Yokozuna Asashoryu has hinted – yet again – that he may skip this month’s sumo tournament that begins on May 10, saying that he is not emotionally prepared. The reason, some speculate, may be related to the fall-out with his Mongolian wife, Tamir.
Ulan Bator is a bustling city where numerous foreign-funded high-rises are under construction. A few minutes from the parliament house in the center of the city stands a pink colored beauty spa where well-dressed customers can be seen coming and going. On the morning of April 10, a luxury car drove into the spa parking lot. The driver, wearing dark sunglasses, in casual attire and Coach pumps came out, speaking into two cell phones. This woman – sumo grand champion Asashoryu’s wife, Tamir – was on her way to the day spa owned by her mother.
The daughter of a top bureaucrat of the police department, Tamir attended college in Germany but had been dating Asashoryu since junior high school. After a long-distance relationship that lasted years, she married the sumo wrestler in 2002 and became a mother of two. The couple seemed happy enough at their wedding party held in August 2004 in Japan.
However, a rift in their marriage surfaced in April 2007, when Tamir took their son and daughter and flew back to Mongolia. It was reported that she left because of Asashoryu’s “physical abuse” and “problems with women.”
In the spring of 2008, the Mongolian media reported the couple was divorcing, and Tamir did not appear at the summer grand sumo tour in Mongolia that year. According to a source from Aasashoryu’s stable, the two are currently discussing alimony figures and custody of the children, and that reconciliation is unimaginable.
Their divorce is recognized as a fact in Mongolia, and headlines in the local tabloid Hos Hyn claim that an 8-room condominium was purchased by the wrestler for his ex-wife, that he is engaged to the daughter of a Mongolian mining company president, and wedding arrangements are under way.
In fact, the “ex-wife” had already moved into the luxury condo last spring. The property manager of Tamir’s previous residence commented, “Whenever Dolgi (Asashoryu) was back in Mongolia, I used to see the two together but I recall there was much shouting.”
In response to Shukan Post’s request, an executive of ASA Group, a company in Mongolia owned by Asashoryu and his family, stated, “The yokozuna says he wants to start a business in the United States after he retires from sumo. He’s even employed an American to manage the restaurant he opened in Tokyo earlier this year. The fact that his new girlfriend had been a student in the U.S. is not unrelated either.”
Tamir made a statement to Shukan Post that she had no intention of returning to Japan because “the fault is his” and added that she had nothing further to say.
Four and a half years after the grand wedding party with 800 attendees, Asashoryu’s personal life appears to be on the edge of the ring.