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Is Sumo-Crisis Over? (相撲協会はもう通常運転ってことでおkなんです?)


Though once described in a big crisis, it looks like sumo has returned its businesses as usual with Harumafuji's promotion to the long-awaited 70th yokozuna.

I don't disagree a promotion not at all since the superb Mongolian athlete proved he deserves the title, against his senior on the closing day.

My question is; has the extravaganza directed by mass media, featuring the prime minister of the time (don't worry, nobody remembers his name) and the Education Ministry, become history already?


That question popped up in my mind, because the timing of this promotion.

It's too ... good.

Hakuho, one and only (literally in every way) yokozuna began showing sign of slowing down. Declining trend of visitors reflects a continuing lack of people's interest to the sport.

It would not surprise me if someone in sumo association said "OK, let's promote promotion. Give it to whomever." Sounds too silly. Or corny. However, you know or you may not know, it has been like THIS for a long time, for the sake of all concerned, includes the audience.

If you want another yokozuna, a candidate springs up. A bright youngster wanted? Here he is. Ask and you shall receive. That's the way it is. And believe me, many Japanese don't boo the plot.


So it seems to me everything around sumo came to naught.

Again, why should I care that, for I am not the great fan like I'd been in my teens. And consecutiveness of non-Japanese yokozunas is also very forgettable.

A sumo wrestler is, in his nature, a borderless being. He is a symbol of a rich harvest. Once on the ring, he becomes a Shinto priest, or more precisely, a deputy of it.

We don't give a damn about his nationality, ethnicity, and religion as long as he pays the price, i.e., tear off his clothes and put strange topknot on his head. We all know he is outside of our world. The magic is valid until he leaves the industry behind.


I really want to make an accusation against the one who ripped sumo from ritual status, who wanted it to be a plain sport. Whoever it is, he/she must ask the sumo association what's going on now. Otherwise, formally expelled sumo wrestlers remain unrequited.

And don't forget, if sumo is just a sport, no longer a culture of our own, eliminating subsidies for the association should become imperative. Who is in charge of the sumo reformation?