The ripples in the sumo world continue to spread.
The incident occurred in the Kokonoe room, where an underage rikishi, A, had a drinking problem. The incident occurred on the night of October 14. During the autumn tour in Aichi Prefecture, A went out for dinner with his adult siblings at a restaurant in Nagoya City, along with an acquaintance who frequented the stable.
The acquaintance and the proprietress of the restaurant offered A a drink. He and his siblings initially refused, but they were strongly advised to drink and they ended up drinking. The party continued even after midnight, the curfew of the hotel where they were staying, and A and his siblings finally returned to the hotel by cab at dawn.
They must have been in a bad mood because they were not used to drinking. During a tour in Obu City, A was rushed to the hospital on suspicion of acute alcohol intoxication due to labored breathing. Fortunately, he was not seriously injured, but the Japan Sumo Association took the situation seriously and questioned his stablemaster, Kokonoe Oyakata (former ozeki Chiyotaoumi, 47), and A. Both Oyakata and A were suspended from work. The stablemaster and A were suspended from work,” said a sumo association official.
Returned to his parents’ home and cut off his moustache
A returned to his hometown in the Hokuriku region on October 21 and cut his moustache himself at a barbershop near his parents’ house.
The “Kuju Oyakata” is sympathetic to the rikishi because he and the other rikishi in the group did not have permission to go to the barbershop. In principle, underage rikishi are prohibited from participating in tournaments, but they are allowed as a special exception if they are accompanied by their stablemaster. Oyakata was accompanying the rikishi on this tour because of his current position as deputy tour director.
Oyakata was known as a mischievous rikishi when he was active, and sometimes had an arrogant attitude. However, he has changed since becoming oyakata. He became softer, using polite language when responding to interviews, and his reputation within the Sumo Association had improved.
However, the stablemaster is responsible for the supervision of his apprentices. He cannot just say that he “didn’t know” because he did not have permission to do so. It seems that the penalty does not stop with a suspension.
The oyakata, who was given executive treatment in March ’22, was expected to be promoted to deputy director in next year’s election. However, due to the current trouble, his promotion will probably be put on hold for a while.
There is a special situation in the Kokonoe stable that has long been a cause for concern. When rikishi, yobidashi, and tokoyama are included, there are about 30 members in a large group. There were whispers that the stablemaster might not be able to keep a close eye on them in such a large group. If the tour was in a rural area with few places to play, but in a big city like Nagoya, where the riot took place, it is not surprising that some rikishi would go downtown without permission from the stablemaster,” said a reporter for a sports newspaper.
FRIDAY Digital” witnessed Kokonoe Oyakata holding a yakiniku party accompanied by a woman in October 2008, when the new corona infection was spreading. While not in violation of the Sumo Association’s guidelines, the fact that he invited several women other than his tanimachi would have been a matter of judgment. Would it be too much to attribute part of the current trouble to the lack of attention by the oyakata?