Voices
in
Japan

have your say

After the latest scandal on match-fixing, can anything save sumo or is it a dying sport?

31 Comments

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

31 Comments
Login to comment

Sadly this is a sport where the scandals outshine the wrestlers' personalities or whatever titilation the sport offers viewers. Sports like Yakyuu, baseball, basketball and of course football have personalities, celebrity althelets and are of course a joy to watch, so scandals will never bring those sports down. Sumo just does't have any of that going for it anymore, so I categorize this one as a "dying sport." Firing Asashoryu didn't do it any favors either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

combinibento -- 100% agree. Sumo is on life support -- provided by the government and NHK. Left to fend for itself, and sumo would be history.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is no such thing as bad publicity. If anything, it will be more popular.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was not aware that Sumo is a sport. Can't it go back to being Sumo? It is a lot more sport-like than "pro-wrestling," and it is a lot more than a sport too. Sumo is not a sport. It is a kind of prayer, a way of life (and death for many of the participants who have a significantly reduced life expectancy). Freakonomics (2005) demonstrated (beyond statistical doubt in my mind) that collusion between wrestlers was going on. Often one could get a feeling for it too, by looking for wrestlers who are making a show of trying (too hard).

The problem is that wrestlers, Japanese politicians, almost everyone in Japan are gradually being made to conform to two sets of standards.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Think about what they are saying... match fixing!? Come on people. If you were broke and somebody suggested that you throw a match for a price under the condition that the favor is returnable wouldn't you consider it? I would!!! It is a sport... Just not as poor as basebell. Pleeeeaaase!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

somuchtalent -- OK, so let's think about what you are saying. Have you every watched sumo? If you have, you no doubt know that the wrestlers throw salt into the ring to purify it, as there is a deep tie to sumo and religion here, as timtak states. So, it doesn't bother you at all that those same wrestlers then use that same sacred clay to basically steal money/cheat the public? You don's see the obvious hypocracy? You can't have it both ways. Either it is a truly sacred sport, and should be respected as such, or, it is just the Japanene version of the WWE, and should be treated as entertainment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hell yeah it is a dying sport? who cares anyway? Effing dod and donts on previous minor issues seemingly bores the wrestlers emselves! Japs get a life on this one!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

herefornow - Religion? Sacred clay? sacred sport? In what religion does it say that you are required to beat an apponent to the ground... It's called sport! Look back in history, when was sport NEVER hand-in-hand with gambling? How is it sacred to inflict pain on another person? That's called 'violence' or 'war'.

People have been betting on one thing or another since Adam was a boy! and no rule or regulation will ever stop it! They are not cheating the public, they are entertaining the public. Those who attend or support sporting events for the purity of it should probably reconsider their morals.

I like it both ways! I love you always! (Remember that song?)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

somuchtalent -- thought so. You obviously don't have any understanding of the origins of sumo and its historical and sacred/religious ties. You'd be well served to spend five minutes on Google.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OK! My time starts now

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Match-fixing happens all over the world and people tend to forget those scandals very fast. It is of course sad that it exists but so is corruption in politics. Sumo will not die because of this but the lack of interest of the younger generation will be a problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sumo may have had its origins in Shinto and court rituals, but since 1927, with the formation of the JSA, it has been regarded as a professional sport. Throwing used to be the goal, pushing out of a ring (defined area) only came into being in the 16th century,

It's just another classic example of honne and tatemae in Japan...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

'Foxie' 'wanderlust', Awesome! Thank you! I am the one who always comments on cute female singers and people with no sense of humor!! I hope you read their comments 'herefornow'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you would all just be quiet and listen..shhhhh..is that? no it couldn't be!!!!....i think i can hear Asashoryu laughing his ar5e off.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sumo will survive this. Scandals won't bring it down, but lousy sumo will. If anything they need to fix bouts to make for more interesting basho...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Latest scandal? You can blow it up as much as you want and the tabloids probably will help you blow it up. Actually it is just a minor glitch that has surfaced. I don't doubt for a minute that fixing bouts, matches, has always been a part of the sport. It will pass. Sumo will definitely survive. Just my 2 cents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just a small bump in the road for sumo, it has weathered much bigger scandals in the past. I find it interesting that most past scandals have been meticulously cleaned up and now cease to exist. Anyone remember the mysterious deaths of two sumotori from Nagoya who also raised the point of match fixing, was about fifteen years ago yet never came to anything.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Heavily fine and punt all those involved mercilessly and move on..it'll be back.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As much as I liked sumo ... a long time ago. This could at least be one nail going into the coffin. A few more nails are needed before the public get totally peeeed off.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sumo is a sport in every other country EXCEPT Japan. Here it's just another political mouth piece for the old foggies to sink their collective political teeth (dentures) into. Simply put, all sumoka are merely pawns to be sacrificed when necessary. The status quo must be maintained at all costs!! Such is the plight of this once honourable country.

S

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It is a sad thing to see Sumo the way it is now. When the great Chiyonofuji was wrestling it was a beautiful and very popular sport. Perhaps it has declined in popularity as strong Japanese sumo wrestlers have declined and been replaced by foreigners, thus weakening the Japanese identity with their only purely National sport?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The great chiyonofuji was a notorious yaocho arranger.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The great chiyonofuji was a notorious yaocho arranger"

Any proof of that?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Haha, the only yaocho proof we've ever had is mentioned in this article. :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sumo certainly attracts its share of automatic stereotyping, doesn't it? It's not a sport, it's so much more. It is not dying, it is undergoing a massive housecleaning on bad behavior. NHK should be held accountable if they don't broadcast the next basho, not applauded. Yaocho is part of the game but it would be better if no money was traded. Many, many sumo fans are not old geezers, but young people and entire families. And yes, Asashoryu's harrassment and firing was the stupidest tactic ever by the Japan Sumo board.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The following measures should be taken immediately:

Cancel sumo tournaments for 1 year to clean house;

Remove all of the major players in the sumo association;

Adopt an independent board and very strict oversight policies;

Pursue a very aggressive marketing campaign prior to resuming the next tournament and provide fans with unprecedented access and interaction with the wrestlers.
0 ( +0 / -0 )

Always gotta ask but what has motivated the "authorities" to go after them?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think sumo has two choices - to deregister as a sport and take the road of Kabuki and Noh, as a kind of quasi religious cultural sports entertainment for tourists like an Edo Period WWE, or to take the road of Judo, and get rid of all the beya, all the wiping asses of senpais and fatal beatings, get rid of the mawashi, get rid of the religion and prohibitions on women, and aim to become a transparent worldwide olympic candidate sport.

As it is, sumo is dead. And it is the scumbags that have been beating up on gaijins for nothing at all for years and looking the other way at "insider traditions" that killed it. Guys like Mitsuru Yabo who was on sumo committees and said he knew about match fixing all along but didn't feel like bringing it up - even when appointed as an independent member of a committee into irregularities in Sumo.

This kills me as a sumo fan, but this really has to be the end - the last vestige of the Edo period killed by its own incompetent protectors. The people in charge of the JSA should just be glad that this happened during the Heisei period - Showa was an avid sumo fan. Who knows what would have happened to them if this had happened while he was still alive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While I know very little about Sumo, I do know sports in general. there have been match fixing scandals since the beginning. baseball(Black Sox, Pete Rose etc.) Football (take your pick) even woman's figure skating(Tonya Harding) and they have all prospered. Sumo will too. I was just at a WWE championship match and even though everyone knew it was fake they love it. People will wait in line, pay outrageous prices, but they don't care about the scandals. They want to be entertained.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It will tarnish it's name a little but it will survive just fine. It is rich in tradition and will continue to have a strong following. I have seen a few matches but I really did not understand drinking Turtles blood.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have seen a few matches but I really did not understand drinking Turtles blood.

Suppon (turtle) blood in sake is a delicacy drunk for taste and virility...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites