Sumo wrestler flashes Japan on TV

The giant star loses his loincloth and his match, too.

Published May 30, 2000 7:00PM (EDT)

May 13 was a bad day for Japanese sumo wrestler Asanokiri. During an important match, televised and heavily watched throughout Japan, Asanokiri's loincloth slipped off, exposing, according to a Reuters report, "his manhood."

Audiences saw it all. In Japan, sumo wrestlers are the gods of sport, the recipients of reverence and respect. The sight of the once-mythical wrestler in the raw was, apparently, quite a shock.

It was a shock for Asanokiri, too. According to the report, his face went beet red when a sumo elder, who was sitting ringside, spotted the wrestler's exposed penis and called for him to forfeit the match. (Sumo rules dictate that wrestlers' privates must always be covered.)

So how did this happen? Sumo wrestlers' loincloths are carefully secured by 23- to 26-foot-long "mawashi" belts, which get wrapped tightly around the wrestlers' super-sized bodies so that they never come loose.

But come loose it did, giving Japan its first sumo flashing in 83 years, an official from the Japan Sumo Association informed Reuters.

Asanokiri is now in the uncomfortable position of explaining himself. He told local papers, "I tied my mawashi the way I always do, but today it just came loose."

Double knots, Asanokiri, double knots.

By J.A. Getzlaff

J.A. Getzlaff's Daily Planet appears every weekday. Do you have a tip or tale for J.A.? Send it to

MORE FROM J.A. Getzlaff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------