Monday, July 12, 2010


Path of flowers and beasts

The World Cup is finally over, so I can stop moonlighting on the World Cup Blogcast and get back to writing here. Hurrah!

In other sports news, the world of sumo has gone to hell in a hand basket (note: this may not be news to those of you who don't rely on Trashed Elbow as your sole source of sumo information).

The sport has been hit with scandals revolving around gambling and Yakuza, leading to the suspension of a couple of high-profile wrestlers and an enormous knee-jerk reaction from Japanese broadcasters NHK, who have decided not to air the current tournament.

The gambling scandal included ozeki Kotomitsuki getting sacked for betting on baseball. This is illegal in Japan and unlicensed betting generally involves some contact (direct or otherwise) with gangsters. It is also believed Kotomitsuki was being blackmailed for money. Osaka's Goeido is another who has been suspended.

(I suspect pro baseball players probably place illegal bets on the sumo all the time without getting rumbled.)

Meanwhile, there has been much furore about Yakuza getting ringside seats at sumo tournaments, apparently hoping to appear on TV and thereby give solace to their comrades in prison.

Were I banged up inside, I'm sure I'd be delighted to see TV coverage of my workmates cavorting around at the sumo instead of hatching plans to bust me out. In any case, sumo is off the air, which surely amounts to punishment for all the regular fans?

Needless to say, the suspension of all the Japanese talent does little to raise hopes of a home-grown grand champion any time soon.


Hanamichi: (lit. path of flowers) the wrestlers' path to the dohyou (raised ring) in sumo

Kemonomichi: (lit. path of beasts) the underworld

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