Former Advisor Loses Lawsuit for Back-Funding “Takanohana Cross-Dressing” Photo Infuriates Sumo Association | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Former Advisor Loses Lawsuit for Back-Funding “Takanohana Cross-Dressing” Photo Infuriates Sumo Association

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Takanohana Oyakata, a close friend of Mr. Kobayashi. The number on the license plate is associated with the 65th yokozuna.

The amount of the money he received from Kobayashi is said to have amounted to 170 million yen.

The Tokyo District Court ruled on June 8 that Kobayashi should pay about 98 million yen. The Sumo Association will not appeal the decision.

The issue was the back taxes for the four years from February 2012, when Mr. Kobayashi served as an advisor. Kobayashi received as much as 170 million yen from related contractors for renovation work on the Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumida-ku, Tokyo) and other projects. The Sumo Association fired Kobayashi in January 2004 and filed a lawsuit against him in December of the following year.

According to documents released by the Sumo Association, Mr. Kobayashi allegedly received back pay from at least seven companies. The main details are as follows

Company A: approximately 7,791,000 yen for an order for electrical equipment work for the Kokugikan restoration project.

Company B: approximately ¥42,130,000 for licensing agreements with pachinko manufacturers to use the names of sumo wrestlers, etc.

Company C: approximately 5.43 million yen for contracts to sell food and beverages in the Kokugikan and to open a stall. ……

Why did we gain the trust of Chancellor Kitanoumi?

Other actions in violation of the contract and other violations are said to have cost the Sumo Association more than 100 million yen and caused the association to lose its social credibility. How was Mr. Kobayashi able to become an advisor to the Sumo Association after so many troubles?

Mr. Kobayashi was in the pocket of Kitanoumi, the former head of the board of trustees, who passed away. Mr. Kobayashi, a former Hyogo Prefectural Police officer who ran a consulting firm, got to know Mr. Kitanoumi through a chanko restaurant owner in the Kansai region.

At the time, Mr. Kitanoumi was having a bit of a problem. Mr. Kobayashi was very accommodating and quickly resolved the problem. Since then, Kitanoumi has trusted Mr. Kobayashi. As an advisor, he has been entrusted with crisis management and outsourcing work to outside contractors.

Mr. Kobayashi’s influence within the Sumo Association grew, but in November 2003, the situation took a turn for the worse. Kitanoumi, who had stood behind him, passed away.

The next person Mr. Kobayashi approached was Takanohana, who was a board member at the time. He emphasized his past achievements and deepened his friendship with Takanohana. After being fired as an advisor and being sued by the Sumo Association, Mr. Kobayashi felt a sense of crisis and took a confrontational stance with Chikako Hakkaku, who had become the board chairman. He tried to overthrow the Hakkaku system by supporting Takanohana. However, Takanohana resigned in October 2006 after opposing all the policies of the Sumo Association. Mr. Kobayashi’s attempt failed.

After becoming acquainted with Mr. Kobayashi, Takanohana’s words and actions came into question. What particularly infuriated the Sumo Association was the “womanizing calendar incident” reported in December 2005 by Shukan Josei (Weekly Women). The calendar featured Takanohana and eleven other members of the same faction of the head of the school dressed as women. Association officials, who had not been informed of the calendar’s existence, were outraged. They said, “You usually emphasize the importance of the way of Sumo, but you are kidding around too much.

In the lawsuit mentioned at the beginning of this article, Chancellor Hakkaku himself stood up in court and testified about Kobayashi’s problematic behavior. In response to the ruling, he commented, “I will focus more than ever on ensuring thorough compliance so that such a thing will never happen again.

  • Photo by Yasuko Sakaguchi

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