Sunday, 18 January 2009

Okuru Kotobaaaaa!

Sumo is awesome. It's often said that there's nothing funnier than a fat person falling over, but surely by logical extension two immense men slapping each other until one of them falls over is far, far funnier.

Sumo has been in the news again recently, this time regarding death threats. Last year it was two Russian wrestlers who were caught using cannabis, were arrested for it, and then whined when they were subsequently banned from the sport by the Japan Sumo Association. The year before that it was match-fixing claims by a magazine that lead to Asashoryu becoming the first yokozuna to appear in court, and the papers going nuts over that. But this year the category of scandal is 'Death Threats'.

Some people on 2chan don't like Asashoryu. No surprise, as there seem to be lots of people that don't like his 'attitude'. Basically he was caught bunking off tournaments in 2007 and everyone just decided there that this was behaviour unbecoming of a yokozuna, and he's not been forgiven since. Nothing to do with the fact that he's Mongolian and has been schooling every Japanese star in their national sport for the last five years - it's his attitude they don't like

So someone posted a message on 2chan saying that they were off to his Takasago stables to kill him. After the Akihabara stabbings last summer the police have been really hot off internet death threats, and they immediately sprang into action to protect the stable. Yes. They wanted to protect twelve men who average 150 kilos each, and particularly the one who's the shit-kicking badassest of them all. I feel this was the wrong position to adopt.

Why would you threaten this man?

Police have now arrested the man, Takahashi Chiharu, and want to charge him under the law stating that, "a person who intimidates another with a threat to life, body, freedom, reputation or property can be punished with imprisonment of up to two years or a fine of up to 300,000 yen." Again, wrong position. He should be put in the ring with Asashoryu. If Takahashi thinks he can take him on, fine. He'll get the chance to square up to him, and Asashoryu will get a chance to mete out the justice he deserves.