Zero Applicants Apply For JSA Sumo Tryout

For the second time under the current process, there were zero applicants for the upcoming new recruits test ahead of the Nagoya Grand Sumo tournament.

The JSA would cancel the test, which is done before each of the six annual tournaments, and the first one to be cancelled since the Nagoya Basho in 2007.

Some correlate the lack of interest due to public image issues beginning with the November bar fight featuring yokozuna Harumafuji and another wrestler, as well as a sexual harassment scandal involving the sport’s highest ranked official and a junior referee, and Egyptian wrestler Osunaarashi forced into retirement due to a car accident he caused while driving without a license.

One sumo elder said he scouted two prospective applicants, but neither took the next step.

“Never heard from them,” he said. “When we have this many things going on, there’s not a lot that can be done.”

This lines up with the lack of applicants for the Nagoya Basho in July 2007, which followed the controversial death of 17-year-old apprentice wrestler Tokitaizan. The youngster’s death was originally attributed to heart failure during training, but it came out later that he had beaten by his stablemaster and his stablemates.

“This is an issue, and not just because we had zero applicants,” said elder Oguruma, the JSA’s business director.

“In order to gain recruits, we need to listen to what our younger colleagues (among the sport’s elders) have to say about this.

“I want us to deal with this issue in the best way we possibly can.”

Original Post: Japan Times

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