When the Aki Jungyo hits the road this weekend in Ishikawa, Takagenji will be a welcome part of it but his brother, Takanofuji (formerly Takayoshitoshi) will be left behind in Tokyo. Takagenji’s involvement in the scandal has so far been limited to allegations of instituting collective punishments, name-calling, and forcing one tsukebito to call himself stupid while recording it on cellphone video.
As he has yet to be accused directly of assault or more serious bullying, and expressed regret for his past misdeeds, he has escaped suspension. He stated that moving forward, he is not starting back from zero but “from minus.” He also distanced himself from his brother, stating that while they came from the same upbringing, they have different ways of thinking. When Takanofuji had his press conference, Takagenji stated that he tried to convince him to cancel, to no avail.
Takagenji will be demoted into Juryo after this latest tournament but should consider himself lucky as he sees his brother drummed out of the heya life, entirely. Since the scandal broke just before the tournament started, it surely impacted his performance so one hopes that he has learned his lesson, can redeem himself in the eyes of his stablemates, and can recover.
To summarize coverage on his twin brother, Takanofuji:
- Takanofuji was absent from the September basho after allegations of assault were reported
- This was the second infraction as he had been suspended last year for beating his tsukebito in Kokugikan for not informing him of his turn at the dohyo
- Subsequent investigations into the merits of the new allegations resulted in requests for his resignation, from both the kyokai and his stablemaster, Chiganoura-oyakata
- Takanofuji will not comply with the resignation request
- The sumo kyokai will meet to discuss further sanction, likely including a forced resignation from Takanofuji.
- Takanofuji is listed as kyujo from the upcoming jungyo tour