Former Yokozuna Onokuni, Shibatayama Oyakata’s True Nature Revealed Amid Reports of Internal Discord | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Former Yokozuna Onokuni, Shibatayama Oyakata’s True Nature Revealed Amid Reports of Internal Discord

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In early December ’22, Shibatayama Oyakata participated in the “Yokozuna Kai” (January 20 and 27, 2011 issues).

On March 27, the Japan Sumo Association announced new appointments.

Shibatayama Oyakata (former yokozuna Ohnokuni), a popular “sweets master” who often appeared on variety shows, became the head of the Sumo Training Institute. Speculation is rife over the appointment.

Shibatayama Oyakata, who has served three terms as head of the public relations department, was favored to be appointed head of the business department, the number two position in the association. However, when the lid was opened, he was the head of the Sumo Training Institute. It is no exaggeration to say that this is a “quiet position,” clearly out of the line of succession. Reporters in charge of the case were wondering if he had committed some kind of misconduct. Some even asked, “Is this a retaliatory move? (A sports newspaper reporter in charge of sumo).

The history of the Sumo Training School is long. It was established in 1957 and consists of three training rings and a lecture room, and is located on the grounds of the Ryogoku Kokugikan.

The facility is located on the grounds of the Ryogoku Kokugikan, and is open to foreign rikishi for one year. It is also the schooling site of NHK Gakuen High School for rikishi who entered the school after graduating from junior high school or dropping out of high school. It is also an important facility because it has an independent employment support office and serves as a base for supporting second careers after rikishi retirement. Some say that Shibatayama Oyakata, with his serious nature, is the right person for the job.

So why are there even calls for a “retaliatory appointment”? ……

According to the April 15 issue of “Gendai Business,” the Miyagino stable was shut down after an assault by a rikishi belonging to the stable, and the situation is still riddled with problems,

According to a report in “Gendai Business” published on April 15, Shibatayama Oyakata thought, “I cannot entrust the current problem-ridden association to Chancellor Hakkaku (former yokozuna Kitakatsumi), who only listens to his close associates.

Shibatayama Oyakata thought, “I cannot entrust the current problem-ridden association to Chancellor Hakkaku (former yokozuna Kitakatsumi), who only listens to his inner circle. Therefore, Shibatayama Oyakata moved to “drop Hakkaku” in the election held on January 26. However, few board members were willing to follow his lead, and he failed miserably. In fact, he was even subjected to retaliatory appointments. As a result, President Hakkaku was elected to continue in office for a fifth term, and Kasugano Oyakata (former Sekiwake Tochino-Waka) was appointed as the head of the business department.

The appointment of Kasugano Oyakata, who is said to be the spearhead of the anti-Miyagino Oyakata (former Yokozuna Hakuho), is intended to keep Miyagino Oyakata in check. However, Kasugano Oyakata was interviewed by the police in 2011 for hitting a disciple with a golf club and other objects. Many sumo fans may have doubts about such a person as the number two.

Is this really a “retaliatory appointment”? Yaku Mitsuru, a former member of the Sumo Association’s external committee and a cartoonist, asked, “Is Shibatayama Oyakata really a “retaliatory appointment”?

Mr. Mitsuru Yaku, a former external committee member of the Sumo Association and a cartoonist, said, “Shibatayama Oyakata is like Kinkichi Ishibe in a good sense. In other words, he is very serious and hard-headed. He does his assigned work honestly. He is a man of conviction and hates crookedness. He hates crookedness. He is the type of person who clearly says things that are difficult to say. He is not the type of person who plans to get ahead or make political statements, although he does talk a lot. Rather, he is the type of person who speaks idealistically, saying, “The way of sumo must be deceitful. I don’t think his relationship with Chancellor Hakkaku was bad. …… Frankly, it doesn’t ring a bell.”

He shook his head. And as for his appointment as head of the Sumo Training Institute,

Shibatayama Oyakata’s knee condition has deteriorated so much that he has difficulty walking. It is hard for him to move around as a business manager. Considering that he has no desire to move up in the world and that he has only four years left before retirement, I think it is an appropriate appointment,” he said.

He said. However, there is also this opinion: …….

The fact is that there have been concerns about his health problems. He had a serious but moody personality. He would put on a good face for the reporters he got along with, but he was cold toward those he didn’t. He only drank alcohol for socializing. He drank only in company, but he sometimes got a little carried away at such drinking parties, which may have been another reason why he was not well-liked by the public.

This year’s Grand Sumo Tournament began with the closure of the Miyagino stable due to an assault by a rikishi. It seems that the upper management is far from being rock solid.

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Yokozuna Hakuho at the “Yokozuna Gathering” (Jan. 20-27, 2011)
Former yokozuna Nisshonoseki, a former leader of the Rokinozato family (Jan. 20-27, 2011).
  • PHOTO Ichiro Takatsuka

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