Not allowed, even for a yokozuna: Sumo champ Hakuho dressed down for ‘3 cheers’

Sumo grand champion Hakuho’s three bouts of rhythmic hand-clapping did not go down well with the highly-ritualized sport’s governing body. (AFP)
Updated 25 April 2019
0

Not allowed, even for a yokozuna: Sumo champ Hakuho dressed down for ‘3 cheers’

  • The three bouts of rhythmic hand-clapping did not go down well with the highly-ritualized sport’s governing body
  • The popular Hakuho, born Munkhbat Davaajargal, has earned praise for helping restore dignity to sumo

TOKYO: Mongolian sumo grand champion Hakuho has been reprimanded for leading the crowd in an impromptu round of hand-clapping after winning a tournament last month, a spokeswoman for the ancient sport said Thursday.
The 34-year-old “Yokozuna” — or grand champion — received a dressing-down from top officials after what Hakuho described as a “spur-of-the-moment act” he did “to make spectators happy.”
But the three bouts of rhythmic hand-clapping, equivalent to “three cheers,” did not go down well with the highly-ritualized sport’s governing body, the Japan Sumo Association (JSA).
JSA chairman Hakkaku said in a statement “I told Hakuho that I wanted him to observe sumo’s tradition, discipline, courtesy and stylistic beauty as a Yokozuna.”
The spokeswoman declined to give a precise reason for the reprimand but public broadcaster NHK noted that the hand-clapping came before the traditional ceremony that usually concludes a sumo tournament.
She said the hulking Mongolian had been given an “oral reprimand,” the lightest punishment in the governing body’s armory but also noted he had received a warning previously in 2017 for similar actions.
The popular Hakuho, born Munkhbat Davaajargal, has earned praise for helping restore dignity to sumo following a series of scandals that have tarnished the reputation of a sport said to date back some 2,000 years.
But he is not without his critics among staunch sumo traditionalists, who dislike his wild wrestling style and occasional protests against judges.
Hakuho’s stablemaster, sumo elder Miyagino, was hit with a stiffer penalty of a 10-percent salary cut for three months, for neglecting his leadership duties, the JSA spokeswoman said.
Sumo has taken a battering in recent years — from allegations of bout-fixing and the involvement of organized crime to drugs arrests and severe bullying, the most serious case resulting in the death of a teenage wrestler in 2007.
Yokozuna Harumafuji was charged over a brutal assault on a rival wrestler while out drinking in 2017, ending his illustrious career.
The sport was plunged into further controversy last year when women who rushed to the aid of a local mayor who had collapsed during a speech were repeatedly told to leave the ring, sparking a flurry of embarrassing headlines.
The punishment comes as local media reported Hakuho has applied for Japanese citizenship — a requirement of all foreign wrestlers wishing to become sumo elders.
The move was seen as an indication of Hakuho’s intention to remain in the sumo world after he eventually retires.


Weinstein reaches deal to settle civil proceedings for $44 million: report

Updated 24 May 2019
0

Weinstein reaches deal to settle civil proceedings for $44 million: report

  • The deal, which has not yet been signed, aims to cover all civil proceedings filed against the fallen Hollywood mogul
  • The settlement does not exempt Weinstein from the criminal proceedings brought against him for sexual assault

NEW YORK: Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has reached a provisional $44 million settlement with alleged victims and creditors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
The deal, which has not yet been signed, aims to cover all civil proceedings filed against the fallen Hollywood mogul, including those in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Weinstein’s spokesperson denied to comment.
The settlement does not exempt Weinstein from the criminal proceedings brought against him for sexual assault, for which he will go on trial in September.
Weinstein — a catalyst for the #MeToo anti-harassment movement — has been charged over the alleged assaults of two women and faces life in prison if he is convicted at the trial, which could last five weeks.
In addition to the alleged victims and creditors, the settlement covers the proceedings started by former New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman, who has been succeeded by Letitia James.
The proceedings aim specifically to guarantee the alleged victims will be compensated.
James’s spokesperson also declined to comment.
The settlement amount will be paid out by insurance agencies, the Journal reported, several of which count The Weinstein Company, the production company Weinstein co-founded, among their clients.
Since October 2017, Weinstein — one of the most powerful men in Hollywood before a cascade of sexual misconduct allegations precipitated his downfall — has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by more than 80 women.
Among his accusers are prominent actresses such as Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek.