The Mainichi Shinbun has reported that according to the yaocho investigation committee, there are still 10 grey rikishi for whom there is suspicion of yaocho, but no solid evidence to prove or disprove involvment. This includes Sokokurai and Hoshikaze. One bright piece of news for makuuchi is that the committee has stated that even though he was implicated at one point, there is no reason for them to believe that Gagamaru is guilty.
There were a ton of meetings going on throughout yesterday. 20 of the non-officer oyakata, including some of the oyakata to be punished, met to discuss how pissed off they are over the punishments rendered, and to disucss demanding explanations from Mr. Buckets-full-of-baldness, Hanaregoma.
20 of the accused/guilty rikishi met at Hakuba’s mom’s mongolian restaurant, which is coincidentally down a SIDEstreet in Ryogoku. Tanigawa (former Kaiho) was quoted as saying that the meeting was mostly morale related. However, I’m not gonna blow smoke up your asses…there was probably an fair portion of legal planning going on, as Asofuji, Masatsukasa, and Tanigawa have already decided to sue the kyokai. In addition, as an extra slap in the face, Asofuji has decided not to hand in his resignation before the 5th, and may by in effect lining up to be the first rikishi ever to be expelled from the world of sumo.
Finally the rikishi-council (chaired by Hakuho) had all of the sekitori (excluding those formally accused) meet at the Tokyo metropolitan hotel for 3 hours to discuss various goings-on. No solid account of the contents of that meeting are readily available, for obvious reasons.
I know what everyone is really wondering. “Now that this shit-storm is concluded, can we get back to sumo in May?” Well, just like when a little kid pisses his pants in the kitchen… sure, you gotta clean the piss off the floor, but once that’s done you still got all these pissy clothes clinging to this little whiny kid. You gotta peel those fuckers off of him, then force him to take a shower or something, and to use soap this time… that just-running-water-over-it shit won’t get the piss-stink off.
As I said before there are still 10 rikishi that cannot be formally accused or found innocent due to lack of evidence. Making things more difficult, as beaurocracy usually does, the ministry of sports and education has stated that hon-basho cannot resume until a full account of yaocho has been uncovered. The committee has said they will continue to operate until there can be a verdict on these 10 fence straddlers. Until said verdict is rendered, there is a question as to whether or not basho will resume.
Now, remember how I said three rikishi already decided to sue? Well, this could possibly make an moderately treatable arm laceration into a festering gangrenous crotch wound. One yaocho investigation committee member was quoted as saying “If they do that, there is a good chance that we may dig deeper and bring to light stuff nobody really wants to be known, so I hope they think about this [before continuing with legal action].”
Look, everyone who watches sumo knows that yaocho is not a new thing. This is not a phenomanon that started in the past few years. As long as there have been stakes in sumo, there has been yaocho. The Japanese people, the Ministry, the Committee, and especially the Kyokai know that a full accounting of yaocho in sumo would probably mean that a majority of the active rikishi, and most of the oyakata would be forced to retire, and the way that recruitment is looking, it wouold be really hard for sumo to recover.