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The mess in the Japanese fight game grows: More Sumo match-fixing claims by police

By Zach Arnold | February 1, 2011

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I’ve already written a couple of articles this week (here and here) talking about the messier side of the Japanese MMA scene (covering the strange, bizarre, and shady). Last year, I wrote several articles detailing the mess of scandals that Sumo was undergoing that led to major problems with NHK.

Just as you thought things may have been smoothing over comes these articles today that say it all (and you should read all of them):

In the last article linked, notice the reference to the Kodo-kai gang that is affiliated with Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest crime family. Kodo-kai has had fingerprints in the past on the pro-wrestling and MMA scene.

The reason I mention the troubles in different sectors of the fight game, like pro-wrestling & Sumo & boxing, is because you generally see similar problems crop up in the MMA sector as well. The best way to understand the complexities of what is going on is to study what’s happening in each sector and then you can connect the dots to figure out what is going on.

Take note of one interesting theme from these articles today — the police don’t have the kind of powerful racketeering laws to break the gangs (unlike the States), so they rely on dripping information both publicly and ‘on background’ to the media to stir the pot. As you saw with the yakuza scandal that destroyed PRIDE, Shukan Gendai was getting a lot of ‘background’ information and publishing it in their negative campaign. Given that there’s still a shame factor in Japan (as opposed to most other countries), this media strategy can still be effective.

Topics: Japan, Media, Zach Arnold | 6 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

6 Responses to “The mess in the Japanese fight game grows: More Sumo match-fixing claims by police”

  1. The Gaijin says:

    This is news to people?!?!…clearly they’ve never read Freakonomics! *adjusts glasses with superiority and disdain*

  2. Tooth and Nail says:

    Thanks Zach, I always enjoy reading your coverage on the JMMA and combat sports scene in Japan.

    Do you think the UFC can bring their product to Japan and avoid all of this scandal interfering with their progress in over there? I heard they have secured some legit sponsors inside Japan and are “doing things the right way” so far, but would they be able to avoid this Yakuza rot that seems to infect so many other companies that operate in Japan?

    I really hope they can.

  3. […] If you didn’t read my article about the latest Sumo scandal from yesterday, start reading. […]

  4. […] February 1, 2011 – The mess in the Japanese fight game grows: More Sumo match-fixing claims by police […]

  5. […] February 1, 2011 – The mess in the Japanese fight game grows: More Sumo match-fixing claims by police […]

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