The whole sport is getting rocked.
Yesterday the Chairman of the Japan Sumo Association (the sport's governing body) stepped down. Resigned. Shocking. Here's a link to the story. http://bit.ly/chLmfO The article also reads that there will be reformed instituted, reforms recommended by an independent panel, which they hope will cut the ties between sumo and the mafia and baseball betting via the underworld.
It's shocking for a lot of reasons. The main shocker to me is because I have heard how much money it costs for someone to buy a spot on the JSA. It's *millions* of yen. And they don't come up very often. A member of the JSA has to have been a former champion. These are guys with huge ego and huge bank accounts. They aren't simply appointed bureaucrats or middle managers. They have been the big guns for years.
The other reason is that to resign is to lose face. Losing face in Japan--well, now, that's a big deal. It could have repercussions on his family for a long time. It's not like in America where we are shocked for about six months, then the famous person can reinvent himself or herself and rise like a phoenix. They remember there, and forgiveness doesn't seem to exist. Even if it did, I think the person who felt like he/she had lost face would remember and feel shamed into a life of obscurity.
This whole scandal is getting me down. Where's the integrity, the purity of the game? As the Japanese say, iya da, na. Yuck.