Early on January 3, officers from the Azabu Police Station took wrestler Taiga Kazafuzan, 29, into custody for allegedly kicking a 1.7-meter-tall wooden New Year’s ornament on display outside a bar.
The wrestler, who had began drinking at the establishment the evening before, was angered when he was not allowed to re-enter the establishment.
According to TV Asahi (Jan. 7), Kazafuzan, who was considerably drunk at the time, does not recall the incident.
When reached for comment, the Japan Sumo Association said that Kazafuzan received a stern warning about his behavior, adding that it does not expect the incident to impact his participation in the upcoming New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.
“Through tears, he has reflected upon his actions,” says Mitoizumi Masayuki, a former sumo sekiwake and Kazafuzan’s mentor. “It is highly regrettable. My leadership was insufficient.”