Monday, February 27, 2012

Reform of the Sumo World

Former yokozuna Takanohana surrounded by talent-challenged and unfunny Yoshimoto Kogyo performers.

I remember gagging when I read this title and introductory paragraph.
Reformer Takanohana elected to sumo board
Kyodo News

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010 - Reform-minded former yokozuna Takanohana was elected to the 10-man Japan Sumo Association board on Monday.

Takanohana was among 11 candidates running in the governing body's first board election in eight years, held because of his surprise departure from the Nishonoseki faction...

Words and their meanings should have to have some meeting place -- or at least be in the same general vicinity as one another. A person is not a reformer just because is he someone under 40 years of age joining a group of half-catatonic septuagenarians and octogenarians. Reform is understood to be the effectuating of positive change.

In justification of my gagging reflex, Takanohana recently inked a contact with organized crime gang-infested promotion company and talent (their noun, not mine) agency Yoshimoto Kogyo. This was done in order to promote sumo, which has seen drastic declines in popularity due to numerous scandals and the multiplications of sports alternatives, the outcomes of which are not necessarily fixed in advance. (E and E)

On Saturday Takanohana joined a performance of Yoshimoto Kogyo players for the first time, ostensibly to promote the Spring Sumo Tournament. His appearance included such tasteful and hilarious moments as being passed a paper bag purportedly filled with 3 million yen in cash and being tapped on the penis by a female member of the troupe. (image).

This represents reform, I suppose, in a sport where, to borrow a phrase from disgraced former yokozuna Akebono, grown men walk about in public in diapers.

All appropriate, I guess, for the promotion of an event with its stars seriously crossed. The date of the opening of the Spring Grand (their adjective, not mine) Sumo Tournament: March 11, the one year anniversary of the Great Eastern earthquake and tsunami.

Where have you gone Chiyonofuji? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Image courtesy: Daily Sports Online

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