Hakuho Reprimanded For Hand - Clapping Cheer

Hakuho reprimanded for hand-clapping cheer

The Japan Sumo Association has reprimanded yokozuna grand champion Hakuho for leading an unapproved cheer during his victory interview last month.

Hakuho's action came as he was being interviewed near the ring as the winner of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament. He led an impromptu "sanbon-jime" hand-clapping cheer.

The Yokozuna Deliberation Council complained about Hakuho's behavior that was done prior to the sumo sport's spiritual "kami okuri" ceremony to send off a god.

Members of the council said the tournament formally ends after the ceremony, and wondered whether Hakuho had the right to lead a ritual to conclude the tournament, even though he was the tournament-winning yokozuna.

The sumo association's board of directors asked the compliance committee to study whether Hakuho's action breached tradition and the code of conduct, and whether he deserves punishment.

On Wednesday, the board decided to reprimand the yokozuna. His stablemaster, Miyagino, will also have his salary cut ten percent for three months.