A major controversy rocked Japan (but not as hard as Loudness!) when police arrested three sumo wrestlers and their stable master for a hazing incident that resulted in the death of a teenage wrestler (Ed. note — oooof.)
. Sumo apparently puts its prospective wrestlers through a rigorous training process that includes hazing designed to "toughen" the young soft-bellies up before they waddle into the ring. Rituals included being beaten with sticks and other objects, sometimes severely battering their bodies.
The stable master, Junichi Yamamoto accused of ordering the code red-like beating against his young student, doesn't see what the problem is:
Yamamoto publicly denied striking Saito inappropriately, though he did admit to striking him on the head with a beer bottle during dinner that day. He told reporters shortly after Saito's death, "This was an ordinary practice. How could you think I would do anything to hurt someone I consider my child?"
He sounds much meaner than the demanding Assan Motors president, Mr. Sakimoto, from the movie "Gung Ho!"