Tokitsukaze oyakata hands in resignation over flagrant COVID regulation violation

Shortly after Hatsu basho has been over, a Japanese tabloid published preliminary information, revealing that Tokitsukaze oyakata (former Tokitsuumi, 47) has been going out of the heya during the basho, to various destinations, including 5 consecutive days at a Mahjong parlor, and various excursions to less reputable establishments.

While in normal times such conduct may have raised at most some outraged voices from the more conservative section of society, doing so in the middle of a pandemic, against explicit guidelines, was not likely to pass quietly. Moreover, this is his second offense, after he went golfing in Miyagi prefecture before Aki basho – a violation which cost him a demotion by two ranks.

The crisis management committee has taken up the story, and the compliance committee has started an investigation following a hearing. Following the investigation, the procedure is to hand the recommendations to the board, which would hold a meeting and decide on a proper punishment. This punishment is expected to be severe, under the circumstances.

Yesterday, when interviewed by Nikkan Sports, the oyakata was still attempting to provide alternative explanations about his actions (saying, for example, that he did visit the Mahjong parlor, but not to play Mahjong but to give them tickets to the basho). However, at around the same time, the aforesaid tabloid started releasing more information, including photos. This may have been what drove the oyakata to hand in his resignation on January 27, stating his resolve to take responsibility.

Current expectation is that the NSK will hold on to the resignation papers until after it completes the investigation and punishment procedure. Of course, keeping precedents like Abi and the former Shikimori Inosuke in mind, it’s not a certainty that the resignation will be accepted immediately or at all.

8 thoughts on “Tokitsukaze oyakata hands in resignation over flagrant COVID regulation violation

  1. I wonder if they’re partially investigating if he was alone or if anyone else affiliated with the NSK was there, was covering for him, whatever.

    • The paparazzi photos that I have seen were showing him alone, and so was the dramatic description: “A man was driving an SUV to the center of Tokyo, accelerating at amber lights so as not to lose time” and so on. As for the lewd part, I really hope he is doing that alone. Or at least, alone with the professionals involved.

  2. Tokitsukaze stable hasn’t had much luck with their masters. They had the hazing scandal under their last boss and now this. The former Yokitsuumi does deserve credit for bringing Shodai and Yutakayama up the ranks, but his breaches of the COVID rules seem to have been repeated and flagrant. Maybe he came to the job too young and had no one to tell him not to be such a silly beggar, Ah well, I think he’s out of the game now. Whoever replaces him will need to have a very clean pair of hands. Aogiyama or Toyonoshima?

    If Toyonoshima, did take over, would that leave the Izutsu elder stock vacant for someone else to pick up… like, maybe, ooh I dunno, someone like a soon to be retiring yokozuna?

    • Yes, that’s my pet scenario, too. Toyonoshima is also someone who is dedicated to coaching, and you can see him working with the rikishi in the heya’s keiko videos. He also doesn’t strike me as a type of person to be spending time at places that may cause his daughter to be less proud of her father.

      • +1, would love to see this

        On the plus side, even if Edagawa took over, Toyonoshima could jump onto the Edagawa name since he only has his current name on loan and the new shisho would surely assume Tokitsukaze.

        So, have to imagine this benefits big K one way or another

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