The Sumo World as Seen Through the Gambling Cases of 2010

Keiko Morita

Abstract


This article is in Japanese.

In summer 2010, a scandal in gambling on baseball matches implicating sumo wrestlers and their bosses was reported day after day by Japanese mass media. This scandal revealed the connections between the sumo world and criminal organizations and lead to unprecedented actions, such as the dismissal of the active Ozeki Kotomitsuki, one of the top Japanese sumo wrestlers, and the suspension of live television broadcasting of the sumo tournament. The reason why the Japanese public instigated mass public debates may relate to the notion that sumo has an intimate association with the gods, reinforced with its special position in Japanese tradition and culture. This article first presents a brief history of sumo and explains its particular characteristics. Then it provides a summary of the chain of events in the baseball gambling scandal and the responses from the Japan Sumo Association. In conjunction with examining the connection of the sumo world to criminal organizations, this article also identifies key managerial problems with the Japan Sumo Association.

2010年賭博事件にみる相撲界


2010(平成22)年夏、力士や親方らの賭博事件が、連日日本のマスコミをにぎわした。これまでも取りざたされてきた相撲界と暴力団との関係が明らかになり、現役の大関琴光喜の解雇やNHKでの相撲中継中止など、前代未聞の事態が続いた。相撲界のスキャンダルが大きな議論を巻き起こすのは、相撲が神事とのかかわりを持つものとして意味づけられ、日本固有の伝統を担う独特な存在だとする考えがあるからだろう。本論文では、まず相撲の歴史を簡単に振り返り、相撲の持つ特異な性格を見る。次に一連の野球賭博事件の概要とそれへの対応を取り上げる。最後に相撲界と暴力団の接点を視野に入れながら、日本相撲協会の問題について考察する。

Keywords


The Sumo Association; gambling; the Nagoya tournament; gangsters; Japan Sumo Association; gambling; Japanese tradition; Japanese criminal organization; National sports

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