Abi Instagram Scandal

Early this week, a video was posted to Abi’s Instagram feed showing Wakamotoharu bound by his wrists and legs, and gagged. The video was less than a minute long and showed Wakamotoharu escaping from the bonds to the sounds of off-camera laughter. Your humble editor saw the video half-asleep, thought, “Kids these days”, rolled over and went back to bed.

Followers of the Tachiai Twitter account and Herouth’s account likely saw a brief exchange about how the drama was playing out on Social Media. Some were even calling for intai as this would be a bullying scandal. I would presume bullying would require a victim…in which case it seems Wakamotoharu was a willing Houdini-like participant.

There has now been reprimands and apologies, so it went past embarrassing prank-dom and into micro-scandal. Let’s hope there are no more, but, alas, the calendar has been changed to reflect the date of the latest “scandal.”

Yobidashi Takuro Out

List of Yobidashi 10-26-2019

As Herouth reported yesterday, despite the Compliance Committee’s recommendation of a two tournament ban, Takuro insisted on resigning. He was the Tate-Yobidashi, or the highest ranking of the dohyo support crew. Thus ends the career of likely the most recognizable face among the sport’s yobidashi. The Sumo Kyokai website has removed his name and now Jiro (次郎) stands as the top one, rather than the next one. Click the link for the full list.

Takuro was accused and admitted to striking two subordinates. He struck the first for eating breakfast in the section of seating reserved for patrons, and then snapped at the other for not reprimanding the first. Herouth has a full write-up here.

Tate-Yobidashi Takuro Involved in Violent Incident

(From the “I-really-didn’t-want-to-write-one-of-these-posts-again-so-soon” department)

Takuro in his ultimate Jungyo visit to Hokkaido, where he was born.

The highest ranking yobidashi, Tate-yobidashi Takuro, has acted in violence towards two lower-ranking yobidashi during the Jungyo event which took place at Itoigawa, Niigata, on October 8th.

Early in the morning before the event started, he spotted a Jonidan yobidashi who was having his breakfast sitting in the customer seating area. He reprimanded him for that, and accompanied the reprimant with a punch to the head. He then turned to a Makushita yobidashi who was sitting nearby and reprimanded him, too: “You see your ototo-deshi doing this and you’re not disciplining him?”. This was accompanied by a slap to the Makushita yobidashi’s back.

Neither of the victims is injured. The Makushita yobidashi decided to discuss this with another employee, who then passed on the report, until it reached Kasugano oyakata, the Jungyo master (and Takuro’s heya master, as it happens). He called the men involved and verified the basic facts, and then reported to the Compliance Committee. At the same time (October 10th), he sent Takro back back to Tokyo, for a temporary home confinement.

Takuro has already apologized to the victims. On October 15th, he decided to hand in his resignation. The NSK at the moment is not accepting it, and awaits the investigation and conclusions of the Compliance Committee, before it decides whether to accept it or take some other disciplinary measures.

Tate-yobidashi Takuro is 63 years old, and was due to retire in February 2021 when he reached the mandatory retirement age.

Takanofuji Decides To Retire

Takanofuji – soon to use his real name, Tsuyoshi Kamiyama, again

The lawyers representing Takanofuji were supposed to bring his written letter of intentions to the NSK today. Instead, they announced that he has decided to accept the NSK’s request to retire on his own volition, and the appropriate documents will be presented to the NSK today.

This brings the saga, which until yesterday looked like it was developing into a long battle of litigation, bad press and toxic social networking, to an abrupt end.

[Sources: Sponichi, Sports Hochi]

[Our original reports: first, expanded, updated]