[sumo]Musashigawa remarks- Latest items from Moti
Scott M. Kahn
smk1 at columbia.edu
Wed Sep 10 13:03:05 EDT 2008
"The more things change, the more they remain the same..."
Musashigawa declared, as stated below, "that everything started
falling apart after Asa's soccer scandal and the handling of it". As
a friend of mine e-mailed me, as new rijicho, Musashigawa has wasted
no time in maintaining what we all know to be true. Asashoryu is the
cause of all ills to hit sumo.
No, as my friend suggests, the hazing death of a rikishi and the
subsequent (criminal) cover-up was just a bump in the road. Vehicular
manslaughter, yakuza connections, prior Yokozuna steroid use (come,
come), allegations of match fixing, please fill in your own sumo
transgression here...... these were ignorable. But Asa, at 22 yusho,
appearing sans mage in a photo from a book, has committed a crime of
such transgression that it warrants calls from the new rijicho in his
first public statements for Asashoryu's retirement. What better way
to get the Kyokai's house in order than to focus the press and the
hatred of all that is sumo on Asashoryu. When Asashoryu leaves, all
good will return, I guess.
Not that Musashigawa thanked Asashoryu for sponsoring the Mongolia
Jungyo (how many rikishi or yokozuna have done so in the past?).
Instead, Musashigawa made it very clear that Asahsoryu disrespected
sumo becasue he had the gall to want to stay longer so that he could
properly thank all the politicians and individuals who made the Jungyo
So, Musashigawa has publicly demonstrated that he has his priorities
straight as a new rijicho, the wise overview of pressuring Asashoryu
into retirement and to enroll foreign rikishi into a 1 year training
course, all will be well with the Kyokai. Of course, as Yokozuna,
Asashoryu is the face of sumo and must behave like a traditional
Yokozuna. Keep the traditional inner workings of the Kyokai (not the
sport) in place, at the expense of true reform, and keep the well
intended critics out. I guess the following issues are of little or
no consequence to Musashigawa as Kyokai head at this time.
1) A public investigation of the role of Kyokai members and Oyakata
into the cover-up of the hazing death last year. And where was
Musashigawa in all of this? Was he involved in the cover-up? Has
anyone inquired about this possibility? No, we don't want to delve
too deeply, for the inner workings of the Kyokai must be kept as
secret as La Cosa Nostra and we can't implicate the new rijicho,
defender of traditionalist ways. I guess that is more important that
Oyakata get reprimanded and penalized over pot smoking than cover-ups
2) Immediate adoption and implementation of tests for performance
3) Education of, dare I say, Japanese rikishi on how not to abuse
alcohol. How many problems has alcohol caused, relative to the
4) Education of Oyakata on the ways of foreign rikishi. Many Oyakata
view foreign rikishi as cash cows who rise up the banzuke faster than
Japanese rikishi. See Takamiyama's book for how he overcame the
5) A change in the policy of publicly promoting rikishi as
personalities. Instead of promoting rikishi for their idiosyncrasies
(Takamisakari), make personalities out of those rikishi who exhibit
6) This may already be in place, a health program for retired rikishi
to help with their transitions from active wrestler.
7) Put their money where their mouth is- A day or a few days during
which the Kyokai gives away free seats to the public to restore
relations. Not that the Kokugikan will be filled every day.
As Dana Carvey says, doing his Bush the Elder impression, "Not gonna happen."
We have the torchbearer competition, anyone want to guess on how soon
Asashoryu will be pressured to retire? Heaven forbid, that Asashoryu
surpass Takanohana in total Yusho, or that he continue to advocate pay
raises for rikishi.
Quoting Harold Shaver <hal6671 at sbcglobal.net>:
> Musashigawa is wasting no time. He let reporters into his room and
> immediately started talking about what he intends to do.
> Asashouryuu: No more nonsense. "If he doesn't do everything the right way,
> I'll have no choice but to make him retire". He maintains that everything
> started falling apart after Asa's soccer scandal and the handling of it. He
> is also critical of the way Asa treats some Oyakata with disrespect and
> arrogance, and of his frequent flier status on Mongolian Airways. "What do
> you think about his going to Mongolia every basho? I heard he has a
> photo-book out. Past Yokozunas would never even think of doing such a
> thing..", he said. "I'll invite him here and directly caution and lead him,
> if he does something wrong!", he added.
> Deteriorating Tachiai- "I will instruct all Oyakata to tell their deshi to
> make a point of putting their hands down at the tachi-ai.
> Foreigners- "I would like new foreign recruits to study about a year until
> they are allowed to enter", he proposed. "They should speak Japanese well!"
> Asashouryuu was asked what he thinks of the new rijicho. "No comment. He has
> many problems to tackle and I am not in a position to say anything". In the
> past , he said "I'm not going for degeiko to that heya - the shisho is
> really strict.."
> Some other remarks: "Ms. Uchidate got a haircut. Isn't she beautiful?" As
> for his keiko at Sakaigawa Beya - "Goueidou and Toyohibiki have gotten
> stronger. Either that, or I'm just plain rusty..". He even joked. "Lately, I
> went to a medical check up. I was not found positive (to drug use). I'm
> 99.999% OK.."
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