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Asashoryu's TV ads and fashion show appearance show JSA's double standards

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The Japan Sumo Association (JSA) has a double standard, some insiders claim, following Mongolian Yokozuna Asashoryu's recent appearance in TV commercials where he wears a school uniform as a 13-year-old pupil.

The JSA has a long-standing rule that wrestlers must wear a yukata and have their hair in a topknot whenever they appear in public. Despite these rules, Asashoryu has been appearing in TV commercials for Coca-Cola's Fanta in a humorous way.

On March 8, Asashoryu appeared in a fashion show, the Shibuya Girls Collection, dressed as FanTaro, the 13-year-old student character he plays in the Fanta ads. This was only one week before the spring tournament kicks off in Osaka.

A sumo journalist for a major sports newspaper says, “Traditionally, sumo wrestlers do not leave the city where the tournament is being held two weeks before the official ranking list is released. Yokozuna Hakuho was surprised to hear that Asashoryu had left Osaka for an event in Tokyo with only a week to go.”

Some insiders point out the JAS's double standard over its wrestlers' appearances in commercial advertising and campaigns. While Asashoryu was cautioned after being photographed in casual clothing in Hawaii last year, the association allowed him to appear in the Shibuya fashion show in a school uniform.

One insider points out that the association tries to profit not only from seasonal tournaments' ticket sales but also from Asashoryu's TV commercials. He says, “There is no popular sumo wrestler, except Asashoryu, at the moment. So the association wants to cash in on Asashoryu.”

While the association has strict rules for its wrestlers' media appearances and prohibits them from having a second income source, it actually allows them to do so if they kick back some profits from such activities to the association.

A spokesperson for the JSA said, “We didn't see any problems with the content of Asashoryu's TV commercials.”

Asashoryu himself told a reporter: “Why do I have to be criticized over something that the association has OK'd?” (Translated by Taro Fujimoto)

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13 Comments
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i think it is great - common sumo - get out of the dark ages. those guys can be cute and funny. let them be.

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Hey Asa - you got it wrong this time - nobody criticizes you but they criticize JSA. Asashoryu is not allowed to wear western clothes "except" when bringing back money to the JSA. That says a lot about the organization and their "respect" for the sumo "tradition".

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The JSA really needs to move into the 21st Century, particularly if it genuinely hopes to see sumo survive and flourish. These inane "traditions" they cling to, including the prohibition of women from entering the center ring due to their "uncleanliness," are going to be the death of the sport, particularly if they continue to demonstrate that "tradition" can be bought or sold if the money's right.

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While the association has strict rules for its wrestlers’ media appearance and prohibits them from having a second income source, it actually allows them to do so if they kick back some profits from such activities to the associationf.

does a second source of income include his chankou nabe restaurant?

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"Despite these rules"

Asashoryu follow JSA rules? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

What's the JSA gonna do, fire him for wearing a Fanta T-shirt for the commercials? I like the one where all the animals gather around him.

Actually, Asa follows like 98.8% of the JSA's rules. And he does a really good doyho-iri.

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Sarge - following 98.8% of the rules is completely unacceptable. All Japanese wrestlers would follow 100% of the rules ;)

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does a second source of income include his chankou nabe restaurant?

really? where is it?

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What a crock of crap... as long as their pockets are lined they can do whatever they want... total corruption, no wonder no one gives a crap about sumo with these 1 sided morons running it.

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money, money...

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Well-said, gogogo...

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Sumo needs to reach out to the younger generation and Asashoryu is doing a good job so far. I'm sure the JSA is aware of this.....I think.

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I'm sure many of Sumo's fanbase - the 80 something retirees - were fuming when they read this in their newspapers whilst eating fish heads and dribbling miso onto their bibs this morning. "BUT...THIS IS JAPAN! THIS IS JAPAN! BAKA Asashoryu...THIS IS JAPAN!!!"

I say, good on him! Do I suspect a bit of sour grapes and jealousy from his less popular countryman:

Yokozuna Hakuho was surprised to hear that Asashoryu had left Osaka for an event in Tokyo with only a week to go.”

Go Asashoryu!

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JSA like money like any organisation, so the rules get bend was takimisakari not wearing a school outfit in a recent tv-add? Oh, he is japanese so no paper complains

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