Sumo hairstylist sues stable chief over assault

Kyodo News

A former hairdresser for sumo wrestlers has filed a civil lawsuit against stable master Oitekaze for allegedly assaulting him in March, sumo sources said.

The hairdresser, or “tokoyama” as they are known, is scheduled to have his first trial session in late October. He is requesting about ¥5 million in damages, according to the lawsuit filed at the Kumamoto District Court.

The hairdresser was employed by the Japan Sumo Association until he quit in April.

Sumo sources said a lawsuit has also been brought against Musashigawa, chairman of the association, over his responsibility as head of the sport.

Oitekaze said the former hairdresser had physically abused junior wrestlers from the stable himself for several years. The stable master, however, did not deny the charges against him.

“I regret that this has caused trouble for the chairman, but (the hairdresser) only talks about what happened to him,” Oitekaze said.