Tragic news following accusations of abuse of deshi by Naruto Oyakata (former Yokozuna Takanosato). Toshihide Takaya (as his mom called him) was pronounced dead from acute respritory failure on the morning of November 7th in Fukuoka.
Naruto Oyakata had severe diabetes and had retained just about all the weight he had from when he was an active wrestler.With the Kyushu basho rapidly approaching, we must wonder what will happen to the heya? Apparently one oyakata tied to Naruto beya is still kicking around. Nishiiwa (former Maegashira 8 Takanotsuru) who retired back in 2006, is the most likely to take over the heya in the interim. Although there is speculation that Wakanosato might be urged to step down from active wrestling, and to take over the heya.
Tangling this tangled web even further is the fact that Wakanosato infact owns the Nishiiwa kabu, and is loaning it to Takanotsuru. since Naruto owned his kabu, it will presumably got to his heir. If his heir is not in sumo, they will have to sell the kabu to someone in the sumo world, so we will almost certainly see some kabu maneuvering and money changing hands soon.
Now on to what I know you are all thinking. The timing here is pretty eerie. There was little doubt that the allegations of abuse would have been found to be true. More and more facts were unfolding (one of which being that Takanoyama had run away from the heya back in 2009 due to intense beating from the oyakata) and some pictures surfaced of deshi being hit with boards. Is it possible that Naruto… how do I put this delicately… kiri-ed his own yori?
Well, I’m not going to make an speculation here. Perhaps acute respiratory failure is a cover up. Then again the dude would have extreme trouble breathing just from climbing a few stairs.
Of course we will keep you informed as more becomes available.
Update: Takanoyama is now claiming that he asked the oyakata for insulin to try and gain weight. All investigations into abuse at the heya will be dropped. Finally Nishiiwa oyakata (former Takanotsuru) will take over the heya becoming the new Naruto.