Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Another Sumo Wrestling scandal that I couldn't care less about

Since the news broke a few weeks ago about some sumo wrestlers being involved in illegal betting on the outcome of baseball matches, the news has been constantly packed with reports and updates on this subject. Apparently it's been a bit of a "culture" and tradition within some of the sumo stables to bet money on the outcome of baseball matches (basically gambling is illegal in Japan). To make things a little worse, it seems like the Japanese Yakuza mob has been involved to some degree in facilitating this.

Now, this has spun into a larger discussion about the problems with the culture among the Japanese sumo wrestlers, the involvement of the sumo association of Japan and what punishment should be extended to the culprits in addition to legal implications. This is even more on the agenda now with the upcoming yearly Nagoya sumo tournament and considering the number of wrestlers involved in this, there was discussions on completely cancelling the tournament; something which would be basically unheard of in the world of sumo wrestling (and considering the money involved in tickets, merchandise and tv rights would be very costly). But now it seems like they will go ahead, albeit at a slightly smaller scale and a little more modest and of course without the wrestlers under scrutiny.

But yeah, considering that my interest in sumo wrestling is very marginal and I personally wouldn't really mind if they cancelled the tournament at all, I seriously do think that people completely are missing one very important point in this discussion:

If the Sumo wrestlers were betting on baseball, are the baseball players betting on Sumo, and if not, how can this injustice be straightened out?!


Martin said...

Err. Is betting on baseball a very old sumo-tradition?

Mr. Salaryman said...

Indeed it is, they did it long before baseball got developed, in fact, I think they did betting on the ancient Swedish sport of Brannboll before that!

Martin said...

Ah, yes! The nice old sport of Burn ball (Brännboll). No problems with steroids there.

Foggia said...

They were probably betting on the outcome of 蹴鞠 bouts during the Edo era.

Anonymous said...

If gambling is illegal, how do they explain pachinko and Wins (the horse racing thing)? Does the Lotto count as gambling?

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