Seiyashi

Asanoyama caught violating COVID restrictions

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Unnamed Kyokai member says there is no way the punishment will be less than Abi's, and will probably be worse. There is talk of convening as early as today to discuss this.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Kintamayama said:

Unnamed Kyokai member says there is no way the punishment will be less than Abi's, and will probably be worse. There is talk of convening as early as today to discuss this.

I assume that's to avoid overshadowing the conclusion to the basho? Otherwise it'll be another week before they discuss it.

Edited by Seiyashi

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I prefer 3 basho suspension which is what Abi ended up with. Intai or 6 basho suspension seems to be a bit too harsh.

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1 hour ago, robnplunder said:

I prefer 3 basho suspension which is what Abi ended up with. Intai or 6 basho suspension seems to be a bit too harsh.

As an Asanoyama fan, I hope that's outcome. 

As a fan of sumo and all of it's mystical ways, I hope he at least offers retirement. 

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I can't help notice there are about 5000 people crowded in the hall.   No 6 feet apart rule in effect.  Everyone wearing what appears to be a single surgical mask.  Japan is in no way near herd immunity at the current vaccination rate.  To me, it's a bit hypocritical for Asanoyama to be harshly punished when the sumo powers to be are allowing these things to happen all for the revenue. 

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, robnplunder said:

I can't help notice there are about 5000 people crowded in the hall.   No 6 feet apart rule in effect.  Everyone wearing what appears to be a single surgical mask.  Japan is in no way near herd immunity at the current vaccination rate.  To me, it's a bit hypocritical for Asanoyama to be harshly punished when the sumo powers to be are allowing these things to happen all for the revenue. 

There's probably temperature screening pre-entry, and with a mask on and no talking allowed, transmission between the audience and the rikishi is minimised. It's of course a bit blase for the NSK to be creating conditions for a superspreader amongst their audience, and I can see where you're coming from, but their primary concern is the protection of the rikishi who will be in much more intimate contact with each other on the dohyo.

It's that protection that Asanoyama has breached because should he be infected, each of his 11 opponents are almost certainly going to bring it back to their heya. Whereas some random gofer sitting on the second floor, if he is following the rules, is only going to infect maybe the 10 people around him at worst and none of the rikishi.

There is some logic to it as shaky as it is, and since the NSK has to be concerned about trying to balance protection against revenue, they're quite right to be upset with Asanoyama who by his behaviour is endangering the measures they've taken to try and strike that balance.

Perversely, with infection in Japan going the way it is, going to sumo is probably no more risky than going about your daily life - you'll be in contact with much more than 5000 people just walking around and taking public transport, whereas with the minimised movement, no talking, and staggered exit measures the NSK has taken, your actual exposure is going to be a lot less.

Edited by Seiyashi
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1 hour ago, robnplunder said:

I prefer 3 basho suspension which is what Abi ended up with. Intai or 6 basho suspension seems to be a bit too harsh.

 

But clearly as an ozeki he is expected to be setting a good example, therefore one would reckon the punishment will be more severe.

 

Swami

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24 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

transmission between the audience and the rikishi is minimised

Apart from Tobizaru who seems to spend most of his time in the crowd eight rows back whether he wins or not. ;-)

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With all the talk about a possible 6 basho suspension- does it not seem like a strange punishment to hand out? I think if 2 or 3 basho is deemed insufficient (which I think it will be) then at that stage the punishment will surely be bumped up to an intai recommendation.

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2 minutes ago, Atenzan said:

With all the talk about a possible 6 basho suspension- does it not seem like a strange punishment to hand out? I think if 2 or 3 basho is deemed insufficient (which I think it will be) then at that stage the punishment will surely be bumped up to an intai recommendation.

I think the calculations going about are that a 6 basho suspension sends him back to Sandanme, which is effectively restarting Asanoyama's career back where it began - oddly apropos in his case. Intai is permanent, whereas suspension can be handed out as many times as necessary. It depends on how ruthless/merciful the board feels like being. 

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1 minute ago, Seiyashi said:

 which is effectively restarting Asanoyama's career back where it began

My thoughts exactly- and this just seems un-Kyoukai-like. Is there historical precedent for this sort of thing? The sumo equivalent of getting exiled to Siberia, shaving your beard so the guards won't recognise you and returning to polite society?

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8 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

I think the calculations going about are that a 6 basho suspension sends him back to Sandanme...

Yeah, and then watch him win yusho after yusho just like Abi does right now. His peers will be overjoyed.
(where's the puke emoticon??)

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1 minute ago, Jakusotsu said:
13 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

I think the calculations going about are that a 6 basho suspension sends him back to Sandanme...

Yeah, and then watch him win yusho after yusho just like Abi does right now. His peers will be overjoyed.
(where's the puke emoticon??)

Well, he needs to to redeem himself. If he can't get out of the unpaid ranks then he might as well retire. In a sense, it's a fate worse than hell for someone previously touted to be yokozuna material to be slogging it out down there without injury, which is perhaps what Atenzan was alluding to when he said such a harsh suspension was un-Kyokai-like.

He's not getting out of the unpaid ranks looking like a saint either way. Either he takes the silverware for half a year and burns someone else's opportunities, or he attracts even more derision for being an ex-ozeki with no injuries unable to get out of there. In fact, that might even be the idea if the Kyokai were so minded to be vindictive.

I don't see either of the options being very good for Asanoyama. Either the Kyokai is ruthless in the short term but merciful in the long term - force him to retire now but make it a brief moment of ignominy and everyone can move on. Or the other way round - merciful in the short term but ruthless in the long term, suspend him for 6 basho, letting him continue in sumo, but the next time he competes a year later, the scandal's sure to be mentioned, and he has a major fire lit under his ass to get out of the unpaid ranks or suffer even worse scorn. Oh well, he brought this on himself.

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5 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

which is perhaps what Atenzan was alluding to when he said such a harsh suspension was un-Kyokai-like. 

I was alluding to the fact that I've literally never heard of such a thing be discussed in circles outside those of our own, with no connection to the Kyoukai. To my knowledge, suspensions have not been a historically common sumo punishment in any case, while intai recommendations have. And 6 basho? Why? I would be very surprised if they seriously considered it. If that's the severity of the punishment the bigwigs feel Asanoyama has earned himself, I think they'll go to their Old Faithful severe punishment, which would be to recommend intai.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

If he can't get out of the unpaid ranks then he might as well retire.

I think what Jakusotsu was getting at is that failing to rise back is just not a relevant scenario. Even if a year-long suspension erodes his skills to, say, average maegashira level, he'll still cruise back to sekitoridom with ease as long as he's the least bit motivated to do so.

I do agree with Atenzan in any case; a suspension of that length would be extremely unusual for the Kyokai to set.

Edited by Asashosakari
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Just drop him into Jonokuchi.
Don't do this ridiculous suspensions. It's too cruel. :(

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4 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

I think what Jakusotsu was getting at is that failing to rise back is just not a relevant scenario. Even if a year-long suspension erodes his skills to, say, average maegashira level, he'll still cruise back to sekitoridom with ease as long as he's the least bit motivated to do so.

I do agree with Atenzan in any case; a suspension of that length would be extremely unusual for the Kyokai to set.

Having set the bar of 3 tournaments for Abi, they can't do any less for Asanoyama given his rank and expected standards of behaviour/conduct.  I still think being asked to retire may be the most likely option.

Likewise, for Takasago, they could potentially dismiss him, and all the heya's rikishi go to Hakkaku or other stables in the ichimon, though that would be a major punishment given how historic Takasago Beya has been.

 

Swami

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As a big Asanoyama fan, now having slept 2 nights over the situation, as much as is it hurts, i can‘t see anything different than intai, no matter if he gets a mild or harsh punishment. I just can‘t imagine him after being publicly shamed, that he has the mental game to step on to the limelight of the dohyo.

I hope to be proven wrong, but i highly doubt it.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Swami said:

Likewise, for Takasago, they could potentially dismiss him, and all the heya's rikishi go to Hakkaku or other stables in the ichimon, though that would be a major punishment given how historic Takasago Beya has been.

I think this is a bit premature before more details on Takasago's exact role in this whole affair are revealed. A pay cut is almost certain, and a demotion in the NSK hierarchy may follow, but usually the sins of the deshi aren't visited upon the stablemaster or his stablemates to that dire a degree.

Edited by Seiyashi
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31 minutes ago, Swami said:

Likewise, for Takasago, they could potentially dismiss him, and all the heya's rikishi go to Hakkaku or other stables in the ichimon, though that would be a major punishment given how historic Takasago Beya has been.

 

That will not happen.  Salary cut, drop in rank. 

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No doubt it would be a very brave betting man who put odds on what decision the Kyokai eventually takes.

 

Swami

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2 hours ago, Atenzan said:

With all the talk about a possible 6 basho suspension- does it not seem like a strange punishment to hand out? I think if 2 or 3 basho is deemed insufficient (which I think it will be) then at that stage the punishment will surely be bumped up to an intai recommendation.

Just for the sake of clearing up the 6-basho speculation, I started that, and I'm just some random Australian with little to no knowledge of what the kyokai thinking. 

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Posted (edited)

After the Yaocho scandal broke both Enatsukasa and Chiyohakuho received two year suspensions. Both had already handed in intai papers, and initially the kyokai put those on hold, but eventually accepted them for Chiyohakuho, and for Enatsukasa after he resubmitted. 

Edited by Kamitsuumi

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8 minutes ago, Kamitsuumi said:

After the Yaocho scandal broke both Enatsukasa and Chiyohakuho received two year suspensions. Both had already handed in intai papers, and initially the kyokai put those on hold, but eventually accepted them for Chiyohakuho, and for Enatsukasa after he resubmitted. 

So a 6-basho suspension is not actually that far-fetched, just that it's never been served in practice. So we're back to the really brave betting sumo fan who'll want to take odds on whether Asanoyama has the gumption to serve it + come back, or thinks that's it for him.

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12 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

I have no official source on this, but logic suggests it’s a Yokozuna thing only because Yokozuna strictly speaking is an honorary title that’s entirely the gift of the Kyokai and which, once bestowed, can never be taken away. It therefore comes with higher standards. Sekiwake and below are all ranks attained or lost by kachikoshi/makekoshi. Nothing else is considered. Ozeki promotion requires approval, but there’s a clear and measurable objective to earn it that considers only on-dohyo performance and results. The rank can also be lost the same way.

But ozeki is still treated as a very special rank, because for centuries it was the highest rank in sumo, with Yokozuna just a licence to perform the dohyo-iri. Even noe they maintain the tradition of sending messangers from the Kyokai to the promoted man's heya and he makes a speech promising to uphold the dignity of the rank. Asanoyama made that pledge along with all the other ozeki. I still can't see how he gets away with a mere suspension.

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