Former yokozuna Harumafuji’s retirement ceremony set for September

Kyodo

Yokozuna Harumafuji, who has quit as a result of a scandal in which he allegedly attacked a lower-ranked wrestler, will have a retirement ceremony this fall, according to his former stablemaster Isegahama.

Isegahama said the traditional top-knotting ceremony, held to honor top wrestlers who retire from the sport, for Harumafuji will be held Sept. 30 at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

“There are people who have shown support for him for a long time. He needs to express gratitude in a formal way,” Isegahama said of the wrestler who is now serving as the stable coach.

On Nov. 29, 2017, Harumafuji announced his decision to end his 17-year sumo career. The 34-year-old made a tearful apology at a news conference, where he admitted “taking things a bit too far” by injuring fellow Mongolian Takanoiwa for the purpose of discipline.

The incident happened during the autumn regional tour in Tottori in late October. A group of Mongolian wrestlers had gathered for a drinking session when a brawl erupted and none of the wrestlers present was able to stop Harumafuji’s violent behavior.

Conflicting reports at the time suggested a beer bottle, ashtray, or karaoke remote control may have been used to hit the wrestler. The case that dominated the headlines for weeks left Takanoiwa in a hospital with severe head injuries, forcing him to miss the entire 15-day Kyushu tournament.

Harumafuji, who has won the championship nine times, left sumo ranked sixth all time in makuuchi wins with 712.