I'll admit that.)

This basho brought a new high in apparent gimmes on senshuraku-if I'm not mistaken, every 7-7 rikishi involved in a match (obviously, not including 7-7 head to heads) won his match in Juryo and Makuuchi.

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... and I really hope that rikishi who I suspect to have thrown some matches in Kyushu is not among them (Sign of approval...)

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Papers are on a rampage this morning on this issue. An ex-Komusubi and 4 Juryo rikishi are involved, says one. The timeline is last year between March and June. The text revolves along the lines of "I'm borrowing a star (win) from X" or "X is loaning a star from Y and Z is lending one.." "OK, he owes us one so let's even the account.." They apparently included precise torikumi planning as well. "We'll hit each other and the rest will go with the flow", "I won't pull you down too quickly, I'll use a throw a bit later". The police have compared the results of specific bouts with the mails and they were totally accurate.

The rijikai is holding an emergency meeting this afternoon. Hanaregoma rijicho: "We will investigate this thoroughly and come up with a counter plan. We still don't know all the details. In any case, we will be looking into it."

Education Ministry: "This problem touches the very core of the Kyokai's existence. This is worse than the baseball gambling problem"

Takamisakari: "What kind of an idiot would do that??"

Tokyo taxi driver (60): "There have always been rumors..'So it's true..' is how I am feeling right now. This should not be allowed under any circumstances!!"

Guy who lives near the Kkan, 40: "This comes on the heals of the baseball gambling scandal. Unbelievable!"

Affiliated to the Education etc. Ministry: " Just as we thought the whole gambling thing was behind us, this yaocho thing comes along. Till now it was all rumors in weeklies, but it seems that this time it's true.."

Edited by Kintamayama

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The rijikai convened for half an hour and was adjourned temporarily. 13 people are involved, 10 were unofficially named today - they were summoned to the KKan. Mongolians Shoutenrou and Kouryuu, Toyozakura, and Juryo Kyokunankai, Wakatenrou, Kiyoseumi, ex-Kasuganishiki, Makushita Yamamotoyama, Shirononami and Sandanme Enatsukasa. All but the last one (someone'\s tsukebito, probably) were in Juryo at the time. That's 9 of 28 involved in yaocho- a third of all Juryo rikishi!!

Shoutenrou arriving at the KKan:

spf1102021535006-p1.jpg

Hanaregoma rijicho arriving for meeting:

20110202k0000e040074000p_size5.jpg

Edited by Kintamayama

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"I feel a deep sense of resentment. I never thought this kind of thing could happen. I am really feeling sorry. As the leader of the Kyokai I sincerely and deeply apologize to the fans," said Hanaregoma Rijicho at a press conference today. The Kyokai will establish a special committee with 7 outside members to look into this new affair. "We will put all our energy into investigating this affair, so that we can explain to the fans what exactly happened. This has never happened in the past, so we have to fully come to terms with this new problem and its existence." As for the questioning of the rikishi- "We asked them about the circumstances, but I cannot say anything about our findings or anything else at this time, as we are not in possession of all of the facts. We will announce our findings as soon as possible. At this point, we have not decided anything about the coming Osaka basho. I'd like to make decisions before the basho starts-this problem has shaken the foundations of the sumo world so we would really like to investigate it thoroughly".

"Sorry.."

20110203k0000m040014000p_size5.jpg

Edited by Kintamayama

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This was the lead story on NHK7. 10 minutes long. Before the volcano, Egypt, or anything else.

A double helping of tatemae from everyone!

EDIT: they showed a Kasuganishiki match that happened exactly as the yaocho setup mails described it. Hilarious!

Edited by Peterao

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Well, that doesn't come as a real surprise (though the stupidity of the involved rikishi really is incredible), I think we discussed some time ago that something fishy is going on in Juryo... And also the names of the involved rikishi are no surprise, I was about to mention in the Kasuganishiki retirement thread that I believe quality-wise he was only Makushia level for some years prior to his retirement while he probably would have survived in Juryo for quite some time if he hadn't been demoted due to the gambling scandal.

Also I have suspected Shotenro and Koryu to throw bouts for a while now which might be the reason why I was exceptionally successful in picking the winners of their bouts in the games last basho...

Edit: Just saw that Asashosakari mentioned the discussions about Juryo in his post - I don't think he was the only one to notice it though...

Edited by Flohru

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making it public is the big surprise here

noone watching sumo closely could be surprised THAT it is happening, i guess.....

if the police would have gathered all handys of all sekitori, i guess wie would have juryo and makuushi done in 20 minutes...(if the involved ones get banned for that basho)

Edited by Gernobono

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And also the names of the involved rikishi are no surprise, I was about to mention in the Kasuganishiki retirement thread that I believe quality-wise he was only Makushia level for some years prior to his retirement while he probably would have survived in Juryo for quite some time if he hadn't been demoted due to the gambling scandal.

Yeah, sadly I have to say Kasuganishiki was the very first name that popped into my head last night, too.

I'm not saying I was the only one to notice juryo shenanigans, BTW, just that I don't recall other people actually finding it noteworthy or interesting enough to talk about it to any great length. (My first outright "yaocho" insinuation was somewhere on Sumotalk in early or mid-2009, IIRC. Over here I've been a bit more circumspect in my words.) Maybe they'll actually start scheduling more juryo-makushita matches now, as I've kept advocating for a while, as that is really the only way to prevent this type of thing, though admittedly still far from guaranteed to work. Okay, firing everybody involved in the current mess now might be a useful deterrent for a while, too.

Edited by Asashosakari

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The rijikai convened for half an hour and was adjourned temporarily. 13 people are involved, 10 were unofficially named today - they were summoned to the KKan. Mongolians Shoutenrou and Kouryuu, Toyozakura, and Juryo Kyokunankai, Wakatenrou, Kiyoseumi, ex-Kasuganishiki, Makushita Yamamotoyama, Shirononami and Sandanme Enatsukasa. All but the last one (someone'\s tsukebito, probably) were in Juryo at the time. That's 9 of 28 involved in yaocho- a third of all Juryo rikishi!!

Incidentally, did we ever find out why this ended up going absolutely nowhere? They've faced four times since, nearly every basho they were in a position to do so.

Beginning next basho, cousins will not be allowed to face each other during a honbasho, excluding playoffs. Why now? Shoutenrou is Kouryuu's cousin, and suddenly someone is worried.

Edit:

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.

Edited by Asashosakari

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"I feel a deep sense of resentment. I never thought this kind of thing could happen. I am really feeling sorry. As the leader of the Kyokai I sincerely and deeply apologize to the fans," said Hanaregoma Rijicho [...]

"Sorry.."

20110203k0000m040014000p_size5.jpg

Edited by Hakuyobaku

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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?)

Edited by Kintamayama

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The first to link Kasuganishiki's name with yaocho IIRC was Wakanoho. Pretty funny that his then disbelieved, and for obvious reasons, declarations turned out to be true.

Edited by shumitto

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The first to link Kasuganishiki's name with yaocho IIRC was Wakanoho. Pretty funny that his then disbelieved, and for obvious reasons, declarations turned out to be true.

I distinctly remember that some of us were nodding to each other and saying that every word he said was probably true. Too bad the people who can actually make a difference didn't.

Edited by Kintamayama

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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?)

Wonder how Shimotori fits in if this was a juryo-level arrangement - he was in makuuchi straight through since Haru 2009.

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The rikishi charged:

Shoutenrou: "I told them I myself did not do it. I only spoke for 10 seconds at the rijikai."

Shirononami: "I was asked if I did yaocho, and I answered that no way would I do it. I am innocent. My parents and friends are supporting me, and it's regrettable that this is what is being said".

Kyokunankai: "I have nothing to do with that. I don't really understand what's going on."

Kouryuu: "This is annoying talk. I know nothing. I have totally nothing to do with this. I wouldn't be mentioning it myself, would I??"

Yamamotoyama: "I told them I didn't do it. Excuse me..""

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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?)

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.

Edited by shumitto

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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...

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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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