Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Sumo sadness Part II

Asashoryu received his punsihment today -- he's banned from two tournaments and his salary was cut for four months. According to AFP, it was the most severe punishment on a grand champion of Sumo in 80 years.
As previously discussed, he perhaps deserved a slap on the wrist for his transgression (allegedly faking an injury to skip a charity tour), but his real crime here is being a foreigner.

1 comment:

Minor Thread said...

Whoa! Perhaps not the nonissue I thought it would be. Yokozuna are held to the highest standards, and Asa's tude has been skirting the line for a while -- showing emotion during before or after bouts, not maintaining the noble stoicism yokozuna are meant to embody.
Yokozuna can never be demoted, only encouraged to retire. The majority of rikishi go up and down the rankings according to their last tournament's win/loss record. Ozeki, the 2nd highest rank, "champion" get some leeway. If they have a losing record, i.e. 7-8 or worse then they are "kadoban" for the next tournament -- on the fence, backed into a corner, do-or-die. They must reach at least 10 wins or be demoted back down to the lower rank of sekiwake and earn ozeki status all over again.
Yokozuna are yokozuna until death or retirement. It's not just based on competitive dominance, but also on a rikishi being a culture-bearer, manifesting the epitome of sumo decorum. Asashoryu, while dominant in the ring, is anything but. The other Mongolian yokozuna, Hakuho, is apparently much more what the sumo powers that be want in a top-ranker -- modest, understated, stoic.