Messages on cell phones confiscated by police reveal what appears to be undeniable evidence of cheating in the sumo ring.
The bouts discussed in the messages during the tournaments last March and May all unfolded as planned.
For instance, a message dated March 22 from lower-tier division wrestler Enatsukasa to Chiyohakuho, referring to the latter’s bout against Gagamaru on the ninth day of the tournament, reads, “Today charge straight. Thanks for your help.”
Chiyohakuho lost that match to Gagamaru by frontal force out.
A message dated May 10, the second day of the summer tournament, from Kiyoseumi to Kasuganishiki, said, “Hit hard at the faceoff and please go with the flow.” Kasuganishiki responded, “OK, with the flow. I’ll put up a little resistance.”
Kasuganishiki — now sumo elder Takenawa — was defeated the following day with an overarm throw by Kisenoumi.
Then on May 12, Enatsukasa said in a message to Kasuganishiki: “Charge ahead as much as you can and after you take the challenge, you can put your right hand in and either use a frontal force-out or a beltless arm throw. That would be best.”
Kasuganishiki beat Wakatenro the following day with a rear push-out maneuver.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.