Sumo Association Alludes to Lifting Social Media Ban

On the 28th at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, the Japan Sumo Association held a board meeting to go over the financial statement for the July and September tournaments, as well as other subjects. As for the schedule going forward, February 4th through 7th of next year, there will be a training session for staff from all departments including coaches, wrestlers, referees, ushers, and hairdressers. Social media usage will be covered during this “Training Week.”

Komusubi Abi, who along with a Juryo wrestler, Wakamotoharu, was involved in a controversial social media scandal

The concern over social media began just before the Kyushu Basho earlier in November, after Komusubi Abi and Juryo Wakamotoharu gave their apology to chairman Hakkaku (former Yokozuna Hokutoumi) and the association for posting a video that was deemed inappropriate. Since then, posting on personal social media accounts by Sumo Association members has been prohibited.

Public relations director Shibatayama (former Yokozuna Onokuni) explained that, “The personal social media ban will remain at least until training week. That said, this does not mean that it is necessarily ok to post right after the training has been received. I expect the ban to be lifted only if the contents of the training are sufficiently understood and proper judgement is demonstrated.”

There are no plans of holding a social media training session before the official training week. About the training week, “The biggest issue is violence. We must deal with that.” director Shibatayama said plainly. Recent cases involved Juryo wrestler Takanofuji, as well as Takuro, a yobidashi (usher), both of whom were forced to leave the world of sumo after using violence against assistants and inferiors. The association is determined to make a reform and distance itself from this type of violence.

Translated from:

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