Kintamayama

Harumafuji scandal thread- part 2

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15 hours ago, Akinomaki said:

Final report: 5.2% of the about 900 NSK members questioned told that they were subjected to violence last year  - in 1978 it were 37%. The violence comes mostly under the name of "guidance". Those who suffer violence are mainly rikishi in their 1st to 3rd year, from mainly those who are in the 4th to 6th year.

NHK news-page with video https://www3.nhk.or.jp/shutoken-news/20181019/0020232.html

Panel calls for obligatory reports of violent acts in sumo

Quote

Acts of violence are too often considered acceptable in instructing and training sumo wrestlers when such behavior should instead be reported and subject to disciplinary measures, a panel said.

The committee, which was set up to look into ways to prevent a recurrence of the beating of a sumo wrestler by former yokozuna Harumafuji in October 2017, presented its final report to the Japan Sumo Association on Oct. 19.

The panel recommended not only a system for reporting acts of violence to stablemasters and the JSA but also called for establishing penalties against those who commit such acts.

Since February this year, the committee has questioned all 900 or so wrestlers and other members of the JSA. In addition, questionnaires were sent to about 900 retired wrestlers to get a better grasp of violence in the sumo world over the past four decades.

The panel found that 5.2 percent of JSA members were victims of violence over the past year, 90 percent of whom were young wrestlers with three years or less time in the JSA. They were often targeted for violence by older stablemates.

The panel suggested the JSA set new provisions to obligate the reporting of violence as well as penalties when that obligation is not upheld.

To make the sumo world more open and transparent, the panel recommended that outsiders be included in a compliance committee that would play a central role in implementing the various measures.

“The key to the future lies with the JSA,” Keiichi Tadaki, a former prosecutor general at the Supreme Public Prosecutors Office who served as panel chairman, said at a news conference on Oct. 19. “It should not leave matters up to individual stables. The association must set up a structure that will allow for information to accumulate within the association.”

Tadaki also said he would ask the JSA to establish another outside panel to assess whether the recommendations have been followed.

JSA Chairman Hakkaku released a statement saying the organization would take into consideration the opinions of outsiders while making every effort to rid sumo of violence.

The panel report touched upon the fact that both Harumafuji and the victim, Takanoiwa, were from Mongolia.

The panel explained that the beating occurred because a special relationship between older and younger Mongolian wrestlers had been established even though those wrestlers belonged to different stables.

The report pointed out that the fundamental rule of the sumo stable system is that the stablemaster oversees all matters related to how a wrestler lives on a daily basis.

It added the stable system would be endangered if stable members entered relationships of having to obey someone from outside the stable.

The panel recommended the implementation of measures to prevent excessive close contact between members of different stables.

In addition, the panel noted that Harumafuji’s retirement from sumo to take responsibility for the beating followed the retirement of another Mongolian yokozuna, Asashoryu, for his acts of violence.

The panel recommended that the JSA’s Yokozuna Deliberation Council provide guidance even after a yokozuna has been promoted to ensure he maintains the dignity required of the highest rank in sumo.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201810200046.html

Edited by Otokonoyama
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16 hours ago, orandashoho said:

It would be interesting to know how many of the abusers have also been victims, as is often seen with domestic violence.

8% replied that they exerted violence the last year, 84.9% of those told that they had been at the receiving end of violence in the past.

Hakuho when questioned by the crisis committee had commented on the violence against Takanoiwa: "I'd rather like to call it 'whip of love' "

http://mainichi.jp/articles/20181020/k00/00m/050/091000c

Edited by Akinomaki
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2 hours ago, Akinomaki said:

"I'd rather like to call it 'whip of love' "

You don't call a skull fracture a "whip of love". If anything, the whip-weilder should be more skillful in avoiding damage of that sort.

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44 minutes ago, orandashoho said:

You don't call a skull fracture a "whip of love". If anything, the whip-weilder should be more skillful in avoiding damage of that sort.

There was no skull fracture, the only thing proven is a cut that needed several stitches. Like the concussion, all other things were just signs and possibilities of something, and also might have been caused otherwise - sumo is daily violence.

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4 hours ago, Akinomaki said:

I'd rather like to call it 'whip of love' 

Spoken like a Kinki Daigaku graduate. 

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Hard to get the whole story when it's in another language, but to me the takeaway is:

1) Keep an eye on those Mongolians.

2) Have even less fraternization between heya.

 

Most of the violence seems to be meted out within the heya.  So ... ?

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Don't let the sumo politics case of Takanoiwa distract you from the incidents of real violence.

The Kasugano one had no news after the first oral proceedings in Feb. - within the heya and no foreigners involved:

It doesn't count among the 5.2%, because it happened more than a year ago, just like Brodi's case. If you want to remember how the real victims of sumo violence look like - at 2 min. https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6dnb9q

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Yes, I did notice that the report seemed to focus on the Mongolian conspiracy as if that is the only (or even the real) cause of violence.
Surely, obligations crossing heya boundaries can lead to problems, but these are more likely to be of the matchfixing type than having anything to do with violence, for which the closed heya system has a reputation all by itself. It's in the absolute power over the youngsters and the impenetrable heya walls that abuse can fester and stay a closely guarded secret.  
No wonder that the Mongolians, finding themselves in different heyas due to the "one foreigner per heya" rule, sought to form a union to support each other. If only Brody had such support, he might have fared better.

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The 5.2% are Mongolians or Japanese? Did the third-party committee specify? Also, are there more violence among Mongolians? 

 

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The lawsuit was very likely filed at the behest of and/or with the full support of Takanohana-oyakata. With him no longer around as puppet-master and protector, I don't see how Takanoiwa had much choice in this matter. I would image the lawyer was also hired by the heya, which no longer exists. Should he wish to still pursue the lawsuit, Takanoiwa would be responsible for the retainer and all other expenses. And there is no guarantee he would be able to win and recoup those. So he probably made a wise decision under the circumstances.

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"Ever since I decided to sue Harumafuji my family is undergoing  hardships in Mongolia. If it were up to me, I would go all the way, but my family's pressure to cease was too much.  I have been attacked in Mongolia to an unimaginable extreme- a veritable bashing. I have no choice but to withdraw my claim and bear the burden of hospital fees by myself. I will concentrate on sumo from here on and do well so that my family can live in peace." explained Takanoiwa, after abandoning the lawsuit.

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Hmmm. The timing is coincidental and he cannot go all the way because Harumafuji (has somehow galvanized all Mongolia against him). And if his statement is accurate, the Takanohana beya policy was to have their rikishi pay medical expenses themselves. I recall in the Tokitaizan scandal it came out that the Tokitsukaze beya policy at the time was to have rikishi pay for their own medical expenses, which had been covered by the heya itself under the stewardship of the previous oyakata. So it seems to be something decided by each individual oyakata, not a NSK policy.

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15 minutes ago, Otokonoyama said:

Hmmm. The timing is coincidental and he cannot go all the way because Harumafuji (has somehow galvanized all Mongolia against him). 

I think Harumafuji didn’t have to do anything. It probably just seems like sheer pettiness to people back home - a Mongolian suing another Mongolian in Japan in a high profile trial about something that happened a year ago probably doesn't sit well with the locals. And of course, you can't compare Harumafuji's popularity to Takanoiwa's so it's natural that the waves of empathy are breaking on the prematurely-retired Harumafuji's shores.

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2 minutes ago, Kintamayama said:

I think Harumafuji didn’t have to do anything. It probably just seems like sheer pettiness to people back home - a Mongolian suing another Mongolian in Japan in a high profile trial about something that happened a year ago probably doesn't sit well with the locals. And of course, you can't compare Harumafuji's popularity to Takanoiwa's so it's natural that the waves of empathy are breaking on the prematurely-retired Harumafuji's shores.

There is no disagreement that there is all kinds of backstory to this whole mess. What I meant was that Takanoiwa's argument is circular. He got beaten because Harumafuji lost his cool, he got in trouble with his oyakata because of a "handshake" deal with Harumafuji to fuggetabouit, he was out several basho because of injuries caused by Harumafuji, and now he's out of pocket and has no recourse because Harumafuji.

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Those tough-as-nails, horse-riding, eagle-taming, nomadic Mongolian tribesmen probably wonder what all the fuss is about. “Hit over the head with a bottle? Pah. City living has made you soft, Adiyagiin Baasandorj.”

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Harumafuji’s lawyer replies to Takanoiwa’s press conference: "It has come to our attention that the lawsuit was withdrawn today. The fact that a press conference was held concerning this was quite surprising. From the start, we have been reaching out to Takanoiwa to apologize and settle out of court but we never got an answer. We have agreed to apologize and settle out of court when this new latest claim was brought before us as well. All we asked was how he reached the sum of 30,000,000 yen that he was demanding - we asked for a breakdown but never received an answer. Regarding Takanoiwa's "bashing" in Mongolia, we cannot understand how the Mongolian people are accusing Takanoiwa who is the victim here, and more than that, are targeting his family. If this is true, it is highly regrettable and it is not what Harumafuji set out to achieve. We are seriously considering how we can help Takanoiwa," said the lawyer. 

I think there will be a quiet, behind the scenes agreement to pay for at least part of Takanoiwa's medical bills.

Edited by Kintamayama
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8 hours ago, Otokonoyama said:

The lawsuit was very likely filed at the behest of and/or with the full support of Takanohana-oyakata. With him no longer around as puppet-master and protector, I don't see how Takanoiwa had much choice in this matter. I would image the lawyer was also hired by the heya, which no longer exists. Should he wish to still pursue the lawsuit, Takanoiwa would be responsible for the retainer and all other expenses. And there is no guarantee he would be able to win and recoup those. So he probably made a wise decision under the circumstances.

With the contradicting medical reports on his injury, and the fact that he did sumo for many days after being beaten, he has very slim chance to win the lawsuit, even with Takanohana's full support. 

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Hmm... Takanohana resigned and closed up the heya a month or so ago (?), during which time the lawsuit persisted.

The Kyushu banzuke was released yesterday, in which Takanoiwa was quite obviously and drastically under-promoted.  Lawsuit withdrawn.

The system works!?

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The banzuke committee actually did Takanoiwa a favor. At M6e, he is outside the joi and, therefore, won't face any Yokozuna or Ozeki.

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42 minutes ago, Bumpkin said:

The banzuke committee actually did Takanoiwa a favor. At M6e, he is outside the joi and, therefore, won't face any Yokozuna or Ozeki.

The favor of depriving him of the opportunity to earn kinboshi?  I hear he needs the money.

I don't have any insight into the committee's (many disparate) motivations, but "perhaps a meeting with Hakuho would be too emotionally charged, so long as a civil suit against his former colleague remains ongoing," seems a more reasonable and less punative line of thought than "to hell with Hanada and all his deshi".

You know... if we were to blindly speculate about such things.

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6 hours ago, Bumpkin said:

The banzuke committee actually did Takanoiwa a favor. At M6e, he is outside the joi and, therefore, won't face any Yokozuna or Ozeki.

At M5e it wouldn't be particularly likely, though I admit it would be more likely than at M6e.

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"Harumafuji has put a side a few million yen to reimburse Takanoiwa for his problems. He intends to apologize directly and it's only a matter of time till a full reconciliation will be achieved, " said a person who knows today. "Maybe they should start speaking directly instead of going through lawyers. At the moment, there is no communication between the lawyers so he should just contact Takanoiwa personally and reach an agreement. Harumafuji honestly wishes to contact Takanoiwa and get this thing over with. It seems Takanoiwa is not being told the truth by his lawyer.. " said the person.

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