Takanohana Quits Sumo Association, Citing Internal Pressure


Tokyo, Sept. 25 (Jiji Press)--Sumo stablemaster and former popular "yokozuna" grand champion Takanohana submitted his resignation to the Japan Sumo Association on Tuesday, citing pressure on him to deny his claims against the association.

"I took a difficult decision to retire as a 'toshiyori' (stablemaster) because this is the best choice," Takanohana, 46, whose real name is Koji Hanada, told a press conference.

In March this year, Takanohana submitted a letter of complaint to the Cabinet Office over the association's handling of a case of assault last autumn by then yokozuna Harumafuji against Takanoiwa, a wrestler of his stable.

Takanohana later retracted the complaint. Harumafuji retired from the professional sumo world last November over the high-profile scandal.

In July this year, the association's board decided that all stablemasters must belong to any of the five existing "ichimon" factions. Takanohana had led a faction, but left it earlier this year, in the wake of the violence case and other incidents.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press