Takanohana leaves Nishonoseki faction

Kyodo News

Former yokozuna Takanohana said Friday he will part ways with the Nishonoseki faction to announce his candidacy in the Japan Sumo Association’s board of directors election later this month.

Nishonoseki, which is one of five groups comprised of various stables, held a meeting to select candidates earlier in the day at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan but was unable to reach a consensus. The board election will take place after the 15-day New Year meet getting under way Sunday.

“I will leave the faction. I bid farewell to everyone in my greetings at the meeting,” said the 37-year-old Takanohana.

“I have stepped into the race as a candidate. . .”

Takanohana was among the candidates put forward by Nishonoseki to run for seats on the JSA’s board of directors, but he apparently decided to leave the stable to avoid any internal conflict with others who might be running.

Takanohana has shown his intention to try to reform sumo, which has been rocked by numerous scandals in recent years.