Takanoiwa Withdraws from Hatsu Basho

Takanoiwa Yoshimori, the victim at the centre of the Harumafuji scandal that rocked sumo in November of last year, has officially withdrawn from competition for the 2018 Hatsu Basho, citing the cranial injury he sustained after being repeatedly struck with a karaoke controller by the former Yokozuna Harumafuji. Takanoiwa missed the entirety of the Kyushu Basho due to the same head injury and was subsequently demoted from the top division to the rank of Juryo 3. Given the circumstances surrounding his injury and having provided the proper medical assessment, the Japanese Sumo Association has declared that Takanoiwa will not receive another demotion for missing the Hatsu Basho.

While many were devastated by the retirement of Harumafuji, it’s important to not blame the victim in this situation. We at Tachiai hope that Takanoiwa makes a full recovery and returns to the top division once more.

5 thoughts on “Takanoiwa Withdraws from Hatsu Basho

  1. My personal guess of what happened . And of course you can always delete this.

    The past in 3 acts:

    Someone: Drinks all around!
    Haru: What’s WRONG with you Oiwa? You should act BETTER, damn it ! (slap)
    (beep beep beep beep) What’s THAT?
    Oiwa: Aah, it’s nothing. I just got a . . .
    Haru: NOTHING ??! Someone was talking to you! (thump thump bong bong thump thump thump)
    Oiwa: Ugui ! Owwwwwooooooo. . .

    Bystander: Oiwa, let’s get this checked out. Your eyes are crossed. (they go to a doctor)
    Doctor: Well there are a couple of things to watch, but take it easy and you’ll be ok for the tournament in two weeks. (Note: Doc did NOT say “come back in x days and we’ll take your staples out”.)

    (Sometime later (after Oiwa takes in some jungyo?), O’Hana sees him for the first time.)
    O’Hana: What happened to you? How did YOU get messed up?
    Oiwa: Well, um, aaaaa . . Haru hit me. . .um . . .
    O’Hana: (obviously annoyed) Haru HIT you? WHY? !
    Oiwa: (plaintively) I don’t know. He just yelled at me and then he hit me. I didn’t really do anything. All the guys were there too. They can tell you . . .
    O’Hana: (very angry) Oh JEEZ! WHY DO you have to make another giant MESS? Can’t you stay out of TROUBLE? I don’t need this agita NOW! (thump, thump, thump, thump, crack, SPLIT, thump)
    Oiwa: Ugui! Ugui! Owwoooooooooo. . . (just groans) . .
    O’Hana: (to himself) Oh jeez, now I’ve got to take him to a doctor. He’s getting blood on my SCARF. He doesn’t look so good. If I can just keep anyone who saw him before this from seeing him now. . . And keep him from mouthing off. . . . Maybe. . . maybe I can use this situation for. . . .

  2. Re: “It is important not to blame the victim.”
    Basically what you are saying is that Harumafuji attacked with no reason and that Takanoiwa didn’t do anything to be blamed for. I think it is equally important not to do this, either.

    • Not at all. I’m saying that Takanoiwa shouldn’t receive any blame or resentment for Harumafuji’s retirement. The only men who can now for certain what Takanoiwa did or didn’t do were in that room, and since they have given their accounts of the night, those are the only facts that we can go on unless more information comes out. At present, the only thing Takanoiwa is guilty of is being perceived as defiant towards his superiors and going on his cell phone. Should he have been a bit more respectful when in the presence of his supriors? Probably. Did he deserve the beating and subsequent head trauma he received? Absolutely not. At the end of the day, Harumafuji is responsible for his own actions, and it is those actions that resulted in his retirement. It can be easy to “blame the victim” in a situation like this where such a beloved favorite like Harumafuji is the culprit of wrongdoing. I am simply reminding people that while we all may be sad about losing Harumafuji, Takanoiwa wasn’t the one who took him away from us.


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