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New Takanofuji Scandal

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1 hour ago, robnplunder said:

Japanese people's strength of hanging on to tradition, unchanging ways is also its weakness.   This is just one tiny instance of that.  

I agree with everything you wrote except that last bit. Tradition is very important in Japan, it's true but one of Japan's most incredible strengths is to change and adapt.

1867 Japan is a feudal state in the midst of civil war between the shogunate and rebels warlords. The country is far from being unified, the written language is the same as the one from the 12th century therefore completely different from the spoken one, there's no standard japanese anyway. A few years back the country was forced to open its borders and sign unqual treaties.

1905 Japan is a constitutional empire, the country is fully unified, the law system is a modern one based on french and german law. The written language has been modernised and now includes translations for almost every Occidental modern concepts, the education system is the same in the country, standard japanese is forming. Japan is a modern and rich country in every single domain and its modern army just beat the Russian army.

Japan also rebuild itself completely after WWII, all it took was a few decades to become the second richest country in the world (thanks to its ability to change and adapt once again).

Yeah I understand that the sumo world could be better and that many things need to change, but on this particular issue at least they are trying. They are giving lectures about it, the compliance committee is new. It's slow and not perfect but at least things are starting to change and I think Takanofuji will be punished and expelled regardless of all that drama in the media. Everything is new and it's a first so it just takes a bit of time.

 

Edited by Rainoyama
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To encourage young people to join sumo, they should reform the payment system, i.e., to pay everyone on the banzuke a monthly salary, and the salary increases CONTINUOUSLY according to banzuke position. For example a MS2 is paid $8000, a MS1 $8100, a J14 $8200, J13 $8300, et al. , only a significant increase for an ozeke or yokozuna. In addition, the tsukebito system should be abolished. Also, the number of bouts per basho should be increased for Sd and MS, e.g. Sd 9 bouts, Ms 11 bouts. 

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1 hour ago, Dapeng said:

To encourage young people to join sumo, they should reform the payment system, i.e., to pay everyone on the banzuke a monthly salary, and the salary increases CONTINUOUSLY according to banzuke position. For example a MS2 is paid $8000, a MS1 $8100, a J14 $8200, J13 $8300, et al. , only a significant increase for an ozeke or yokozuna. In addition, the tsukebito system should be abolished. Also, the number of bouts per basho should be increased for Sd and MS, e.g. Sd 9 bouts, Ms 11 bouts. 

I don't think the tsukebito system itself is an issue. Working correctly, the senior rikishi should act as a both a role model and a mentor for the junior rikishi. That's his 'payment' for the assistance they provide. He is supposed to give them advice and guidance to be better rikishi, as well as to be the 'responsible adult', so to speak.

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8 minutes ago, Eikokurai said:

I don't think the tsukebito system itself is an issue. Working correctly, the senior rikishi should act as a both a role model and a mentor for the junior rikishi. That's his 'payment' for the assistance they provide. He is supposed to give them advice and guidance to be better rikishi, as well as to be the 'responsible adult', so to speak.

I certainly agree that in its abstracted/idealized form, the tsukebito system has much to offer (see, for example, Enho and Hakuho, at least as that relationship has been portrayed). However, like many other systems designed with one senior individual holding power over a junior, in practice it can be prone to abuse and misuse, as we've seen on occasion.  That isn't to say the system needs to be abolished, as that would be a knee-jerk overreaction that overlooks the good in the system. But it seems a system that could use some minor reforms, as well as checks on balances, to bring out the ideal while limiting the potential for abuse. 

That isn't to imply I have any specific reforms in mind, and I think those far closer to the system than I (read: not some shmuck in Canada who's merely a fan) would be better placed to comment. But still, I would be interested to hear those comments. 

Edited by Tochinofuji
Clarity.

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Just now, Tochinofuji said:

I certainly agree that in its abstracted/idealized form, the tsukebito system has much to offer (see, for example, Enho and Hakuho, at least as that relationship has been portrayed). However, like many other systems designed with one senior individual holding power over a junior, in practice it can be prone to abuse and misuse, as we've seen on occasion.  That isn't to say the system needs to be abolished, as that would be a knee-jerk overreaction that overlooks the good in the system. But it seems a system that could use some minor reforms, as well as checks on balances, to bring out the ideal while limiting the potential for abuse. 

That isn't to imply I have any specific reforms in mind, and I think those far closer to the system than I (read: not some shmuck in Canada who's merely a fan) would be better placed to comment. But still, I would be interested to hear those comments. 

Yes, that's more or less my thinking too. Reforms are fine, but the idea itself isn't the problem. 

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7 hours ago, Gospodin said:

A simple-minded question to those who have knowledge about hazing, bullying, etc in heyas: regardless of the severity of things that happen, how much of the „predator‘s“ attitude makes a difference ? If the impression is, he puts others down to elevate his own ego versus he genuinely (not rightfully) believes punishment is due to „assist“ them in becoming better ? Is that a factor ?

You bring up an interesting point. To break into the paid ranks, a rikishi has to have a certain predator mindset to get past the hundreds of other similarly talented and driven guys. In addition, as Takanofuji mentioned in his press conference, there is "sumodo" the way of sumo, which purports to have a code, a way of right or responsible acting. That is quite the tightrope to walk.

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1 hour ago, Eikokurai said:

I don't think the tsukebito system itself is an issue. Working correctly, the senior rikishi should act as a both a role model and a mentor for the junior rikishi. That's his 'payment' for the assistance they provide. He is supposed to give them advice and guidance to be better rikishi, as well as to be the 'responsible adult', so to speak.

... and Takanofuji doesn't have it.   He is a terrible role model.  He seems to be just a bully who won't likely change his way.  It will be interesting to see if Japan's legal system will save his skin.  If it does, I will have one more reason to watch sumo .... rooting for anyone facing Takanofuji.   (Sigh...)    

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6 hours ago, Rainoyama said:

Japan also rebuild itself completely after WWII, all it took was a few decades to become the second richest country in the world (thanks to its ability to change and adapt once again).

They were hugely successful, but have been falling behind for decades.   The world has been changing faster than Japan is.    The very quality that made Japan a successful nation decades ago have made them stagnant.   It is not an accident that companies like Toshiba, Sony, Sharp, and others are no longer on top.  IMHO, the unchanging way of Japanese professional sumo is, well, what Japan and its people are all about.  I am not saying it is bad.   It has served ozumo & Japan well.  In a way, I am saying things are not going to change, Takanofuji's permanent ban or not.   

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2 hours ago, Otokonoyama said:

You bring up an interesting point. To break into the paid ranks, a rikishi has to have a certain predator mindset to get past the hundreds of other similarly talented and driven guys.

But with sufficient self-control to limit the predating to the "other" guys, not the guys from your own heya. As there's neither free agency in ozumo nor negotiable contract payments, there's zero benefit from throwing teammates under the bus.

(Yes, I know, heya chores etc. may also go according to rank, but if your only way to get ahead there is to keep your heyamates down rather than to improve your overall banzuke position, you're not cut out to be a predator anyway, just a dumb bully.)

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14 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

But with sufficient self-control to limit the predating to the "other" guys, not the guys from your own heya. As there's neither free agency in ozumo nor negotiable contract payments, there's zero benefit from throwing teammates under the bus.

(Yes, I know, heya chores etc. may also go according to rank, but if your only way to get ahead there is to keep your heyamates down rather than to improve your overall banzuke position, you're not cut out to be a predator anyway, just a dumb bully.)

+1.    Forcing his underlings answer like a chicken has no place in heya or anywhere for that matter.  I once worked for a boss who enjoyed making his employees squirm for no reason.   He was being a bully without benefiting anyone including himself.   I see the parallel between my boss and Takanofuji.

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25 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

But with sufficient self-control to limit the predating to the "other" guys, not the guys from your own heya. As there's neither free agency in ozumo nor negotiable contract payments, there's zero benefit from throwing teammates under the bus.

(Yes, I know, heya chores etc. may also go according to rank, but if your only way to get ahead there is to keep your heyamates down rather than to improve your overall banzuke position, you're not cut out to be a predator anyway, just a dumb bully.)

Yes, that's where sumodo, and the guidance of the oyakata and sempai come in. It seemed ironic for Takanofuji to bring up sumodo in his press conference.

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2 hours ago, robnplunder said:

They were hugely successful, but have been falling behind for decades.   The world has been changing faster than Japan is.    The very quality that made Japan a successful nation decades ago have made them stagnant.   It is not an accident that companies like Toshiba, Sony, Sharp, and others are no longer on top.  IMHO, the unchanging way of Japanese professional sumo is, well, what Japan and its people are all about.  I am not saying it is bad.   It has served ozumo & Japan well.  In a way, I am saying things are not going to change, Takanofuji's permanent ban or not.   

Still don't agree with that generalization to Japan and Japanese people at all but l don't want to drift out of topic and list facts and numbers again. Concerning violence in sumo I think it'll take time but they'll get results eventually. Of course it'll never be perfect as you can't control what people do and people's character some people may cross the line (Harumafuji for instance never had any documented issues but became violent one time because like most Yokozuna he has a strong temper and was smashed that day) but the difference will be that it'll no longer be ok and there'll be consequences.

Takanofuji as dumb as he is (well that was probably the lawyer) raised an interesting question though : he said the kyokai doesn't provide any alternative ways to maintain discipline. That right there is actually the main issue they'll have to overcome imo. I wouldn't be surprised if the tsukebito knowing that Takanofuji crossed the line once decided to skip their duties knowing he had no way to punish them and that he would be banned using violence again. He is a 22 years old dumb bully so he did and will fall because of it but making him an example is not enough.

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1 hour ago, Rainoyama said:

 

Takanofuji as dumb as he is (well that was probably the lawyer) raised an interesting question though : he said the kyokai doesn't provide any alternative ways to maintain discipline. 

All I can say to Takanofuji on the above argument is ..... How about just following common sense?    find a role model and follow his ways?    

Kyokai has to come up with a manual on "how to" disciple underlings?   Come on, Takanofuji.  You can't be that dumb to need a manual on this.   (Sigh...)

 

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To me, what seems very "Japanese" is the idea that there is a necessary one-to-one relationship between athletic success and character (gravitas? hinkaku?).  In American football (similar because of the physicality involved) there are several current scandals over players who are elite athletes but deplorable people on the field (dirty players) or off the field (wife-beaters, etc.).  No one would ever make them mentors of other players; but a rikishi who has made it to a certain rank is automatically assigned underlings to cater to him.

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Nobody is suggesting the obvious solution of champagne and karaoke..?

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For those who know a bit about Japanese legal system, what kind of chance Takanofuji has winning his case, and make a come back?  Sokokurai was successful with his lawsuit although his case is completely different.

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15 minutes ago, robnplunder said:

For those who know a bit about Japanese legal system, what kind of chance Takanofuji has winning his case, and make a come back?  Sokokurai was successful with his lawsuit although his case is completely different.

I think it's very unlikely he wins. He has a previous incident of violence, and has admitted to a second. Assault & battery is forbidden by law. The governing body of his profession has forbidden such acts. The public supports the sumo association on that. The rikishi were explicitly warned about the new status quo. He's pulling a Takanohana taking an internal matter to the courts.

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1 hour ago, robnplunder said:

For those who know a bit about Japanese legal system, what kind of chance Takanofuji has winning his case, and make a come back?  Sokokurai was successful with his lawsuit although his case is completely different.

Sokokurai was innocent.

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12 hours ago, robnplunder said:

For those who know a bit about Japanese legal system, what kind of chance Takanofuji has winning his case, and make a come back?  Sokokurai was successful with his lawsuit although his case is completely different.

He has zero chances of getting back into sumo. It wouldn´t surprise me if the kyokai would agree to a settlement, for the sake of avoiding prolonged, bad publicity.

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On 27/09/2019 at 20:52, Kintamayama said:

 problematic kids sent to a quasi-military organization in the hopes of straightening them out, high school dropouts

I know I'm not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to sumo life, but those two points above go a long way to explain why bullying remains part of sumo in this day and age.

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On ‎29‎/‎09‎/‎2019 at 01:42, Naganoyama said:

Sokokurai was innocent.

And his stablemaster supported him throughout, unlike here.

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The gogo-smile wide-show today had a resume of the case - with a reminder that last October, when he switched to Chiganoura-beya after his first violence scandal, then Takayoshitoshi had vowed he never again would exert violence, and he had sealed a written contract with the shisho that he would retire if he breaks the promise. It's natural that Chiganoura now insists he fulfills the contract obligation. Takanofuji apparently tries to convince the world that it was not violence what he did ...

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That is undoubtedly what he is doing. From the Mainichi, "though Takanofuji admitted to the facts, he said he "did not hit him hard" and "lacked awareness" that hitting him lightly on the head with his fist was a serious form of wrongdoing."

Edited by ryafuji
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You’re not allowed to hit with your fists in sumo, duh.

it gets you disqualified in the ring, and now it gets you disqualified from the stable too.

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