[sumo] Tokitsukaze beya rikishi dies

Philip Sherman philnorm at webtv.net
Fri Jun 29 14:50:00 EDT 2007

Here in the USA it is quite common for even a high school football player doing 2 a day drills have unfortunately died. I don't see any reductions in high school players deciding not to play again because of the death. I am sure there might be a few but football is in no way going to go away.


-----Original Message-----
From: Achim Pawelczyk
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2007 10:51 AM
To: Sumo Mailing List
Subject: Re: [sumo] Tokitsukaze beya rikishi dies

Joe Petrow schrieb:
> On 6/29/07, Tetsuonoumi <wcb at bostondynamics.com> wrote:
>> "There is a clear majority in Japan, led by young people, who DO NOT
>> hold Ozumo beyond reproach."
> I agree with this statement.  But what I said was "I think that not
> even the sudden collapse and death of Takamisakari would prompt the
> _media_ to go after the sacred institution of Ozumo."  The media being
> the lapdog of the Japanese government, which controls NHK, which by
> and large controls Ozumo.

Indeed, I'm still waiting for NHK to mention the present incident.
Usually a youngster's death is news for them anytime.

I don't think extra bullying was involved. Hochi shimbun mentions heavy 
training involving harite (face slapping). Like with any martial art, 
the training in itself is enough to possibly cause severe injuries.

In a press conference Tokitsukaze-oykata told that he thought seemingly 
tough "broad shouldered" Saito had the potential to become strong, else 
he wouldn't have brought him back to the heya.
I believe that the oyakata (former komusubi Futatsuryu) indeed just let 
the boy train the traditional way he's used to - but he certainly didn't 
act according to the individual condition.

Kitanoumi-rijicho proposed two health checks a year and asking expert 
advice to manage rikishi health.
Changing the traditional training methods and preserving sumo tradition 
at the same time may be a tough task.

The death of Tokitaizan can't be anything else but gravely damaging to 
Ozumo's popularity among young Japanese fans and rikishi hopefuls.
Not long and only those with university sumo background might remain.
And more tough foreigners to fill the gap?


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