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John Gunning

For John Gunning's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Harumafuji retires with impressive legacy in ring

| Nov 30, 2017

Harumafuji retires with impressive legacy in ring

It was plain from both Harumafuji's words and body language at Wednesday's news conference announcing his retirement that he was going under duress and felt harshly treated. Still, the yokozuna understood that given his position, no other outcome was possible once it became clear he ...

Harumafuji had with no choice but to retire

| Nov 29, 2017

Harumafuji had with no choice but to retire

Yokozuna Harumafuji announced his intention to retire at a press conference on Wednesday. The decision is the result of a scandal involving the violent beating of a junior wrestler, and now means the careers of the last two yokozuna to retire end under a cloud. The ...

Harumafuji incident highlights sumo's inherent problems

| Nov 19, 2017

Harumafuji incident highlights sumo's inherent problems

The Harumafuji scandal continues to morph almost daily and at the time of writing appears to be evolving into a pitched battle between stablemaster Takanohana and the Japan Sumo Association. As details emerge, what initially seemed clear-cut, is now a lot murkier and it has ...

Sumo needs to tackle cause of rising injuries

| Nov 1, 2017

Sumo needs to tackle cause of rising injuries

Yokozuna Harumafuji, who won his ninth championship in September, edged compatriot Hakuho for top spot in the newly released rankings for the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament. Both men, along with fellow yokozuna Kisenosato and Kakuryu, are expected to participate in the tournament. That's significant as ...

Autumn Basho flourishes in absence of stars

| Sep 27, 2017

Autumn Basho flourishes in absence of stars

The 2017 Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament ended with a yokozuna beating an ozeki in the title-deciding final bout. That was pretty much the only normal thing we witnessed over the last 15 days at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo. In one of the wildest basho in recent ...

JSA offering foreign fans rare glimpse of special sumo rituals

Sep 25, 2017

JSA offering foreign fans rare glimpse of special sumo rituals

The Japan Sumo Association will hold an Ozumo Beyond 2020 Basho at Ryogoku Kokugikan on Oct. 4 for the second straight year. The event, which will feature many of the same activities found on regional tours, as well as some that are rarely seen, is ...