These are somewhat dark days for sumo, with a celebrated trainer about to serve six years in prison for the bizarrely violent hazing death of one of his pupils. (It involved beer bottles, metal bats, and rubber hoses.) And the sport’s still reeling from a drug scandal, albeit one that would cause little outrage in virtually any other country.
Riding to the rescue, though, is Mongolian-born up-and-comer Harumafuji, who formerly grappled under the name Ama. The 25-year-old just won his first Emperor’s Cup, and has his sights set on becoming a yokozuna (“grand champion”). If and when he accomplishes that admirable feat, he’ll join a growing pantheon of Mongolian-bred sumo stars; sons of the Land of the Khans have become to sumo what Dominicans are to baseball (i.e. dominant).
There are plenty more video highlights from the Emperor’s Cup at Chuchai’s BARUTO Mania, an English-language blog dedicated to the flesh-undulating splendors of sumo.