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BBC excerpt from Japan: Sumo wrestler may take fall for assault

Read the whole story here.

Excerpts follow

In 2007, a teenage novice died after being beaten up by older wrestlers, with the stable master subsequently jailed for five years over the abuse.

That case exposed a culture of bullying and hazing within the ancient sport’s strict hierarchy.

In 2016, a stable master and wrestler were made to pay nearly $300,000 (£230,000) to a wrestler allegedly abused so badly that he lost sight in one eye, according to reports.

Nine-time grand champion Mongolian wrestler Harumafuji, 33, has apologised for “causing trouble”.

The alleged victim, Takanoiwa, was hospitalised for several days, the Japan Sumo Association has said.

Japanese media report the incident occurred during a drinking session.

Sumo association officials told AFP news agency that exactly what happened remains unconfirmed.

Takanoiwa, who is also Mongolian, is reported to have suffered a fractured skull. The 27-year-old is part of a so-called ‘stable’ led by Takanohana, a former grand champion who reported the incident to police, according to Kyodo news agency.

Harumafuji and his stable master, Isegahama, were questioned by association executives on Tuesday.

The grand champion apologised publicly but did not confirm the circumstances of the incident.

“As for Takanoiwa’s injuries, I apologise deeply for causing trouble for stable master Takanohana, people affiliated with Takanohana stable, the Sumo Association and my stable master,” he told reporters.

 

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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