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All Division Rankings - November 2007
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The new promotees to Juryo and the retiring rikishi were announced today. The new promotees are all first timers: Tochinoshin from Georgia, Tamawashi from Mongolia, Kimurayama, Kirinowaka and Wakakouyuu (Yakigaya) from Japan. The number of foreign sekitori is now the most ever - 21. Of the 17 retirees, ex-Makuuchi Buyuuzan is the prominent one.
November 27th , 2007
Ozeki Kotomitsuki who had been suffering from gall bladder problems before last basho underwent surgery today and had it removed. he is slated to leave the hospital on December the 1st, As for participating in the winter jungyo that starts December 2nd, there is no definite answer.
November 25th , 2007
Sumo is in a bad way. The Kyushu tournament has just ended, and instead of doing it on a high note, another sour note is added to the very sour year sumo has undergone. First, the match-fixing allegations resulting in a pending trial soon to start. Then, the sport's leading athlete gets suspended from two tounaments for allegedly faking an illness. Then, the vioent death of a young rikishi who was hazed to death during training. And today, the strange non-appearance of Ozeki Chiyotaikai who was a contender for the championship, because of a purported injury. Add the strange way KaioU got his kachikoshi, when most of his veteran opponents seemed not to want to be the ones responsible for his retirement. All very disheartening to a true sumo fan. Allegations of a conspiracy have already began floating by.
One thing is for sure-the Sumo Kyokai better get its act together finally and quickly, otherwise the already thinning crowds at the venues will become even thinner. The Kyokai elections are coming up in January-maybe its time for change.
August 29th , 2007
After being diagnosed with "depression" and other mental disorders, Yokozuna Asashouryuu has been allowed to return to Mongolia where he is supposed to undergo physical and mental treatment. His Oyakata has gone with him to see that he sticks to treatment and nothing else. The Kyokai elders who were quick to dish out an extremely severe punishment had problems implementing it, as Asashouryuu uncharacteristically seems to have broken down mentally, throwing them a curve ball they did not anticipate. At the behest of Kyokai appointed physicians, he has now been allowed to leave Japan, as it was believed it would be best for him to leave Japan for now. The September tournament commences September 9th, without the suspended Yokozuna.August 1st , 2007
Yokozuna Asashouryuu has been suspended for the next 2 basho in an unprecedented move by the NSK, after seemingly feigning illness to miss the summer jungyo. He was also fined 30% of his salary for the next 4 months and will not be allowed to be seen in public until the final day of the Kyushu tournament. his Oyakata was alsoget qa 3 month 30% salary reduction.July 26th, 2007
The new Asashouryuu scandal is gathering speed. The Jungyo department will convene on the 27th for an emergency meeting to decide how to deal with Asa's behavior. there are voices that say this can even bring his career to an end. "He should be in a hospital and be treated for his injury. If he's in Mongolia, he should be treated there and not do stuff that can be misinterpreted..", said Kitanoumi rijicho to Takasago Oyakata, BEFORE this happened. After a few hours, it did happen..
The game was held on the training grounds of the National stadium. Participating were Japanese kids and Nakata and others, surely a high-profile event. Asashouryuu was running around gleefully and even scored a goal. All this was shown on prime time TV in Japan in the evening, giving the unmistakable impression that the Yokozuna was faking an illness.
The Oyakatas will convene and decide what to do. The jungyos are very important to the kyokai, especially these days. Local sponsors have invested a lot of money in bringing the rikishi there, and would of course want the top guys to show themselves. In the past, an injured Yokozuna would at least participate in the dohyo-iri and interact with the fans. They will have to do something about this. Worst case scenario - retiring Asa.
My guess - bench him for September with a final warning. Which of course will be ignored at some point in the future. Throwing him out now with only one yusho less than Takanohana will bring those "xenophobia" accusations out of the woodworks. Additionally, at this stage in sumo's life, Asa is vital for ticket sales.
The NSK has announced a London trip in October 2009. This will be the second trip by the rikishi-the first one was back in 1991. The venue will be the Royal Albert Hall ,between the 7th-11th of October.
The NSK (Japanese Sumo Association) has decided on new criteria for any Oyakata wishing to establish a new heya (stable) today. Minimum 25 tournaments at Sanyaku, or 60 bashos in Makuuchi. Reason given - a lot of ex-college rikishi have become heya owners after retiring, and their relative short tenure as active wrestlers makes it hard for them to be able to fully teach their deshi the right manners etc.. Another reason - the current number of 54 is too many in the view of the NSK. Ex-Ozeki/Yokozuna will be allowed to establish new heya regardless of basho numbers. But- a year must pass after their retirement before being allowed to establish a new heya. Until now , there were no clear rules in the Kyokai "rule book" concerning criteria for establishing new heya. the criteria for taking over existing heya remains the same- 12 Makuuchi basho or 20 basho as sekitori. "To bring up a rikishi well, you need to be strict. It's not that there are many Oyakata who are not, but it's the Oyakata's responsibility!!", said Kitanoumi Rijicho.