[sumo] Tokitsukaze beya rikishi dies

Tetsuonoumi wcb at BostonDynamics.com
Fri Jun 29 09:12:58 EDT 2007

At 08:43 AM 6/29/2007, you wrote:
>On 6/29/07, Scott Kahn <smk1 at columbia.edu> wrote:
>>This is genuinely sad.  While it sounds as though the Kyokai suggests
>>that Tokitaizan had a heart valve problem, such a problem should have
>>been looked for and diagnosed upon his acceptance into sumo.
>A light is being shined on the health practices of the professional
>wrestling industry thanks to the tragedy that occurred this week.  But
>I think that not even the sudden collapse and death of Takamisakari
>would prompt the media to go after the sacred institution of Ozumo.
>  - Peterao

I disagree.  Sure, there is a segment of Japanese society that 
probably considers Ozumo beyond reproach.  But the decline in sumo 
isn't just about ratings, it's also about its difficulty in remaining 
relevant in modern society, its generational skew towards older 
citizens.  There is a clear majority in Japan, led by young people, 
who hold Ozumo beyond reproach.

At American universities and high schools in the 1980s, there were 
many proud sports and fraternity institutions with hazing practices 
that many thought at the time were beyond reform because of the 
money, prestige, and history associated with those institutions...but 
the people who thought that were wrong.  Change came.

I love sumo, but the hazing practices at the heyas, in my opinion, 
are already living on borrowed time, and will certainly be swept away 
in the next 20 years, and perhaps much much quicker than that.

And when the worst of it is gone, we'll all be better for it, as 
better athletes will consider sumo, once they know they won't be 
subjected to the humiliating and needlessly harmful practices of 
today's stables.


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