Sumo: More of the Same

I can’t say that I am surprised by the latest sumo headline from The Associated Press:

Japan’s scandal-tainted sport of sumo wrestling is facing new allegations that senior wrestlers used cell phones to plan how to fix matches.

Japanese media reported Wednesday that police have found suspicious text messages on several wrestlers’ phones suggesting they were planning to fix bouts and going so far as to detail how one would attack and how he wanted his opponent to fall.

The text messages were found on the phones of wrestlers in sumo’s second-highest division. Japan’s Kyodo news service says the texts indicate that the wrestlers routinely fixed bouts and charged hundreds of thousands of yen (thousands of dollars) per match to do so.

I wonder why the police were looking at the cell phones of the wrestlers? Is it illegal to throw a match in sumo? I wouldn’t think so. They must have been after something else.


tax evasion perhaps?


The police found those messages while investigating illegal gambling on baseball, which is run by gangs and wide spread among sumo wrestlers. And you are right, the police says they are not going to charge those wrestlers on fixing matches, because it's not illegal. Interesting thing is that many blogs and twitters mention Freakonomics while discussing the news, but I found no TV news or newspapers referring to the book or your paper.

Bill Kracke

Apparently, phones were confiscated during an illegal gambling investigation. ( )


There is always money in the banana stand.


I confess to being surprised that it's not illegal to fix matches; I would think that it would be fraud. If I pay for a ticket to a professional sporting event only to learn that the players or teams conspired to pre-determine the outcome, I would, at a minimum, want my money back. Is fixing matches illegal in the United States under some kind of fraud statute? Aren't there disclaimers of some kind on ticket stubs for professional Wrestling and/or the Harlem Globetrotters to the effect that you are paying to see an exhibition of skill, not a fair sporting competition?



I am not sure about the globetrotters but for wrestling they advertise entertainment and not sport.


Sumo fans and no sumo fans have known a sumo wrestler, his record of 7 wins and 7 losses on the 14th. day, will almost certainly win on the final day if his opponent already has more wins than losses.
I think Sumo is a kind of amusement. If not, his body shape and his hairstyle looks rediculous as an athlete.


Police was investigating illegal baseball gambling.
Police told newspapers that fixing matches are not illegal and they don't plan to investigate this.

But police told about these text messages to newspapers.

I wonder leaking any informaiton, which police find while investigation, to public is illegal.


- MM01

The Asahi Shimbun of Japan, which has alliances with the IHT, just posted an article on its website where Steven's paper, as well as this blog post, is mentioned.


I would appear as though suburban Atlanta schools found a new way to game the standardized testing.

This principal simply unenrolled her bad students the week before testing, and reenrolled them the week after.


I have to say I was surprised because many TV commentators in Japan said they were surprised.
Because many japanese weekly magazines have been reporting about this suspicion of corruption for the decade, they must have known this scandal well. For example, a Japanese journalist Mr.Yorimasa Takeda wrote a detailed report about the most famous Mongolian sumo wrestler, Asashoryu' corruption with firm witnesses, and he was sued by the Sumo Association. Result of the case was brought by Mr.Nakamura, a judge of Tokyo district court that there was no reason to admit corruption. The court fined Mr.Takeda and the magazine company 43MJPY.

In Japan Judges and Prosecutors, Policemen were on the same boat as well as Sumo echelon and also TV commentators. This is the reason why TV commentators pretend they have never known such scandal so far.


I'm wondering if anyone has ever looked at the stats on or watched the SEC football teams to investigate fixed games. Seems like games are rigged to make sure they get a national championship spot every year. The 2010 iron bowl between auburn and Alabama is an example of a game obviously and blatantly thrown to secure a number 1 ranking.