The Tokitsukaze stable hazing scandal occurred in Japan on June 26, 2007, when Takashi Saito (斉藤 俊, Saitō Takashi), a seventeen-year-old junior sumo wrestler who fought under the shikona of Tokitaizan, collapsed and died after a training session at Tokitsukaze stable's lodgings in Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. It emerged that he was beaten with a beer bottle and a metal baseball bat at the direction of his trainer. Saito's cause of death had been reported as heart failure, but his father insisted on an autopsy, which revealed the abuse.
Saito's stable master, Jun'ichi Yamamoto, admitted to beating the 17-year-old novice, who had only been in sumo for three months, and ordering other sumo wrestlers to beat him, due to Saito's "vague attitude" towards the sport. It was also reported that Saito had run away from the stable on a number of occasions. Yamamoto was expelled by the Japan Sumo Association. Yamamoto and three wrestlers from the stable were arrested in February 2008 and were charged with manslaughter. In May 2009 Yamamoto was sentenced to six years in prison.The incident brought substantial political pressure to the governance of the sport in Japan. In the wake of the scandal the Sumo Association sent a survey to all 53 training stables or heya , and more than 90 percent reported that baseball bats or similar equipment were used on their wrestlers, with around a third saying bullying had occurred during training.
Partly as a result of the Saito case, the Diet of Japan drafted a law promoting cause-of-death investigations which was enacted in 2012.A separate law in 2013 gave discretion to local police chiefs to allow autopsies even in cases where there were apparently few signs of foul play.
The Japan Sumo Association is the body that operates and controls professional sumo wrestling in Japan under the jurisdiction of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Rikishi, gyōji (referees), tokoyama (hairdressers), and yobidashi (ushers/handymen), are all on the Association's payroll, but the organisation is run entirely by toshiyori (elders). The organization has its headquarters in Yokoami, Sumida, Tokyo.
Toshimitsu Obata known as Kitanoumi Toshimitsu (北の湖敏満), was a sumo wrestler. He was the dominant yokozuna in sumo during the 1970s. Kitanoumi was promoted to yokozuna at the age 21, becoming the youngest ever to achieve sumo's top rank, and he remained a yokozuna for a record 63 tournaments. He won 24 tournament championships during his career and was one of a series of truly great yokozuna who came from Hokkaidō, the northernmost main island of Japan. At the time of his death he still held the record for most bouts won as a yokozuna (670). Following his retirement in 1985 he established the Kitanoumi stable. He was chairman of the Japan Sumo Association from 2002 until 2008, and from 2012 until his death.
Futabayama Sadaji was a Japanese professional sumo wrestler from Oita Prefecture. Entering sumo in 1927, he was the sport's 35th yokozuna from 1937 until his retirement in 1945. He won twelve yūshō or top division championships and had a winning streak of 69 consecutive bouts, an all-time record. Despite his dominance he was extremely popular with the public. After his retirement he was head coach of Tokitsukaze stable and chairman of the Japan Sumo Association.
A toshiyori (年寄) is a sumo elder of the Japan Sumo Association (JSA). Also known as oyakata, former wrestlers who reached a sufficiently high rank are the only people eligible. The benefits are considerable, as only toshiyori are allowed to run and coach in sumo stables, known as heya, and they are also the only former wrestlers given retirement pay.
Takashi is a masculine Japanese given name.
Wakanohana Kanji II is a former sumo wrestler from Ōwani, Aomori, Japan. He was the sport's 56th yokozuna. After retirement he became head coach of Magaki stable. Due to poor health he left the Japan Sumo Association in December 2013.
Tokitsuumi Masahiro is a former professional sumo wrestler from Fukue, Nagasaki, Japan. A former amateur sumo champion, he turned professional in 1996. His highest rank was maegashira 3. He became the head coach of Tokitsukaze stable in 2007 following the dismissal of the previous stablemaster.
Futatsuryū Jun'ichi was a sumo wrestler from Hokkaidō, Japan. After retirement he became the head coach of Tokitsukaze stable. Following his involvement in the hazing and death of trainee Takashi Saito, in October 2007 he became the first serving stablemaster to be dismissed by the Japan Sumo Association. In May 2009 he was sentenced to six years in prison. He died on August 12, 2014 of lung cancer.
The Tokitsukaze stable is a stable of sumo wrestlers in Japan, one of the Tokitsukaze group of stables. It was founded in 1769 and was dominant during the Taishō period.
Yutakayama Hiromitsu was a sumo wrestler from Shibata, Niigata, Japan. A former amateur champion, he turned professional in 1970. His highest rank was komusubi. He wrestled for Tokitsukaze stable and took his shikona or fighting name from the head coach who recruited him, former ozeki Yutakayama Katsuo. After his retirement in 1981 he became an elder of the Japan Sumo Association, and founded the Minato stable which he led from 1982 until 2010. He died of pancreatic cancer in 2020.
The following are the events in professional sumo during the year 2008.
The following are the events in professional sumo during 2009.
The following are the events in professional sumo during 2007.
The following are the events in professional sumo during 2010.
Aogiyama Hideki is a former sumo wrestler from Hikone, Shiga, Japan. He made his professional debut in March 1985, and reached the top division in March 1993. His highest rank was maegashira 1. He retired in November 2003, and he is an elder in the Japan Sumo Association under the name Edagawa.
Zaōnishiki Toshimasa, birth name Toshimasa Adachi, was a sumo wrestler from Yamagata, Japan. He made his professional debut in September 1970, and reached the top division in November 1976. His highest rank was maegashira 1. He retired in January 1983 and served as an elder in the Japan Sumo Association under several successive names. He reached the retirement age for elders of 65 in September 2017, but stayed with the Sumo Association for an additional two years as a consultant.
Professional sumo, having a long history, has had several controversies. These include proven allegations of match-fixing to hazing.
The sumo cannabis scandal is a series of cannabis scandals in professional sumo since August 2008. Four sekitori ranked wrestlers, Wakanohō, Rohō, Hakurozan and Wakakirin, were dismissed from professional sumo, and the chairman of the Japan Sumo Association (JSA), Kitanoumi Toshimitsu, resigned his post to take the blame. It was the first case in which active wrestlers have been dismissed from sumo. After that, the JSA added rules that any retirement package for dismissed members would be reduced or denied, and that those who use illegal drugs would be dismissed without benefits. Many Japanese news and some English news, such as BBC News and the Daily Telegraph, reported on the scandal. According to the Japan Times, it was the largest sports scandal of drugs that Japan had ever seen.
Ishinriki Kōji is a former sumo wrestler from Suginami, Tokyo, Japan. His highest rank was jūryō 1. He was one of the smallest sekitori ever at 175 cm and 85 kg (187 lb). After his retirement in 1990 he became a professional wrestler for a number of organizations including Super World of Sports, WAR, Pro Wrestling Crusaders and IWA Japan.
Takashi Saito is a Japanese baseball player.
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