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Insider hardball

By Zach Arnold | April 9, 2006

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By Zach Arnold

I just got the Shukan Gendai issue (released today) with the new yakuza article about K-1, DSE, and Kawamata. My first read of the article is that this is an important article, because it includes a flowchart (which I will try to recreate later if I can) that clearly links all the major players in the fight game and where the yakuza gangs fit into the picture.

This may go down historically (the Gendai articles) as the most revealing articles done on the current MMA boom in Japan. I’ll work on some translations and try to post a summary soon. Flowchart details down below.

Quick summary of the flowchart:

Unless I can find a good program to use to draw it out, this text summary will do the trick. It’s a 3-pronged vertical flowchart.

Column 1 – TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) -> K-1 Dynamite!! -> 19.5% TV rating -> FEG Producer Sadaharu Tanigawa -> K-1 founder Kazuyoshi Ishii

Column 2 – Nippon TV -> Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003 (Inoki Matsuri) -> 5.1% TV rating -> K-Confidence President Seiya Kawamata -> Presenter Antonio Inoki -> PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Emelianenko Fedor -> Fedor’s manager, Miro Mijatovic

Column 3 – Fuji TV -> PRIDE Otoko Matsuri 2003 -> 12.2% TV rating -> DSE President Nobuyuki Sakakibara -> DSE Financial Backer/Owner Mr. I (Ishizaka)

Separate flowchart members: Yakuza family P, Yakuza family X

Connections in the flowchart

On the TBS column, a link is drawn from Ishii around to K-Confidence boss Seiya Kawamata, asking what their relationship was/is. Branching off of that line, the line connects over to the Fuji TV column, with a direct link to Mr. I (Ishizaka) and Yakuza group X. Yakuza group P is shown connected to Kawamata. Yakuza group P is Sakamoto and his two Yamaguchi-gumi understudies (the ones that Kawamata claims originally were on his side but turned on him when he was allegedly threatened by Sakakibara over using Fedor).

The reason there is a connection in the flowchart between I (Ishizaka) and Kawamata is due to the alleged threats.

On the Nippon TV column, a link is shown between N-TV and Kawamata (N-TV for paying Kawamata money to produce the Inoki show). A white arrow is linked from Ishii to Kawamata/Inoki (in the article, it talks about why Hiromi Amada was on the Inoki show). A straight white link is linked between Kawamata and Sakakibara, as they used to be seen together years ago (during the K-1 & PRIDE cooperation) but also now because of Kawamata claiming Sakakibara threatened him with the yakuza. A white line is shown from Mr. I (Ishizaka) to Emelienanko Fedor, with Kawamata’s claim that Ishizaka threatened him over using Fedor on the Inoki show.

Finally, a black line between Yakuza group X (linked on the flowchart as being associated with Ishizaka) is linked to Sakakibara, with the flowchart questioning what the exact relationship is.

Topics: All Topics, Japan, Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 2 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

2 Responses to “Insider hardball”

  1. […] The magazine shows a graphical flowchart about the 2003 New Year’s Eve wars (K-1, Inoki, and PRIDE). The flowchart shows who was backing what events and what the yakuza connections were. […]

  2. […] The third article page has a copy of last week’s awesome flowchart, talking about all the relationships of the major players in the yakuza scandal and how they are connected to each other. The magazine talks about the role of Nippon TV producer Shuji Miyamoto. The bombshell of the entire article this week is the revelation (according to Gendai) that DSE boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara was negotiating with Nippon TV to move PRIDE over to that network from Fuji TV. After the Bushido 4/2 Ariake Colosseum show was over, Sakakibara told the press that he wanted to move the Bushido show into golden (prime) time and that he was considering all options. The tough talk led some to believe that he may have been bluffing, but Gendai says that his intention was Nippon TV. This is surprising because of Nippon TV’s role in the 2003 MMA wars as one of the enemy networks to Fuji TV’s broadcast of the Otoko Matsuri (Man Festival) show. Shukan Gendai attacks Nippon TV for even considering the idea of wanting to be associated with a DSE broadcast given the current “big scandal” situation. […]


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