Sumo wrestling, the sport that no one watches but everyone knows about, is hit with another scandal.
In the largely ceremonial Japanese sport having an impeccable reputation is most important above all.
So when Grand Champion Harumafuji knocked another wrestler on the head with a beer bottle during a drinking session, you can better believe that newspapers reported about it for days on end.
The nine-time champion Mongolian wrestler Harumafuji, 33 years old, apologized publicly ‘for causing trouble.’
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Speak up, Harumafuji, we can't quite hear that apology! Shameful to not apologise to Takanoiwa personally for such a horrific attack. Harumafuji may be yokozuna, but is also just a violent thug <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sumo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#sumo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/harumafuji?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#harumafuji</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yokozuna?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yokozuna</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/basho?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#basho</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sumou?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#sumou</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/takanoiwa?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#takanoiwa</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/japan?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#japan</a> <a href="https://t.co/7tuBMcEyM8">https://t.co/7tuBMcEyM8</a></p>— Katie Becker (@ZuttoAkogare) <a href="https://twitter.com/ZuttoAkogare/status/930363257113759744?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 14, 2017</a></blockquote>
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“As for Takanoiwa’s injuries, I apologize deeply for causing trouble for stable master Takanohana, people affiliated with Takanohana stable, the Sumo Association, and my stable master,” Mr Harumafuji told reporters.
The victim of his slaughter, 27-year-old Takanoiwa, had to be hospitalized for several days.
At 137 kilograms, Harumafuji is considered quite the lightweight sumo wrestler, but because of his impeccable technique, he has been able to hold the sporting crown for many years.
Sumo, which hails from the Shinto rites that were performed in Japanese temples, is very ceremonial and considered sacred to Japanese culture, so viewers expect the wrestlers to live up to standards of good behavior.
They cannot show emotion after a victory and normally a very strict hierarchy exists between the wrestlers and the trainers which are called stable masters.
However, every few years or so, sumo is hit by a fresh scandal either inside or outside the ring.
The much loved traditional sport of Japan has a very long history. Two wrestlers face off in a circular ring and try to push each other out.
Wrestlers are ranked after wins with the ultimate goal of becoming a yokozuna (grand champion).