On May 27th, a regular meeting of the NSK’s board has taken place. The main points of interest are:
Araiso oyakata to start a new heya
The board approved the request of former Kisenosato, now Araiso oyakata, to split away from Tagonoura beya, and start his own heya. Araiso beya will become reality as of this August. At first, it will take residence at Tsukuba city in Ibaraki prefecture (Araiso’s home prefecture), and a permanent one will be built in the city of Ami in Inashiki District of the same prefecture.
Araiso is to take 4 wrestlers and a gyoji with him. The wrestlers are freshmen Nishihara, Taniguchi and Kato, who have joined Grand Sumo in Haru, and set foot on dohyo for the first time in Natsu basho, and veteran Adachi, who joined at around the same time Kisenosato did.
(Usually an oyakata who splits off takes only his uchi-deshi – rikishi he recruited with the intention of establishing his own heya – together with him from his old heya. Adachi is an exception, and I think the reasoning behind it is that with three complete novices, a heya required a seasoned anideshi to teach them the off-dohyo “way of sumo”).
Decision about Asanoyama has not been made yet
Apparently, the investigation into Asanoyama’s shenanigans turned out to be complex, and is still on-going. Another board meeting is set for June, but Shibatayama oyakata, the NSK’s spokesperson, said the investigation will not necessarily be complete by then.
A decision has been made about Ryuden
Ryden has been found guilty of breaking the NSK’s COVID regulations, having gone on unnecessary outings 25 times between March 2020 and January 2021, for the purpose of seeing a woman who was not his wife. Those meeting happened mostly during basho, some just before it.
Ryuden’s punishment is a suspension for 3 basho, including Natsu basho, which he has already spent kyujo. He should be back by November, and will likely be ranked at Makushita by then.
Ryuden’s shisho, Takadagawa oyakata, has been punished with a reduction of 20% of his salary for 6 months.
Nagoya basho will be held without vaccinations
Although an earlier plan has been to vaccinate all the rikishi and staff in June, this seems to have been set aside, probably due to the slow progress of vaccinations in Japan.
The basho will still take place at Nagoya, and all involved will undergo a PCR test before traveling there. The plans are to:
- Hold the new recruit checkup at the Kokugikan on June 18th
- Publish the banzuke on June 21st
- Hold PCR tests over the 23rd and 24th
- Each heya will depart for Nagoya after completing the PCR test.