The group walking down Ginza’s Naimiki-dori, known for its high-end nightclubs, was drawing the attention of all passersby one night in late October. People turned around while others came rushing out of bars and clubs – including hostesses who are accustomed to entertaining prominent figures – for the opportunity to see the popular yokozuna Hakuho with his entourage.
Before long, a considerable number of female fans and hostesses tagged along behind the group led by the sumo champion dressed in fine kimono, like an old-fashioned samurai lord’s procession.
According to one spectator, the core group consisted of eight men, including ozeki Kotomitsuki and comedian Masahiro Ehara. It appears that the yokozuna, in training for the November Kyushu tournament, came out for the night to join a friend’s birthday party.
The group headed to an exclusive membership club. One hostess said Hakuho was quite "dynamic" in his consumption of alcohol, downing one glass after another. “I heard they already had a lavish dinner with drinks at an expensive steakhouse, so I’m pretty sure they’ve easily spent more than a million yen tonight.”
About an hour and a half later, Hakuho emerged through the entrance with the entire female staff that came out to see the grand champion off. At quarter to eleven, the yokozuna got into a car driven by his attendant and headed back to his stable.
Hakuho’s longstanding foe, Asashoryu, is also known to frequent the Ginza district – the rivalry between the two yokozunas is obviously not confined to the sumo ring.© Japan Today