OSAKA – The director of Tenri University’s elite judo program said Wednesday that he will resign from his judo position at the university as well as with the All Japan Judo Federation following revelations of abuse at Tenri’s men’s judo team.
From May through July, four seniors in the men’s judo team physically abused first year students. The school’s judo director, Shozo Fujii, learned of the incidents in the middle of July. At that time, the national federation was still reeling from a series of scandals that began with claims of physical abuse on the national women’s team.
In addition to his post at Tenri, Fujii, a four-time world champion, also sits on the board of directors of the national federation. At a press conference on Wednesday, he said he has already mailed his letter of resignation to new federation chairman Shoji Muneoka.
According to Tenri University, four seniors slapped a group of first-year teammates for drinking water during practice in the middle of May. In early July, a particular student was beaten on the rear end with a wooden sword. The student filed a request to quit the team after suffering a ruptured left eardrum and that led to revelation of the physical abuse.
The university has won 11 national collegiate judo championships. The current captain of the men’s team, Shohei Ono, won the 73-kilogram class at the recently completed world championships in Rio de Janeiro.