Vernicious Knids

Random musings and snapshots about life, love, travel and everything in between...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Suspected Sumo Hazing Death...

On June 26, Tokitaizan, a 17 year old sumo wrestler, collapsed and died after practising for the Nagoya Grand Sumo basho. His autopsy showed numerous bruises and wounds which the Coroner listed as the likely cause of death. At the time, his fellow wrestlers told authorities that he had injured himself during training. Police have since questioned his trainer Tokitsukaze and the other wrestlers in his stable since the injuries do not appear consistent with those sustained in training. Tokitsukaze has admitted to hitting Tokitaizan in the head with a beer bottle the day before he died, as well as forcing him to train so hard that he could barely stand on the day of his death, and several other wrestlers have also admitted to beating him and kicking him days before his death according to public broadcaster NHK. Tokitaizan had entered sumo this spring and was ranked 39th in the lower rankings before his untimely demise. Japanese police are now considering whether to charge Tokitsukaze.

Unfortunately hazing is widespread in Japan. It is considered a form of "training" in the sumo world and is also actively practised in junior high and high school sport clubs. It is justified as teaching gaman (fighting spirit, hierarchal relationships, obedience to authority, group cooperation and, especially, respect for tradition). This
Japan Times article has more information.

Photo taken by me in September 2001.

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15 Comments:

  • At 7:01 am, Blogger Lapa said…

    TOP PORTUGUESE UNIVERSAL WRITER: CRISTOVAO DE AGUIAR.

    He has, also, translated into Portuguese the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith.

    He has been awarded several prizes.

    Don't forget the name of this great author, you'll be hearing of him soon.

    Thank you for spending time in Universal Culture.

    Thanks for visiting.

     
  • At 1:15 pm, Blogger Elsa said…

    That is so sad...and he was so young, too.

     
  • At 6:25 am, Blogger Lapa said…

    MIGUEL TORGA

    THE PLOUGHMAN OF THE WRITING

    A SHARED PATH

    In the 1st centenary of his birth

    BY CRISTÓVÃO DE AGUIAR

     
  • At 3:54 am, Blogger ribbiticus said…

    how very sad that someone had to die before the issue of sumo hazing was finally brought to the fore. :(

     
  • At 2:44 am, Blogger Stepherz said…

    That's so unbelievably sad. I'm sory to hear about that. Testosterone is a weird things sometimes. I'm glad there are women to even things back out a little. You never hear about women beating the crap out of one another in the name of honor and obedience.

     
  • At 8:38 am, Blogger traveller one said…

    Hey... What's happened to you??

     
  • At 11:42 pm, Anonymous r2 said…

    yeee...weirdly disturbing story

     
  • At 7:56 pm, Anonymous ski insurance said…

    that's weird sumo world...- suicidal a little bit by principle...

     
  • At 3:54 pm, Blogger linda said…

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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  • At 8:07 am, Anonymous Drew said…

    In the end he only got a slap on the wrist and was released, and then was given up to $200,000 severance.

    Great way to discipline someone. I don't see much changing if this is the future behaviour of Japanese authorities.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futatsury%C5%AB_Jun%27ichi

     
  • At 3:30 pm, Anonymous Cheap Cosmetics said…

    Swallowing sand.Lighting your feet on fire.Being beaten with bamboo swords. Just another day for apprentice sumo wrestlers in Japan.

     
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