View Full Version : Sumo hair puller shocks Japan

16th July 2003, 20:30
I was thinking of putting this in the Members Lounge, but here would seem more appropriate.

For the first time ever, a wrestler ranked at the top of Japan's venerable sport of sumo wrestling was disqualified for grabbing a fistful of his opponent's topknot and yanking him down to the dirt

Is it truly a big deal, or are the Japanese getting fed up with 'foreigners' taking over their sport ?

Joel Simmons
17th July 2003, 03:00

I don't think it has much to do with the fact that Asahoryu is a Mongolian, as his opponent to whom he forfeited was also Mongolian. It just appears that they called him on a foul that someone of his caliber should not make the mistake of committing.

I don't know the rules of sumo very well, but my general impression is that the competition demands a certain level of tact and class out of its participants, and will not hesitate to reprimand anyone violating those demands regardless of their rank or status.

If only American sports institutions would take notice...

Striking Hand
17th July 2003, 03:06
Asashoryu seems to have an attitude problem, this was only the most recent incident.

Apparently he has been disrespectful to elders & fellow wrestlers, scuffled with another wrestler in the dressing room and is said to have broken of a rear mirror on the car of another wrestler.

When he performed the opening ceremony recently spectators were throwing cushions into the ring to show their dislike for him.

I also don't think it has much to do with him not being Japanese.

17th July 2003, 19:05
I just made the same post.

17th July 2003, 19:06
To give you some idea of how bad this is, Asashoryu's hair pulling is equilavent to Mike Tyson's ear biting. Very bad form.

Earl Hartman
4th August 2003, 20:49
Well, that's a drag to hear. I used to like the guy.

Respect for tradition is one of the things that makes sumo what it is. I don't think Asashoryu is being punished for being a Mongolian; plenty of Japanese wrestlers have been sanctioned for conduct unbecoming. Anyway, sounds like the guy has a 'tude problem.

Hair pulling is one of the biggest no-nos there is, kind of like waiting 10 seconds after the quarterback has thrown the ball and then spearing him in the head.

Serves him right.

Joseph Svinth
5th August 2003, 03:21
The rough stuff packs in crowds in boxing, puro-resu, and K-1, so my guess is that the promoters are simply playing with the scripts, to see if this sort of thing increases or decreases their own audience share.

Earl Hartman
5th August 2003, 04:05
Ummmmmm......what? You think that if the sumo bigwigs get the impression that hair pulling will increase sumo's popularity they will allow it?

That's precisely what crap like puro resu is for, so the people who want stuff like that can go there. I cannot imagine that anything like that will ever be allowed in sumo.

Joseph Svinth
7th August 2003, 01:48
Rikidozan is one of the most important professional wrestlers of the 20th century, and my guess is that if the sumo promoters decide that hairpulling increases market share, then you'll see more of it in the future.

Welcome to the brave new world.

Earl Hartman
7th August 2003, 02:11
Yeah, but Rikidozan went to puro resu AFTER he left sumo. I can't see it happening in sumo.

Meik Skoss
7th August 2003, 03:48
Joe, you're completely misinformed. Unless the fundamental character of sumo changes, it will NEVER allow such things as pulling the hair, striking with a closed hand, or attacking the genitals, all of which are common in professional wrestling. There's still a quasi-religious character to the sport (hence why women are not allowed on dohyo) and I really don't see mere money getting in the way of something that is so important to "Nippon no kokoro" (you should pardon the expression).

True, the people in amateur sumo have gone on to espouse the travesty of shinzumo, with gals in singlets and modified mawashi, who compete in "rings" on vinyl tarps, with foam rubber "tawara" marking the out of bounds. But that's a far cry from SUMO, and always will be. I had the (miss)fortune to see one of the first public demonstrations for this "sport" -- it certainly wasn't budo -- it was one of the worst farces I've ever seen. Sure, the young ladies were very serious and sincere in what they were doing, but it just wasn't sumo.

So group me with the misanthropes, but as far as I'm concerned, sumo doesn't need women practitioners. Actually, it *can't* have them as they're not allowed on the dohyo and, if one doesn't fight there, it just isn't the real deal. There it is.

Earl Hartman
7th August 2003, 04:24
You tell 'im, Meik.