The Sumo Tournament for Losers, Asashoryu Included

Last night sumo’s match was an upset for the returning champion sumo, Asashoryu. After an accusation from the sumo authorities for “playing soccer in Mongolia”, among other charges, he was officially banned from sumo for an extended period of time in 2007 to 2008. Now this year he’s back along with his arch rival, Hakuhou. While Hakuhou was undefeated last tournament, Asashoryu racked up two losses. Last night also demonstrated that Asashoryu is not going to be able to come out of this tournament unscathed. Each newspaper had a slightly different take on Asashoryu, Hakuhou, and the tournament last night at Ryogoku, in Tokyo.

YomiuriAsashoryu hits the floor, Hakuhou racks up a third win.” The Yomiuri, compared with the other two papers, focuses on Asashoryu’s loss and him literally “hitting the floor.” His rival, Aminishiki, pushed him out of the ring by a well positioned start. The Yomiuri then describes this defeat as the seventh time Aminishiki has beaten a sumo champion. Hakuhou on the other hand, as they describe in their second paragraph, has racked up his third consecutive win.

Nikkei “Asashoryu’s first defeat, Hakuhou and Haruma win” The Nikkei cleverly gives the spotlight in their headline for a win to both Hakuhou and Haruma, to take the focus off of Hakuhou’s win. They then also describe Asashoryu being defeated for the first time, which could well be true in this tournament, but as mentioned in the background of this article Asashoryu had lost twice in the last tournament. The Nikkei favors Asashoryu, and the Yomiuri cheers for Hakuhou.

AsahiAsashoryu was unilaterally pushed out” The Asahi stated that Aminishiki defeated Asashoryu by “unilaterally pushing him out of the ring.” Comically they stated the first day of the sumo tournament was a wave of chaos, in that most sumo wrestlers had lost, with the exception of Hakuhou and Haruma. For supporters of Hakuhou and Haruma, they wouldn’t see this as chaotic, but rather a good day for sumo. Asahi joins the ranks of the Nikkei in cheering for Asashoryu, while the Yomiuri seems to favor Hakuhou.